Hope

The fourth and final part of a series on reasons to care for creation.

There is hope. As Christians we have been commissioned to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, to proclaim the gospel to all of creation, and to be salt and light in this world. Continue reading

Salvation

Part three of a series on reasons to care for creation.

Since early childhood I have had a particular fascination with the cat family, or Felidae. Of the 37 or so species I’ve had the great privilege to work with 17 of them in captivity, to see two in the wild and to hear a third: it’s a humbling experience to be sleeping outside and in the half-light of morning to hear a leopard calling close by!

During a university summer holiday I was working at a wildlife sanctuary, where, among other animals, I had to look after a tiger called Sonia. And after a few days I had the opportunity to go into her enclosure along with her keeper. Continue reading

Noah.

We continue our series on ‘Environmental Hero’s of the Faith’ with…

Noah.

Noah was thrust back into our homes in 2014 through the relentless advertising that comes with a supposed Hollywood blockbuster. I missed it in the cinema, but kept an eye on the reviews which overall didn’t seem too hot. I have seen it since and actually quite liked it. Sure, the director Darren Aronofsky took some license with the story, with cool rock monsters and explosions and such like, but we can get over that one. One of the stand out bits of the film for me was when Noah and his family, were all stowed away in the boat and he was explaining the creation story to each of them- not to ruin the film but this then cut away to essentially show an evolutionary process within which God was present. In the context of the film, it works really well, whether you believe in an evolutionary process or not. Continue reading

A Sabbath for the land

Leviticus 25 – beginning with the first seven verses – A Sabbath for the land (Leviticus 25: 1-7)

The Genesis account of the Creation tells us that when God made humankind He gave us responsibility for what happened next with the created world. God then ‘stepped back’ and had a sabbath, or day of rest. Humankind’s first day was also this sabbath and some see significance in this for our well-being and work-life balance: that from our rested bodies and minds come our energy, passion and creativity. Then humankind’s relationships with God, with each other and with the environment went horribly wrong at the Fall. Continue reading

The snow leopard will lie down with the lamb

Our relationships with wildlife are sorely in need of Divine restoration.

I write these words from the heart of the Himalayas.  The days are shortening as autumn turns firmly into winter, and the ice creeps down from the snowclad peaks onto the valley floors.  In many ways, life goes on here as it has these many centuries: the harvest has been safely gathered in and people are preparing for the long, hard winter.  In other ways, the advent of roads, airstrips and telecommunications now allow these communities unprecedented access to the outside world, and vice versa.

This setting is also the backdrop for another age-old custom: that of conflict between man and beast.  The herds of livestock – yaks, horses, goats and sheep – that many people across the Himalayan region depend on for their livelihoods can be an attractive proposition to hungry predators, especially when their natural prey is scarce.  Wolf, bear, lynx and snow leopard can all kill domestic animals across the Himalayan region.  Not only does this threaten the wellbeing of households and communities, but also the persistence of these wildlife species, as they face potential retaliation from irate villagers.

Continue reading