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It can be fun and it’s worship too!

May 30, 2015

I’ve been writing an article on things that families (or anyone) can do to appreciate the natural world more. My idea is that if people value this world more they are more likely to care about it and do things to look after it. This isn’t just a practical matter for me. I believe that caring for this planet is a central part of my showing my faith in a Creator God. It is also one way of living out our church’s 5th Mark of Mission, “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” For all 5 Marks of Mission see http://www.anglicancommunion.org/identity/marks-of-mission.aspx.

We are utterly dependent upon the ‘natural’ world for our food, air and water, but it is so easy to take it for granted. As a Christian I am also to see the earth as a gift from God, a world made ‘good’ in every way (see Genesis chapter 1). This world may no longer be good in every way but it is still precious to God. So much so that Jesus’ rescue mission is for the whole of creation not just for people. If you are unsure about this have a look at Romans 8:19-24:

Everything that God made is waiting with excitement for the time when he will show the world who his children are. The whole world wants very much for that to happen. 20 Everything God made was allowed to become like something that cannot fulfill its purpose. That was not its choice, but God made it happen with this hope in view: 21 That the creation would be made free from ruin—that everything God made would have the same freedom and glory that belong to God’s children.

22 We know that everything God made has been waiting until now in pain like a woman ready to give birth to a child. 23 Not only the world, but we also have been waiting with pain inside us. We have the Spirit as the first part of God’s promise. So we are waiting for God to finish making us his own children. I mean we are waiting for our bodies to be made free. 24 We were saved to have this hope. If we can see what we are waiting for, that is not really hope. People don’t hope for something they already have. (Easy-to-Read Version © 2006 by World Bible Translation Center)

So I encourage all of you to use this summer to appreciate God’s creation more, it can be fun and it’s worship too. For example, there are thousands of amazing colours all around us in parks and gardens. To prove it collect lots of the little cardboard paint colours. Cut these up and put them in a bag. Without looking, put your hand into the bag and pick a colour card. Then you have to find something, or a small part of something, that exactly matches the colour on the card. You will be amazed at the different colours there are. This is a great game for family walks and picnics. A good little leaflet with loads of ideas like this is available from here: http://www.heritagewoodsonline.co.uk/Environmental%20games%20and%20activities%20booklet.pdf. For wet days there are online nature games: http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/earth/games.html and craft activities: http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/earth/index.html too.

This summer, whether doing an activity like those above, sitting in your garden or just watching the birds, my challenge to you is to appreciate not only the nature but also the Creator.

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2 Comments
  1. norfolkpilgrim permalink

    100% in agreement! Humankind will look after the one they love. Begin to see what needs to be done to care for the one you love and the 5th mark of mission comes naturally!

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