The Common Good

A Day to Pray in Copenhagen

Sunday was officially a day of rest for delegates at Copenhagen who took a break from the Bella Centre.

Some of us took the opportunity to go to church and pray for a miracle. With talks deadlocked, and the planet's well-being swinging in the breeze, we needed to remind ourselves of a fundamental Jewish and Christian notion -- "The Earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof" (Psalm 24:1).

This most strikingly reminds us that we are stewards, not owners. All of God's children deserve a future: the poor, and those yet unborn in the first and third world. It reminds us that stewardship requires the recognition that all of Creation is groaning as in childbirth (Romans 8). And those groans can be heard -- from the Arctic cracking, to the onset of cyclones and typhoons, the monsoons failing, and unprecedented droughts.

Our World Vision staff report what they see: in some regions the birds whose appearance had always signal the time to sow seed and plant crops are no longer appearing; the highlands of Papua New Guinea -- once too cold for mosquitoes -- now are plagued with malaria. Creation care and stewardship have never been more important to recover as fundamental Christian responsibilities.

Maybe this is why Copenhagen's traditionally deserted churches, this Sunday, were packed.

Tim Costello is the CEO of World Vision Australia.

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