Sunday 18th February 2018
1st Sunday in Lent

Genesis 9:8-17; Psalm 25:1-9; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:9-15

God’s covenant with Noah is yet another reminder that the cycles and seasons of nature, on which so much of our work and commerce is founded, is reliant on the goodness and providence of God. We are invited to recognise afresh that our working lives cannot be separated from our understanding and relationship with the Creator God. Although the elements of judgement in the Noah story might not always be easy themes to embrace, they highlight God’s concern for the whole of His creation. This is emphasised through Peter’s reflections on the Noah story. God does not judge humanity simply by our religious activity and ritual, but by our actions and attitudes in the whole of life. Thus we are again reminded that the values and purposes of our business and commerce, are matters of concern to our Creator. A challenge for us all is the degree to which this is reflected in the way that we engage in the world of work; it might also serve as a challenge to the Church in defining her role in promoting business ethics and good practices.

The Psalm might offer itself as a response to these thoughts. Through its words we recognise our need of God’s guidance and forming in our faith journey. It is easy to encounter a phrase like “show me your ways” as inviting God to help us trace a spiritual path that is increasingly remote from the everyday realities of life. A congregation might be invited to focus on their identity as consumers, employers and employees, customers, service providers and service users. From this perspective we might see the Psalm as inviting God to guide our thoughts and actions in these contexts.

Loving God, on whom all things depend;
Whose creation and care
Is the foundation of all on which our society is founded,
May our worship of You, and our visions of Your Kingdom
Never detach us from the world in which our lives are rooted,
But equip us to live as Your servants within it. AMEN