Daily Devotion 05 March 2021

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Hebrews 12:1-3 ‘The Example of Jesus’

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.

I heard of a survey this week which as a preacher made me think and a little sad. It found that two thirds of Christian young people have never heard a sermon on climate change and the environment. BBC News spoke to several who said that although both the Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Francis have taken the lead, churches themselves have not placed it at the top of their list. Our response to the debate is now becoming critical and even more at the forefront of our minds, and individuals such as Sir David Attenborough have brought the urgency with often headline news.

This November, the UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). It is now five years since the historic Conference on Climate Change meeting in Paris which led to a stated ambition to bring countries to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Recently the UK Government published a new and ambitious target for a 68% reduction in UK emissions by 2030. Experts hope that the UK’s target will be a focus for the conference in Glasgow, to set a more ambitious target for cutting carbon and a means to hold our Government to account. Also, because this level of ambition is vital for credibility, it is hoped it will be further encouragement for our leaders to persevere and show the way forward.

Locally, Eastbourne Borough Council wants to collect ‘normal’ rubbish every other week, to encourage recycling and to reduce polluting the atmosphere through having fewer lorries on our roads. This suggestion has not yet been finalised, but it would bring us in line with many other councils in the UK.  We can, of course, do a great deal: perhaps you are buying food that is produced locally, recycling most of what you use, and walking or cycling instead of using the car? We can pray for climate justice, preach on it, and live it. Christian Aid have many ideas and materials, including a petition online at:

www.christianaid.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/climate-justice-2021

The accounts of the story of creation and the Garden of Eden remind us of God’s hand working for the good of all. Despite Adam and Eve ignoring God’s command, God has persevered with us. The writer of Hebrews, in the text above, encourages us to persevere, hope, and in doing so emulate Christ. There are many passages in the bible showing that God did not AND does not give up on us.

Prayer:

Father God we praise you for your creation and the beautiful signs of Spring apparent in our parks and gardens. Help us to be more aware of you, showing us how we can look after our communities, reflecting your beauty and love for humankind. Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2021 Matthew Earl.
Image freely available online.

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