Friday, March 15th
Throughout the year, the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ produces the Daily Lectionary for use by churches. These are the suggested readings for March 15th: Genesis 14:17-24; Psalm 27; Philippians 3:17-20. I would encourage you to read these short selections as part of your Lenten practice.
In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, a soothsayer warns the title character: “Beware the ides of March.” The ides of March corresponds with March 15th, today. It is the day in 44 BC when Julius Caesar was assassinated. Especially since the writings of Shakespeare, the Ides of March has been associated with worrisome watershed occasions.
I don’t know if the young people around the globe had this in mind when they planned their Youth Climate Strike for today (https://www.youthclimatestrikeus.org/), but change, ominous change, is approaching closer and closer unless the world does something deliberate to cut back on global warming.
The young people whose future is in jeopardy write in the first line of their mission statement: “We, the youth of America, are striking because decades of inaction has left us with just 11 years to change the trajectory of the worst effects of climate change, according to the Oct 2018 UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report.” So today in cities and towns around the globe, young people are leaving the classroom to bring attention to this dire, scientific consensus.
Maybe the church should take more notice. This is of moral importance to the coming generation, and it should be for all of us. For the longest time humanity assumed that God had assigned us the role of creation’s masters, but this may well be a perversion of the biblical message that we are creation’s stewards.
We get a hint of this in Paul’s words today. It’s on a different subject, but Paul admonishes that people are diverted from things of spiritual importance because “their minds are set on earthly things.” It may seem to be an anomaly to speak up for the caring of the earth by referring to minds sinfully preoccupied by “earthly things,” but is it?
If we are rapacious with the earth’s resources and cavalier about what we do to its climate, then aren’t we looking at creation not as a gift from God, not as stewards of divine creation, but only taking from the earth whatever we can regardless of the consequences to life, and by this I don’t mean only human life? Then aren’t our intentions truly only on “earthly things”? Maybe these young people activists can get the church to thinking more forcefully about the spiritual, even about the spiritual aspect of a God-given creation.
Faith, love and chitchat.
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