Written by Brooks Berndt
Pastor and theologian Robert Shore-Goss has just published a new book entitled God Is Green: An Eco-Spirituality of Incarnate Compassion. Below is an excerpt from it.
As we mindfully engage nature, we meet God. We intuit a connectedness with everything, and we no longer experience separateness as individuals, for at the heart of the universe, nothing exists in itself but exists interrelated to something else and through the infinite reaches of the universe. Prayer and contemplation allows us to enter the heart of the universe and experience the Spirit, the incarnated Christ and Creator interrelated within nature. This book attempts to spark “an environmental imaginary” of liberative eco-spirituality that re-contextualizes and re-envisions the sources of Christianity as interrelated with the Earth and the web of life. My ecological imaginary has re-shaped my spirituality by expanding my prayer to become an eco-contemplative in compassion for the Earth. I am part of the Earth and interrelated community of life.
The greening of our Christian imaginations deepens our relationship with God, the risen Christ as Gardner, and provides the foundation of Christian ecological practice. There are many Christians and churches turning to Earthcare in the form of ecojustice movements and committed to Earthcare. My hope is to awaken our Christian awareness of our injuring the Earth and our failure to hear God voice, saying “These are my beloved children. The late Thomas Berry called for an “ecologically sensitive spirituality.” Berry devoted much of life’s work, writings, and mentoring scholars, Christians, and non-Christians to promote a “life-enhancing” spiritualities with “wonder-filled intimacy with the planet.” Brian Swimme writes,
The great mystery is that we are interested in anything whatsoever. Think of your friends, how you met them, how interesting they appeared to you. Why should anyone in the whole world interest us at all? Why don’t we experience everyone as utter, unendurable bores? Why isn’t the cosmos made that way? Why don’t we suffer intolerable burden with every person, forest, symphony, and sea-shore in exitence? The great surprise is that something or someone is interesting. Love begins there. Love begins when we discover interst. To be interested is to fall in love. To become fascinated is to step into a wild love affair on any level of life.
If we fall in love with God’s Earth, then we will fight to preserve what God loves and we love.