What do you see as the characteristics of God’s new world? 

by Christine Sine

by Diane Woodrow

This question of Christine Sine’s challenged me after a walk around the park with my morning dog walking crew where we discussed all things from the wars in Ukraine and Gaza to climate change to Amazon deliveries and watched the Little Egrets making out on the pond. 

This is our new world – of distant wars and long mild wet winters, of excitement at the return of birds to our area and the latest series on Amazon Prime. All of it is a new world. It isn’t being a grumpy old woman to say that “things weren’t like this in my day”. Yes there were distant wars and even here in the UK we had the Falkland wars and the civil war in Ireland, and the winters weren’t all snow to play in and summers of gentle golden days. I protested about nuclear weapons and looked for a more sustainable way of life even then. But the difference in this new world is that all of the things that are going on are fed into our pockets via our phones each day. Big Brother watching you is not a sci-fi wonder but we’ve all had adverts appear on our various social media feeds after we’ve had a conversation about those things. Our data is being gathered in a way it never was before. 

We now see our politicians in all their guises. Although mainly the news outlets like to show us the worst of them, show us their faults and not their strengths. Though this was known before this new world of ours makes it instant and hard to miss. 

So what are God’s characteristics in this new world? Not just this world of emerging spring but this world of emerging surveillance technology and instant information; when if I’m not sure of something I just google it. Where is God in all of this? 

For most of us we will see God in the Egrets mating and the sunrise, as well as in the random groupings of friendships on the park and elsewhere. But I believe God is also in the emerging technologies and even in the constant media streams. But we need to step back, as we would have had to do with God in previous ages, and breath the Spirit of God in. 

God has been easy to find or a rapid quick fix for our lives. God has always only ever ask for our hearts and not our deeds. 

I’m reading a lot of Henri Nouwen at the moment and all he talks about is letting God into our hearts and also letting ourselves into our hearts. Nouwen has been dead since 1996 so was talking from what we might say was a slower age. But there always have been things to distract us from God, whether that be technology or whatever. There has never been a golden age when God was easy to find. Even when Jesus walked the earth not everyone took the time out to hang out with the incarnate God. Even Adam and Eve did their own thing rather than what they knew God wanted. God only hung out with them in the cool of the day. The rest of the day they were left to themselves. Though I do believe God was all the time but just hung out with t hem in the cool of the day. I think even when the serpent tempted them God was there if they had turned to God. But that’s for another blog 🙂 

So for me in this age of new world/new season I think God’s characteristics haven’t change. God is unchangeable, always with us, always waiting for us to look to them. God wants us to know and love ourselves so we can open up and let God love and look after us fully. 

So as my friends pontificate on issues micro and macro I see God in them, in their concerns and their humour, in the joy we have of being together, in the fear that are expressed and the longings that slip out. I do see God in the opening blossom and the shafts of sunlight and the mating egrets but I do see so much of God in my dog walking crew. 

Spirituality of Gardening – A virtual retreat

On May 11 from 9:30-12:30  pm PT (check my timezone) We will discuss connections between community, spirituality and gardening. Explore the wonderful ways that God and God’s story are revealed through the rhythms of planting, growing and harvesting as well as the beauty of nature. This webinar is for anyone who admires the beauty of God’s good creation, likes to walk in nature, sit by the ocean or just relax and listen to the birds in the trees. It is based on Christine Sine’s popular book, To Garden with God and each participant will receive a digital copy of this book.  

NOTE: The length of this retreat has been changed – 2 hours just wasn’t long enough to enter into the joy of God’s great creation.

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