Rev Belinda Groves reflects on Canberra Baptist Church's annual Blessing of the Animals for St Francis of Assisi Day and Season of Creation.
Although many people speak simply of the ‘environment’, Christians often prefer to use the term ‘creation’. This reminds us that life is a gift. Creation is grace. God didn't have to make the world; God wasn't filling a hole, responding to a problem or meeting an inner need. Neither was it a struggle, a victory over primordial chaos, or a compromise between competing forces. No, in pure generosity and love, God stands behind all that exists and says Be.
God made a world that was good, very good, and which, despite deep problems, is still fundamentally good. Our Creator is faithful and is not about to give up on it.
The bad news...
The planet is heating up and our fossil fuel use is the primary cause. Even worse, we Australians are among the worst offenders. And those most vulnerable are already beginning to suffer the consequences.
People and ecosystems all around the world are already stressed by changing patterns of floods, droughts, heatwaves, and seasons.
We're not immune. Aussies face hotter temperatures, worsening bush fire danger, and a intensification of the 'droughts and flooding rains' we've always known. Even the iconic Great Barrier Reef is in serious danger.
The scale of the problem and the slowness with which the world seems to be responding makes many of us feel anxious and overwhelmed. If you'd like to read more about climate science, you can do that HERE.
The good news...
Jesus came to set things right and His resurrection gives us hope in God’s promise for the future, including the renewal of all of creation. As followers of the risen Christ, we are invited to be a faithful presence in the world, praying that God's will is done on earth as in heaven. Of all people, we are used to admitting when we've gone the wrong way and seeking instead to serve our many neighbours in love.
It's encouraging to learn we already have the technology to transition to a clean energy future and the opportunity to rediscover a life consisting of far more than the accumulation of possessions, as our Lord taught (Luke 12:15).
Loving our neighbour means climate justice
Our children, future generations, the global poor and other species face the worst consequeces of climate change yet bear the least responsibility. This is a grave injustice.
The decisions we make in the next few years will determine the severity of climate change for all these vulnerable neighbours.
Pursuing climate justice today means reclaiming our human vocation of humble care for one another and the creatures around us. In a world changing faster than at any point in human history, climate justice is an inescapable part of Christian discipleship for Australians today.
Join us in taking climate action.
Rosie Clare Shorter reflects on Rebecca Huntley’s new book 'How to Talk About Climate Change in a Way That Makes a Difference', encouraging us to turn our concern and anxiety about climate change into action.
Sculptor Keith Chidzey reflects on how the simple act of knitting a scarf (and building the world’s longest knitting needles) helps speak to the heart and scale of action needed to tackle climate change.
Gomeroi woman Bianca Manning reflects on the many stories the climate scarf tells, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the need for these stories and voices to inform and lead our calls for climate justice.