Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Justice Devotional - Back to the Garden

Devotion to Justice
A series of devotions from the Justice table on the topics of
  • Women and children
  • Hunger and poverty
  • Creation care
  • Immigration
Back to the Garden
Matthew 21:12-16

I'd prefer to be an Earth Mother-type, a loamy smell of earth clinging to my clothes...as people in my presence discover in themselves a desire to plant flowers...and I suggest we all sing Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock.” (We do have to get ourselves back to the Garden.) I’d rather nurture the agents of culture change gently, patiently.

But Earth’s climate has changed on us. It’s happening fast, and it’s accelerating. In the last year, the Atlantic Ocean made a bid for a midtown Manhattan address, the Arctic ice cap looked like an endangered habitat, and “heat wave” became too moderate a term for infernal weeks that cooked crops and killed the sick and elderly. The climate has gone mad. I’m mad and getting madder along with it. I hate feeling this way. But I’m angry at bumper-sticker arguments that say global warming is a hoax. (How can anyone believe that, over a dozen decades, thousands of observers in hundreds of thousands of locations conspired to fake millions of measurements?) I feel crazy when I’m told, “It’s not us, it’s sunspots.” And I thought I would drop off the deep end when the House passed a bill which abrogates half a dozen laws in order to sell a trans-continental corridor for toxic oil sludge to foreign money changers.

What is this crazy culture I’m in? Who are these people I live among? How can they...how can we...be so blind to relationships? How can we have so forgotten the covenantal foundations of community? How can we ignore our children’s future like this?

Jesus confronted his culture’s craziness, and it made him crazy-mad. He took changing his culture hands-on. He opened the eyes of at least some of the blind. Then, by some standards, he lost. By others, however, the story’s still unfolding.

I think if we don’t change our culture, climate change will do it for us. That future horrifies, and its setting doesn’t look like a garden at all. So I’m glad to be mad after all. Anger is energy at and for change.

Are you mad, too? Welcome ... there are millions of us, of every tribe. In our brother Jesus’ footsteps, let’s walk together. For all that God called good, let’s work together. Let’s change the ending.

Douglas Job: Evergreen Christian Church (DOC) Green Chalice Congregation, Athens GA Creation Care
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