Prof John Evans
Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of Southampton
To work with God we need to learn
each nuance of this earth,
the way the planet shifts and moves,
its treasures, all their worth.
We search out every finite source,
yet sometimes lack the care
to measure out just what we need,
to leave some resting there.
And now we start to comprehend
not just this worldly wealth,
but how its use can build, enhance,
or damage earthly health;
not just the strength of humankind,
but climate’s synergy,
the balance on which life depends
for its vivacity.
So now we learn to understand
the calling of our race,
to stand in watch, to call and act,
within each time and place;
not just renewing white bleached bones
or raising dead to life,
but clothing every word with love,
where hatred once was rife.
7/6/2021 Andrew Pratt
Words © 2021 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England email@example.com . Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd
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In the Bible sinful action
sees God’s punishment unfurled.
Seismic faults can find their reason
in God’s shaking of the world.
Dualism, human freedom,
‘best of all’ this fractured earth?
Does God punish us for actions
which negate our human worth?
But today does retribution,
witnessed through earth’s fractured crust,
make much sense of God in action
when our cities turn to dust?
Do our people crushed and broken
act as warning, point to God?
Or is good news, clouded, hidden,
buried deep beneath the sod?
Much like Job, we seek an answer,
craft theology with care,
looking for a simple reason,
find new scapegoats standing there.
If we were more deeply honest
we might find it’s Christ who dies,
God who suffers in the present
when we hide behind our lies.
When we value wealth or nation,
see resources to be owned,
see the poor as simple objects,
their humanity dethroned;
then what may be seen as natural
rests on our incompetence,
or on human greed and evil
and on loving’s reticence.
Tune: LUX EOI (StF 400/764)
or ABBOTSLEIGH (UMC 584)
Metre: 220.127.116.11 D
Written in response to Rev’d Professor David Chester’s Seminar on Earthquakes, Volcanoes and God: Theological Perspectives on Natural Disaster
Andrew Pratt, Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.