Sep 092018
 

‘‘Sustainable September’ is an initiative of the Anglican EcoCare Commission who devise a programme and activities to celebrate and honour God’s creation and our place in His purposes.  It  gives EcoChurch an opportunity to remind you, His people, of those purposes and encourage you to take seriously His commission to support justice and equity in the world (EcoJustice).  When I asked Malcolm if EcoChurch could have the Musing space, he asked me to consider how Christians are not simply ‘greenies’; that we are much, much more.  I have had the best time investigating and developing that; and the worst time trying to put it together in the limited Musing space.

There are three elements to the “how much more” of the Christian position on the environment and social justice, three essential things that define us –  the three big life questions:

  1. Who am I?  – A child of God (Identity)
  2. Why am I here?  For His glory (Destiny)
  3. Where am I headed?  To God’s New-Creation world (Destination).

You can see here the FATHER-IDENTITY-OBEDIENCE triangle in operation, because obedience achieves God’s purpose – both our identity and destination.  We are being trained for our role in the future kingdom by living it now, obeying the Father.

As children of God, our destiny is irrevocably linked to the Creation Commission in Genesis 1. There God commands humankind to deal with both the physical and social elements of creation with equity and justice, in His likeness.  That’s our life’s work.  Looking after creation is both the medium and the means of our transformation into the humanity God created in the beginning.  He intends each of us to work out our salvation through EcoJustice.  We are the hidden element in the renewal of creation.  God’s glory can only be honoured through our obedience to His command to rule our lives and oikoses justly and mercifully. 

The universe is both the invitation and the challenge for us to work out our salvation, by walking into the good works God has prepared in advance for us – the work of ‘ruling’.  It is our training ground for the future age.  We represent the Prince of Peace, the King of Righteousness, the One who came to set the captives free.  Look at the world – the inequities, the slavery, the waste and pollution . . . the greed!  What opportunities there are to bring glory to God, instead of shame and judgment on ourselves.  This is our reason for being here – to glorify God and enjoy Him for ever.  That’s what makes us more than simply green in our efforts for the planet.

He has showed you, O man, what is good (creation). And what does the Lord require of you but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly (obediently) with your God (Micah 6:8).

  

Blessings, 

Lesley Wilson for EcoChurch

 

Aug 282016
 

Last Sunday I was the designated intercessor at the 7:30 service.  In  preparing the prayers, my heart cry was, “Arise, O God…” In several of the psalms there are verses which exhort the Lord to arise and take action against violence, injustice and helplessness in their world (e.g. Pss. 7:6, 9:19,20, 10:12) and I often think how good it would be if God would intervene conclusively in the conflict situations in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, etc; if He would somehow solve the refugee problems, reverse climate change conditions and the effects of environmental degradation and our misuse of resources at one stroke.  And He could.

Trouble is, justice demands that everyone be party to that action.  That’s how it will be at the culmination of time. . . but that time is not yet; the harvest of the righteous is still outstanding.  So His response to my cry was, “Awake, O sleeper!”  (the church). We are the ones who must arise – we, the redeemed, the body of Messiah.

In Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, we are both ambassadors of God’s kingdom and fully-equipped soldiers in His army.  As ambassadors we must promote the vision and values of life in Jesus – live and love as messengers of the good news of forgiveness and reconciliation with God.  As soldiers we take on sickness and disease, injustice, poverty, greed, abuse of power, addiction – indeed any corruption of God’s ‘shalom’ in creation.  These are the manifestations of the enemy in our midst.  We have delegated authority and power in the name and under the blood of Jesus; we have the armour of God.  (Do read Eph. 6:10-18.)

Earlier in Ephesians (5:14-16), Paul rallies us with the words, Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.  This is a reminder that we are a people with a life sentence on us (as opposed to a death sentence) – the promise of resurrection and new life in the age-to-come.  This is followed by, Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity/redeeming the times, because the days are evil. 

Don’t we see it, the evil of the times!  But here is a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson which captures God’s perspective:  This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with itGod still looks on all that He has created and sees it as “very good”, despite what man has wrought on it.  He has made us and put us here for just this time.  What’s God saying to us and what does He want us to do with any present moment (kairos), to actualise the good it contains?  Those are the questions we must apply ourselves to to see God arise.

Do this, understanding the present time.  The hour has come for us to wake from our slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed (Rom. 13:11).

Lesley Wilson

 

Sep 132015
 

Are you familiar with the expression, the concept of ‘noblesse oblige’?  In case not, it is a French phrase that translates literally as ‘nobility obliges’ and means that the privilege of nobility carries a burden of responsibility.  In times past, the outworking of ‘noblesse oblige’ took the form of ‘stewarding’ the community – looking after the poor, sick and needy, maintaining property, favouring causes, upholding justice – spreading the largesse of privilege in generous and compassionate ways.  It reflected the [continue reading…]

May 172015
 

Have you ever thought of God as a heart surgeon? Consider this: Ezek. 36:26 I will give you a new heart . . . remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. That’s what happens to us when we respond to God’s voice calling us on the breath of His Spirit, as He hovers over the darkness and chaos of our lives before we hand ourselves over to His rule. He never stops calling [continue reading…]

Mar 082015
 

These musings come about because I muse a lot on stuff that I read – and I read a lot. A couple of days ago, I was struck by a statement I read in one of my daily devotions: Vision drives budget, not vice versa. Could this ‘bon mot’ (good word) be more descriptive of the topsy-turvy nature of God’s way? Jesus didn’t put it this way – not in the transcript we’ve got, anyway – but he used a [continue reading…]

Apr 272014
 

This musing had its origins in thanksgiving and praise to God for the timely, safe and successful total hip resurrection replacement operation which is the most recent instalment in the unfolding Gospel according to Lesley Wilson. God has been with me in the dark valleys of my imagination pre-op, in the hours of sedation while I was under the knife, the saw and the drill (you have to catch the drollness here) and continues to sustain me in recovery and [continue reading…]

Nov 032013
 

There was an item on the news last week reporting that CSIRO scientists had detected microscopic particles of gold in the leaves, trunk and bark of some eucalypts in the Goldfields.  Apparently these trees put down their roots 40,50, 60 metres into the hard, dry ground and absorb the gold into their cell structure along with water and nutrients.  The importance of this discovery is that trees can now be used to indicate the presence of gold prospects by testing [continue reading…]

Sep 082013
 

The words hospitality, hospitable and entertain occur only six times in Scripture but each time it is an imperative. The Greek word combines ‘philo’, meaning ‘to love as a dear friend’, and another word meaning ‘being fond of guests/entertaining’. So, being hospitable consists of a desire to support and provide sustenance, to harbour (with all its connotations of safety and embrace) and cherish and experience (i.e. engage with) your guests – and to accommodate them. When I think of accommodating people, [continue reading…]