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Climate Summit in Copenhagen 2009

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					Climate Summit in Copenhagen 2009 COP15, the fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations' Climate Change Convention, takes place 7th – 18th December 2009. As the conference has a clear message to the churches, the editorial team of The Upper Room – Today‘s Words decided to ask church leaders and lay people each to write a short devotion to cover this period. (The idea came from Rita Jørgensen, the wife of the Danish Editor) So the following pages (for 7 – 18 December) will look a little different in form and layout, with some of the devotions being shorter or longer than usual. All Bible passages are from The Green Bible (NRSV).

The stones from Greenland have been lying where the inland ice has receded due to the rising temperature of the sea resulting from global warming. Fish are disappearing from the waters around Greenland, making it impossible for fishers to secure food for their families. Corn from Malawi tells the story of drought and changes in the rainy seasons, making it impossible to harvest in the way previously done and causing the poorest farmers to go hungry. And the piece of coral is the story of the villages on the low-lying islands of the Pacific which as a result of the rising sea levels are being flooded and disappearing – families losing everything and being driven away. God has given all these people a place to live, to till the soil, and to catch fish, but now we are destroying it all, because there are those in the world who are never satisfied while others must starve. In one part of the world we use and throw away, while in other places there is nothing to live on. This is a profound injustice which can only be changed if we all accept responsibility for it. We must treat God's gifts with consideration and regard greed as sin. The use-and-discard culture is life-threatening for our planet and risks contaminating our dealings with one another so we end up believing we can go on living also when we use and throw away our human relationships. Let us instead learn from God's eternal faithfulness towards us and towards the whole of his living creation as he showed in his son Jesus Christ, so we regard our neighbour as a brother or sister and the world as a precious gift we have in common from God. Prayer: God of mercy and goodness, we thank you for the wonder of your creation, so rich in gifts that all people can live by them. Forgive us when we do not cherish this wealth, but seek to make ourselves rich at others' expense. Help us to live responsibly towards this planet we share as the home you gave us. Thought for the day: If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself. (2 Tim. 2.13) 3

Monday 7th December, 2009 Remember to give thanks Read Psalm 104: 24-28 O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. . . . when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. Psalm 104: 24 and 27 At many church services in Denmark during the world climate conference three special things will be brought into church and placed on the altar: a stone, a corn cob, and a fragment from a coral reef. The stone is from Greenland, the corn cob is from Malawi, and the coral from the Pacific Ocean, all sent to Denmark by local churches. All three things remind us that climate change caused by human activity affects living conditions around the world in a way that especially has an impact on the poorest. 2

Rev. Anders Gadegaard, Dean of the Church of Our Lady, the Danish Lutheran Evangelical Cathedral in Copenhagen.

I cannot help thinking of the cryptic sentence which St. Paul wrote in the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans: "For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God‖ - I am not claiming that Paul was thinking of Christian commitment to reducing CO2 emissions when he wrote his letter to the Romans, but nevertheless: There is a waiting with eager longing for the rich world to show responsibility. Let Christians lead the way! Prayer: Lord make me an instrument of your peace, in my local city and in the whole wide world. Thought for the day: Prayer and action create change. The Rev. Ole Birch, the Methodist Church, District Superintendent, Copenhagen

Tuesday 8th December 2009. Creation waits with longing. Read Psalm 104 A statement by the Director of UNICEF, the UN Aid Programme for Children in England, David Bull, catches my eye in to-day's paper. He says: "The people who have contributed least of all to climate change – the poor children of the world - are those who will suffer most.". The newspaper article continues by telling how climate change will be the reason why it will be well nigh impossible to reach the goals for combating poverty which the international community has set to be reached by 2015. This means more sick, hungry and dead children. There are several good reasons why we as Christians must involve ourselves in issues concerning the climate and contribute to reducing global CO2 emissions. First and foremost because our fellow human beings in the poor areas of the world face suffering the consequences of global warming which we contribute to producing and will come to suffer most, if the release of CO2 is not reduced. Next, because the path to reduced CO2 emissions lies through a responsible stewardship of the earth's resources and that is a responsibility to which we are called by the God of creation. 4

