(Photo: AP Images / Johnny Green)
LONDON – Christians are called by Jesus to be the bearers of good news not only for humanity, but for the whole of creation, said the Archbishop of Canterbury on a day of climate change protests in central London.
Some 3,000 Christians gathered in Westminster for an ecumenical service before joining tens of thousands of campaigners in a march through the capital Saturday to call on the United Kingdom to take the lead at next week’s U.N. climate change summit in Copenhagen.
Dr. Rowan Williams said the human race had until now not been very good news for creation, as he warned that the failure to tend to the health and well-being of creation was already having negative effects on the lives of the most vulnerable communities in the world.
“We are to be bearers of good news for the world that God has made," he said. "Not for any one little bit of it, not any one community at the expense of others, not even for humanity at the expense of everything else in the universe. Good news for all of creation.
“The health of the world around us and our own long-term health are not two things but one. Let us not lose sight of that.”
The archbishop drew from the writings of the apostle Paul to the church in Rome, reminding believers that the whole of creation would be set free from its bondage to corruption when human beings were delivered and reconciled to God.
“Our liberation is the world’s liberation. Good news for us should be good news for the whole of God’s world,” he said.
He added that people also needed to be delivered from untruth and the fear of being generous.
“If we make ourselves a little less comfortable, if we draw back from a little bit of our space and liberty so that others may have the space and liberty they need for life … in our willingness to step back in Spirit-filled generosity there is life and good news for others.”
He continued, “This is not about fear. This is not about Christians saying to the rest of the human race ‘it’s time to panic’, ‘worry harder’. Because we know from experience that doesn’t actually change very much.
“In sharing the good news there is life for us, life for our neighbors and life for the creation in which God has places us and that is something of joy, not fear … we must act not out of fear but out of love and generosity.”