Month: July 2018

Promise

As we come to the end of the school year, and our term of looking at the creation and stewardship of the earth, we are looking at God’s promise and how that is reflected in his creation.

When I got married I made certain promises to my husband, those promises were made in front of our friends, our family, and God. Those promises were then demonstrated through the giving of rings. Similarly when I was a brownie I made a promise, this was demonstrated through a uniform and a badge. The ring and the uniform stood as reminders of the promises I had made.

After the flood in the book of Genesis God promises that he will never do anything like that again, and then the rainbow appears. The rainbow is a reminder of God’s grace but also of Gods promise.

The Bible is full of promises, promises made by God and fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus after his death on the cross. Martin Luther the sixteenth century theologian said “Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime”. Martin Luther is encouraging us to see the beauty of God in all things around us. Not just just that God made things beautiful but that when we look around we should be reminded of the promise of God loving us so much and giving us eternal life.

Prayer: Dear God thank you for the promises that you made and fulfilled in the Bible so that we know that all the promises you make will be fulfilled. Help us to see the fulfilment of those promises in the world around us. Amen.

Challenge: how can you see the promise is the resurrection in nature?

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How can we take better care of our world today?

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Over the last term we have been considering the concept of stewardship and the role that we have to play within that. We have considered a number of things, but I guess that question is… is it all just a load of words? What is the use of the words if we’re not going to put those words into action. Our thought for the week comes from Wendell Berry who says “We do not need to plan or devise a “world of the future”; if we take care of the world of the present, the future will have received full justice from us” suggesting that if we take care of the world that we are living in today, then the future world will benefit from that care. We don’t need to come up with cunning and amazing plans, we just need to care for the world we are living in.

The big question really is are we actually doing that or are we just good at talking the talk, and making people aware, that we know what the problem is and how to solve it, whilst actually not doing a huge amount about it at all?

Many people have the misconception that Christianity is all about following rules, but actually that is possibly the furthest from the truth that you could get. People do things that are wrong, those things may be thoughts, they may be actions, but they are things that separate humans from God and are known as Sin. So… humans are separated from God, but God had a plan, and God came to earth and made himself human in the form of Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross, he had done nothing wrong, and he died in our place, which means we can be reunited with God. Therefore no matter what we do, what we think, we can be forgiven if we ask for it. Christians don’t do the things they do because they have to, they do the things they do because they choose to. It is a response to what God has done for them. In the letter of James he writes about faith being dead without deeds; and that although there is not necessarily any specific instruction or guidance of how people should act it seems clear that it is not sufficient to say that you have faith. James even says that people should be able to see faith through deeds.

This then could be reflected in our focus on the environment. People should be able to see that we know what the issue and the solution is with the environment by our actions, we shouldn’t need to say anything. Our actions will then be passed on to other people and the result of our actions will be appreciated by the future generations.

Prayer: Father God, we thank you for what you did for us, so that we can be reconciled with you. Help us to live our lives to reflect that love in our actions, and to love our environment today for future generations. Amen

Challenge: How can you take better of care of the world today? Think of one change you could make.

Peace

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Quite often when we think of the word peace we think of quiet but there are two definitions. The first one is freedom from disturbance; and the second is a state or period in which there is no war. Considering we have been looking at the environment this term and our role within it I think it is the first definition we need to be using this week.

We started off by looking at the belief of God creating the world and everything in it. When it was created it was perfect, everything was working together perfectly and it was working at peace. But then… humans got involved… they started making choices… those choices had consequences. Not only did we break the peace between humans, but also in the environment.

Our thought for the week comes from Ellen DeGeneres who says

“If we’re destroying our trees and destroying our environment and hurting animals and hurting one another and all that stuff, there’s got to be a very powerful energy to fight that. I think we need more love in the world. We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter.”

Humans are the ones who have brought disturbance into the world, but humans also have the power to bring peace. God loves us so much that He has given us free will, we have to use that free will to make wise choices to bring peace for us, the environment, and future generations.

Challenge: What choices can you make to bring peace to the environment?

Prayer: Father God thank you for creating the perfect world for us, we are sorry for decisions we have made that have brought damage in to the world. Help us to make decisions that will bring peace in to the world, for us, the environment, and future generations. Amen.