United Church of Christ

A Climate Kairos Confession

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A Kairos moment may be pregnant with possibilities or stillborn with paralysis. Christians use the word Kairos to explain the pause between the crumbling of one social order and the rebirthing of a new society. Transformation is not guaranteed. Radical change requires that large groups of people simultaneously breathe into multiple institutions to birth a new social order.

In Luke 19:44 Jesus cried because Israel was too spiritually ignorant to seize their moment and overthrow oppression. While they had lots of policies and procedures they failed to recognize "the things that make for peace". God had showed up in human form to teach them peace from the inside out, but they were too busy with church events and politics to seize the moment.

Conversely in 1985 South African leaders seized their Kairos moment. They gathered to collectively address apartheid and prescribe a way forward based on conscious theological reflection.

Our Kairos moment begs for religious leaders to effectively address the multiple, interwoven layers of climate chaos. I pray they allow those who already care for Earth to lead us. Spirituality must confirm a diverse ecology. Ecology must join a fair share economy.

In addition to filling spiritual voids, we must address agricultural, justice and energy institutions to be effective. As each of us shares our social analysis, the full rainbow of this Kairos moment becomes clear. Towards a more perfect union, I offer my reflections and prayers...

Anyone who would set fire to a wooden house with their family still in it would be convicted of arson, murder and possibly be declared criminally insane.

And yet our disembodied spirituality allows us to sit idly by while our leaders burn down God's earth-our common home. And we are still living here! We could not destroy our planet so willfully if we loved the earth within us.

I applaud environmentalists who work on behalf of Earth and yet, have no relationship with Earth. Robbed of the spiritual strength and emotional refreshment that comes from clean oceans, nutrient rich soil and mature forests, our activists complain of burn out, despair and rage.

We the church, have forsaken our first commandment to love our Mother Earth Genesis 2:15. We have not spoken spiritual Truths which compel morality and sound policies. We believe we can skip over the spiritual relationships and moral behavior that undergird sound environmental policies.

We ignore the sacred text that God wrote into nature. This omission squeezes Mother Nature's voice out of the climate dialogue and we don't even realize she's missing.

Blinded by our lifestyles which preserve patriarchal wealth, our climate narrative ignores land based solutions and marginalizes the Indigenous leaders who are already preserving Mother Earth.

Blinded by addiction to chemicals which destroy the human body we maintain addiction to an extractive economy that destroys Earth. Pesticides in our grain and oil in our waters have dulled our appetites for healthy food.

And yet I cannot share the despair of my fellow Earthkeepers. I look to the hills from whence cometh my help [Psalms 121]. The soil holds the solution to our climate crisis. My blessed assurance is rooted in knowing that in times of famine God can cause us to thrive. [Psalms 37:19, Genesis 41:54] I touch and agree with Jesus to bring heaven to Earth [Matthew 6:12[.

Daily, the joy of my Creator is my strength. I am fed joy in rustling forest leaves that bathe my consciousness. I am fed joy in breathtaking sun rises and soul filling moon walks. Like Lady Wisdom, God delights in my presence as I delight in the eternal flow of love that dances in the jet stream, sparkles across the oceans and radiates throughout the meadows.

My blessed assurance is confirmed by the soil scientists who extol the wisdom of Earth's regenerative powers. They tell us to restore 1% of the global landscape to its pre-colonial design, and climate chaos will naturally reverse. And the more we tithe our land back to God's original design, the more our climates will normalize. God's promise plus a scientific blueprint equals success in this lifetime.

My joy is fed daily with sheer gratitude that the One who holds the future, also holds our hands. Having confessed our ironies and inconsistencies, we now bow before our Creator and:

We repent of the sin of destroying your original male and female balance by silencing the Divine feminine in our theology and silencing women leaders in our midst.

We acknowledge the imbalance and short sightedness of not listening to voices that reflect the calmness of Earth and the coolness of clean running rivers. A planet on fire is the result of insisting that all of our speakers fire us up.

We ask forgiveness that our global gang behavior causes other animals to imitate our atrocities.

We repent of the sin of destroying Your natural order. We replaced high yield biodiversity with 80 million acres of monoculture in our front yards. Lawns are the largest crop in the U.S. and they harvest neither food nor cash. We confess that maintaining a lawn is a direct violation of God's principles of abundance in sowing and reaping.

We repent from dismantling high yield ecosystemsr into bare mountains and chemical waste rivers that lay waste everything in its path. If Nineveh can change their behavior to avoid the wrath of Nature so can we.

We repent of our personal oil addiction and consumerism that drives the climate chaos.

We repent from a singular focus on energy advocacy and market solutions while ignoring the diverse ways we may immediately reverse climate chaos by nurturing soil health.

We repent of splitting the human race into warring ethnic factions who use your Word to spew hate instead of love.

Oh Creator of heaven and Earth, we who are known by your name, humble ourselves in prayer. Help us turn away from our wicked ways and heal our land.

 

Rev. Dele is the author of Breath of Life: Growing Closer to God & Growing a Securing Community by Loving Creation. She can be found online, on Twitter, and contacted via email.


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