Australia’s recalcitrance at the Pacific Island Forum results in a strong declaration of the scope of the climate crisis, but a weakened commitment to respond.
Common Grace is the idea that God is good to all and has compassion for all of creation (Psalm 145.9).
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This is the basis for everyday existence: sunshine, rain, food, beauty, meaningful work, regular rest, and the extent to which there is a rough approximation (at times a very rough approximation) of peace and justice in human society. These gifts come to all and are to be shared in common by all.
And so one wonderful implication of common grace is that we get to join in, to participate in this indiscriminate divine generosity and goodness by serving the common good.
In general, we do this "routinely" in all kinds of ways big and small: kindness to a stranger; caring for those we love; doing something productive that helps society; creating, appreciating and sharing beauty; paying our water bill such that the plumbing system on which modern urban life depends is maintained; observing the road rules; buying products that have been made justly and sustainably, and so on.
But sometimes, we can deliberately do something for the common good, taking an action that is intended to help everyone in some way. And that is what this new group Common Grace is on about. We're joining together to do stuff that is a blessing to all of God creatures, or all Australians, or all people in our city/town/village, or some combination of the above.
And sometimes, that means taking direct action to change a situation in a concrete way. Sometimes, it means seeking to love our neighbours through advocating for just legislation or policy. Sometimes, it means doing something to change the conversation in our culture.
Our first action is all of the above. Join us in a Christmas gift to Australia as we offer solar panels for Kirribilli House: a small concrete step in reducing our national emissions, a warm commendation of the Renewable Energy Target, and a symbolic act that points to a future of clean energy for our kids and grandkids.
Many have already got the ball rolling. Can you chip in a few dollars to ensure our first step is a good one? And sign up for further opportunities to honour our Creator together by echoing and amplifying God's abundant goodness towards us all.
If you'd like to chip in to give Australia solar panels for Christmas - have a look here!