People are increasingly worried about the ecological crisis facing the world. Our relationship with the world about us has got out of balance and human beings seem to be doing a great deal of harm to the world we live in. We have forgotten that there are other creatures who share this planet with us. Other birds, animals, fishes and plants for whom this world also is home.
All the great religions have, at their best, been concerned about human beings relationship with the world about us. Respect for life, for all forms of life, has been a religious principle in many different cultures. In the Jewish-Christian tradition there has also been this strong emphasis on treating our environment with respect. For example, many of the psalms speak of how God is shown to us in the things of the world. Psalm 148 speaks beautifully of the ‘Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds’ praising the Lord. So does the Son of the Three Young Men written in the second century BC: ‘Bless the Lord, all rain and dew; all you winds, fire and heat; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever’.
In Christian spirituality, Saint Francis of Assisi spoke of all the things of creation as his brothers and sisters. Albert Schweitzer, the famous organist, philosopher and doctor, used to pick up worms from path ways for fear that they would be trodden on. At the centre of our worship there is the Eucharist, where bread and wine become the vehicles for God’s presence. And in Harvest Thanksgivings and Rogation Days, the church has shown how important it is to pray for and give thanks for the good things we enjoy.
The Rogation Service at Dethick will this year be held on Sunday 2nd June at 6.30 pm. This is an opportunity to pray for farms and farmers and for the world about us. It includes the blessing of crops and ends with a glass of wine in the churchyard. We will this year be welcoming a visiting preacher, the Revd. Alan Griggs, who is the Agricultural Chaplain. Do please join us.