New Year, no New Earth …

Isn’t God’s world miraculous?

Have you ever looked at an Orchid, for example, and noticed the intricacies of the delicate patterns on the petals? Or taken in the aroma of a meal, and considered how amazing it is that the scent and taste come together to give us a multi-sensory experience when we eat. How about music? I could write a thesis on the miracles of music. God is so good to us.

God made this world, and everything in it, and then entrusted it to us. We have a responsibility to this world.

One of the highlights of 2022 for me was seeing the art installation ‘Gaia’ at Greenbelt Festival. It is a digital image of the Earth, printed onto panels and made to be hung in a globe form in a large space. You may have seen it as it toured Cathedrals around the country, but I was so glad to have seen it suspended as it was over a tree-lined walkway on the Boughton House estate. Every night, as we headed back to our tent, we chose the route which took us underneath Gaia, so we could take in the beauty of the Earth, lit up for us, striking and awe-inspiring. She was truly stunning.

Yet we don’t treat the Earth, or its inhabitants, as precious or as God’s loved creations. How many of us see a person residing on the streets, look them in the eye and strike up a conversation? Most of us will just walk on by. God loves that person just as deeply as they love you. You are the hands and feet of God on this Earth. You may not be in a position to do any more than give a warm smile and nod, but at least do that. If you can do more, do more! What you did for the least of these you did for me, says Jesus.

How many of us check our products for substances which are farmed in harmful ways, such as palm oil? How many of us bank with providers who do business ethically? I know this is hard – I confess, I have been with the same bank since an account was set up for me at 12 years old, I hate it, I want to move from an ethical point of view, but my energy is so precious at the moment moving banks and all that entails doesn’t ever get high enough the to-do list. As I write this, I understand for some of us we barely do what we can to get through the day. So taking ethical actions can be a challenge too far – yet I firmly believe we must at least have them on our radars.

Some of us recycle everything we can. Some of us make sure to text one person on our contacts list per day as an intentional outreach. Some do a set volunteering role. Some focus on their family and investing in raising the next generation who will lead ethically. Some give financially. Some only buy fairtrade goods. Some upcycle. Some foster animals instead of buying from pet shops. Some have bird feeders and bug hotels. Some have solar panels and heat pumps. Some pray.

We can all do something more to take care of this amazing world and those within it, as is our God-given responsibility. I firmly believe that. Yet guilting people over single use straws and items essential for accessibility needs is not the way forward. Until global corporations stop chewing up our planet’s resources for greed and consumerism, we can’t do enough on our own. But any little something is an act of love in God’s eyes – and any act of love is the biggest blessing to the one given it. Especially if in that act of love we are showing God they were right to entrust us with their miraculous creation after all.

So let us compost, recycle, upcycle, greet kindly, be creative, artistic, campaign, do actions, pray, whatever works best for us in our lives, and show God how much we love them and their world this year. For how majestic is their name over all the Earth.

Peace be with you.

Amen

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