Pray and Fast for the Climate
Earth Hour was celebrated on 28 March. It is described as the world’s largest environmental event. At 8:30 to 9:30 pm local time in 172 participating countries lights are switched off on monuments, public and office buildings.
With over 1,400 landmarks and close to 40 UNESCO World Heritage sites cast in darkness, Earth Hour sends a clear message of the need to conserve energy. Equally impressive is WWF’s interactive map of over 24,000 people in the UK and Ireland who registered to record their participation in Earth Hour. Of course there is a danger that switching lights off for an hour is somewhat tokenistic if it is not matched by effective systemic action on the part of governments.
In Holy Week this week we reflect on the cost of Jesus’ submission to following God. Our lectionary reading for 1 April (John 13:21-32) recounts the moment that Judas left the upper room and Jesus’ words “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him”. He refers to a glory that radiates qualities of righteousness and love in an abundance that is found uniquely in God.
We are reminded again this week that the journey to which we are called is not without cost. We may feel that national monuments, when devoid of their floodlighting, lose some of their magnificence at night. In our houses reducing electricity consumption may come at the cost of some of the comforts and conveniences to which we have become accustomed. It is likely that our calling to care for God’s earth will involve some human cost. What matters more is that our actions are guided by love of God and a desire to realise security for future generations. In effective actions we might find a beauty and peace taking us beyond our instincts to consume born out of human self-interest.
This month election hustings will be held across the UK. Ask your Parliamentary candidates the climate question – see Hope for the Future. Download the Faith in Politics election briefing that includes an account of issues related to environment and climate change.