Pre Adventtide letter from Revd Simon Leigh, Circuit Superintendent
‘When we see the earth simply as a resource to be harvested, as raw materials for a consumerist technology then we will destroy that very earth and the humanity it nurtures… [turning] creation into a resource bank for its own use.’
We have celebrated harvest, only one more service for me and that’s at the Holsworthy Livestock Market, where with others, including Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, we shall celebrate God’s glorious creation and God’s extravagant provision for the world – which humankind has abused and sometimes it feels as if humankind is determined to ruin. We have the technological and scientific power to support the created world or to destroy it.
During the summer I saw the film Oppenheimer. Together with a team of scientists Oppenheimer developed the atomic bomb which helped bring to an end World War two. But he acknowledged that ‘he had become the destroyer of worlds’. Martin Heidegger looked at technology and observed: ‘Once there was a time when bringing-forth of the true into the beautiful was called techne’
As I write this letter, I am preparing for various Remembrance services. Harvest-time has given way to a time to remember and to reflect. Human courage and the folly of war; there has to be a better way. Who can look at the plight of Ukraine or look at the misery human hatred has brought to Israel and the Gaza strip.
Where war is concerned, we have the technology to destroy the world. And so to in science there is the possibility of using science and technology to make a better world; transforming it. Artificial intelligence too has a potency for good and yet there is the spectre of AI out of control.
For Christians however, there is quiet understanding that running through, within and beyond is the love of God whose providential will is ‘Surely, I know the plans I have for you…plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.’ (Jer.29:11) As we give thanks for the provision of harvest and endure the season of Remembrance, so too we remember again God’s love for us all in the coming of the Word made flesh. Let us prepare as individuals and as churches for this eternal gift and be glad.
Revd Simon H Leigh.
 Pete Phillips, Wesley’s Parish and the Digital Age: A Lecture to The Methodist Sacramental Fellowship, 2016, p.8.
 Ibid, p.11.