Saying Yes to Life – a book and theme for Lent9 Jan 2020
Bishop John recommends the Archbishop's Lent book: 'Saying Yes to Life'.
Bishop John writes:
I am delighted to commend to you the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book for 2020, Saying Yes to Life.
As Christians, we believe the world is a gift from God: creation and not just nature. If we are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, then part of that is to cherish and value this precious gift. We are called to become better stewards of the planet and all those species threatened with extinction. If we are to love our neighbour as ourselves, surely we need to think also of the many peoples threatened by rising sea levels, ever-more threatening bushfires and expanding deserts.
During Lent, we think both of self-denial, and growth in our love for God and others. It is inescapable that addressing the environmental challenge will involve self-denial, but it is also about living generously, looking to the well-being of the world. Taking the environmental threat seriously is fundamental to human flourishing for all people, as well as our specific Christian discipleship as people seeking to love God and neighbour, with our kingdom values of love, compassion, justice and freedom.
I hope this coming Lent, you and I will be able to give time to considering how we should live out our Christian life more faithfully, more generously, and more carefully. I believe that this in most crucial area of our present concerns, Ruth’s book and the accompanying resources will enable us to do that. I commend it to you wholeheartedly.
Hugh Burton, chair of the diocesan environmental group writes:
Last year seems to have been one in which the effects of climate change and environmental damage really began to reach the consciousness of many more people. The call for urgent action can no longer be ignored. But still we wonder, what can we do about it? Lent 2020 comes as a timely opportunity for Christians to bring together prayer, study and reflection, along with the call to take serious action in response, as disciples of Jesus and stewards of God's creation.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has commissioned Ruth Valerio's "Saying Yes to Life" as his Lent Book. The book uses Genesis, and each Day of Creation (water, light, land, living creatures etc) as the base for each session. There will be further resources on the publisher SPCK's website in time for Lent. The book is widely available. For example on the SPCK website. There is also a preview on Google Books, where you can get a feel for the book.
Ruth Valerio, an environmentalist theologian, writes:
For too long the theology and the practice of caring for people and planet have been side-lined in the Christian faith. It is high time to bring them into the centre and root them strongly in our churches and Christian lives. My prayer is that this book will play a small part in helping that to happen." I say, “Amen”.