Thought for the Week 13/09/21 

Earth


Creation Care

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2: 15
 
The news about our planet isn’t good.
 
“Hottest year on record”
 
“Emissions fuelling climate change”
 
“Rainforest destruction accelerating”
 
Such gloomy headlines are set to increase as the UK gets ready to host the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the parties in Glasgow in November. It’s interesting to note that this is the 26th conference attempting to put things right – or at least not make things worse.
 
To deal well with a problem you sometimes must go right back to the beginning.
 
Beginnings.
 
Genesis.
 
The beginning of life.
 
The origins of humanity.
 
Genesis is covered in controversy.
 
Did God really make the world?
 
Are we talking 7 days as in real time days? Or are we talking GT (God Time) rather than GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) in terms of time scales?
 
In our culture some of the clever claim God had nothing to do with creation.
 
Which puts them at odds with Genesis.
 
Genesis never sets out the scientific case for creation. Those details are left for us to explore and uncover.
 
Rather the author repeats again and again: God said – and it was so.
 
As the psalmist put it: The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it (Psalm 24:1)
 
God made the earth and everything in it. The world and all who live in it.
 
Abraham Kuyper wrote: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign overall, does not cry, mine!”
 
Which makes the words of Genesis 2:15 even more amazing: God enables us to work this earth and take care of it.
 
Is there here a pre fall picture of God the creator working alongside us – the created – to care for creation.
 
Sin breaks up our relationship with God. It also causes greed. Unfairness. Carelessness. And potentially the destruction of the only home we have.
 
It would be good for us to pray that our global leaders will gather prepared to take some big steps to care better for our world.
 
And as we do so may we also consider what little steps we might take to care for God’s creation. 

Keith Wilson, 14/09/2021

Thought for the Week 06/09/21 

Off to work

Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It’s off to work we go!

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed….” Colossians 3:17
 
According to Walt Disney, Snow White encountered 7 people who appeared to enjoy their work. Whether they were Sleepy, Sneezy, Bashful, Dopey, Happy or Doc it appeared that work in the mines made them happy enough to sing.
 
“Hi ho! Hi ho! It’s off to work we go.”
 
Is this you on a Monday morning? Singing with delight because you’re off to work? Or school? Or daily chores?
 
What do you do though when work feels like…well…hard work? Perhaps there are situations where you work that are less than ideal and it feels as though being at work is quite tough. Or maybe you find yourself wondering if what you’re doing is really worthwhile?
 
The pressures of work. The demands of life. People to see. Places to be. Even our time off can feel full on.
 
How do we keep going when we feel like giving up?
 
Dave Smith writes: “For those of us who are Christians, the answer is by living our whole lives in gratitude to the God who has called us, knowing that ultimately, He will reward us.”
 
Living our whole lives in gratitude to God.
 
Paul summarises it this way: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’ (Colossians 3:17)
 
In our list there was one name missing – Grumpy. I have to admit that I can be a bit grumpy at times.
 
So, here’s a challenge for those of us who grump, complain and fold our arms just a little too much.
 
Don’t be a grumpy!
 
Can we live with an attitude of gratitude?
 
It’s interesting that Paul doesn’t limit this attitude to religious duties of church activities. Instead, Paul speaks about ‘giving thanks to God’ in ‘whatever you do.’
 
Don’t be a grumpy!
 
Can we give thanks to God when we’re at church? A church service is not a performance to be critiqued but an invite to participate.
 
Don’t be a grumpy!
 
Can we give thanks to God when we’re out in the community?
 
With our families?
 
And at the places such as work where we spend so much of our time?
 
Paul continues: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart…It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3: 23-24)
 
Whatever we do. Wherever God has called us. Let’s adopt an attitude of gratitude and serve as though it is Jesus we are serving.
 
May God bless you in this week ahead.

Keith Wilson, 07/09/2021

Thought for the Week 26/07/21 

Family journey

Are we there yet?


Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth’” Revelation 21:1
 
“Are we there yet?”
 
Parents of young children will be aware of the horror such words can create when on a long journey.
 
“Are we there yet?”
 
A few words that tell us so much. Our younger passengers are looking forward to arriving. Great! Our younger passengers are giving us early warning that if we don’t arrive soon – there will be trouble. Not so great!
 
As a family we have tended to drive to our holiday destinations. This means the car is packed tightly with children, suitcases, home comforts and the dog. I pride myself on being able to tightly pack everything we need into our car. This is one reason I tried not to stop driving unless absolutely necessary. A ferry port counts as a necessary stop. On one occasion this created an incident when the port security officials opened our car boot and the dog fell out. The dog was most surprised – as was the official who thankfully saw the funny side.
 
“Are we there yet?”
 
Words that signal potential trouble on a long journey especially if they start before you’ve reached the end of your street.
 
“Are we there yet?”
 
So many of us live our lives in a rush. We’re busy trying to tightly pack in as much to life as we can. We need to get things done as quickly as possible to get on to the next thing that needed done like yesterday.
 
Do we do the same with our faith? Do we ever get tired with such a packed life? Do we ever say to God…
 
“Are we there yet?”
 
Jesus promises that a brilliant future awaits us. One where God will be with us.
John describes this new heaven and new earth like this:
“God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
 
In a world filled with too many tears, that sounds good. Really good.
 
“Are we there yet?”
 
We only need to look around to know we’re not there yet. There is much wrong with our world. But one day – one day soon – all will be made new.
 
Until then try to enjoy the journey. Let’s live each day with a sense of adventure taking in the sounds and sights that we pass as we make our way to our new home.
 
Wherever you go this Summer, enjoy a break. Take some time to be with your family, your friends, and your God. Take in the sights of the journey as well as the destination. And when it’s time to come home, remember this. The best is still to come!

Keith Wilson, 28/07/2021