Weekly Reflection – Wakey, Wakey.

01 December 2023

God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.

With these words the writer of Genesis concludes the first account of God’s creation of the world. Heaven and earth, with their stars and planets, flora and fauna, have been brought into being. Men and women, created in the Creator’s image and likeness, are blessed for their task of stewardship and oversight. All is very good. A poetic account of course, but one that reminds us of the preciousness of the world we inhabit and the duties we owe to those who will come after us. The Genesis account speaks to us across the centuries of the importance of biodiversity, ecological balance and human responsibility for the continuous nurturing of the integrity of God’s creation.

Over two centuries after the beginnings of rapid industrialisation, human beings are finally waking up to its consequences. Over the past quarter of a century ‘Conferences of the Parties’ (COP) have been taking place on an annual basis across each of the five major regions of the world in turn. The first COP was in Berlin in 1995. This week COP 28 is taking place in the United Arab Emirates. The increasing number of heads of state and government who attend these annual conferences, along with tens of thousands of representatives from industry and NGOs, is a mark of how urgently the issues of global heating and environmental degradation are now being treated.

Of course, responsibility for the actions that will be agreed at COP 28 does not rest only with governments or with industry. It is the shared responsibility of the whole of humanity. For Christians, this responsibility is firmly rooted in our understanding that God has entrusted to us the gifts of his creation and that we have a consequent duty to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth (the fifth of the Church of England’s Five Marks of Mission). Here at Wakefield Cathedral we have an Eco Group, a small but committed group of people working towards helping the cathedral become a greener place to work and worship. You can read more about their work on the website here.  It is thanks to this group that the cathedral achieved Bronze status as an Eco Church last April, and more initiatives are planned for 2024. We all know that small steps can lead to the accomplishment of large goals. Let’s ensure we take those steps together.

With love and prayers for Advent.
Dean Simon

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