Saying Yes to Life Session 4
Saying Yes to Life Session 4
Session 4 of the Saying Yes to Life lent study explores the literary and historical context of the creation account of Genesis 1 and the significance of the rhythm of the seasons and the impact of eschatology.
Saying Yes to Life

Let there be lights in the sky

Featured Bible Verse

Genesis 1:14-19


This home group lent study explores our lives within the rhythm of the seasons. It also looks at the impact of eschatology on our engagement with the world around us. It aims to inspire practical action towards a world filled with God’s justice. It also features an interview with Professor Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and former Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and President of the Royal Society. 

This session is formed from the discussion questions from the end of chapter 4 of Ruth Valerio’s book Saying Yes to Life. As such, the questions often reference the book.   

Featured Quote

[O]ur call to take care of this world and all its creatures – including human creatures of course – does not ultimately rest on any eschatological view… Nonetheless, for too many people the belief that this world is going to be destroyed has been held hand-in-hand with the view that we need not bother looking after it now… What we have explored instead is a theology of the future that anticipates God transforming this present reality. (p. 104) 


Don’t miss this chapter’s interview with Professor Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and former Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and President of the Royal Society.

Lent Course Notes from the Diocese of Bristol

The main reason given for the creation of the sun, moon and stars is to separate day and night and to be ‘signs to mark sacred times, and days and years’ (Genesis 1:14). The sense of rhythm is clear and is engrained into the patterns of the natural world and therefore into our patterns too. We live by a natural rhythm of day and night and we know how it feels when that pattern is disrupted. {page 84}

In Matthew Jesus’ birth is announced by a star that alerts the magi and leads them to where Jesus lies. The Word who was with God and was God in the beginning; the Word through whom all things were made; the Word who brings light into the world … his birth is accompanied by a night sky illuminated by the glory of the Lord and by a bright shining star. The heavens do indeed declare the glory of the Lord as, in the incarnation, the Creator takes on the flesh of his creation, and comes to live among us so that we might be redeemed and brought back to life in God. And then, his death – as he bears our sin in his earthly body – is accompanied by a dramatic response in the natural world, as the sun stops shining. {page 93}

Scripture often uses the sun, moon and stars to speak about the end of the world, or perhaps more correctly the ends or purposes of the world. For many years, the dominant view within Christianity has been that, at some point in the future, God will destroy this world in judgement and we will spend eternity in heaven. However, we have seen that God’s physical creation is loved and he declares each part of it good which presents a challenge to the view that Creation is unavoidably divorced from redemption. There are many passages in the Old Testament where prophets speak of the future hope of God’s people, but Isaiah 65:17–25 needs noting because it is the passage that the prophet John quotes when he talks about seeing ‘a new heaven and a new earth’ (Revelation 21:1). The context for Isaiah’s words is the time when the people had returned from exile and were looking forward to the rebuilding of their nation. The words are clearly spoken into that situation, but contained within them are the seeds of a wider hope in God’s plans for the future. We see here that the future hope that developed in the Old Testament had a very physical dimension and encompassed the wider natural world and human society, people and animals living together peaceably. This was the foundation for Christian thinking about God’s plans for the future and Revelation 21 and 22 give a picture of a garden city with land, trees and water – the renewal of Creation and not its destruction. Whatever we think of God’s future plans, today we must understand ourselves as His Creatures called to care for His Creation. {pages 99, 100, 102}

What Action Will You Take?

  1. Worship
    • How can you bring the breadth of creation into your church worship? Think about incorporating nature into liturgy, prayer and songs – and perhaps even worshipping outside. Use less meat and dairy.
  2. Learn More
    • This chapter has had a strong focus on God’s future plans. What stood out to you? Is there anything you struggled with? Talk these things through as a group.’ Use your voice
  3. Look back over the last chapters and reflect on what things you have committed to do and whether or not you have done them.

List of Questions for home groups from Chapter 4 of the Book Saying Yes To Life

  1. How much is the wider creation brought into your church worship gatherings? Is it naturally incorporated into your prayers, songs, liturgies (if you use them) and sermons? How could you help that happen more? Use the suggestions earlier in the chapter or the online resources to do something outside as a church. 
  2. This chapter has had a strong focus on eschatology. Are there things in it that are new to you or that you don’t understand? If you are in a Lent group, talk these things through together. 
  3. Do you feel the stretch of living in ‘the overlapping of the ages’? How do you manage that tension? In what ways does the eschatology in this chapter motivate how you live now? 
  4. Look back over the last chapters and reflect on – or discuss with others – what things you have committed to do and whether or not you have done them. 

A prayer on the sun, moon and stars from the Philippines 

Our heavenly Father, as we look up to you in the vastness of the skies, The sun that you have made opens our eyes to a world lit in colour and clarity,
And the moon and the stars remind us of your faithfulness and steadfast presence,
Amidst the seasons of darkness and our community’s moments of uncertainty.
Lord Jesus, you have shown us how from beginning to end was the light of love,
That as endless as the heavens above so is the grace that sustains all things,
So with faith that the Spirit has wrought in us, we seek the care every creature is to have,
As we dream, hope, and labor for a future wrapped in the fullness of joy that your new creation brings.

Rei Lemuel Crizaldo is an artist, a local author, and advocate of doing integral mission based in Manila, Philippines.

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