Lent reflection: restoring our damage to God’s creation

March 8, 2020

Public reactions to the science of the climate emergency fall with-in a broad spectrum, from denial to despairing acceptance of our ultimate fate. The geological rhythms of the earth are being distorted and the atmosphere polluted with an excess of CO2. We are running out of time and once critical thresholds have been reached, the damage to life on this planet will be irreparable.

It is unsurprising that people should feel despair. The grief in contemplating this future suffering could be likened to a ‘Gethsemane moment’. For Jesus however, this moment was a prayerful, powerful and transformative experience.

I suggest you allow time to feel the experience deeply; reconnect with your deepest self; but not to the extent that it will immobilise you. “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?” [Mt 26.45b]

So try adopting the slow wisdom of pilgrims. When taking a walk in woodland or a local park, or even sitting in the corner of one’s garden – pause, reclaim some time for awareness, reconciliation, and awakening. How might you play your restorative part in caring more for God’s creation, and bringing justice to the already vulnerable, who will suffer most from climate disruption?

Offer repentance for submitting to the wily charms of consumerism; let go of wasteful habits. We are all culpable.

Develop a strategic plan, something the Church in Society Committee working group, and Eco-Congregation Scotland, are in the process of doing, to deal with the effects of climate change.
How might you restore the damage you have caused? And what ideas come to mind about becoming resilient to the effects of climate disruption?

The plan for a sufficient and sustainable lifestyle will start with small things you can do now; and become more ambitious. “Get up, and let us be going.” [Mt. 26.46] Time to bring about hope through action.

Richard Murray is a Lay Reader in the Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney, in the Scottish Episcopal Church; a member of the Church in Society Committee; and a trustee of Eco-Congregation Scotland.