Celebration Sunday- Prophetic Vision

“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.’  Isaiah 65:17

One day, PIPs will be for growing apples trees; assessors will come round to make your tea and hoops will be for hula-ing and not jumping through.
One day loan sharks will climb sycamore trees and pay their clients all their money back with interest…
One day huff & puff economies will not tell porkies and the wolf will slink away from our doors.
One day, someone will turn out the light in the last Food Bank because everyone will have enough to eat and we will all shout HOORAY!

One day Jeremy Clarkson will proclaim the bicycle preferable to the internal combustion engine and politicians will take the bus (which will be electric).
One day there will be world championships in darning and everyone will know how to make a patch and sew on a button.
One day both those who don’t have enough and those who have far too much will be liberated by having just what they need.
One day shoppers will calculate the cost to the earth as well as the cost to their purse

(As heard at the JPIT Conference, written by Rachel Parkinson, inspired by ‘One Day’ by Andrew Graystone) Find the lyrics in full here.

This Celebration Sunday, we are inviting you to:

Write a “what if…?” letter to your community

The climate crisis can leave many of us feeling helpless to respond. The changes required to drastically reduce our carbon emissions and stop the earth’s temperature rising by 1.5°C can often feel overwhelming. As a result, it is not surprising that we begin to narrow our response, fearing that our lifestyles are too hard to change, that the economy cannot be altered, and that we are past the point of no return.

But being confronted with the climate crisis is not the time for despair and resignation. It is instead a wake-up call, an opportunity for change, to be spurred on to working towards the fulfilment of God’s new creation.

To do this will require our imagination. It will require us to think outside the box. To stop being constrained by what currently is and start to envision ‘what if…?’.
What if every government policy had to pass a climate risk assessment?  
What if
all new housing was built to zero carbon standards?
What if we measured success by well-being rather than GDP?

By asking ‘What If?’, we are invited to imagine what change could look like, and use this vision to bring it into reality. We are invited to wonder what fullness of life could look like, for people and for planet, and attach it to practical changes that we could make now.

The response to the coronavirus outbreak has shown us that people and governments are willing and able to act in unprecedented ways that transform our systems and societies. It has shown there is a different way to do things and that change really is possible if we put our full efforts behind it.

What if we used the same kind of imagination and commitment when addressing other injustices? What if we saw the climate crisis and the devastating levels of national and global poverty and inequality as emergencies? How different would the world look then?  

This Sunday we invite you to start envisaging how the New Creation could start to break in to your communities, by writing a “what if” letter to your community. What might fullness of life look like for your community? What could change liberate, for people and planet, in your local area? As you write to the community you live in, begin to imagine this change by asking ‘What if’, rather than by being constrained by what is.

As you write I encourage you to do so with hopefulness and an air of celebration as you imagine how things truly could be different.

Our Celebration Sunday reflections are written by Josie Horton. Josie is the intern for The Joint Public Issues Team. This is her first Living Lent. She will be committing to giving up single-use plastics.