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"I Make You Hear New Things"

By Diana Chambers

If we are honest with ourselves, do Isaiah’s words apply to our inability to change our ways?

God says to the children of Israel ‘I know that you are obstinate and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead brass!’ Isaiah 48:4.  It would be easy for the people (and us) to dismissed this as old news, or indeed coming from the idols the people have adopted, but God had got in first saying ‘I make you hear new things, hidden things which you have not known”. 

The world is full of hopeful green shoots, or ‘new things,’ despite the perpetual headline grabbing bad news. Bishop Nick referred to the temptation to avoid the news in his Easter Diocesan letter, but encourages us as Christians to keep engaging with the wide world, whilst remembering Bruce Cockburn’s song ‘Don’t forget delight.’              

He says: “There is a lot of noise in the world and in the church at the moment. But, like Jesus hearing the call of blind Bartimaeus despite the efforts of the crowd to drown him out, we need to listen for the real priorities of a bleeding world and remember for whom and for what purpose we exist.” 

This refers to several topics discussed at the Diocesan Synod in March, including the need to divest our finances from supporting fossil fuel companies, where Bishop Nick said “Your response to fossil fuel divestment might be fed by profound concern for the future of the planet; but it might be driven by a sense of being too small to make a difference. Both approaches – or, rather, drivers find a biblical root: the creation ordinances in the early chapters of Genesis, a vision of the new heaven and the new earth in the Book of Revelation, or the gospel parables which tell us not to despise the smallness of small things.”

As we continue through Eastertide, the New Life message can be heard, smelled and seen, not just in the glad burgeoning of birdsong, the flowering currant, or green haze appearing over our woods and gardens; but also heard, smelled and seen in the reduction of polluting, chugging engines, proliferation of wind turbines, thriving hedgerows and flowering lawns and felt in the homes where insulation and double glazing are keeping us warmer and cooler through the seasons, than ever before.

So, as you witness the explosion of hawthorn blossom and watch the seedlings growing on your windowsill consider how God might be telling you some new green things along your path to reducing the carbon emissions your way of life is responsible for.

Is it a big change, such as looking at who your bank or pension provider invests in, as the Church of England is doing? Taking the train instead of a plane for a holiday? Or something more modest perhaps, such as Meat-free Mondays, or trying some ‘Oatly’ cream on your rhubarb crumble? 

Our church has just gained the Eco Church Bronze award. It has taken some endeavour, but by listening in for new things and making small changes we are starting to make a difference in our church. 

Cleansed! - Diana Chambers - July 2024
"I Make You Hear New Things" - Diana Chambers - May 2024
The Big Bank Switch - Barbara Echlin - March 2024
Everything on My Plate Affects You - Diana Chambers - January 2024
Trees: Who Gives a Crap? - Diana Chambers - November 2023
Ecofeminism in Creation Care: Alternative ways of reflecting on environmental issues - Ericcson Mapfumo - October 2023
Sun and Rain: Friends or Foes? - Diana Chambers - September 2023
Is it for Our Grandchildren? - Jemima Parker - July 2023
What's Love Got to Do With It? - Jemima Parker - May 2023
How Green is God's Mission? - Jan Goodair - March 2023
The Diary of a Prodigal Parishioner: Let’s Have a Green Christmas Part 2 - Sue Young - December 2022
The Diary of a Prodigal Parishioner: Let’s Have a Green Christmas Part 1 - Sue Young - December 2022
Living in Denial - Roslyn Swaney - November 2022
Listen to the Voice of Creation - Christine Jack - September 2022
Saving the Planet and Saving Money? - Jan Goodair - September 2022
The Diary of a Prodigal Parishioner 5 - The Big Clothes Disposal - Sue Young - July 2022
The Diary of a Prodigal Parishioner 4 - The Dreaded Wardrobe Audit - Sue Young - May 2022 
The Diary of a Prodigal Parishioner 3 - "Who would know Grandma?" - Sue Young - May 2022
The Diary of a Prodigal Parishioner 2 - Decluttering - Sue Young - March 2022
The Diary of a Prodigal Parishioner 1 - A Journey Towards Environmental Concern - Sue Young - March 2022
Green and Platinum Jubilee Celebrations? - Christine Jack - May 2022
What do we do with the Leftovers? - Jan Goodair - March 2022
Don't Look Up: Or Perhaps We Should - Jan Goodair - January 2022
Planning for a Greener Christmas - Jan Goodair - November 2021
Code Red for Humanity - Jan Goodair - September 2021
Good COP, bad COP - What is COP26 and why is it so important? - Jemima Parker - September 2021
Summer Sabbath Rest - Jan Goodair - July 2021
Quick Action Stations! There's a COP Coming! - Jan Goodair - July 2021
Trees of Life - Jan Goodair - May 2021
Books, Ecology and New Life - Christine Jack - May 2021
My Lent Challenge - Jemima Parker - March 2021
Zero Carbon Church: You Must Be Joking! - Jemima Parker - January 2021
Hoping for a Green Recovery - Ian Fletcher - November 2020
Food Glorious Food - Jemima Parker - September 2020
If Only We Had Known - Jemima Parker - July 2020
Where to Worship - Jemima Parker - April 2020
Let Your Love Shine for 2020 - Jemima Parker - January 2020
The 3 Rs - David Eggleston - June 2019
The C Word: Carbon - Andy Ive - May 2019
The Forgotten Climate Change Buster - David Eggleston - January 2019

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