Chelsea Van Der Poel explores how regardless the season, God's goodness creates a hopeful new day.
On the eighth day of Advent, 2021, Pastor Dave Sigley captures the hope and flourishing of God’s covenant relationship with all creation.
Hope for all creation
I will make for you a covenant on that day with the wild animals, the birds of the air, and the creeping things of the ground; and I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land; and I will make you lie down in safety.
Hosea 2:18 NRSV
These words from the prophet Hosea, although written many years ago, still bring us comfort and hope. A hope for each and every one of us, a hope for a new day. The Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Romans that all creation has been subjected to the curse and that the whole of creation groans as in the pains of childbirth.
Never before has creation groaned so loudly, as we see the climate changing at such a rapid rate. The pillaging, exploitation, and destruction of the creation to feed our consumerist needs is at a record high and unfortunately doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. But there is hope, there is always hope. We must find ways to encourage and support those who are trying to make a difference for the sake of our shared creation.
My family and I live on a small 10-acre hobby farm on the lands of the Boandik people of the South-East of South Australia. Six years ago we decided to sell our livestock and revegetate the land to resemble how it may have been pre-colonisation. We planted a bio diverse range of native species and it has warmed our hearts to see the amazing amount of wildlife that has returned to this once treeless property. A relatively small patch of land in an otherwise open farmland environment has become a sanctuary, a place of hope and safety, for the hundreds of native species which now call our property home, some which haven’t been seen in this area for years.
The scripture tells us that God will make a covenant with all of creation and that wars will be no more. Jesus has brought about this covenant and when he said the “Kingdom of God is at hand” he didn’t mean it was a far off futuristic kingdom, he meant it was right here and now. If we begin to live out this covenant relationship with the mindset that all of the creation is a part of the kingdom, then we are much more likely to take better care of what we have at hand. By pursuing peace, justice, reconciliation, and healing, we live in hope of seeing a new day where all may be able to lie down in safety.
Dave, and his wife Tania, are the Pastors of the Mt Gambier Uniting Church. They have three boys, Mitch 24, Lewi 14 and Paddy 11. They live on a small property on Boandik Country, which they have replanted with native flora. Dave is passionate about God and seeing a true reconciliation of all things.
We give you thanks for the beauty and majesty of Creation, we ask for forgiveness for the times in which we haven’t always been good stewards of what we have. Help us to work together with you towards caring for the Creation and pursuing peace so that we may all see the fulfilment of your covenant. We pray for a new day where war is abolished, where we can live in harmony and where all of Creation may be able to lie down in safety.
We pray this through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Photograph: Jane Kelly, Sunset, Lake Longreach, Jingili Country, Northern Territory
Visual Description: The orange sky at sunset reflects onto the lake as a pelican glides by. Silhouettes of trees on the opposite shore are reflected onto the surface of the lake.