Christians and Muslims pray for balance of nature to be respectedDecember 27, 2007 at 1:48 am | Posted in Anglican Communion, Awareness, Balance, Change, Christianity, Christmas, Climate change, Commitment, England, Environment, Forgiveness, Greed, Hajj, Islam, Leadership, Lifestyles, Mount Arafat, Nature, Prayers, Religion, Reverence, Selfishness, Sermons, Turkey | 1 Comment
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent, The Times
December 26, 2007
The Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday blamed mankind’s greed for endangering the environment.
In his Christmas Day sermon at Canterbury Cathedral, Dr Rowan Williams said: “When we threaten the balance of things, we don’t just put our material survival at risk. More profoundly, we put our spiritual sensitivity at risk, the possibility of being opened up to the endless wonder by the world around us.”
He said that the world was not merely a “warehouse of resources to serve humanity’s selfishness”, and he urged people to treat each other and nature with “reverence”.
The Archbishop also singled out for praise the atheist Richard Dawkins, the Oxford professor recently outed as a carol singer, whom he described as being in touch with the “amazement and awe” of God’s creation.
He likened Professor Dawkins’ understanding of the beauty of the world around us with that of St John of the Cross, the 16th-century mystic.
Dr Williams, who was recently interviewed by Professor Dawkins about Charles Darwin and evolution for a Channel 4 series to be broadcast next year, said that the whole point of creation was that there should be people “capable of intimacy with God – not so that God can gain something, but so that these created beings may live in joy.”
The Anglican Bishop of Shrewsbury, Dr Alan Smith, echoed Dr Williams’s environmental concerns. “If the warnings from the recent Bali conference on climate change come true, we may not have many more white Christmases,” he said. “There is a growing consensus that the human race is damaging the world’s ecosystems at an alarming rate and that urgent action is needed. One of the difficulties is that we all want everyone else to change their lifestyles, so that we can continue with ours. We need to pray for a consensus to emerge at global and national levels that we all need to live differently.”
Those sermons, and many others like them, preceded the sales that encourage shoppers to buy more so stores can make room for more fresh, seasonal and fashionable items ;-)
Meanwhile, and also, according to SABAH in Turkey, a Global Warming Prayer was read this year:
Turkish Hajj visitors asked for forgiveness for causing global warming at Arafat. The Department of Religious Affairs requested all its units inform society about global warming throughout the year and has now brought the issue to the Hajj. The chairman of the Hajj Office, Seyfeddin Ersoy, made 100 thousand Turkish Hajj visitors read the prayer which said: “Dear God! You created us, you granted us innumerable blessings; but we did not realize the value of the blessings you have granted to us; we have spoiled the balance of nature, we have polluted the environment and we have caused global warming and drought. Please forgive us for all of this.”