Wednesday 9th December, 2009. The most stupid excuse Read Mark 12: 41–44. In the beginning when God created the heaven and the earth, the earth was a formless void, and darkness covered the face of the deep. (Genesis 1: 1–2) As a human being I am privileged, and every day I give thanks to God. I give thanks for my three adult sons, who have good positions and are always willing to help me. Thanks for my good friends. Thanks for my church. Thanks for a quiet life in a peaceful corner of Denmark. Thanks for good health and thanks for the medicine which keeps depression at bay. Thanks for my pension which means I can live, not in luxury, but with peace of mind. I have done nothing to deserve all this. 5

I hear of the millions of people who have to live with war and catastrophe, hunger and disease. I feel compassion and I can make a contribution. I think of Jesus' meeting with the poor widow, who gave all she owned. I give of my surplus. I hear about the world's climate, about the changes already about to happen and those threatening in the future. But I feel powerless. I could thin again and arrange the way I live a bit more sensibly. But what would that mean – one person's insignificant contribution – compared with the enormity of this problem? Nothing! So why worry? And yet! God whispers to me: That's the stupidest excuse in the world. Do the little you can, and leave the rest to me. As a Christian I believe that God has charged us human beings to care for life on this planet in the endless reaches of the Universe. As a Christian I know I have a duty to take my share of the responsibility. Neither more nor less. Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me my selfishness and my laziness. Let me take care of my little part of your creation. Amen. Thought for the day: Do your best – leave to God the rest. Else Kofod, Staff member of the Danish edition of The Upper Room, Højbjerg, Rødkjærsbro Denmark. Pray for those studying climate change who come together to share in finding possible solutions.

Thursday 10th December 2009. "The Planet is sick." Read Psalm 24. "The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it – the world and those who live in it; for he has founded it on the seas and established it on the rivers". (Psalm 24: 1–2) Last summer my wife and I visited Kangerhussuac on the west coast of Greenland. After a long journey through soft, moss-covered mountains with an occasional musk ox passing us, we came to the ice cap. Like a white cloak the ice spreads out, huge and all-powerful over the ash-grey slopes of crushed stone. We went up on to the ice and looked eastwards over an eternity of dazzling white ice. In this endless grandeur I suddenly felt infinitely small, filled with joy and humility vis-à-vis the forces of nature. But the ice cap, which today covers most of Greenland and the great arctic regions, is now receding at a time when global temperature is rising both on land and at sea. "The planet is sick", they say. But this is not an illness where the temperature will have fallen by to-morrow. It can continue and will increase in the coming years. As churches, as Christians, indeed as people everywhere on this earth, we have a responsibility for creation. The churches throughout the world have begun to stir and join together across the boundaries of church membership with an increased focus on climate change. In 2009 Copenhagen is hosting a climate summit of historic importance. But it is also a historic opportunity for the churches to work together to influence the debate and change the status quo. Through discussions and shared acts of worship there will be a church voice in connection with the conference – and it will be heard for the benefit of the planet and our fellow human beings, not least for those who are seriously affected by climate change. 7

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Prayer: Creator God – teach us to do your will and act rightly and humbly on your beautiful earth. Help, we pray, our fellow human beings who are already feeling the consequences of climate change with drought, storms and flooding. We pray: Be with our political leaders when they put their stamp on the future of the planet for the good of all. Amen. Thought for the day: How can we do what is best for your Creation? Mads Christoffersen, General Secretary, the Danish Council of Churches. Pray for the earth and its inhabitants, especially the poor and hardest hit.

