Weekly worship: Sunday 7 October
Points for sermons and prayers for the 20th Sunday after Pentecost.
Ten years ago, Christian Aid took an innovative approach to helping communities adapt to climate change.
Psalm 8 Mark 10: 2-16 Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12
If you’ve ever taken small children to the park to feed the ducks, you’ll know what a captivating experience it can be for them: the joy of seeing the ducks on the water and hoping to call them over with a loud ‘quack’, the excitement of watching them swim across when they see the grain for them to eat, the concern to make sure that every duck is fed and the wish that the fun would continue forever with many demands for ‘more’. Children instinctively see the wonder and beauty in creation; maybe this is the attitude that Jesus was talking about when he told the disciples that they needed to accept the Kingdom of God like children.
The writer of Psalm 8 perhaps had a similar sense of awe and wonder at creation, although they expressed it a little more verbosely. The psalmist looks at the whole of Creation, the stars and moon in the sky, and the birds and animals on the ground and is amazed by the incredible things that God has brought into being. But their awe doesn’t end there, they are even more impressed that God has entrusted all these amazing things to mere human beings: people with finite life spans and limited understanding of the complexity of this marvellous creation.
This psalm is sometimes taken to be an indication that Creation is ours to do what we like with, to cultivate or destroy at our whim, but as the writer to the Hebrews points out this is not what God intended. In the person of Jesus we see many indications of the way God wants us to live our lives, and the writer to the Hebrews here makes it plain that as Jesus’s brothers and sisters, we are called to emulate his work in creating and sustaining the world we have been given. We are not called to destroy our world but rather to protect and perfect it. To reimagine dominion, exercising it in a Christ-like way,taking action against the things which threaten this wonderful world.
This October and November, Christian Aid will be working to protect the world from the threat of Climate Change. We are calling on HSBC to withdraw its investments in fossil fuels and instead invest in renewable energy which will help to maintain the glorious Creation that we have inherited. You can encourage your congregation to take part online with the Big Shift campaign. We are also working with farmers in Bangladesh to use ducks to combat some of the effects of climate change. We can all be a part of God’s work sustaining creation and these Bible passages remind us that we have a duty to do it. We care for creation not only for future generations but so that children all over the world today can enjoy feeding the ducks.
This week’s pointers have been provided by Rachel Blainey as part of a group of Methodist local preachers in the Oxford circuit.
We praise you for the wonderful world you have given us.
Help us to take care of it so that all your children may live to enjoy its beauty for many generations to come.
We ask this in the name of Jesus through whom all was created and is sustained.
Pointers for prayer
Emergencies: Please continue to pray for communities affected by flooding in Kerala.
Partners: Pray for Christian Aid’s work in Malawi, helping women to start up village savings and small loans schemes as part of the Enhancing Community Resilience Programme (ECRP). Pray for ECRP, that it would enable vulnerable households to move beyond survival to enjoy thriving and dignified lives. Praise God that ECRP has managed to reach 423,000 people across seven districts in Malawi so far, who are among the hardest hit by climate change.
October is Black History Month. Give thanks for the contributions that African and Caribbean communities make to societies worldwide.
More points available from the Christian Aid prayer diary