28th February 2024


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