Posted by: tylere108 | March 10, 2011

Eco-Justice and Lent: Where Two or More are Gathered

What is community? What are we apart of and who/what are we accountable to?

Ezekiel 34:18-19: Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet? And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet?

For the last year, these are questions that I have been asking myself, my friends and my colleagues. For anyone who has been watching the news or following major events, I am sure that these are questions you are also contemplating (and have likely been contemplating for quite some time).

In the last 12 months, we have seen, heard, or experienced the following:

And sadly, this is just the beginning.

All of these catastrophes, some natural, some man-made, can be traced back to how we, as children of God treat the Creation we have been blessed with. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the sludge spill in Hungary are man made disasters that stem from our need for energy and other materials. Yet they have long term, irreversible impacts on God’s Creation and the communities around the disaster (many families in villages close to the spill have left permanently).  As for the floods in Pakistan and Australia, though they are natural disasters, their intensity has been directly impacted by our actions. Both floods have been directly linked to the global climate change and studies show that climate change made what would have been normal seasonal flooding became record breaking floods because of the changes in global weather patterns.

We, as an integral part of the whole of God’s Creation, are having devastating impacts on our “family” – locally, nationally and internationally. Our actions are putting the healthy of our communities and God’s Creation at risk – and in the worst cases our communities are dependent upon the very Creation we are destroying.

Pakistani farmers lost crops and herds. Gulf Coast fishermen have been economically devastated from the contamination in the Gulf. And the list goes on and on . . . .

What is community? Are we a part of something bigger?

Or will we continue to avoid these hard conversations in hopes that it won’t affect us personally.

This passage from Ezekiel reminds me both of the blessings  and gifts that I enjoy each and every day, as well as the impact my personal decisions have on the community. And its not just about energy and climate change. Its about the food that I eat – where it comes from, how it was grown, and the impacts it is having on local communities and the land. It about how i get to work and school, how I engage with those around me, and the connections that we all have to God’s Creation.

As this lenten season begins, I look forward to reflecting on what is community, what role I play I play in God’s masterpiece, and how we can keep the pasture prosperous and water clean for those around us and those yet to come.


This is the second entry in a Lenten Blog series based on our 2011 Earth Day Sunday resource “Where Two or More are Gathered: Eco-Justice as Community.”

If you want to keep following our blog and other happenings with the NCC Eco-Justice programs, “like” us on facebook.

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