Being on holiday in Cornwall this week, we were saddened to see the affects of the floods and storm damage first hand. Our favourite cafe, is in effect gone, sea walls decimated, homes and fields flooded and as in this picture – beach huts demolished. Our hearts went out to those impacted as they do when we see such images on the television of other places impacted by unusual weather events.
We sung a hymn at Church this morning, the words were exalting us to care for our planet. Not so unusual today you might say, but I checked the date and it was written in 1973.
1 God in such love for us lent us this planet, gave it a purpose in time and in space:
small as a spark from the fire of creation, cradle of life and the home of our race.
2 Thanks be to God for its bounty and beauty, life that sustains us in body and mind:
plenty for all, if we learn how to share it, riches undreamed-of to fathom and find.
3 Long have our human wars ruined its harvest; long has earth bowed to the terror of force;
long have we wasted what others have need of, poisoned the fountain of life at its source.
4 Earth is the Lord’s: it is ours to enjoy it, Ours, as God’s stewards, to farm and defend.
From its pollution, misuse, and destruction, good Lord deliver us, world without end!
Words copyright © 1973 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188.
When I think about the churches response to looking after our planet, I think of the last 20 or so years, not over 40! The author is Rev Fred Pratt Green a Methodist minister and hymn writer. He wrote several hymns that pick up social issues and challenge our complacency. In the light of recent floods and storm damage, it is difficult to discern where responsibility lies, climate change, lack of government forward thinking, negligence, city over rural, the list goes on…
I suspect, as with many social problems, it is a mixture of several and it will take hindsight to ultimately tell. In the meantime, can I suggest that it is not just our hearts go out to those affected, it needs to be our heads that lead us to take mutual responsibility and not just blame others.