Saturday, March 12, 2011

Our Dangerous Planet

It feels almost absurd that our TV news in Christchurch should be showing an even worse disaster unfolding before us, this time in Japan, struck by an earthquake variously reported between 8.4 and 8.9 (or 8000 +/- times the force of our recent 6.3 quake) and, perhaps more devastatingly, by a resulting tsunami with waves said to be 10 metres high. (Christchurch is so flat that if such a tsunami struck us it would finish off some 80% of our city for good.)

Our planet is dangerous. There is nowhere to escape from the possibility of natural disaster. If earthquakes do not get you, floods will. Nowhere is free of storms. Even deserts where there is no rain can thrown up a sandstorm. Climb mountains to avoid tsunamis but keep an eye out for avalanches.

From the perspective of faith, disasters on this dangerous planet keep faith vital. At any time we may meet our Maker. In an instant everything dear to us may be swept away and all we can do is cry out to our Redeemer.

Pray for the people of Japan!


Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, I hear your concern, and am in agreement with much of what you have said - in the wake of news of this further disaster in Japan.

However, combining that with the recent news of the death of a very dear family member in the UK, I find myself more and more relating to the Scriptures for insights into the 'changes and chances of this fleeting world'.

As a consequence, I can only echo the sentiments of the hymn-writer who gave us these words: "All my hope in God is founded". From my own personal experience, that hope is sufficient for today - and tomorrow - whatever may befall.

I'm looking forward very much to getting back into St.Michael's on Sunday - to meet up again with our little Church family - in the Presence of Christ in the context of the Eucharist: in which we can realise the full impact of Jesus words "Lo, I am with you always, to the end of time" That's good enough for me - for now.

'Peace and All Joy', Ron

Lucy said...

hello Peter and thanks for all your thoughts here, I've enjoyed reading. Since the last earthquake, I've heard lots of people talking about our dangerous planet,I guess we are trying to come to grips with a difficult reality ...a little bit of the world's pain has landed in our backyard.It seems to me though, that Chch was a dangerous place before the quake - if you were poor, or homeless, or abused... did we talk about dangers then? I don't remember many conversations on the topic. And then for millions and millions of others, this planet has always been dangerous,human trafficking, death from preventable disease, genocide, starvation ... why do we cry so much for our own pain? Lucy Eban

Peter Carrell said...

Thank you for raising an important neglect.