22nd Sunday after Pentecost [by Nadia Shahzad]

Anglican lectionary:
Catholic lectionary:
1st Reading
Hag 1:15b-2:9
Macc 7:1-2,7a,9-14
or 98
2nd Reading
2 Thess 2:1-5,13-17
2 Thess 2:16-3:5
Lk 20:27-38
by Nadia Shahzad, teacher at Cathedral school II under the management of the Diocese of Sialkot in the Church of Pakistan

Reflections on Psalm 98 and Lk 20 and their relations to creation care and behaviour

Psalm 98 shows God is a great Creator. Creating the world in order: God created light, water and then land. The grass, plants and the trees on the land depend upon the light and water to survive. Then God created the creatures that swim in the sea, fly above the land and roam the land. These creatures depend upon the plants for food. All things are connected.

Then God created us in his image, knowing that we would depend on his beautiful creation for life, for air, for water and for food. Everything in the world is telling us by itself that someone very wise person is behind all this creation: behind the light, land, water and air. For example, Pakistan has blessed by enough natural resources: land, water, mountains, forests and much more. We must praise the lord for all his great work. Because he made all the things with love. And we, in turn, must love Gods creation.

When I think about the issue of pollution in Pakistan I do not see us loving Gods creation. The word pollution refers to the introduction of contaminants in the environment having an adverse effect on it. Pollution is caused mainly due to human induced factors like industrialisation, deforestation, inefficient waste disposal etc. For example, in Pakistan about 50% of diseases and 40% of deaths occur due to poor drinking water in Pakistan. In addition, the rapid growth in the urban population, increasing industrialisation and raising demands for energy and motor vehicles air pollution levels are worsening. How do we turn trend like this into a display of love for God’s creation?

The gospel passage also challenges us in our behaviour here on earth. Being God’s people in a time of environmental crisis also means spreading the word of God and the importance of caring for creation over which we have been entrusted as stewards. Luke 20: 27-38 is a story of the woman who had seven husbands. Someone asked who will be her husband on the day of judgment. Jesus told them everyone will be like angels. God is a God is of the living, not of the dead. This means God does not want us to be sinners but to be His people. He wants to take us to the holy place where he is. What does it mean to be Gods people in a time of environmental crisis? It means caring for creation above profit and above a life filled with flashy new things.

We need to respond effectively. A polluted environment is a global issue and in the future the global community could bear worst results than are already being faced. In Pakistan, the government has undertaken initiatives including introducing the environmental protection act. Under the ‘billion tree project’ millions of trees are being planted. The government is subsidising the water treatment plant industry for treatment of water. However, Education, research and advocacy are lacking in the region as a preventative strategy for pollution. In the light of Genesis 2:15 God has created human being and gave them responsibility as the caretakers of the world. Now it is our duty to obey the commandment of God and try our best to save the world. So let us take some initiatives to save the world and to celebrate our love of God’s creation like the Psalmist in Psalm 98.

by Nadia Shahzad, Pakistan