Thoughts for Monday 14th September, 2020

Psalm 77; Joshua 3:1-17; Hebrews 11:23-29


Monday 14 September


Hebrews speaks to us today of ‘the invisible God’ and Psalm 77 is similar; the way verse 19 puts it there is for the psalmist to say to God that, ‘your footprints could not be seen.’ Which reminds me that up until coronavirus, the theme Williamwood High School chaplains had chosen for this academic year was ‘Footprints’. We’d been inspired by that photograph of Neil Armstrong’s footprint in the Sea of Tranquillity on the Moon, and when we went into S1 classes, we asked if students could take a photograph of their own footprint for a forthcoming assembly.


What inspired us most about that footprint, I think, was not just that it possibly represents humanity’s preeminent achievement to date, but that without any lunar atmosphere to erode it away, it almost provides a symbol of eternity as well. So that, when we think of possible future missions to the moon, even after millennia, it will have remained quite unchanged. On the strength of that one footprint, then, we had thought to devise a whole year’s worth of material for successive assemblies.


And the obvious one – which we were planning to coincide with the UN Climate Change conference originally scheduled for this coming November here in Glasgow, but now postponed until next year – was for us to all have a think about our carbon footprint. The whole point of the theme, however, was to say that, one way or another, we do all leave footprints behind, and these – like those made by Good King Wenceslas – needn’t be bad, like a large carbon footprint, but might be ones we would want to be remembered for instead.


As Christians, that God can sometimes seem invisible, and God’s footprints remain unseen, is really down to us, whose task it is to reveal, and point them out to others.


Let us pray:


(A Creation Time Prayer by Rev David Coleman, Chaplain of Eco-Congregation Scotland)

"Tread lightly!"
(says God.

Who having made the world
still dreams.
and sings
of lovely justice
glimpsed and yet to come
for all good creatures:
- life we share.)

"Love me, my love:
express in your embrace
of flesh and blood
of sky and soil
the care, esteem, and courage
that lovers need to see the dark days through.

Come to me as a swim in the autumn sea:
for I will carry, uphold, and refresh you
even when you’re out of your depth;

though without respect and awe
for God, the Earth, Yourself, together,
you will have chosen danger;
you will have built on sand;
you will have trampled fledgling life;
and burned, polluting, sacrifice
which was not yours to offer
on the altar of the Earth.

But there is beauty yet:
And Christ’s forgiveness, sharing:
hope that needs not wait to hope,
and steps to take right now, before day’s end.
Yes, there are songs to sing on journeys travelling lightly,
for we tread on dreams of God.
So be it.

(Acknowledging ‘The cloths of heaven' by W.B. Yeats)

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