Habitats of Hope
Nests, harvests, homes, ecosystems and habitats!
Join us as this month as we look to cultivate hope! A five week theme about nature, ecology and how we can enthuse and empower one another to tackle the myriad challenges we face as a planet. We will be using nests, harvests, homes, ecosystems and habitats to reflect on nurturing an attitude of hope in our world as disciples of the hope bringer: Jesus Christ.
This August, as we look around about us we are taking hope! We’re going to seek it, nurture it, carefully cultivate it, and celebrate its blossoming as we discover what the natural world can help us learn about our faith… and what our faith can teach us about the natural world.
As our Habitats of Hope theme begins we want to explore what we can learn from the metaphor of nest building. Nests are not fixed, birds often remake them season by season perhaps returning to the same location but rebuilding anew. A nest while offering a sense of security, is not so much a way for a bird to hide away from the world — but rather for them to find a place in it. How could building a nest with God each year be helpful way of thinking about our relationship with God?
When we think about habitats we also think about harvests and how our harvests can harm them. When we work the land we can make choices that work with it or against it. In the last hundred years we have made phenomenal leaps in productivity, producing enormous amounts of food to feed millions of people. But sometimes this has been done at the cost of the land itself causing degradation, habitat loss and pollution.
How can we ensure homes for all of humanity and nature? The vision we are given in Psalm 85 of righteousness and peace kissing is a tender image of restoration and togetherness. When righteousness and peace are kept apart — conflict and inequality rise. Peace isn’t simply the absence of war, it’s the presence of something: a habitat where the qualities of peacefulness can blossom, where homes can be made.
As people who cherish and value the world we have been entrusted with for our flourishing — what on earth can we learn from the habitats we are in danger of erasing completely before it’s too late? What do we learn from the desert, the fields, the forests, the ocean? How can we rediscover humility and awe, and in that space — hope also.
So, having sought hope as nest builders, tended to it as harvesters, lived it as dwellers, and cultivated ecosystems to nurture it… we will conclude out theme by asking how do we hold on to habitats of hope?