And so, we find ourselves on Easter Monday. We’ve wandered the wilderness, found ourselves in darkness and welcomed the light of resurrection. What happens next?
We’ve spent the last 40 days committing together to confronting the challenges the climate crisis brings starkly into reality.
This year’s Lent has taken place in a rather different context. A global pandemic has brought new trials and anxieties. We’re aware that in the midst of this, keeping up with some of our lent challenges, particularly reducing our electricity consumption and shopping plastic free, may have become increasingly tricky. Whether you were able to complete this 40 day challenge or not, our hope is that through your reflections you’ve been able to dig deeper into the way God calls us to be his partners in restoring creation.
As we look ahead, we remember that 2020 remains a crucial year. It marks the start of an important decade for our climate as we anticipate the 2030 deadline set by the IPCC to curb our global carbon emissions so as to prevent devastating damage to our environment. With COP26 rightly being moved back to 2021 to enable governments concentrate their efforts on tackling COVID-19, it is important that we do not lose sight of the climate crisis and the far reaching and unprecedented commitments that are required across every sector of society.
Just as the resurrection wasn’t only for Easter, the journey towards climate justice continues . Jesus has risen and his promise of more life continues. That is good news for all of creation.
Because of the resurrection, everything changes. Because of the resurrection, we have a hope in the truth that Jesus has come to reconcile and restore all of creation to himself.
How do we live in the light of this truth? How do we live in this tension of seeing the brokenness of creation around us, yet trusting in the hope that God will one day restore it all?
Here are some the lessons that Living Lent has taught us this year, that might help us live in the light of the resurrection :
- We can choose to be hopeful—When we look at the climate crisis we most likely won’t feel very hopeful. But we can still choose to be hopeful – to live hopefully. From starting a conversation with your MP, putting pressure on banks and other institutions to divest from fossil fuels, or standing for change in peaceful protest – we can live in hopeful resistance.
- We need to rethink our understanding of freedom —The way we often exert our freedom is damaging to the freedom of others around the world and the lives of future generations. Adopting a simpler lifestyle may feel like tighter restrictions are being imposed on our lives. But doing so might actually bring greater freedom and flourishing to the whole of creation.
- We need to listen—It is those on the margins who are most affected by the climate crisis, particularly those across the global south. As we fight against climate injustice it is crucial that we do this whilst listening and uplifting the voices for those who are experiencing its devastating effects.
- We must remember we are but part of God’s creation— Our relationship with the earth is broken. Rather than honouring our call to care for creation, we have exploited our dominion over nature, damaging the earth. In order to be reconciled to creation we must, in humility, acknowledge we are but part of God’s creation. We are interdependent with the rest of the earth and we need it just as much as it needs us.
- We can use our imagination in tackling the climate crisis—To tackle the climate crisis we need to think outside the box. In order to work towards bringing new creation to earth, imagination is essential. What if, when we imagine how our world could be different, we could bring this vision of flourishing life into reality?
As we go on from here, may we live in the light of the new life bought to us by the resurrection. And may we use what we have learnt to give us hope and to strengthen our resolve to faithfully and actively respond to our calling to be stewards of creation.
Today’s reflection is written by Josie Horton. Josie is the intern for the Joint Public Issues Team. This is her first living lent. She is committing to giving up single-use plastics.