To the People of Australia…

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on the blog, but when I read this from my inbox this morning, I knew I just HAD to share. Cameron Trimble is a UCC pastor whose writing is printed in e-devotionals through the Center for Progressive Renewal. Her blog is called Piloting Faith. I absolutely LOVE how she speaks ancient words of wisdom into such a contemporary situation before us today. Enjoy being fed by her words this day.

A Word for the Day…

We have all been distressed in hearing that so much of Australia is being devastated by wildfire. We can’t imagine what they are going through, and we pray that we never know.

I’ve been struck, however, by the number of people I’ve heard crediting God for causing the fires and saving them from them. Let me go on record to say that if God worked in such arbitrary ways, taking one life or home here and saving one life or home there, I want nothing to do with that kind of God. You can count me out. We have long credited God with the events of Mother Nature, but I suggest that we would be better served to stop crediting or blaming God and take a good look at ourselves.

Rev. Jim Antal, former Conference Minister of the Massachusetts Conference UCC, has been blazing a trail for environmental awareness saying “earth” as we know it no longer exists thanks to human abuse and interference. U.S. National Weather Service acting director Laura Furgione said, according to AP, “The normal has changed, I guess. The normal is extreme.”

Let’s finally be honest: WE have done this, not God. Our pollution of the earth has created extreme weather patterns that will continue to destroy lives and communities. We abdicate our responsibility when we blame God for causing the fires or credit God from saving us from them. We are the cause and the solution. We must change the way we live.

All said, I do believe God is involved in all of this. God is in every heart that offers a kind word and helping hand to the people who are suffering loss. God is in the communities of faith who advocate, motivate, and facilitate calls for environmental justice. God is with the families that grieve the loss of loved ones, grieving with them the tragedy of needless loss or death. I take great comfort in knowing that the God that we have come to know through Jesus was there on the day of Christ’s crucifixion AND on the day of his resurrection. God never abandons us – nor does God dictate our actions. We are free beings, endowed by God with the capacity to create our own heaven or hell on earth. All the while, God hopes we chose wisely.

Join me in praying for the families who have lost so much these past few weeks…and join me in taking responsibility for the ways we are living that are causing such harm to our planet. We can fix this, but not if we are scapegoating God.

We are all in this together,
– Rev. Cameron Trimble, author of Piloting Church: Helping Your Congregation Take Flight

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