Sample readings from Guidelines - Environment by Margot Hodson (PDF Download)

Bible study for today's ministry and mission

Margot Hodson

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Last New Year, we went for a beautiful walk in the countryside with Sage, our local Christian environmental group. It was a fantastic day and the local countryside was glorious. There is a timelessness about nature and, looking around, we could be forgiven for thinking that all is well with the earth - but the environment continues to be in our news and, sadly, the reports are not good ones. In the last couple of years, Pakistan, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma and Australia have all experienced terrible floods, which have wiped out farms and washed people out of their homes. The result has been death, disease and hunger, with poor prospects for the future. Other parts of the world, such as the Horn of Africa, have been hit by drought and famine. These are weather impacts that we would expect to see if our climate were warming up, and the impacts are felt most strongly in some of the poorest parts of the world.

Climate change is not the only environmental problem that we face this century. In 2011, global human population possibly reached seven billion - five times what it was 100 years ago. We are seeing a huge decline in biodiversity, especially through the loss of tropical forest cover. Water scarcity is becoming an issue worldwide. The supply of oil and gas is not going to keep up with global demand and there are some controversial methods being used to reach more difficult sources. So the natural world is in a sorry state. How do we understand this as Christians and how should we respond?

In the next two weeks we are going to explore a biblical basis for valuing and caring for creation. In the first week we will consider the Old Testament; the second week will focus on the New Testament and our relationship with nature from a gospel perspective. Overall, we will see how the Bible provides a fresh approach to tackling a number of contemporary problems. We will also look at some practical issues in our own lives, and finally we shall explore the Christian message of hope. This is vital for us and also for many people in the wider community who have lost confidence in the future.

Quotations are taken from the New International Version of the Bible.

More about Guidelines

Guidelines is a unique Bible reading resource that offers four months of in-depth study written by leading scholars. Contributors are drawn from around the world, as well as the UK, and represent a stimulating and thought-provoking breadth of Christian tradition.

Instead of the usual dated daily readings, Guidelines provides weekly units, broken into at least six sections, plus an introduction giving context for the passage and a final section of points for thought and prayer.

On any day you can read as many or as few sections as you wish, to fit in with work or home routine. As well as a copy of Guidelines, you will need a Bible. Each contributor also suggests books for further study.

Published every four months (in January, May and September) and is edited by David Spriggs.

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Author info

Margot Hodson is Vicar of Haddenham Benefice in Buckinghamshire. She has taught Environmental Ethics at Oxford Brookes University and is on the boards of The John Ray Initiative and A Rocha UK. Margot's books include Cherishing the Earth, with her husband Martin (Monarch, 2008).


Book details

  • ISBN: 5060316650015
  • Published: 01 December 2012
  • Status:
  • Format: PDF download
  • Pages: 21
Bible Reflections for Older People
Bible Reflections for Older People