Created For Relationship

Tues 24th March

Right at the start of our scriptures in Genesis 1 we read how we as human beings, are created in God’s image to live in relationships, to be interconnected. This is what we are created for, to live in relationship with God, with other human beings but also with this wonderful world that God the creator gave as a gift to us, to love and to steward. This relationship is one that is loving since God is full of love, creative since God is full of creativity and invites us to share in this but also one of responsibility. Sometimes we can shy away from responsibility in our world today, we like to remember our rights but our responsibilities are harder work. In Genesis 1:28  though we see how God places us having “dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 

 

Given responsibility 

This Lent we are being invited to reflect upon our relationship with the natural world and the wider world. God in Genesis 1:28 placed us as human beings as having control over the natural world, and gave us authority to care for the world, which God so loves. This is a place of privilege, we are blessed by God’s world each day and each day we are impacted by the world. As we slow down this Lent, how can we fully appreciate how we are impacted by the diversity of the world around us each day both locally and globally?

 

Think about how your life even today has been touched by the wider world. You might like to start by reflecting on the clothes you are wearing, the shoes you have worn- where were they made? What about the food and drink you have eaten today? The challenge for us might be ‘have we treated the world fairly, what has our impact been through our ethical choices on the carbon footprint and climate of the world?’ See how through even the smaller choices of our daily lives we have a responsibility to be aware and to reflect on how we are living out, and embodying, our faith. 

 

We are ever increasingly aware that we live in this world which is fractured, broken and damaged, polluted and straining with the effects of climate change. As the body of Christ in today's world, we are not disconnected from the struggle and pain of the brokenness of the world. The image of the body of Christ given to us in the teachings of St Paul reminds us of how when one part of the body of Christ suffers, the whole body suffers. As Christians we are not just to ignore the struggles and suffering of those across the world, but we are to share in the compassion of God and we do this with our prayers and with our actions.  

 

We are, through Genesis 1, given responsibility for creation. How can we share in the responsibility of sharing in the pain of this world but also in rebuilding and healing this world?

 

Being aware of the purpose we were created for, that of relationship with God, with other human beings and with the created order and also with an awareness that we have been given responsibility which means we also share in the worlds struggles and suffering, what then might this all mean for the season of Lent? 

 

Reimagining

What if we dream some dreams for the world, what would the world look like? How would our world look if it was perfect, without any problems. What would it look like through God’s eyes? What are the small steps we can share in to seek to build God’s kingdom here on earth? 

 

This Lent we take time to slow down and re-centre our lives on the God who creates and re-creates. God who made us for relationship and invites us to share in life giving relationships for the all of creation. God who gives us a responsibility of watching over each other, that all might flourish. What do we need to do, say or be that we and others can flourish and the world can more fuller be all that God made it to be? Imagine what could this be for you, for God longs for us to share in the hopes and dreams of the kingdom. 

 

How can you respond? Perhaps this Lent in slowing down we might want to think about buying food from sustainable sources or using our cars less. Perhaps in slowing down we can be more appreciative of all that God gives to us in the world.

 

Rev Karen Hilsden is a presbyter in the Ashton-under-Lyne Circuit

Slow Down, Save the Planet is being funded by the Manchester and Stockport Methodist District

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