creators and creations

Just before morning worship started, while the last pray-er made his cup of tea… we stood and looked again at the beautiful mural symbolising creation that is on the back wall of the Sanctuary’s prayer space. Again we marvelled at how much colour, beauty, life and detail in it. Again a couple of us commented on how we could never grow tired of looking at it. And then we began…


On this, the first day of National Climate Week, we spent our morning worship time working round our creation care prayer stations corporately…

The theme of the second station, which was positioned on a table underneath the mural, focused on ‘Exploring damaged relationships: Us and God’…

How often do we forget that we are guests invited to enjoy God’s creation? How often do we think that we have full ownership – and feel a sense of entitlement to use it however we want?

As we prayed… I was drawn to this analogy…

I know that this mural was a labour of love. It was created for us, and for the Sanctuary by a close friend. It took about sixty hours and it represents many things – talent, skill, generosity and sacrifice. It has been given for us and others to enjoy and as a stimulus to worship God.

Just imagine if I was to come in one day and scrawl all over it in black paint

I would damage the mural – itself a thing of beauty and value. I would upset many people who love looking at it. But most of all I would deeply hurt its creator; my friend. I don’t think I would lose that visual memory of her pain for a long time to come.

Our care or otherwise of God’s creation is a decision to honour or mistreat three sets of interrelated relationships… the world; others and our Creator…

At that same second station we had been watching a set of scrolling images which revealed the beauty, life, variety and extravagence of God’s creation – and praising God for how much they reveal him and his heart.

Then we had closed our eyes and imagined a different set of pictures – environmental degredation, exploitation, pollution, natural disasters and precious unique individuals hurt in the process… how much do these reveal our heart?

And what is it like for God to look at these images scrolling in front of him?

If I imagine the pain my friend’s face would carry if she was to see her beautiful painting defaced and its power to move people to worship and to bless them taken away… perhaps I have seen just the tiniest glimpse of what God himself feels.

I hope I and others will keep being moved to change our conduct because we start to act with a proper reverence towards creation and I passionately long for us to value and honour poor communities in the way we should and must.

But even if these two fail to move us – and I hope they don’t –  surely all of us who say we love God must be moved by the thought of his heartbreak?


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