Dr Byron Smith helps us consider how nurturing curiosity, kindness and courage can help us live out God's deep love and care for His creation.
Since 1974, World Environment Day has been celebrated every year on 5 June; engaging governments, communities, businesses and individuals to focus their efforts on a pressing environmental issue. This year the theme is biodiversity, which is under worldwide threat, especially in Australia following our droughts, bushfires and floods.
Here on the land of the Gumbaynggirr, on the Mid North Coast of NSW, we avoided the carnage of the bushfires - this year at least. We remain a Biodiversity Ark in a devastated country, where billions of creatures perished in fires, and many more seem doomed as the Barrier Reef experiences its third major bleaching event in just five years.
Yet even this Ark is under threat, with a concerted push to maintain pulp supplies after the fire, as a result we’ve seen logging truck after truck rolling through our town. The repeated triumph of the profit of a few over protecting the diversity and climate of God’s Earth is soul crushing. Many of us feel it, even if it is tempting to allow COVID to temporarily distract us from the dull ache in our hearts.
So I found the invitation of our Daily Disruptions for Creation and Climate Justice timely. Listening and connecting, protecting and advocating, remaining hopeful, creating and confronting - these calls to action were just what I needed to continue to run the race of following Jesus in God’s beautiful and broken world.
And because I want to consider these actions continually, I have decided to try to make it a habit, a weekly cycle of devotion and action. So I’d like to invite you to join me in reflecting with the contributors from the daily disruptions series as we together consider how we make it a habit to be devoted in our following of the Lord Jesus and active in our concern for nature each and every day.
Join us on Facebook Live (you don’t need to have facebook to watch) at 8pm AEST on Tuesday June 9th, to celebrate the biodiversity of God’s beautiful Earth, to reflect on the daily disruption calls to action, and to consider how to make them part of our ongoing routine. We’d love you to send any questions our way to discuss either by email to [email protected] or in the Facebook Live comments on the night. We would love you to be part of the conversation.
And so today, World Environment Day, how might you pause and celebrate the biodiversity of God’s beautiful Earth? How might you stand #ForNature?
Perhaps you could look again at the daily disruptions which have now been compiled into a single pdf so you can work through them again more conveniently, and use them as a devotional or discussion opening for whatever online groups you are part of? Perhaps you could read Mark Delaney’s six learnings from COVID isolation on better caring for creation?
What if we all lived #ForNature everyday?
P.S. For the last year I’ve been the Lead Climate Justice Campaigner at Common Grace. It’s been a real delight to work with the rest of the staff and regular volunteers, in a nimble, Aboriginal led organisation staffed mostly by women. As my contract comes to an end, I’ll continue to be involved alongside the rest of our contributors, and look forward to seeing how together we live out our passion for Jesus and justice.
Jason John became a Christian after graduating in zoology, and has spent most of his ministry helping the church explore the connections between faith and ecology, and to respond. He lives in the forest in Bellingen with his family and many non-human neighbours.