Week 7: Shalom and Creation Care

(This article[1] was extract from Live Just.ly, published by Micah Challenge in 2014.)

 

Written by: Ben Lowe, Jason Fileta, and Lisa Graham Mcminn

 

We hope to take this article published by Micah Challenge as the closing ePrayer article for the Lent season. Echoing to week 1’s article and the theme of “Reconciling with the Land”, let’s continue to look at the passage from Colossians chapter 1 and reflect together when we talk about shalom, we should not neglect caring for God’s creation.

 

When we think of the need for shalom in the world, it is easy to think first and mainly of human concerns such as the conflict in Syria, southern Sudan’s crisis, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

We rarely think of environmental issues such as pollution, animal suffering, deforestation, and a scarcity of water. But Jesus Christ is the Lord of all, and he is bringing peace and reconciliation to all levels of relationships through his blood shed on the cross:

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Week 6: Busyness is Not an Excuse

As Lent is coming to an end this year, it’s our hope to have aided you in the journey of loving God, one another, and the land with this “Reconciling with the Land” ePrayer series, through the promotion of mindful uses of resources and ending our habits that would exploit the environment God has given us. However, taking care of the land is not a festive activity! We shall never neglect the consequences of our actions on the environment at any given time, no matter how busy we might be. Our partner, SATHI, and the slum community in Bangladesh, set an example for us in loving the land daily.

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Week 5: No Backyard is Too Small

Our thoughts and values guide our everyday life and decision we make. The same applies to farmers and pastors.

 

“You’ve never been a farmer so you may not know, but that tiny piece of land of his could never have anything good grow out of it!” said a pastor to our project staff, Pui Shan, after visiting an impoverished Palaung family in northern Thailand and saw their backyard. If you were that farmer, you might not want to pick up that plow again after hearing the pastor’s words.

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Week 4: When the Drought Hits…

In the past two weeks, we have examined two farming methods that could help restore the land. However, the nature is not always men’s ally. When abnormal weather happens, what could impoverished farmers do to help themselves?

Drought is a frequent occurrence in central India where climate changes have caused great damages to the local farmers due to scarcity of rains. Climate change is one of the factors that drives farmers into a corner. In 2015 alone, there were over 12,000 farmer suicide cases due to severe financial difficulties in India [1]. Our partner in India, EFICOR, said countless farmers and their families suffered from hunger, and were forced to sell their livestock, or leave their hometowns in the hope of finding a job in the cities. This showed men had completely lost their hope for the land.

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Week 1: Why Should We Reconcile with the Land?

Lent refers to the 40 days period (excluding Sundays) preceding Easter, during which Christians would involve in practical exercises such as praying, fasting, penance, abstinence, almsgiving, and practising self-denial to reflect and adapt a sacrificial, minimalistic, and caring lifestyle.

 

In the past few years, CEDAR has promoted the same idea of simplistic-living through different events and articles, encouraging brothers and sisters to live our lives on the foundation of Christ’s salvation and rebuild our relationships with God, with ourselves, with each other, and with the environment.

 

We will continue the practice this year and focus on the mission to reconcile with the land. We are going to reflect on our commitment in “liberating the creation from its bondage to decay and bringing it into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21) through a 6-week ePrayer series, featuring CEDAR and its partners’ work examples.

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