Then God sees the last rays of the sun, sees the mist rising over the meadows, hears the music of the frogs and sees the flowers closing their blooms as the bird flies up to his mate in the nest. As the mouse whisks away under the foliage and a squirrel finds its den, as humans seek closeness to each other in their beds. It is then that God experiences the harmonious notes of life in the symphony of creation, and that he is filled with joy – is not everything sheer delight? It is that joy, God wants to share with us, so we can take care of our neighbour and of creation. How great the trust God shows us! We are set to cultivate and watch over this wonderful work of creation, which fills us with joy and reminds us of the grandeur of God. When I woke up, it was a sign that God was willing the day and my life doings today as his co-worker. My life is bound up with the life of creation – there is no life for humanity outside of God's creation. Prayer: God, help me – also today – to work for the preservation of your wonderful work; for my neighbour's survival and for everything beautiful around me, and so to share your joy in everything which has been created.

Friday 11th December 2009. Sharing God's joy in creation. Read Psalm 8: 4–10. God saw everything that he had made and indeed, it was very good (Genesis 1: 31) This text is not first and foremost a doctrinal insight – it is God's experience of what is created, not his view about it. It is when God experiences the overflowing life he has created that he sees how good it is. With a little imagination we can enter into the dusk falling and the first evening light on earth, after creation has been completed. 8

Thought for the day: Let us share with God and one another our joy in creation. Ole Jørgensen, General Secretary, the Danish Missionary Council. Pray for those forced to flee because creation is being destroyed.

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Saturday 12th December 2009. The climate is a hot topic! Read Genesis 1: 1–31. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who made heaven and earth. (2 Chron. 2: 12a) When God created the world, he saw that everything was good. He made the earth green and fertile and brought birds to the sky and fish to the seas. Animals populate the earth and all is good. The theological thought running through the accounts of creation is that God has made the world with all it contains, and the whole is created so that everything combines in a greater unity. Chaos has become cosmos. The changing seasons, the movements of the moon, ocean currents with their life-giving water, crops growing, ripening and giving new seeds. Everything is in there linked with everything else! The earth includes all that humanity has need of! Then God creates human beings and charges them to rule over the earth and all its living creatures. Humans do not take over God's role, for God is the one who both has created and continues to create. But human beings are to be responsible for acting as stewards of the work of creation. They are to tend and cultivate the earth, so that humanity can live off it. Stewardship means that human beings must constantly give an account to God for the way they manage the goods of the earth. When corn shoots and grass grows, and when there is oil underground, it is a sign of God's goodness and caring. Each time we use some of the earth's resources we become responsible for the balance of creation in the ecosystems of the earth. It is our responsibility and ours alone!

There is much talk of climate change and global warming. There is so much talk about it that one can truly say the climate is hotting up in more ways than one! Churches throughout the world have begun to talk about how we as Christians will come to bear the responsibility for our way of life. In Matthew's gospel our attention is drawn to the fact that human beings should rejoice over nature's bounty when we see the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. Prayer: God teach us to be good stewards of your creation. Thought for the day: We have only received God's creation on loan. In what condition will we return it to him? The Rev. Master Div. Thomas Risager, the Methodist Church Odense

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Third Sunday in Advent 13th December 2009. God is generous Read Genesis 3: 14–22 Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever’— therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. (Genesis 3: 22–23) The bible reading for today comes from a particular context, that is the creation narrative. I don‘t know if the Swedish priest C.R. Sundell was thinking of this when he wrote the hymn - ‖You gave me, O Lord, a plot of your earth". But I have the feeling it was at the back of his mind. The bible passage chosen from the creation narrative is amazing. (It is) It‘s filled with everything we human beings fail to show – that is love, forgiveness, the ability to forget and make a new start – in a word: GENEROSITY. One can‘t help thinking that God was disappointed with the way human beings were in the process of destroying the work of his creation, about which we can read: "God saw it was good". (Genesis 1: 25) Given this context, we can only draw the conclusion that God's great generosity becomes clearly visible. Despite human failure God gives us as human beings a second chance. At this point I want to refer to a verse from the first Epistle of St. John: "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are." (1 John 3: 1) There is a little children's song which expresses God's love in a unique way: it says that God's love is so big you can‘t climb over it, so deep that you can‘t crawl under it, and so wide you can‘t walk round it. In a child's eyes, God's love is everywhere. 12

