Monday morning Bible study reminded members of the importance of language.
While discussion within the church and wider community has focussed on the value of intercultural exchange, Bible study leaders Dr Jan Morgan and Dr Graeme Garrett suggested we need to look further than human language to truly understand God’s plan for the world.
Introducing a story titled ‘And they couldn’t even read eggplant’, Synod members were invited to put aside their rational selves for a while and consider the work of a variety of authors focussing on the neglected language of the natural world.
Dr Morgan and Dr Garrett spoke of theo-linguistics (the language of animals), phyto-linguistics (the language of plants) and geo-linguistics (the language of rocks and earth).
While some of the examples and stories they told were works of fiction, the Garretts asked members to consider scientific studies that reveal an intricate inter-dependence throughout the plant world.
As more is learnt about the delicate ecology of the world, people are re-examining older, traditional stories. The wisdom of Indigenous Australians is becoming more apparent as we realise the inter-connectedness of nature, and its importance to us as humans.
The Old Testament Book of Job is another example of God speaking to humans of the value of all creation, each creature and plant has been created for a specific purpose and benefit for all.
While Synod members grapple with the very human issues before them, they were invited to reflect on the fact that day-to-day concerns are small parts of a much greater whole.