Every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of their treasure what is new and what is old.”
Some years ago, I was at an international church gathering where we were challenged by daily bible studies on neglected parts of Scripture.
These particular ‘treasures’ immersed us in stories of violence and barely believable injustice.
We batted ideas around, but it was noticeable that one of our number, from Burma/Myanmar was very quiet.
Eventually, we were all longing to hear what he might have to say. When he did speak, he silenced us all. “That’s the way it is back home….”
As I’ve begun to get my teeth into Eco-Chaplaincy, at this time of high drama in the news, with a growing awareness of the urgency of action, so too, I’m rummaging around in the treasure-box of Christian scripture and tradition.
What is coming to light, is both how widely Christianity is equipped for catastrophic times…. and how universally that equipment is ignored, disregarded, ridiculed, or completely misunderstood. With Advent in sight, when lectionaries and other traditions entertain apocalyptic Bible readings, these previously quaint or ornamental texts of turmoil are beginning to assert their relevance, with language full or environmental and political upheaval.
When visiting congregations, I’ve been very open, both about the seriously grim prospects for climate change, as well as looking for ways to say, with eyes wide open, and with integrity ‘Halleluyah anyway’. As a movement, we are certainly a work in progress, but with great potential in shaping the witness of the churches in a time of threat without precedent. Because, without action, “that’s the way it’s going to be back home” … for our common home, the Earth.
love & peace,
Rev’d David J.M.Coleman