Thought of the Week - 27th July 2021
Pre read: 2 Chronicles 7:4
We hope you’ve had a good week and that you and your loved ones are all safe and well.
After some very hot weather, we have settled back into pleasant ‘sunny intervals and a gentle breeze (with occasional light rain showers)’. The tragic flooding in northern Europe is no longer news. Raging wildfires in north America continue, the result of lightning strikes on parched forests after prolonged drought. Heaven knows what is happening in parts of the world that never make it into our news. We are so fortunate to live in a country that is so peaceful. Imagine what it would be like to live in fear of ‘the weather’. Extreme weather events are seen as evidence of the climate crisis facing the world. This Saturday 31st July, some young Christians will be walking through our parish, on a relay walk from Cornwall to Glasgow, timed to arrive for the UN Climate Conference in November. Please pray for them as they highlight the urgency of the climate crisis, and the need for all of us to acknowledge our part in causing it and play our part in tackling it. May God bless you and your loved ones this coming week.
THE BIBLE READING: GENESIS 1.1-2.1 The Beginning
‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the waters.
THE FIRST DAY: God created Light … and it was good.
THE SECOND DAY: God created the atmosphere – the sky.
THE THIRD DAY: God separated the seas and land and it was good. God also commanded the earth to produce all kinds of plants, and it was good.
THE FOURTH DAY: God commanded the sun, moon and stars to appear in the sky and to separate day from night and to show the time for seasons, and it was good.
THE FIFTH DAY: God commanded the ocean to be full of living creatures, and the sky to be full of birds, and it was good.
THE SIXTH DAY: God commanded the earth to give life to all kinds of tame animals, wild animals, and reptiles, and it was good.
Then God said, "Now we will make people, and they will be like us. We will let them rule all other living creatures." God looked at what he had done. All of it was very good!
So the heavens and the earth and everything else were created.
THE SEVENTH DAY: God had finished his work, and so he rested.
This is a paraphrase of the beginning of the Bible. The Genesis account of Creation is actually written more as a poem than a ‘How to Create a Universe’ manual, and we should beware imposing our 21 Century Western rational minds on a 3,500 year old middle-eastern poem. That said, there are some foundational beliefs that we can learn from this passage. The first and most important is that ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.’ Our primary understanding of our relationship to God springs from this verse. We are created, God is our Creator, and as such we owe God everything! Simples!
For the believer, we have the surety that ‘In the beginning, GOD …’. God is our answer to everything. For the non-believer, all they have is, ‘In the beginning …’ In the beginning, what? All they have is a question. Their lives are then spent in search of an answer.
Throughout the poem, there is a rhythm: ‘God commands … it happens … it is good … the next day begins … God commands … it happens … it is good …’ and so on. The point is that God cares about what he makes and he makes it ‘good’. God does not create rubbish – it is all good. This is vital for how we treat Creation.
He then creates people, looks at all that he has made and it is ‘very good’. People are special to God because he creates us in his image. It is an awesome thought in itself – that we are created to be like God. That means we are to be loving, good, just, merciful, peaceful, generous, benevolent etc.
He created us to ‘rule over’ the earth as his representatives. Contrary to what a lot of people have thought, that doesn’t mean that we have a right to treat the earth as we please, but as pleases God. We have not been given the earth as a resource but as a responsibility. Jesus’s teaching emphasises this responsibility - rulers in the Kingdom of God are to be humble servants, not arrogant bosses (e.g. Mark 10:43).
The climate emergency is a real and significant threat caused by the selfishness and greed of people. Urgent action is needed. We need to reduce carbon emissions for the sake of the world and future generations. For the Christian, this is not simply a matter of survival - it is a matter of obedience to God. The survival of the human race will be a by-product of our ‘ruling’ the world as God intends – with righteousness, with fairness, with goodness and mercy – with godliness.
Please pray for
- Everyone involved in the Cornwall to Glasgow Relay Walk to highlight the Climate Emergency
- That Governments will take action to tackle Global Warming
- People to be sensible and cautious as most Covid restrictions are lifted
- For the many nations still struggling with Coronavirus
- For our NHS staff coping with a 3rd wave, and those whose medical treatment will be delayed because of it
- For all going on holiday this summer, that they will have a safe, restful and restorative time away
- For the the sick: especially Nicholas Roynon, John Keast,
- Give thanks for all that is good in your life