Saying Yes to Life Session 5
Saying Yes to Life Session 5
Session 5 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 light and darkness in the bible and the modern world.
Saying Yes to Life

Let the waters teem with living creatures and let birds fly

Featured Bible Verse

Genesis 1:20-23


This home group lent study reflects on God’s creation and blessing of the creatures of sea and sky. It invites exploration of how what we eat affects 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 Meric Srokosz from the National Oceanography Centre. 

This session is formed from the discussion questions from the end of chapter 5 of Ruth Valerio’s book Saying Yes to Life. As such, the questions often reference the book.   

Featured Quote

God not only sees that it is good: for the first time in the text God pronounces a blessing on his creatures telling them to be fruitful. The implication is that he has made the beginnings of the myriads of sea and sky creatures that we see today, and with his blessing God sets them off to multiply and fill the spaces he has created for them (p. 104) 


Watch this chapter’s interview featuring Professor Meric Srokosz from the National Oceanography Centre, and use his expertise on the oceans to stimulate your own thoughts and discussions. 

Lent Course Notes from the Diocese of Bristol

As we have seen in previous days, God looks and sees that it is good. One gets a sense that the creation, with its colour, vibrancy and diversity brings incredible pleasure to God. God pronounces a blessing on his creatures telling them to be fruitful. It is good for us to note this because although we are familiar with God’s blessing on Adam and Eve to be fruitful and fill the earth, we sometimes miss the fact that that God gives that blessing to all his creatures. {page 109}

There is much in the Bible about learning from the natural world. For example, there are many things we can understand from birds but birds are facing a crisis. In the UK there are now half as many in the countryside as there were forty years ago. Habitat loss and climate change are killing vast numbers of birds that were once common. The biblical scholar and preacher John Stott reflects on Jeremiah who saw the evils of habitat destruction: ‘I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; and at the heavens, and their light was gone … I looked and every bird in the sky had flown away’ (4:23–25). It is a warning of a possible return to pre-creation chaos and Stott says in response: ‘Let’s resolve to do all we can to protect and preserve our unique God given environment, and so continue to enjoy its God given biodiversity, not least its fascinating birds.” {pages 114, 119}.

What Action Will You Take?

  1. Reduce Plastic Waste
    • Look around you or around your house and notice your plastic use. What can you reduce or stop using altogether? Use less meat and dairy.
  2. Think back to a personal experience with birdlife or the ocean. How did that experience glorify our Creator God?

List of Questions for home groups from Chapter 5 of the Book Saying Yes To Life

  1. What experiences have you had of seeing ‘teeming’ in the natural world? Reflect on those and take time – on your own or in a group – to appreciate those experiences and thank God for them. 
  2. In this chapter, we ponder the suggestion that it is unchristian to eat meat from chickens that have been reared in cramped and intensive conditions. It is likely this has implications for the majority of us reading this book. How do you feel about this? Do you agree or not, and why? 
  3. Do you have a favourite sea/ocean place to be, or favourite memory? If you do, sit still and allow yourself to go back to that place or memory and, as you do so, ask God what he might want to say to you.  
  4. Make a mental note of the difference ways in which you use plastic. Maybe look around you or around your house and notice how much there is. What plastic things will you decide now to abandon or find an alternative for? 
  5. How could your church get involved with the topics this chapter considers? 

Prayer from young person in Vanuatu 

O Jesus,
be the canoe that holds me in the sea of life,
be the steer that keeps me straight,
be the outrigger that supports me in time of great temptation.
Let your Spirit be my sail that carries me through each day,
as I journey steadfastly on the long voyage of life.

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