Sunday, May 17th
Millstones against a wall above Padley Gorge, Peak District - Feb 3rd, 2009
Today is identified in the Church Calendar as Rogation Sunday. Which is probably why Christian Aid is highlighting Climate Justice in the prayer diary. This was historically the day when, as the other 'bookend to the Harvest Festival', people would process to the edge of their village or town boundary and pray for a season of growth for all the crops being sown by farmers and gardeners.
Peonies, Welsh Poppies, White 'Bluebells" and Centaurea in our garden this morning
There is little doubt that most of us find spending time in the garden to be therapeutic, especially at the moment. People have always felt a closeness to the earth in the past and the resurgence of Celtic spirituality is an indication of how many of us have a desire to 'get connected' with the world around us.
Our challenge today is to convince the world - starting on our own doorsteps -that if we don't stop exploiting the earth and its riches today, we will miss the last chance to halt the climate changes which already threatens the most vulnerable parts of the planet. It is tragic to see the number of species of plants and animals which have been lost in the desire to produce economically advantageous crops through deforestation, for example
Biodiversity loss matters both because all God’s creatures have value in themselves and also as an issue of justice. It is the poor and marginalised who depend most immediately on the health of ecosystems and are affected most severely by the collapse of the natural systems that sustain all life. Billions of people today face the loss of productive soils, clean water, forests, fish and coral reefs, and biodiversity loss is a major driver of human migration.
Kenyan botanist, Dr Stella Simiyu states: “The rural poor depend directly on the natural resource base. This is where their pharmacy is, this is where their supermarket is, this is in fact their fuel station, their power company, their water company. What would happen to you if these things were removed from your local neighbourhood? Therefore, we really cannot afford not to invest in environmental conservation.”
Living God, broaden our perceptions to our neighbour, peoples across the world, and all life that calls this planet home.
In the beauty of a rainbow we see a spectrum as sunlight passes through raindrops, and we can feel the presence of you within it. Let that inspire us to play our part in minimising our impact on our planet home, our fellow creatures, and to truly act as stewards of Creation. Amen
Revd David Coaker, Grays URC
Padley Gorge, Peak District: February 3rd, 2020 (same site as above, same day)
May God who established the dance of creation,
Who marvelled at the lilies of the field,
Who transforms chaos to order,
Lead us to transform our lives and the Church
To reflect God’s glory in creation.
(Churches Together in Britain and Ireland Eco-Congregation Programme)