This seems to have been a strong theme in the blog recently and I am pleased to say that Bill has sent some information to me for inclusion in the blog which speaks on this very matter. As you know I do like to use what I am sent if at all possible, as it adds to the "community" nature of the blog.
Psalm 104 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great. You are clothed with honor and majesty, 2 wrapped in light as with a garment. You stretch out the heavens like a tent, 3 you set the beams of your[a] chambers on the waters, you make the clouds your[b] chariot, you ride on the wings of the wind, 4 you make the winds your[c] messengers, fire and flame your[d] ministers.
5 You set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken. 6 You cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7 At your rebuke they flee; at the sound of your thunder they take to flight. 8 They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys to the place that you appointed for them. 9 You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.
10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills, 11 giving drink to every wild animal; the wild asses quench their thirst. 12 By the streams[e] the birds of the air have their habitation; they sing among the branches. 13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
14 You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use,[f] to bring forth food from the earth, 15 and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart. 16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. 17 In them the birds build their nests; the stork has its home in the fir trees. 18 The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the coneys. 19 You have made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. 20 You make darkness, and it is night, when all the animals of the forest come creeping out. 21 The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God. 22 When the sun rises, they withdraw and lie down in their dens. 23 People go out to their work and to their labor until the evening.
24 O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. 25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great. 26 There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.
27 These all look to you to give them their food in due season; 28 when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. 29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 30 When you send forth your spirit,[g] they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works— 32 who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke. 33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. 34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord. 35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord!
This is a long and popular psalm and much loved by many. In the article Bill has sent us Caroline Fletcher author The Bible in a Year, reflects: "What’s the point of wasps? This is a question many of us ask on a hot summer’s day when these insects are flying around our food and drink harassing us. A BBC news report answered this question by explaining that they play an invaluable role in keeping down pests and pollinating plants. This reminds us that even those creatures for which we can see little purpose have a role to play. Of course, this should not surprise us as Christians, for we believe that all life has been created by God.
Today’s psalm touches upon the remarkably modern theme of the interdependency of life. It reminds us of the ongoing balance of nature and how through it God provides food and habitat for life to flourish. The psalmist describes streams supplying water for animals and birds; grass that provides food for cattle together with plants that feed us and trees that act as nesting habitats for birds. God’s creation even provides the materials to make non-essentials like wine, the purpose of which is simply to gladden the heart (v 15). It is incredible to think that everything we need and everything humanity has fashioned has come from this Earth. God has indeed made it abundantly fruitful.
However, concern for God’s creation has not always been at the forefront of Christian thinking, for many reasons. God’s instruction to ‘fill the earth and subdue it’ and ‘rule over’ every living creature, for instance, has been misunderstood as a licence to exploit the Earth. This psalm, then, acts as an apt reminder that God has designed a carefully balanced world on which humans, as well as the rest of creation, depend for our wellbeing and survival. Surely, then, as Christians it is our responsibility to protect it."
Now whether you are not agree with what Caroline suggests, we are stewards of what God has given us. It is our business to be concerned about how we care for the planet, how we share its resources fairly, how we ensure that it goes on long after our own time and how we can actively be involved. This is what I was talking about last week so it, has an all familiar ring. I know too from comments that were made to me, we are all trying to do our bit and each action is important and stands alone.
I met a man in St Athan on arriving here, who told me 'I do not agree with the Bible over Creation. I am a Scientist.' Hence started an interesting conversation. Do we often chat with our friends what we think about Creation. Do we share with others are ways of being a good steward or how humanity fails with its care?
Delight in all that we have, even wasps! Talk and share with others our own delights and concerns as Christians.
Thank you Bill for sharing this.