The Commitments of Faith: Creation

Creation 

Reuse – recycle – reduce 

Energy efficiency rating 

Energy saving light bulb

Climate change

 

Eco-tunnels 

Eco-congregations 

I wonder when it comes to thinking about looking after our creation what you think about.  For some the whole idea that the world is warming up is a good thing especially on a cold morning like today.  For others it is of course a real worry – those who understand the science can prove that the world is changing and not for the best. 

We can look back and blame other generations – just think about the industrial revolution and all the problems it caused pumping carbon into the atmosphere.  Or what about CFCs in our aerosols damaging the ozone layer? 

When God made the world he made us to look after it.  Hmmm…sometimes I can easily understand why delegation is a dirty word.  For our first reading today I chose the Noah story rather than the story of creation because I wanted to remind us how passionate God is about his created world. 

  • Anyone who is passionate about their garden can understand God’s anger when thoughtless people run across it or leave the gate open and the dogs get in. 

 

  • Anyone who feels put out or annoyed when the beautiful tubs along the street are tipped out or mangled by idle hands can understand God’s frustration. 

 

God decides in the story to return to the drawing board – lets scrap it all and start again.  We heard the start of the story…Noah has to build an ark in the desert, and put two of every kind of animal, for some it were 7 pairs.  It is a strange story, where Noah and his crew and cargo float on the water whilst it rains for 40 days and nights, and then he had to wait for the floods to go down.  What fascinates me with this story is that God pays attention and despite all the evil that is going on, he notices Noah.  And he can’t bear to punish this one good man and his family along with everyone else. 

There are other lessons to be learned from Noah –those on the email circuit will have heard these and they did feature a long long time ago in one of my sermons – however well worth another visit… 

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah’s Ark. .. One: Don’t miss the boat. Two : Remember that we are all in the same boat. three : Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark. Four : Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big. Five : Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done. Six: Build your future on high ground. Seven : For safety  sake, travel in pairs. Eight : Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs. Nine: When you’re stressed, float a while. Ten : Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals!  Eleven : No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting. 

In the recent edition of this email I was sent it came with the following picture which I loved.  

Show woodpecker slide 

Although we make light of the Noah story – a very striking verse in the story readsHe was sorry he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 

 God made us in his image and each of us reflect him.  We may not fully appreciate it, we might not even believe it but the human form was created by God and taken by God in Jesus Christ.  God gave us responsibilities to look after the rest of the created world, because he had made us to be like him – full of love and compassion, able to communicate, develop and learn through experience.

 

Arguably we are finally learning some lessons – but we are still very slow on the uptake.  Not many will dispute the fact that we have to reduce our carbon footprint or make an effort to dispose of our rubbish more economically for there are only so many landfill sites available. 

I want to show you some of the presentation from Church and Society on this issue just to help us put it in context…  Climate change slides 

We could work towards becoming an eco-congregation – but it is a title or accolade that we have to earn.  As a church here we have made little effort towards becoming an eco-congregation because we have always been caught up in so much else.  There are only so many hours in the day after all.  Yet we are used to recycling now at home with our multiple bins, we have a superb eco-tunnel project at the top of the village – which I must say if you have never been to, please find the time to go.  It is well worth knowing about.  

The Breakfast Club have decided that we are going to start our own recycling project here in the Church.  We have spent the morning sorting these boxes ready for paper – one to be kept in the church and one in the office – we hope to put on in the kitchen area shortly.  All paper for recycling is to go in the boxes and then find their way to a blue bin.  We are going to purchase a bin for the kitchen for plastic bottles.  

We also have a recycling project for everyone to join in – and this one is a fundraiser.  We are collecting Danone pots and for every pot etc we will get 2p.  So please if you are a Danone eater, please take time to wash out your tubs or wee bottles and bring them to church – collection points will be made available for these in the church and halls as well.  

It won’t make a huge difference to our carbon footprint but it might just start us thinking.  God made us and it pains him when we abuse each other and the world he created.  We are called to love each other, and when we love each other we are motivated to do the best for each other.  

We might not think that taking the bus or walking instead of driving our car makes a huge difference but we all know every penny counts.  

We might not really be motivated to campaign on behalf of environmental concerns but some of us have a heart for it.  Therefore we can all do our little bit, and encourage and support those who are more willing to go the extra mile and fulfil this commitment of faith.  None of us who believe in God want to pain his heart so let’s all think and work harder to look after his world, especially when we live in such a beautiful part of it.  

As a church we do have to seriously look at our consumption of the earth’s resources and truly ask whether we are doing all we can to reduce our carbon footprint.  We cannot preach that God created the world and we are to look after it, then obviously not look after it.  

Like Paul writes we need to be who God calls us to be – human beings made in his image, and therefore when we witness people being evil to each other or the world, it should pain our hearts and motivate us to make a difference. 

God promised Noah that he would never again destroy the whole world and he placed a rainbow in the sky to remind him and us of his promise.  But that doesn’t mean that God isn’t pained any more.  If anything he is more pained – especially when the consequences of our actions over the generations prove just how much damage we have done. 

Let us live in the right way, like people who belong to the day.  

Let us give the generations that follow a world they can live in – until the day the Lord calls time and there is a new heaven and a new earth.  

Amen.  

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