Saying Yes to Life Session 1
Saying Yes to Life Session 1
This home group lent study explores the literary and historical context of the creation account of Genesis 1 and the significance of light and darkness in the bible and the modern world.
Saying Yes to Life

Let there be light

Featured Bible Verse

Genesis 1:1-5 


This home group lent study explores the literary and historical context of the creation account of Genesis 1 and the significance of light and darkness in the bible and the modern world. It aims to inspire practical action towards a world filled with God’s justice. It also features an interview with Christiana Figueres the former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

This session is formed from the discussion questions from the end of chapter 1 of Ruth Valerio’s book Saying Yes to Life. As such, the questions often reference the book.  

Featured Quote

Light is the foundation of life: the essential building-block, created on the First Day, emanating from the Word and Spirit of God. It is so foundational that we can live in it and yet miss its beauty and wonder. (p. 11) 


For this chapter we are privileged to have an interview with Christiana Figueres from Costa Rica who, for six years, was Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and oversaw the 2015 Paris Agreement

Lent Course Notes from the Diocese of Bristol

Throughout the Old Testament God’s presence as light acts as guidance in the darkness to show his people the way and how to follow him. Light as the presence of God is carried into the New Testament. Jesus is the light and life of the world (John 9) and ‘the radiance of God’s glory’ (Hebrews 1:3). He is the Word made flesh, and the same power of the word of God – that brings into existence what he speaks and that brings order out of the darkness of chaos – is in Jesus too. {pages 7-8}

Access to light and electricity is hugely important, and the good news is we have seen giant leaps forward over recent decades, with the latest figures putting the global electrification rate at 89 percent. More than 920 million people have gained access since 2010. However, there are still about 840 million people without electricity. {page 16}

While access to light, electricity and energy in general is crucial, it is also important to consider the source of that energy because of the terrible impact that fossil fuels are having on God’s creation, both people and planet. From a human perspective, health, livelihoods, food provision, water supply, human security and economic growth are all seriously at risk from the Climate Emergency caused by the burning of fossil fuels. {pages 17-18}

What Action Will You Take?

  1. Take Action
    1. Travel less, walk, cycle, take the bus.
    2. Use less meat and dairy.
    3. Use efficient light bulbs, switch off appliances when not in use.
    4. Use an energy supplier that offers renewables.
  2. Use your voice
    1. Ask your MP and council what actions they have take to reduce emissions.
  3. Give
    1. Christian Aid and Tearfund are both engaged in helping the world’s poorest avoid the worst consequences of Climate Change.

List of Home Group Questions from Chapter 1 of the Book

  1. In the Introduction and in the first part of Chapter One, we looked at the context within which Genesis 1 most likely found its final form. What did you think of that? How does this affect your understanding of this first biblical account of creation?
  2. Earlier in this chapter, Wangari Maathai remarked, ‘One is left to wonder whether conceiving of God as the origination of all that is would make people of faith recognise that they have a responsibility to be the custodians of God’s creation and, in the process, their own survival’. Take time to reflect on this. What place does God as creator have in your faith and in that of your church? How might it make a difference if that understanding was more strongly emphasised?
  3. Where does light feature in your own life? Can you share any particular experiences that have given you a new appreciation of light?
  4. All of us need to make changes if the climate crisis is to be averted. Go back and look at the action points towards the end of this chapter and, if you have access to the internet, look at the online resources. What changes will you make? When will you make them?

A prayer on light from the United States of America 

To the one who surges into the fissures that cannot be accessed,
To the one who floods into the crevices that cannot be reached,
To the one whose presence exposes, clarifies, restores, and cultivates,
We bask. We thrive. We harbor no secrets. We hold onto no
heaviness we fear makes us unloved.
You are the first ingredient for life.
The universe, not to mention our hearts, would wither away without you. Light of the world.

Morgan Lee is a journalist and community organizer who lives in Chicago. She loves baseball, biking and learning new languages. 

Useful Links:

To get your church engaged in caring for God’s world, join A Rocha’s Eco Church scheme. It provides a range of resources and advice.

Good places to go for information:

Advocacy and campaigning:

Further Church Resources:

Useful Reports:

Painting © Jon White