By CLIVE BUTCHER
Saturday 30 October 2021
2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2 And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
Genesis 2: 1-3
BANKS OF HASAKAH WEST DAM ( INDEPENDENT)
Creation is complete and God rests from his work, in her book ‘Saying Yes to Life’, Ruth Valerio points out that the formula ’and there was evening, and there was morning’ is not used implying a continuation of the Sabbath. But, as we know only too well, Humanity had other ideas and has continued to fail to respect God’s creation leading to the consequences we face today.
The picture above is from an article in the Independent on-line newspaper highlighting the plight of those in northeast Syria suffering from not only conflict but the effects of climate change. Assyrian Christians describe how a ‘Paradise’ has become like ‘Hell’, with little rain and falling water levels. The Dam pictured above dried up six years ago. Thus, once again, it is those with least resources and already struggling with life, who are most under threat from Global Warming.
COP 26 begins tomorrow and the need for success has been highlighted by the report from the UN that warns that current pledges by countries would reduce carbon by only about 7.5% by 2030, far less than the 45% cut needed to limit temperature rises to 1.5% according to scientists. Sadly, the ambitions and pledges of Leaders are too often not put into action. There is a parallel, perhaps with Week 3 of our Spiritual Gifts study – taking action. 1 John 3: 18 reminds us ‘Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.’
There is more that we can do as individuals (and I know how I am failing), not least in accepting whatever relative hardships are required but the main responsibility lies with our Leaders to be honest and take the necessary decisions. Although there is pessimism concerning the likely outcome of COP 26 there is also hope with greater public awareness and evidence of some progress, for example the attempts of President Biden to pass a Bill with $555bn for incentives to reduce carbon emissions.
Prayer (from the Tearfund website by Ruth Valerio):
To our God
who made and can move mountains,
who created people and can touch their hearts and minds,
who declared that the world was very good and can make it to be so again,
who has the world in his hands,
be praise and glory.
We lift before you the COP climate talks and the future of the planet.
We are sorry for the damage that has been done,
but we come before you knowing that you are a God of mercy and miracles.
We pray for the world leaders gathering in Glasgow,
that they would do what is right and fair.
May the common desire to protect the world enable good conversations, positive actions and bring about unity.
We pray for those joining from countries on the frontline of climate change
who are experiencing the worst impacts, having contributed the least.
We pray that their voices would carry weight and power,
and that you, God, would protect their place at the negotiating table.
Lord, would you help us in the UK to host with humility, compassion, and generosity.
You are a God for whom nothing is impossible or too late.
In the face of this climate crisis, we hold on to the hope found in you.
Hear the cries of your people, O God.
There is much information about climate issues and COP26 available on the internet which you might find helpful, for example: