Lent 2020 "Beginnings and Ends."
Over 5 sessions the group based their reflections especially on the first chapters of Genesis and sought to relate the global medical crisis we are all caught up in but also the Global Climate and Environmental Emergency that is ongoing. Our aim was to build upon the inputs by group members and to reflect on themes linked to the UN and Climate Emergency, Creation, stewardship, plastic waste and general pollution and environmental destruction, and also using an excellent resource of The Bible Society on the theme of debt and indebtedness. Again just how topical this would be we at the time of composing the series had no way of knowing. I will now do a brief summary of the theme and texts for each session then it is over to you if you wish to read through the papers. Any feedback would be wonderful.
Can I thank group members for their willingness, as always to contribute but especially in writing these papers.
"The light and dark side of humanity."
Selfishness and survival instinct, power and conquest, enslaving/exploiting others, evolution. "Am I my brother's (sister's) keeper?" Sibling rivalry, parental responsibility, growing up, taking responsibility (Genesis 4.)
"The consequences of disobedience,
The Fall, Noah." (Genesis 6.)
Purging the world, climate change, consequences of our greed, Extinction Rebellion, called to order. See also Exodus 20, Ezekiel 2 and Luke 16.
"Debt, credit and responsible living." Based upon the Bible Society Study booklet.
Bible texts- Deuteronomy 17. 14-20, 1 Samuel 8.11-18. The Scottish version of Our Lord's Prayer has the telling alternative "Forgive us our debts, AS we forgive our debtors." We think of payday lenders, loan sharks, the poor (that as Jesus eloquently reminds) will always be with us! Think of those with ultimate political or economic power (multinationals). They must be constrained in their use (abuse) of power. Samuel points to the the requirement that government (of any kind) must be responsible in promoting the common good. (See also Romans 13.1-6) When planning for the future humility is required. (see James 4.13-16 and 5.1-end. Also Isaiah 56.12 and Luke 12.16-20.
Human Creativity its uses and abuses (in the image of God?). Genesis Chapter 11.
The Tower of Babel, are we too big for our boots? Have we returned to The Fall? Has Big Brother now come true? We aren't just being watched but they know all about us. Yet are we not created (isn't it in our nature) to be inquisitive, ever searching, ever seeking the more? Where does, where should, that lead us?
This made for a fascinating course for this particular Lenten season and took us through what has been a truly novel experience of the season and also of Easter. We would love to have your thoughts too.
Take care , keep safe, God Bless you one and all, Graham (Hardwick)