Gifts of gold, frankincense and a greener future for all

The first Christmas was a time of great uncertainty with an oppressive Roman empire and King Herod trying to kill baby Jesus.

But three wise men, looking to the skies for direction, followed a star that led them to Christ, bringing him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Fast forward 2000 years, and 2016 is set to be the hottest on record. As we head into Christmas, we face the threat of heatwaves, bushfires and drought.

So again, wise Christians are looking to the sky for direction. Whether it’s growing your own veggies, going solar or promoting clean air, Australians are recognising the most valuable gift we can give our children this Christmas is a sustainable future.

Take, for example, Judith Dalton of St George’s Uniting Church in Eden, New South Wales. She spearheaded a “Garden of Eden” whereby the church congregation grows vegetables together, nurturing their sense of community and shrinking their collective carbon footprint.

At Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast, David Lowry led a push to install solar panels on his church in the shape of a cross. His gift to the future generations is not only a visual testimony to his faith, but also a practical source of renewable energy.

Rose Vincent from Bendigo in Victoria has brought the gift of clean air to her neighborhood. The community, with the “Old Church on a Hill” plants trees to coincide with special services.

Hundreds of parishioners and congregations around Australia are taking the lead on cleaning up and taking the pressure off our environment.

Together, let’s choose our gifts wisely, so that we can pass on a healthy planet for our children and grandchildren.

Jody Lightfoot is the sustainability spokesperson for Common Grace, an Australian movement of Christians passionate about Jesus and justice.