You might think it a bit bizarre to see a summer scene on a January diary page, but the New Year is surely a good time to remind ourselves that mankind and the natural world are interdependent and, as Christians, in the world but not of it, we have a responsibility to take a lead in dealing with the issues our world faces.
As Jim Mein said recently, the Bible does not have much detail about how to deal with these issues – it was a very different world when the Bible was written – although the Old Testament is clear about saving good seed for next year, and about rotating the crops to keep the soil fertile.
Jim continued: “Jesus himself did not provide answers, though there is no doubt he felt humanity was close to the natural world, as is clear in so many of his parables. And he promised the Spirit, who would live and work within us. In other words, our religious faith, just like all other branches of human knowledge, builds on the past, grows and develops to meet new situations – sometimes taking a wrong direction but being brought back to struggle on again.
“The Churches, with their fundamental commitment to there being value and purpose in the world; to the idea that love and community and responsibility can point us towards a just and creative future; that in Jesus we have an example of one who gave himself for others and thereby gave us all hope; Yes, the Churches do have a contribution to make – but with humility, and in partnership with others.
“And one area I suspect will be our treatment of animals and the natural world. The Church today needs a season when we look at our world and pray that God’s spirit might lead us to find ways to mitigate all that threatens our world in the 21st century of Our Lord.”
You can read the whole sermon at this link.