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The signs of autumn are all around. The reality of Keats’s well-loved description – ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ – is clearly visible.
At this season of fullness before gradual withering, and alongside the current environmental wake-up call from young people to the gathered nations, comes the challenge to us about our lifestyles, about our individual responses to help protect the environement.
In recent years, we have become far more aware of the problems of global warming, shrinking glaciers, air and water pollution, waste disposal, the need to reduce CO2 emissions and provide clean water for all.
Caring concern about these aspects of everyday living grows from an attitude of thankfulness for the ordinary things of life and not to misuse or take them for granted.
The psalmist’s perspective provides a platform from to value God’s creation and our part in it. In Psalm 24, we read: ‘The world and all that is in it belong to the Lord; the Earth and all who live on it are His.’ At the heart of creation is God’s desire that people would be partners with Him in caring for it.
The hymn writer Frederick Pratt Green expresses this most helpfully:
‘God in such love for us lent us this planet
gave it a purpose in time and in space –
Thanks be to God for its bounty and beauty
life that sustains us in body and mind;
plenty for all if we learn how to share it,
riches undreamed-of to fathom and find.’
May we, this autumn, take up our personal stewardship for God, to curb our greed and help care for our Earth with gratitude for all His gifts to us.
Rev Carol Leech