Climate Change, Faith and Hope - Maundy Thursday
"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."- John 13:34-35
Love for our neighbor is a key aspect of Christian discipleship. That love includes an aspect of service: before the meal on his last night with his disciples, Jesus washed their feet, humbling himself to show that service to others was at the core of his ministry on earth.
As people of faith and followers of Christ, we also see such service as the core of who we are, and our ministries reflect that conviction - we feed the hungry and heal the sick, we educate children, we help to build homes and dig wells, we accompany people in their journeys out of poverty. When we see people suffering, we are moved and called to act.
But as climate change impacts more and more of our neighbors, how do we heed this call to love our neighbors and to serve their needs? How can we serve the Pacific Islander whose land is disappearing in rising seas? How can we serve the African farmer whose crops fail because of years of drought? How can we serve Alaska natives who are suffering from toxic exposure as glaciers melt?
In the coming years, we will have to make hard decisions about how we assist the growing number of individuals and communities who are suffering with the same resources. But more importantly, we will have to love.
As Christians, we are taught to reflect love - reflect the love of Jesus Christ to the whole world. And it is in love that we are truly able to do the work of the Lord and serve the most vulnerable among us. Climate change will challenge us in ways that we cannot imagine if we fail to address it in a meaningful way. And the only way to prepare for this is to learn how to love the way God intended for us to love one another.
Source: ELCA e-Advocacy Network