Skip to main content

Common home

Our 'Mother' and our 'Common Home'

Something to read

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain

- Psalm 127:1, from full reading Psalm 127.

Something to think about

Unless the Lord builds the house... Our psalm opens with a declaration of partnership in shaping or in failing - the world and community which give us life, as well as a place of blessing for our children and young folk who, in their turn, already have work to do in shaping and defending this social, political and natural environment. Partnership is all-age.

Pope Francis’ description of the Earth as both our ‘Mother’ and our ‘Common Home’ encourages the sort of commitment proper to intimate relationships of family in our active actions for justice and care for the Earth.

Building a beautiful home in partnership with God is no passive matter. Healing and safeguarding our fellow creatures requires active commitment: action against the threats of climate crisis. And where else to begin, than in the home.

True, changing your lightbulbs for LED, choosing Fairtrade and taking note of the environmental credentials of what you buy, as well as re-using and making the most of charity shops when you move house (as I’m just now doing), will not save the world. Although, most likely, it will save you money.

But what it will build, and powerfully, is your active and constructive conscience as a participant in a society that, right now, is thoughtlessly demolishing even what we have built with God.

Something to do

Anything which lessens your environmental impact. Do it today, tomorrow, and the next day too!

Something to pray

God, our partner,
blessing us with responsibility,
refusing to do what it is for us to do;
may we, in the things we care most about
also shape beauty and justice
for the Earth, her creatures, and her human partners.
Help us to keep faith with the poor
whom God makes equal partners with us
and reshape with you
from ruins and from labour in vain
the House Beautiful
for life’s good, to your glory


Today’s contributor is the Rev David Coleman, a minister of the United Reformed Church serving as “Environmental Chaplain with Eco Congregation Scotland” - working in partnership with Christian Aid, with Scottish Christian Aid churches, and with others, and folk of good will.