By: Anne Rinaudo
Christian movement Common Grace is inviting Australians to share in the wonder of creation with a series of reflections and other resources from their climate justice team. The series, called God’s Beautiful Earth, is available by signing up for a weekly email.
The ‘Overview Effect’
On Open House, Common Grace CEO, Scott Sanders talked about the ‘Overview Effect’. It is the name given to the experience astronauts have when they leave the Earth and look back to see the planet hanging in space.
“For the first time they see the earth from a different perspective. They experience a mental clarity and awe when they see the whole Earth in a way you can’t when you are on the planet. It gives them a new sense of what Earth means to them and how it nourishes humankind. They also report a feeling of understanding how fragile and precious our planet is. ” Scott told Stephen O’Doherty.
Some profound questions
That was the jumping off point for what turned out to be a conversation ranging over some deep eschatological territory including what is the pinnacle of creation? Is it Sabbath rest? God’s incarnation in his son, Jesus? or is it the New Heavens and New Earth to come?
Season of Creation
Every year, Christians around the world, from across traditions, commit the month of September as a season to celebrate God’s beautiful Earth, and renew our shared commitment to preserving and restoring that beauty. It is called the Season of Creation.
“Each Sunday during September one of the Common Grace climate justice team will be celebrating a different aspect of creation – from oceans to rivers, land to sky – exploring the beauty of the world around us, while recognising the harm we are causing and presenting ways for us to take action to renew, restore and preserve that beauty.” says Scott Sanders.
God’s Beautiful Earth
“If you’re new to considering our Christian responsibility to care for God’s beautiful Earth, this will be a great series to dip your toe in. And if you’re an old hand with this topic, this is a great chance to renew your commitment to caring for God’s beautiful Earth.”
“The first reflection in the series is from Common Grace Aboriginal Spokesperson, Brooke Prentis. It is a profound reflection on all of creation, as we celebrate and learn from the traditional custodians of this land we now call Australia. As God’s appointed caretakers since time immemorial, Aboriginal peoples’ wisdom and connection this land have so much to teach us about caring for God’s beautiful Earth.” says Scott Sanders.
Growing environmental crisis
“We’ve just reformed our climate justice team, and as we prepare ourselves to campaign for God’s beautiful creation in the midst of growing environmental crises, we felt it was important to first take this season as a moment to ground ourselves in the beauty of God’s creation, and prepare ourselves for action.” he says .
Listen: Scott Sanders in Conversation with Stephen O’Doherty.
Article supplied with thanks to Open House.
About the Author: Anne is the producer of Open House – a weekly three-hour live talkback radio show exploring life, faith and hope from a Christian perspective.