Summer sun

 1 August 2020 |

As some parts of the UK bathe in glorious sunshine, many have been grateful that lockdown took place during an unusually sunny spring. And for a nation like ours, sunshine is seen as good news. But the ominous truth is that around the world, sunshine is the great enemy. Record temperatures are being reached to a level not seen on earth for thousands of years. Rarely reported in our media, cities in the Middle East last week have been hit with their highest temperatures ever, reaching above 50°C; two weeks ago, the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk experienced temperatures of 38°C and the Atlantic hurricane season has already started in July when the previous record of the earliest start recorded in 2005 was August 7th.

Suddenly we are seeing records tumble. We can’t say we haven’t been warned. But there are still many who deny global warming. 

The Bible tells a story not on penetrating and destructive sunshine and heat, but of torrential, devastating rain in the story of Noah. It is clear that the destructive forces seen in our weather patterns are due to us humans acting selfishly, pillaging the earth and destroying so much of it while burning fossils and causing greenhouse gasses. Churches have many calls on their time and energy but there is nothing more essential to the world’s wellbeing than tackling global warming. 

The United Reformed Church supports Operation Noah . their website states: “Operation Noah believes that the likelihood of runaway global warming raises questions that go to the heart of our Christian faith; that God’s creation is a gift that we have a duty to care for and that the wellbeing of all creation matters to God; that climate change is about justice, because the poor of the world – those who have done the least to cause it – are already suffering the devastating consequences of the climate crisis. Acting on climate change is about loving our neighbours: that means those in other countries and future generations too.”

Operation Noah launched a declaration, Climate change and the purposes of God: a call to the Church, in 2012. The declaration challenges the church to realise that care for God’s creation – and concern about climate change – is foundational to the Christian gospel and central to the church’s mission.

Can communities and churches work together to build a future for everyone and save the planet?