starofbethlehemREFLECTION FOR DECEMBER 2009

Starting on December 7th, crucial UN sponsored Climate Change talks will begin in Copenhagen.  While we are experiencing the worst flooding on record, other countries especially in Africa suffer from drought and crop failure. People are having to make lifestyle choices to cope with increasing heat and decreasing water, many have to migrate and find themselves unwelcome and without a home.

Traditionally this is a season of giving and generosity, and thoughtfulness of neighbours. Can we draw some inspiration from some of our Christian forebearers to deal with the effects of global warming that is having such dire effects already on so many people and places everywhere? One of the great legacies of Francis of Assisi is that he expanded the concept of ‘neighbour’ to include not only the human race but the whole of creation and all its creatures. Many of the Celtic saints also showed special love for God’s creatures. St. Columban wrote, ‘if you wish to know about God, learn about his creatures’.

May we walk gently on the earth during Advent and Christmas in solidarity with all who are suffering from extremes of climate related situations.  May the  birth of the Christ-child inspire us to a new beginning of care, concern and love for all that God has created.  May we extend a hand of welcome to the Stranger who comes to live among us.

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