We must look after God’s creation
Martin Upton has been experiencing the wonders of North Yorkshire, and reflects on the need for us all to take responsibility for the world we live in.
We have just come back from last year’s holiday! It was held over because of.....! We stayed in a farm cottage in the North York Moors, pictured above. Fortunately the cottage had decent heating - heating which we wouldn’t have needed last May!
It is an amazing area, with abundant wildlife - red kites and red grouse for example, the North York Moors Railway, Whitby Abbey, and fish and chips, the glorious views of moors and dales, industrial archaeology, the Rosedale ironstone workings and railway, streams and waterfalls (all full), and hills to climb - Roseberry Topping is superlative (but steep) and its western side is its present shape as a result of collapsed mine workings. There are historical sites, James Cook came from the area, and some spectacular walks, once you got used to the up, followed by more up. Our Norfolk legs were just about acclimatising when it was time to come home.
We were constantly reminded of both the power of nature and the way in which human influences have shaped and altered things, the multiple things which earth has given, and human hands have made.
We also considered the differences in weather: for our original booking in 2020, it was a record hot and dry May and 2021 a record cold and wet one, bringing the words above to appear as ‘which human hands have made, and earth has given’. The extremes we are experiencing are presumably the effect of the global climate crisis, of which we in Britain are seeing only limited effects.
I can’t agree with doing things ‘to save the planet’. Earth will continue to spin long after we have departed. It’s doing things to save the natural world, ourselves, the life and lives we cherish, and the worldwide human community.
In the biblical story of creation, God looked and saw that “It was very good”. In the account of the making of humanity he gave us to “‘rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground”
To ‘rule over’ means to ‘have responsibility for’ and this responsibility needs to be exercised carefully, and widely. Our own way of life should not come at the expense of the natural world, the climate and especially not our fellow human beings, wherever they live. As Jesus reminds us in the parable of the Good Samaritan, they are all our neighbours.
This article has also been published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury and on Network Yarmouth.
Image by Kevinsphotos from Pixabay
Rev Martin Upton is Assistant Minister at Bradwell Parish Church.
The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norwich and Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive debate between website users.