The lengthening of the days and the gradually increasing daytime temperature have brought with them the joyous surprises of new life, the buds swelling on branches, the bright yellow daffodils dancing in the breeze and the proclamation of birds singing.
Yet the days have also been darkened by the challenges of this world. The grief and despair in Florida following the murder of 17 school children by a 19-year-old young man. The fear for the future of wild life, on the land, in the sea and in the air, as non-recyclable, one-use plastics pollute this planet, bringing death by ‘accidental’ entrapment, and strangulation.
We shake our head in horror, tut-tut at the folly of governments and despair at the irresponsibility of people and the ‘evil’ of individuals.
During this season of Lent, we at Holy Trinity, and many other churches around the world, are reflecting on what we need to do better or differently. Lent is a time of reorientation, to refocus on all that is good and life-enabling and turn away from all that is bad and life-denying. One of the commitments made by all Christians is to be good stewards of this world. This is a commitment that is not limited to the Christian faith or people of other faiths. It is a commitment that must surely be acknowledged by all humanity.
Our daily choices may seem small and insignificant, yet over time they can change the world. We all have the opportunity to make a difference by choosing not to buy one-use items made of non-recyclable plastic. It may be harder to see how we can change laws, yet it is the way we live our lives and share our values that shape laws.
After the Florida school shooting, Bishop Rachel said in a tweet ‘Thoughts and prayers today for all those whose lives have been devastated by the evil choices of humanity. We follow Christ into the wilderness of Lent, aware of the world’s pain, longing & groaning. Lord, have mercy.’
As we journey through the wilderness of Lent and groan with the world, let us each strive to see the light of hope and help it shine more brightly through our individual commitment to protect this world rather than destroy it.