This is also clearly expressed in a hymn of Charles Wesley: "Love Divine, all loves excelling, Joy of Heaven to earth come down". From all this we can see that describing God's infinite love and care for us human beings can be both an easy and a difficult task. Prayer: God we thank you for your great love and generosity. Help us not to throw away the opportunity you give us for a fresh start in life. Amen. Thought for the day: God gives us new possibilities each day. Rita Jørgensen, Vejle. Member of the National Council of Churches in Denmark and of the Board of the Danish Missionary Council

Monday the 14th December 2009. Everything belongs to the Lord Read Genesis 2: 4–14 The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it. (Psalm 24: 1) I live in a country where our standard of living is very high. But our life style comes at a high cost. Calculations show that if everyone lived as we do in Denmark, we should need two extra earths to provide the world's population with food and energy. 13

God created the world and saw it was good. And God loves his Creation. God gave humanity the responsibility to manage his Creation. But we make use of nature as if it were an inexhaustible resource. We treat Creation as if we owned it and could use it as we like. But we do not own the earth. The world's political leaders meeting in Copenhagen to discuss a new climate agreement do not own the earth. God does. Just as children do not belong to their parents but are a gift, a task and a responsibility, in the same way Creation does not belong to us. But we have been given a gift, a task and a responsibility to look after God's Creation which gives us the basis on which we can live, that is the earth, the air and the water which keep us alive. When I come to make choices about my life-style, what food and clothing I buy, what means of transport I am to use, it helps me to remember that I am a part of God's Creation and that it is creation which keeps me alive. Creation is God's way of looking after me. Prayer: Thank you, God, because you created the earth and all that is in it: my family, friends, fish, spiders, and swallows, wheat, water and oxygen. Forgive me when I misuse your good gifts. And help me to make responsible choices which benefit your creation. Amen Thought for the day: The earth and everything in it belongs to God and not to me. Pray for the Climate Summit in Copenhagen and the achievement of a global climate agreement. Hanna Smidt, Academic Co-worker the National Council of Churches in Denmark

Tuesday 15th December 2009. Water in all corners of the world. Read Revelation 22: 1 – 7. I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43: 19) In Scandinavia the taps supply plentiful drinking water, and the sky supplies our gardens, woods and fields with all the water we and our trees could wish for. In 1987 I was studying in Nicaragua. I was there in the dry season, and water was certainly not something you could take for granted, neither from the sky nor the tap. Together with a friend I visited the town of Bluefields on the east coast of Nicaragua. The water situation there was distressing. The tap in the hotel room gave out four drops a minute, and with a little luck we could get a single bucketful a day to share. On the first evening we discovered that the bucket leaked, and that we‘d lost the whole day's supply, so we had long faces instead of a cold wash. I learned there that water is a valuable gift I have to be grateful for and take good care of. As a result of our way of life we humans are in the midst of conducting an experiment which is changing the course of the earth's oceanic currents. People in some parts of the world get too much water: the inhabitants of the small Pacific islands are already having to look for other places to move to. Others get too little: in Malawi maize shrivels in the fields as the desert spreads. In Denmark as yet we are only experiencing slight effects of humaninduced climate change. But this is probably only a short respite. My daughters will find themselves living in a world where too much and too little water is a matter of life and death. How long do we intend to continue our experiments with God's creation? Prayer: Dear God, I thank you for water which brings life and fertility to the whole earth. Teach me to treat your Creation with humility, care and respect. Amen. 15

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Thought for the Day: Perhaps it is only a drop in the ocean. But the ocean consists of millions of drops and God loves every single one of them. Kirsten Auken, International Climate Campaign Coordinator, DanChurchAid. Pray for People experiencing the consequences of drought or flooding.

