How will creation sing to the Lord a new song in the age of climate change? With our belief that the earth demonstrates God’s glory and serves as God’s living creation and our abundant home, will not God heal and save the earth? But how will God’s justice come to our greenhouse, gas-emitting way of life and fossil fuel-driven economies? Is there time, and will it hurt?
Naomi Klein, an award-winning journalist, writes that the really inconvenient truth is that climate change is not about carbon but about capitalism (This Changes Everything, Simon and Schuster, 2014). She argues that our economic system is waging war against life on earth. Our chances for survival hinge on our reducing carbon emissions by 8% each year through 2020! Ouch, that hurts! Yet, Klein believes that we have the capacity to impact climate change and that signs of transformation are everywhere. If climate change presents potentially catastrophic consequences for life on earth and if God loves the world, then when and how will God’s justice come? And will it hurt?
The psalmist believes “the Lord rules!” “[God] set the world firmly in place; it won’t be shaken. . . . Let the earth rejoice!” (ceb). Sounds like we need to support God’s justice for the earth with our best science, technology, wisdom, courage, and willingness to sacrifice. If God wills to heal the earth, then we had best get busy joining in God’s wondrous works. Bring gifts. Enter God’s courtyards! Bow down to the Lord. Tremble before God, all the earth! And sing to the Lord, all the earth, the sea, countryside, trees, forests, fields, rocks, hills, and plains. Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Help us see, O God, your coming peace, good news, and salvation. Make us alert and ready to sing the song of your reign through love and justice. Amen.
Ecstasy over the Christmas miracle is the theme that binds this week’s passages together—unrestrained joy over what God has done and over who God is. These texts celebrate a God who reigns in strength. Yet this God is near and immediate, a participant in the human struggle for light and salvation. As worshipers, we join in rejoicing over the coming of the messenger “who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns’”(Isa. 52:7). We also celebrate “the Lord, for he is coming to judge the earth . . . with righteousness, and . . . equity” (Ps. 98:9). Then the note of immediacy is struck by the focus on what God has done just now, in these “last days,” in which “he has spoken to us by a Son” (Heb. 1:2). The One who was present at creation, the eter- nal Word, “became esh and lived among us” (John 1:14).
• Read Isaiah 9:2-7. What or who in your life helps you to continue to walk in the world’s darkness?
• Read Psalm 98. How do you discover hope even in the midst of dif cult times for the earth? How does this hope allow you to shout for joy and sing the Lord’s song?
• Hebrews 1:1-12. Advent reminds us of Jesus bridging the gap between God and humanity. How does this reality change the way you experience the world?
• John 1:1-14. Re ect on the incarnation of God in the form of a baby. In what ways does this in uence the way you see and understand God’s nature?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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