The Earth is the Lord’s
In 2016 the Dawes family from Aylsham took a holiday to Scotland calling in at the Holy island of Lindisfarne on the way. Liz and elder son Jamie reflect on their love of the natural environment and their experience of a landscape vastly different to Norfolk.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:1
I think this quote shows us how small and insignificant we are compared to the greatness of God who can create earth and many other planets all on his own. Seeing the vast sand flats and towering hills around Lindisfarne illustrated how powerful and moving landscapes are and how totally we are under the influence of nature and her laws.
The more we exploit nature, such as in mining and mass burning fossil fuels, the more dependent we actually become on it. And nobody, not even a very rich man, can be safe from the will of nature and her natural disasters. Yet when one trusts in God, they become happy because they do not need to worry; they have protection from the creator of all things. And how great is this protection! The beautiful scenery in Lindisfarne helped persuade me to serve nature and God instead of fighting it. I want to help protect the unique scenes and ecosystems which we all cherish, so that many more can find hope and excitement in them.
“In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.” Psalm 95: 4-5
We crossed the causeway across to the island at 8.30 on a clear August morning, dazzled by the sunlight glinting over the water. Already I was filled with anticipation at walking in the steps of so many Christians before me over the centuries. As life has progressed, I have found my faith more and more rooted in Celtic Christianity.
To me God is as immanent in the earth, sky, trees and landscapes as He is transcendent. Faith intermingles with life as we live out our daily lives within the natural environment. For the early Christians it would have been so much more a daily struggle with the elements but also a daily celebration of the beauty of the earth and of all the resources God provides for our welfare.
I was expecting Lindisfarne to be quite desolate a place, but was surprised to find a thriving community there who have made their living from the natural environment for centuries. A walk up to the castle gave breath-taking views and great delight to me as a keen bird-watcher. Here, as in the Scottish Highlands, which I love, God seemed majestic and powerful as reflected in his creation but also loving towards us in his abundant supply of all the things we need to sustain us.
This article is from...
Articles in this issue...
Churchyards: vital stepping stones for wildlife
Working for Norfolk Wildlife Trust's People and Wildlife Team, Gemma Walker invited us to record the wildlife found in our churchyard spaces.More
Act justly: be part of the solution of the climate change challenge
When I visited a remote village in the Amazonian rainforest in Bolivia and asked people about climate change they said, ‘We don’t need anyone to tell us the climate is changing. We see it for ourselves. The seasons and weather are changing. We suffer more floods and droughts than we did before.’More
Young Christians lead ethical lifestyle challenge
Hannah Pye, previously the Children, Youth & Family Worker in the Tas Valley Team Ministry and now Chair of the Church of England Youth Council, describes the impact of a recent discussion among young Christians on the ethical and environmental dilemmas thrown up by Micah 6:8.More
Outdoor spirituality: some tasting notes
Environmental crises, from global warming to the catastrophic loss of species, follow the pattern of the story of the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2. Paradise lost, through a failure of care.More
Greening our churches
"Strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain the life of the earth" The Anglican Communion's fifth Mark of Mission.More
One day with Adam Jackson – Christian eco-camp entrepeneur
Adam Jackson, youth worker st St Stephen's Church, Norwich and founder of Intents Youth Camp outlines an average day of mitigatimg the carbon footprint of the camp held on his parents' Mattishall farm.More
Creation Care: join the revolution
Ruth Valerio, keynote speaker at Good News for God's Earth, the Diocesan conference on Christian concern for the environment, challenges us to consider how we can be the change we need to see for our world.More
Face to faith – Simon Court
A degree in Environmental Science, a career in teaching, and volunteering for many different charities has contributed to Churchwarden Simon Court's passionate concern for environmental issues.More