Sunday 24th May – Eco-Church

Geoff Smith shares reflections for what would have been an Eco-Church themed service.

Strolling around our garden at the beginning of the lockdown, it struck me that although society had almost been brought to a standstill, nature continued to make itself heard and seen and flourish: I could clearly hear birdsong and bees buzzing, and see buds opening, day-by-day:

Morning has broken, like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird.
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning,
Praise for them springing, fresh from the Word.

Lately, even the estuary and the sky seem a more sparkling blue!  And what a wonderful variety of trees, flowers, shrubs, insects and birds God has created.  And so we to turn to God in praise:

For the beauty of each hour, of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flower, sun and moon and stars of light.
Gracious God, to thee we raise, this our sacrifice of praise.

In the beginning God desired healthy and blessed relationships between him, humankind, and the natural world, all working in harmony and praising him, the God of Love:

God is love, let heaven adore him; God is love: let earth rejoice;
Let creation sing before him, and exalt him with one voice.
He who laid the earth’s foundation, he who spread the heavens above,
He who breathes through all creation, he is love, eternal love.

We’re all too aware that we live at a time when many are anxious, frightened, despairing and grieving.  However our God is a faithful God who gives us hope, is with us for eternity, and who loves each one of us, shown in the face of Jesus his Son:

God, who made the earth, the air, the sky, the sea,
Who gave the light its birth, God cares for me.
God, who sent his Son, to die on Calvary,
Will, when life’s clouds come on, still care for me.

God has asked us to be stewards of his creation and as people who have plenty, may we help usher in his Kingdom by sharing the earth’s food and natural resources with those who have little:

In the just reward of labour, God’s will is done:
In the help we give our neighbour, God’s will is done;
In our world-wide task of caring, for the hungry and despairing,
In the harvest we are sharing, God’s will is done.

The pandemic has given the world the opportunity to view things differently, to see the natural world with a fresh appreciation, to reset its course and to plan to protect the planet.  For this to happen, we need to change the way we live and make our voice heard to our governments, our leaders, our decision-makers – undergirded in prayer:

We lift up our hearts for children unborn:
Give wisdom, O God, that we may hand on,
Replenished and tended, this good planet earth,
Preserving the future and wonder of birth.

Our Reflections close in this hymn of praise:

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works thy hand has made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to thee,
How great thou art, how great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee,
How great thou art, how great thou art!



First line of hymns, and the verses used, from Rejoice and Sing, under CCL 186837

‘Morning has broken’ no. 45, v1
‘For the beauty of the earth’ no. 41, v2
‘God is love’, no. 95, v1
‘God who made the earth’ no. 62, v1, 3
‘For the fruits of all creation’ no. 42, v2
‘We utter our cry: that peace may prevail!’ no. 642, v3
‘O Lord my God’ no. 117 v1