Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Faith, hope and action

A busy day, blog entry number three for the day.

I picked up a cheap copy of Finding God in the midst of life: Old stories for contemporary readers by Richard Bauckham abd Trevor Hart, Paternoster 2006. It is a nice collection of reflections on Old Testament texts for the modern reader. I was particularly struck by the reflection on David and Goliath and how it bears upon advocacy issues like climate change when faced with questions like 'what can I do?' and that feeling of powerlessness.

The authors point out that it took real faith on David's part to confront this 7 foot tall monster, and a sense of moral outrage at what Goliath was saying about the people of the living God. Yet while faith motivated David, he acted with a refreshing realism and not cynicism or defeatism on one hand nor with a lala land faith either. Remember the story of the man caught in a flood who rejected repeated offers of help from a boat to a helicopter because he was expecting God to (miraculously) save him. The authors suggest it would have been far more miraculous for a young man to approach and defeat a huge armoured man with a large lance who was also protected behind a shield bearer wearing armour too heavy for him and weapons he was not used to, than the 'I can do this' approach of him using his sling shot. They note this was not a toy but a real weapon of the period. David was expert in its use, familiar and comfortable with it.

When it comes to acting on climate change, creation care, environmentalism etc, what we do may not be dramatic on the surface or 'miraculous', but it may be earthshaking. It can just be realistic, what we can do, simple things we are good at or can do easily.

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