A ROCHA IN A TIME OF LOSS
A tragic car accident took place in South Africa and the International Director and his wife of A Rocha (Christians in Conservation), Chris and Suzanne Naylor were tragically killed. A Rocha founder Peter Harris and his wife Maranda were also in the accident , tragically Maranda passed away and Peter is still in hospital
As part of our prayers for him and honouring the work of the Naylors, a “Church in Creation” was held by the river and some of the reflections were from Peter Harris’s work
Is creation care biblical?
The way the Bible frames the question, ‘What is Christian mission?’ is to ask us who Jesus is, and what it means to follow him as Lord. Many passages serve as examples: the first chapters of Mark’s gospel are among the clearest presentations of many. Through a series of episodes, Mark introduces us to Jesus – Lord over sickness, religion, politics, the personal life. And then as he tells us of Jesus stilling the storm, he makes it clear that he is Lord over the weather, and by extension over all creation. This goes far beyond seeing the story as simply a reassurance of personal comfort in times when the weather gets rough and the boat of our personal life threatens to be overwhelmed. Equally, from the beginning of Genesis to the final promises of Revelation, the biblical story is one of God’s love reaching out to his whole creation, and supremely to people within it. Nothing else can explain the promise of the first covenant in Genesis 9:17: ‘This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on earth’, or the ringing hope of Romans 8:19-21: ‘The creation itself was subjected to futility… in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God’. The Bible understands that those who follow Jesus as Lord are led straight into relationship with him, and thereby to the restoration of all their relationships, personal, social and with the wider creation itself. We never find the biblical call to mission beginning with people, then simply trying to assess their most pressing needs. This agenda owes more to the humanism of the renaissance and enlightenment than a robust Christian world view that begins with the question, ‘Who is God, and how can we make him known in the world?’ The logjam in evangelical thinking that has so sadly opposed social action to evangelistic endeavour, rather than understanding both as a consequence of the knowledge that Jesus is Lord, is only one of the consequences of this false point of departure. For people like ourselves, raised in a post-enlightenment culture that puts people and not God at the heart of our thinking, such a re-ordering doesn’t always come naturally but we cannot but admit that it is more biblical.
Praying for those who have lost loved ones and for the broader A Rocha family at this time of sorrow.
The meditation was led by James Irlam
Photos by James Irlam