Choose Life : FTUK 19th July

Caring for the environment is high on the agenda of many, not least children and young people. Remember Extinction Rebellion and the school protests?

Overshadowed at the moment by COVID19, but I’m sure that we’ll hear more from them sooner or later. My son, Matthew says “Climate change is a big thing that effects young people at the moment. It’s going to effect our future more than yours”. Well put. If you have a look at the Methodist Youth and Children’s 3Gen Manifesto, green issues and climate change is at the heart of what they want the church to address. At FTUK this week, we're going to see if we can start to help them.

So how do we do it? And how do we connect our faith with the action that needs to be put into practice?

Firstly, there has to be a recognition that the earth and everything in it, belongs and was created by God. Therefore, as stewards of this amazing world, it goes without saying, that we need to proclaim that we need to care for it the way God does. Secondly, we need to admit that the position we’re in – with the oceans, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, intensive consumerism, is our fault. Thirdly, we need to act through the power of prayer, discerning ways in which we can lead the way as people of faith, to change.

Our Bible reading this week comes from Deuteronomy 30:19-20. It’s the part where Moses addresses the people, before they go into the promised land, and puts a choice before them. “Choose life or choose death” – that’s basically what he says. By choosing God’s way, the Israelites will choose to have life, but if they choose to ignore the values, laws and relationship with God, they will choose death.

As we were discussing what we’ll explore on Sunday, it came very apparent that by choosing what God wants: love, hope, care, forgiveness, respect, we are choosing life. And what better way to demonstrate care and respect than standing up and saying that we need to be better at looking after the earth? The “Choose Life” slogan also resonates with those of us who remember Danny Boyle’s “Trainspotting”. There “Choose Life” was much more about choosing an ordinary, mundane life, often that which we want to try to escape. It has the echos of the scripture from Ecclesiastes where the author says that everything is meaningless. But our challenge is to embrace the life that God offers us through Christ – “Life in all its fullness”. Often, that involved making choices to change, but the rewards are that of something better, richer, more meaningful. What will you choose? To go through life and squander the world’s resources? Or, to embrace all that God wants for you, to make a difference and look after what he has given you?

A Christian parody of the Trainspotting Poster

However, this task can seem so overwhelming: What does me picking up one piece of litter or recycling a couple of cans do? Well, we’re going to look at the impact of rubbish, our habits and the effect it has had on the earth. I think you’ll be surprised at what we find! We are also going to see if we can make something which can be used again – eco bricks. You’re going to need:

  • A 2 litre drinks bottle

  • Lots of plastic packaging/ flexible plastic

  • A pair of scissors

  • A stick or a short bean pole or something like that to pack in the plastic to the bottle

In addition, we’re going to think about how we can make a creed (statement) to look after the earth and a rainbow promise – like the one God made to Noah, to help us remember how to look after the environment. Who knows, if we work together to make changes in our lives, then perhaps others will follow.

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