Thought for the day – Saturday 20 June
June 20, 2020
It saddens me greatly when I see how much damage we human beings have done to our planet. Environmentalists have been telling us for years that the seas, rivers, forests and the very air we breathe are all at risk unless we take serious measures to reverse the trend. Thankfully we have awakened from our slumber and are making significant changes, all to the good. This lockdown, oddly enough, has unintentionally given the planet a bit of a rest.
Not only have we damaged the planet itself but many of the wonderful variety of creatures that live on it. We even damage one another too. It seems that wherever we humans venture, along with many good things we do, so too, we leave behind our marks of destruction.
I love to watch wildlife programmes and there are none better than David Attenborough’s with his distinctive whispering voice-overs. While his programmes like Planet Earth, for example, are amazing to watch we can’t help feel sorry for young creatures, just born sometimes, being eaten by a predator.
Nature is beautiful but it is also ‘Red in tooth and claw’ as Tennyson describes. Among the mammals the most deadly predators on the planet are humans. Humans kill more humans than any wild animal and destroy their own habitat. No other creature does that. We are supposed to be ‘tame’ and the animals wild. For their safety wild animals are best to remain wild if they want to survive, as not all human beings can be trusted.
One creature that comes to mind this morning is the chameleon, it can change colour to camouflage itself and it has a very large sticky tongue with which it catches its prey. Anteaters have big tongues too and so do some nectar-eating birds. The most lethal tongue, not the longest, however, belongs to Homo Sapiens (Latin, wise man).
James in his letter speaks about our ability as people to control much around us in the world but we are still not, it seems, able to control ourselves. We are all painfully aware of the dangers of gossips and fake news peddlers all blurting out malicious tales by vile tongues. The really sad thing is that there are usually willing ears ready to listen which I think is just as bad.
James in his letter is very practical. He is not speaking euphemistically. He is direct in what he says and is speaking in plain unfettered ‘Hebrew’. Everyone understood what he meant and as we read his words today, so do we. It couldn’t be simpler, could it?
Today I ask you to think/meditate on these things.
God bless you!
JAMES 3: 1-12
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
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