Twenty years on, I realise that the freedom I felt then was the freedom Jesus spoke of when he said that ―for God, all things are possible‖. Jesus taught by word and deed. If we want to know how to live as part of creation and in freedom, we need only look to him: the God-man who stepped lightly through the world, living among simple fisher folk and others marginalised in his culture, sometimes under the stars. In the end, by giving himself up for crucifixion at a particular time and place, he became through his resurrection and his continuing presence with us a universal sign of freedom through a life lived in accordance with God's purpose. In this way he is also a bridge to bring us back to God, a constant reminder that we‘re never alone in our suffering and struggle; and that it is possible to break the yoke of circumstance. If we will. Sometimes, the Kingdom of Heaven – the world of peace Jesus enjoined us to seek ‗among us‘ or ‗within‘ – seems very close. His Spirit is with us. Thought for the day: ―The moment properly understood is not an atom of time, but an atom of eternity.‖ Søren Kierkegaard. Owen Prewett, Environmental co-ordinator, St. Albans Anglican Church, Copenhagen. Pray for all those who will spend the night under the open sky.

Wednesday 16th December 2009. Step lightly Read Mark 10: 17-24. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for labourers deserve their food. Matthew 10: 8-10. Twenty years ago I hitchhiked from Israel to Copenhagen, a journey that took the best part of three months, and gave me an incredible sense of freedom. Although I was born into an Anglican family, back then I‘d lost my belief. In retrospect, I realise now that on that trip, the idea of Jesus – his Spirit if you will – was never far away. Before embarking in Haifa, I‘d visited Jerusalem; and the narrow streets of that ancient city, with its domes and spires, brought the historical Jesus very close. On the road, I lived off the charity of others, busking on the streets. One day in Florence, after sleeping in a park overlooking the town, I walked into the city breakfasting on sun-ripe strawberries. The smell of freshly baked bread fanned up from the ovens of the bakeries below. That sun-drenched morning, everything seemed possible.

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Thursday 17th December 2009. ’Help us to live in your love’ ‘Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us’ (1 John 4: 11-12). Every day we are inundated by images of the devastation caused by cyclones and tsunamis, floods, droughts, hunger and melting inland ice. These images reflect the reality of daily life for many people across the world. Yet we are safe and snug in our homes, so we don‘t need to worry. But we do need to worry. Even though we ourselves may not be experiencing such disasters the people who suffer are people of flesh and blood like ourselves, brothers and sisters who are our neighbours. This is why we have a responsibility to be part of moves to limit the forces that are destroying our earth. The mystery of life and the wonder of creation we have been given is something we should all be taking care of. There is only one earth; this is all we have. Even though the schoolteacher in Fiji, the farmer in Malawi and the fisherman in Greenland may all be far away from your daily life, these people are all your neighbours. And they need their daily bread, materially and spiritually. Some years ago I participated in a seminar arranged by the Green Patriarch, the Greek-Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew from Istanbul. Scientists, theologians, politicians and religious leaders were all together aboard a ship that sailed up the west coast of Greenland. The seminar started with a silent prayer: against the backdrop of the icebergs at the mouth of the Jakobshavn Glacier church leaders – Lutherans, Muslims (Shia and Sunni), Buddhists, Jews – all stood side by side on the deck of the ship. 18

This was a powerful manifestation of the fact that whatever our ethnic background, faith, language and rank, everyone is - or should be - working together to care for our earth and common heritage which gives us all our daily bread. This silent prayer was powerful and generated many deep thoughts: will our grandchildren live to experience this fantastic scenery? The fastest moving glacier: how long will it still be here? Is there anything I can do to help future generations learn how to care for creation? If so, let me be your instrument, God! Prayer: God, grant us the wisdom to understand that we too are instruments of healing for your earth. Give us the courage to love our neighbour. Give politicians and those in positions of power the insight to defend Life. Amen. Thought for the Day: Love your neighbour as yourself. Pray for the earth and its peoples: insight to act now and help those suffering from the consequences of climate change. Rev Sofie Petersen, Bishop of Kalaallit Nunaat Greenland The Danish Lutheran Evangelical Church

