• Carolyn Scriven

Fish in the Air and Birds in the Sea - Bible Study 4 - EarthKeeping


Worship

Beethoven's 6th Symphony is also known as the Pastoral Symphony. Beethoven, a lover of nature, called the first movement, ‘Awakening of cheerful feelings on arrival in the countryside’. Prayer Heavenly Father we pray that you will infuse our study with your Spirit and with joy. In the name of your Son

Amen Introduction This is our last study in the Lent series ‘Fish in the air and Birds in the sea …’ a quirky and I hope memorable title which reminds us that the world is full of surprises and things aren’t always what they seem. I hope these sessions have challenged our preconceptions about God and his creation. To begin, a little story adapted from ‘Fish in the Air’ by Kurt Weise A Chinese boy called

Little Fish loved to play. He longed to have a kite

shaped like a fish and asked his father for the biggest fish kite he could find. His father found one and

gave it to Little Fish who flew it straightaway. The kite was huge as big as the boy himself and flew so well that

a gust of strong wind

pulled Little Fish off his feet and into the air Only to drop him

A moment later into a river where the kite caught

the attention of a fisherman

Who reeled it in and the boy with it.


Subdued and safely returned

to his father Little Fish

suggested that next time he get the smallest fish kite he could find… Which may go to show we should be careful what we ask of our Father, but really it is a story to delight our imaginations, as the title to our series is intended to be as well. This study recalls the Genesis passage where God tells Adam to take care of, or ‘keep’, the earth And the questions we are considering are: • How can we do that, and do it well? • How does creation care fit into our daily walk of faith? Carmody Grey: ' Every time I spend my money I am casting my vote for the kind of world I want… the supermarket is a really important place, with huge influence, which very few of us choose to exercise.’

Bible Study Many of us will have ‘go to’ verses or passages which we love, such as: Micah 6: 8 ‘What does the LORD require of you. To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ Matthew 22:37-8 37“ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ Matthew 6:33 ‘…seek first His kingdom and His righteousness’

These foundations are the same when it comes to creation care as they are for anything else, for instance: • caring for the poor and marginalised • working for social justice • telling people about Jesus Whatever we are doing in our different circumstances and contexts, we try to act out of love as we seek first his kingdom. This Lent course is not emphasising caring for creation above caring for other things. It is, rather, a reminder that this aspect of our walk of faith has often been neglected. And that our responsibility as God’s image-bearers • is to care for everything he has made, people and creation alike: the health of one is closely connected to the health of the other

Creation care is about being human: Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, says: “Living in a way that honours rather than threatens the planet is living out what it means to be made in the image of God. What we face today is nothing less than a choice about how genuinely human we want to be.” Douglas and Jonathan Moo, authors of ‘Creation Care’ in the ‘Biblical Theology for Life’ series,: ‘Creation Care is first and last simply about being human.’ And Caroline Harmon, of Christian Climate Action: ‘At our heart we are still just a bunch of ordinary people taking action around our jobs and responsibilities, to care for God’s Creation as best we can.’ What will we do differently? Some pointers: Many Christian charities are giving prominence to our environmental fragility and providing some great resources - here are just a few:

Climate Stewards

A Rocha UK

A Rocha International Tear Fund campaign and series of short films with climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe Green Christian and their ‘9 ways to live gently on the earth’ United Society Partners in the Gospel Operation Noah

CAFOD

Young Christian Climate Network

Many churches are putting their eco activities on their websites such as:

St Paul’s Dorking with a helpful lifestyle calculator and a blog on changes we can make to reduce our carbon footprint.

St Michaels Bath