Daily reading: 27 September
What can you sacrifice to sustain our planet?
Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelt the pleasing odour, the Lord said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.’
- Genesis 8, 20-22 New Revised Standard Version. Click here to read the King James Version
If this is really what God is like, then it would be difficult to worship. Noah’s God arbitrarily decided to destroy the world. Having relented, he then was touched by the pleasing aroma of animals burning on Noah’s altar.
More meaningless destruction and death. 'I quite like this planet,' God says, while writing off the human species as irredeemably evil. A strange motivation for the faithfulness that ensures seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night!
Step back a little and look at the scene again. Noah and his family have survived a terrible trauma. Noah kills animals and offers them in worship because it is the best that he knows. And God looks in pity at the human race, trying so hard and getting it so wrong. God’s faithfulness includes deep love for us.
Our faithfulness to God needs to mirror that love.
Offer a sacrifice. Not of a beautiful living creature – God doesn’t need that. Instead, think of your impact on our planet home and sacrifice some greedy pleasure for the sake of the sustainability of life for all.
Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
Today's contributor is the Rev Roberta Rominger, a former General Secretary of the United Reformed Church.
Published on 27 September 2017