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Friday 18th December 2009 What shall I do? Read Matthew 28: 16–20. Am I my brother's keeper? (Genesis 4: 9b) When we human beings are confronted with demands which in our eyes are far too big for us, we shrink from them and disclaim any responsibility. It is so easy to (put the) blame (on) someone else or totally refuse to take responsibility oneself. As early as the first page of the Bible we are faced with mankind not being aware of its responsibility. History has also shown us that in this matter "there is nothing new under the sun". Some years ago I was a member of a school management committee where there were many tasks to be done. Our primary job was to create a good environment for our children. After one meeting, some of us took time for a less formal get together and time for conversation. One of the participants brought the talk round to the subject of visiting the sick. She spoke of the difficulty she had in cheering her friends up when they were experiencing difficult times. I told of my own experiences of such visits and concluded by saying: Mostly I go away, enriched by such visits, to which she replied: Yes, but you have something to bring! In this reply there was both recognition and a cry for help. But it gave me plenty to think about. Now the climate summit will soon be over – and then what? Prayer: God, help me to take care of your creation. Amen Thought for the Day: Do we run away from our responsibilities like Cain?

Pray for Environmental organisations. Rev. Knut Bjarne Jørgensen, Master Div., Vejle. The United Nations Climate Conference will close today. There have been many speeches, and resolutions, etc. Perhaps larger climate changes will not be immediately apparent, but in the longer term there will probably be changes for the better for those who in the future are to inhabit our planet. We therefore urge all readers of Word for the Day to pray for the world in which we live. As the hymn puts it: There is power in the hands which are praying, though they are little and weak. But the Lord who is mighty is saying: ―I give answer to all those who seek.‖ Trygve Bjærkrheim For the journey home you will have two more devotions.

Saturday 19th December 2009 Be filled with the Spirit. So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph 5, 17 – 21) 21

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Let‘s start in the middle: Be filled with the Spirit, speak to one another, sing and play music from the depths of your being to the Lord. This is where we are. We come together to worship. We ring our church bells. We listen to the organ and joyfully sing the hymns. In the middle there is conversation. Conversation about the mystery of God becoming human. In Jesus Christ God meets each of us in person here on earth, on this small green and blue planet, surrounded as it is by the atmosphere, perched on the edge of eternal universe. The creator and sustainer of the universe became human in order to reach each and every one of us humans, so that we might grasp that each of us and the world we are part of, are created and loved by God Because we still haven‘t completely grasped it – this central an pivotal point of Christianity: that God came to us in Jesus Christ. The disciples tried to express his words and deeds, his life and death in their evangelising; the apostles tried to capture them in the Gospels; the Church Fathers attempted to expand on them in theological reflections; the church leaders tried to write them down in creeds. We build on all this each time we meet to worship together and continue the conversation, to learn from each other‘s ways of seeing and ways of hearing, and learn new aspects of the story of the man from Nazareth, God‘s presence in the midst of our earthly lives God himself breathes life into us, the Spirit inspires us as we talk, and we are given courage to act. Our foolishness fades, our drunkenness dissipates. We sense the will of the Lord. We catch sight of a life and an earth, a creation worth offering thanks for. And we catch sight of each other as human beings we are bound to, to towards whom we have responsibilities, and whom we are here to serve, as Christ himself served us. 22

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the life you gave us, the people you gave us to share our lives with, and the earth we live on which sustain us. Help us discover that we are humans, living for each other, not against other. Help us to live up to our responsibilities for your creation. Amen. Rev Peter Fischer-Møller, Bishop Roskilde Cathedral. The Danish Lutheran Evangelical Church,

