Daily reading: 10 March

Noah saw that the face of the ground was drying.

Something to read

Noah waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more... The waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying.

Full reading - Genesis 8:8-13

Something to think about

Today's reading comes from the narrative of the flood; and Noah is learning, through the ministry of the dove, that the waters which had covered the earth are now receding.

As the book of Genesis tells the story, we may remember, the flood came because human beings made bad and selfish choices. You may find yourself tempted to say 'But that is only a myth – we don't need to read those "old-fashioned stories".'

Stop a minute, though, and look around your world; are there bits of your environment that carry the marks of other people's bad choices? And what about the marks of your own bad choices?

And have you noticed extreme weather conditions recently, floods or hurricanes or drought or snowstorms, that are caused by human beings who have been tempted to take short-sighted and selfish options, burning fossil fuels, or chopping down forests?

What are your worst temptations? How does it affect the world you live in when you give in to those temptations? Are you prepared to work with God, as Noah did, to make the world something like God wants it to be?

Something to do

Join our Big Shift campaign and call on banks to shift away from fossil fuels into clean energy. Take two minutes today to sign the petition, and restore goodness to God's creation.

Something to pray

God our loving Father,
forgive us the blind selfishness
that leads us to make bad choices
which damage the beautiful world
that you have given us.

We ask you to give us, today,
the wisdom to see where we have gone wrong,
and the strength to change our ways.
We ask this through Christ our Lord,

Today's contributor is Nicholas King, a Jesuit priest, scholar and author who teaches the New Testament at Oxford University.