Thought for the Day

A one-minute read to inspire or challenge. Written by members of the church and updated every few days.

28th February 2024

LEAP YEAR THOUGHTS

Tomorrow will be February 29th as this year will contain 366 not 365 days – this is an adjustment which is needed because the calendar year we use for everyday life is slightly shorter than the astronomical year governed by how many times the earth orbits the sun. If we did not add this day then in 700 years time we would find summer in the northern hemisphere occurring in December rather than June.

If our calendars have to adjust to nature, how much more should we adapt the ways we live to what God has given us in his good creation, replacing the language [and the derived life-style] of exploitation with that of sustainability. For our own good – yes – but much more for the sake of forthcoming generations; for unless we make this adjustment they will face a more serious crisis than celebrating Christmas in June.

Care of creation affects so many aspects of modern life, such as –

  • securing justice between producing nations and consuming ones;
  • how much travel we really need to undertake, and how much fuel does that consume;
  • the amount of food waste in our society, and do our dietary habits sustain or challenge global ecology;
  • plastic packaging polluting air, land and sea;
  • consuming too much fossil fuel in heating our homes?

Can more disciplined patterns of consumption today prevent disaster tomorrow? Contrary to the other-worldliness of the old negro spiritual –This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through – we need to affirm that this world is our home and it needs our care, so that its God-given space generously provided for all God’s children, be not endangered; rather it needs radical renewal and replenishing, providing the abundant life for all, of which Jesus speaks.

In short, are these things we might use an extra day in February to consider?

John Briggs

23rd February 2024

We are now well into Lent: time to picture Jesus after the commissioning of His baptism being driven by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. That meant climbing up from the lush green Jordan valley to the dusty dry heights of the Judaean wilderness. This place and history were significant for the Jews, reminding them […]

19th February 2024

There has been a lot of talk recently about British Baptists adopting a statement of faith as a denomination, an association of churches and as individual church congregations. All this has made me feel uneasy but I have struggled to say quite why. This morning a tweet landed (how do we say that now it’s […]

14th February 2024

Valentine’s Day and the promise of Spring! For years I have recorded British wild flowers and by now have seen most of the common ones. I can usually guess the family to which European wild flowers belong but Australian flowers are so different. Most do not belong to a family with any members in Europe […]

12th February 2024

The other weekend I was leading worship at Wells United Church, a joint Baptist/URC congregation in that lovely cathedral city. They’d provided an outline running order to guide me, and the service was to include Communion. For that part I used a Baptist/Ken Stewart/URC hybrid form drawing on themes I’d introduced earlier in my sermon. […]

7th February 2024

A friend has just asked me if I’d like to see the window wanderland with her (Chandos, Bristol – Window Wanderland). Individual households light up their windows or gardens with colourful displays, bringing a sense of cheerfulness and fun to otherwise largely deserted cold, dark winter streets! There’s a bit of a buzz as people […]

2nd February 2024

It was my birthday yesterday – don’t ask!  In the gospels we read two parables about patching clothes and storing wine: No one sews a patch of unprocessed cloth on old clothing. If they do, the cloth that fills the hole pulls away from it – the new from the old – and the tear […]

29th January 2023

The New Testament reading from the lectionary this week is Revelation 12.1–5. I would be surprised if your morning worship yesterday included a sermon on that passage. It is a little story about a pregnant woman whose baby is snatched away by God into heaven, before the new-born child can be devoured by a red […]

24th January 2024

Celebrity Responding to a retailer’s questionnaire I was surprised by the question: ‘Would a recommendation from a celebrity encourage you to buy our products and if so which one?’ Almost two hundred years earlier, Thomas Carlyle wrote his On Heroes, Hero Worship, and the Heroic in History in which he focused on the role of […]

19th January 2024

Have you noticed how often we have sung ‘Lord for the years…‘ over this New Year? And how relevant its prayers are for our land, our world and all the people in them? For ourselves most of all and how we treat each other and how we depend on God? …in living power remake us,self […]

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