Fourth Sunday in Advent, 20th December 2009. Hope and Reconciliation – Pacific Island Perspectives For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body … that … the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it. (1 Corinthians 12: 12-25, excerpts) The majority of peoples in Pacific Island cultures across the vast Pacific Ocean region are devout Christians who share the belief that life and being in the world is a dynamic interplay between people, their belonging to their clan, the earth, and to God. Their clan lands are not merely geographic, material places: spiritually, culturally and socially they connect past, present and future generations. A Fijian Catholic lay missionary, working on reconciliation describes reconciliation processes as containing four interwoven elements: ‗reconciliation with myself, with God, with my neighbour, with nature‘. 23

The interconnectedness of earth, humanity, time and action which these thoughts express is echoed by Tongan Anglican Bishop Winston Halapua, who sees the ocean as a life-giving source, connecting land and people, time and space. All creation is interconnected. In thought, word, mind, spirit, obligation, love and action, as people we are interwoven through relationships with others, and with the material world. Questions about the environment, Roman Catholic Archbishop in Fiji, Petero Mataca, has said, are basically about us, who we are and our place in the universe. If we fail to grasp this, we will also fail to respect the boundaries and the limits that we should not infringe. Christian hope is born out of the belief that the source of action lies within ourselves: we hope in the knowledge that we have the power and freedom to choose; that we can learn from our mistakes and act differently next time. Yet in order to change we must reconcile and heal the relationships we have turned away from or destroyed. It is this reconciliation at many levels that is necessary to change ourselves and the world. As Christians we know that we fall many, many times on our journey towards Christ, yet the choice of starting out on the journey and keeping our focus on him, is what matters. This is what is life-changing. And this is the unique perspective we as Christians have to offer the global climate crisis: that in choosing to change, in choosing to act positively and responsibly, we are not only affecting material, social, political and economic changes: we are also changing spiritually within ourselves and in our relations with others, and, very importantly, we are contributing positively to the spiritual climate of this world. Prayer: Loving Father, show us through your grace the way to reconciliation with our neighbour and with your wondrous creation. 24

Dr Jacqueline Ryle, The Roman Catholic Church in Denmark, The National Council of Churches in Denmark. ********************** As Editor of Thought for the Day (the Danish edition of the Devotional Guide The Upper Room Danish title: Dagens Ord) I thank you for taking the time to read this Guide and wish you a good and safe journey home. May God bless your work and your daily life. The Upper Room (Daily Devotional Guide) is an Interdenominational, International and Interracial Devotional Guide, published in 76 editions in 40 different languages, and is by all accounts the world‘s most widely read Devotional Guide. The main editorial office is in Nashville, Tennessee in the USA. The Upper Room is part of the United Methodist Church and publishes books and other liturgical materials for devotional use. See more about The Upper Room on www.upperroom.org and sign on for a subscription in the language of your choice. You are also welcome to send your own devotion for possible publication in future editions. The Summit Devotion is a co-operation made by The Methodist Church in Denmark and the Climate Board of the Danish Council of Churches. Printing and distributions has been possible by financial donations from The Methodist Church in Denmark and St. Albans Anglican Church, Copenhagen. I also want to say thanks to Dr Jacqueline Ryle for great help with reading the devotions, translate some of them from Danish to English and making proofreading.

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Would you like to write for The Upper Room? Witness to others about your faith. The devotions in each edition of Thought for the Day come from ordinary people like you. Any experience you have can be a window onto God‘s deeds in your life. The following guidelines may help you: Use clear and simple language. Only mention one subject or perspective in your devotion. Express details about what you heard, felt or said. Suggest Bible readings and prayers. Avoid using poetry, hymns and puns or ambiguous words as they are difficult to translate. Write about what you yourself experience - this is unique and real. If your devotion is chosen you will be informed well in advance of its publication. Please send your devotion to: Office of Managing Editor The Upper Room 1908 Grand Avenue P. O. Box 340004 Nashville, TN 37203-0004 USA With best wishes Knut Bjarne Jørgensen Editor of the Danish Edition of The Upper Room 26


				
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