God's world

Dear friends.

You may have already heard about COP 26 and if, like me, you wondered what it means the ‘COP’ stand for “Conference of the Parties”. From 31st October to 12th November, Glasgow will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference. The ‘26’ also tells us that this is the 26th attempt to rescue our planet from the damage humanity is causing.  As the UN General Secretary said; “The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable:  greenhouse‑gas emissions from fossil-fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk.”

This is a problem for all of us, for all faiths and none, but I wish to take this opportunity to reflect on this global issue from a local angle. It was Julian of Norwich who recorded a vision that illustrates just how precious the earth is to God;

“He showed me a little thing the size of a hazelnut, in the palm of my hand, and it was as round as a ball. I looked at it with my mind’s eye and I thought,

 ‘What can this be?’

 And the answer came, ‘It is all that is made’. I marvelled that it could last, for I thought it might have crumbled to nothing, it was so small.

And the answer came into my mind, ‘It lasts and ever shall because God loves it’. And all things have being through the love of God.”

As Psalm 24 reminds us too;

“The world and all that is in it belong to the Lord;
    the earth and all who live on it are his.
He built it on the deep waters beneath the earth
    and laid its foundations in the ocean depths.”

Julian of Norwich and the psalmist were both aware of the amazing love of God and the gift of this beautiful planet.  But as we know, it is a gift that is fragile and easily destroyed unless we fulfil our responsibilities to care for the earth. If someone in our family gives us a precious gift, we do our best to care for it because we want to honour that symbol of their love. The world’s leaders need our prayers, the earth needs our help to heal.                              John