Posted by: mcgurker | December 16, 2008

A Creation Carol: Transforming our Outlook from “Bah Humbug” to “God Bless us Everyone!”

       This Christmas is the first in four years that I have not had to worry about papers or finals, and I decided to celebrate by doing some pleasure reading, now that I have the time.  My choice is a holiday classic, Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. As I read the familiar story of Ebenezer Scrooge, I begin to consider the ways in which we, the people of God, are, like Scrooge, in need of some “spiritual” guidance.  If we could revisit some of the key points in our collective history, see things happening in our present from an objective perspective, and catch a glimpse of the future of humanity and all Creation, what would be shown to us?  Which of our actions toward God’s Creation and those living in poverty have put us on the path we are currently walking and what instances we can look to, to help us turn around and head down the path God beckons us to walk?

                The spirit of stewardship past might take us back to the very beginning, to Genesis 2:15, where humankind is first called to serve and preserve Creation in hopes that this experience might stir within us a renewed commitment to answer this call.   We may also visit scenes like the one in Jeremiah 44:22 and Joel 3:19, where because of the people’s sin, the land became desolate.  We may be taken to hear again the sermons of St. Francis of Assisi, given to the flowers, birds and trees.  We could be thrust in to the thick of the industrial revolution when ideas about the mechanization of Creation flourished, along with the pollution of God’s Creation.  We may be forced to relive forced relocations of people from their land, the destruction of the ecosystems that sustained them and the emergence of the culture of consumption that allowed nature and human beings to be seen as commodities. But, we could also witness with fresh eyes the first Earth Day and the first Earth Day Sunday worship service.

                 Like Scrooge, our journey would continue.  What visions would the spirit of stewardship present have us see?  Would we be shown a mountaintop removal site and sit in on a meeting of Christians for the Mountains.  Perhaps we would find ourselves transported from a field in Columbia drenched in Roundup, to a small plot used for community supported agriculture.   Would we wait, and wait and wait with farmers across Africa as they waited for yet another delayed rainy season and wondered how they would get water to their crops.  Would we stand together with a group of Christians in Poznan, Poland and advocate for the protection of vulnerable populations from the effects of climate change?

                 And when the spirit of stewardship future arrives, what will we see?  Will we be shown death as scrooge is?  Will our hard hearts be softened so that we might “choose life so that we and our descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19)?  Fortunately, as Christians we do have a spirit to guide us, the Holy Spirit.  This Christmas, I encourage you seek out the transformation of the Holy Spirit and allow your outlook to be transformed from “Bah Humbug” to “God Bless Us Everyone!”

Inspired to take action?  Check out the NCC Eco-Justice Website for opportunities.


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