Thoughts for Monday 8th June 2020

Psalm 29; Job 38:39-39:12; 1 Corinthians 12:1-3

 Monday 8 June  - Rev.  Jerry  Eve

 In 2006, Clarkston Churches Together (which comprises Busby, Carmunnock, Greenbank, Netherlee and Stamperland, and Williamwood Churches of Scotland, Cartsbridge Evangelical Church, St Aidan’s Episcopal Church and St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church) hosted a screening of the film, An Inconvenient Truth. Afterwards, there was a panel-led discussion, and I can remember being shocked. 14 years later I’m still shocked.

 That evening marked the moment I was made aware of global warming as an existential threat to humankind. In the 1990s, I’d read ‘God is Green’ by Ian Bradley (1992), and that had been an influence on my theology. But it wasn’t until 2006 that I realised just how important (and indeed crucial) it was for us as a Church, Society and World to take what Bradley says in his book about St Francis’ approach to nature, for example, far more seriously than we have.

 Our Psalm and Old Testament readings, as with much of Scripture, are full of nature and the environment. There are references to ‘wild’, and that reminds me of the legacy of John Muir, the Scot, and ‘Father of the National Parks’ in America, who knew his Bible off by heart. His great concern was to leave large areas of our planet alone, and not to cultivate them.

 In our psalm we have references to the climate of our planet in ‘storm’ and ‘lightning’, and both Psalm 29 and our passage from Job mention a range of different biomes, such as seas, oceans, mountains, deserts and plains. Lebanon was famous for its cedar forests; Mount Hermon lies on the border between Lebanon and Syria and even has a ski resort these days; while Kadesh is in the Sinai Desert: it’s where Miriam, who was a prophetess and Moses’ sister, was buried (See Numbers 20:1). As well as cedar (which is Lebanon’s national symbol) there’s oak, and as for fauna we’ve lions, ravens, goats, deer, donkeys, and oxen (calves and bulls).

 Or at least we do have at the moment, but as we all know biodiversity is under huge threat. I had felt with COP26 that as Churches Together (and that’s whether it’s Clarkston or Glasgow) we were never really going to be as ready to welcome delegates from all around the world as we could have been. Now that it’s been put back by a year, though, maybe there is now a chance for us to make sure that, as churches, we are able to capitalise on what will be a great opportunity to highlight to the max all those ecological concerns our Christian faith demands.

 Let us pray:

 Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy, Amen (St Augustine).

 


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