A plan for the planet
The planet turns and seasons change and the children and plants grow and mature – and God delights in all of it.
The Lectionary passages for November speak of a God who rejoices in creation and loves all that is in it, who relishes the roaring of the sea and the song of the hills (Psalm 98), who desires justice and joy from the moment that an infant takes its first breath until the last deep sigh in good old age. That is the will of God (Isaiah 65).
God's new heaven and earth are places where the hopeful imagination of the Divine is poured out, and where we see the dream God has for all creation. Set against the backdrop of an abiding, benevolent earth, there is a rhythmic flourishing and finishing for all.
Bound in the finite time gifted to everyone and everything, God's plan for the planet is based on justice and equity, on an embedded respect for life. The texts look forward to the time when humanity will not need to be told, but will willingly, openly and determinedly seek peace and the wellbeing of others (Isaiah 2:1-5).
These are also passages that do not mince words about God's deep desire for justice, nor about God's bias towards the poorest and most vulnerable. Those left trampled at the bottom will be lifted up and listened to. God will hear their cry and save them, watch over them and protect them.
And we are called into that expectant, embracing vision. Be ready, God says, 'For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth' (Isaiah 65:17). 'Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.' (Matthew 24:42)
There will always be times and places and opportunities to be part of the vision; there you will always see God in the faces of the people you meet – in their joy and in their need.
‘We are one human family and everyone has an honoured place.'
November brings together several opportunities to embrace this vision and each other. 19 November is International Men’s Day - a day to focus on men's and boy's health, improve gender relations, promote gender equality, and highlight positive male role models.
The following day celebrates Universal Children’s Day, which marks the day on which the Declaration of the Rights of the Child was adopted in 1959 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
And 25 November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
We are one human family and everyone has an honoured place – this November, let us embrace our common, beautiful humanity.
Humanity also shares one planet home. From 7 - 18 November, Marrakech will host the United Nations climate talks (COP 22) where the unprecedented progress made in Paris last year might be built upon and strengthened – a new vision for a world ravaged by climate change.
We, as part of God's vision, must demand climate justice, and make and call for changes for those most affected and least responsible.
The month of November is also Will Aid month, a time when we have the opportunity to consider the legacy we would like to leave behind.
It is vital that we think deeply, not only about our money, but also about our carbon footprint and our sharing of equality, respect, patience, love, forgiveness and peace with the men, women and children who are our global neighbours.
This month, as the planet turns and the seasons change, and the children and plants grow and mature and God delights in all of it, may we embrace the vision and live that way.
Read our prayers for this month.
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