North Wiltshire Methodist Circuit

We are a discipleship movement shaped for mission

Thoughts about Autumn and Creation...

 Autumn is still Harvest time in many peoples’ minds, even if we aren’t involved in farming. It’s quite right to thank God for His goodness in creation, and in doing so, we seek to worship the one who made everything, not what was made. To worship God marks us out from both the people who claim there is nothing beyond this life and those who claim that their god is in everything.

 Those who declare “there is no god” can be in danger of turning the creation into an idol, where good stewardship of what God has made is replaced by their estimate of creation’s value. At one extreme, the earth is plundered for personal gain resulting in extravagant greed and waste. Alternatively undue reverence for creation turns God’s abundance into goddess Mother Earth; here it is considered better to suffer than to use nature for creation’s good.

 Whatever we think of “eco-warriors” such as Extinction Rebellion and their tactics of protesting road and airport building and blocking up cites, their beliefs and motivations can be very hard to live with. The unbridled Capitalist and the extreme Ecologist both run the risk of being at the centre of their own universe and as such their philosophy needs pruning. The Bible is blunter, ‘The fool says in their heart, “There is no God.”’ (Psalm 14:1)

Harvest

 Those who claim their god is in everything can appear like model ecologists, by professing god is in creation and creation is god. People believing this often condone extreme cruelty and passively accept “what will be, will be” - fate - no matter whether it’s right or wrong, cruel or generous. What a terrible option compared with knowing God’s unearned love and graciousness.

 As a Christian, I believe that God entrusts His creation into our hands; therefore, we must care for it and use it wisely and carefully, because that honours Him. But as fallen humans we cannot achieve this in our own strength. We will inevitably fall into the error either of ignoring God or making creation our god. There is both promise and warning in the words of St. Paul - a great thinker and early follower of Jesus, “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit.” (Galatians 6:7-8). Don’t ignore Jesus Christ in the hope that we might get things right in our own strength, it’s far better, surely, to nurture seeds of faith in Jesus and harvest respect for all His creation...

 God Bless, David Miller