My UMC Annual Conference this week discussed the idea of divestment of our fossil fuel investments, so that we would not profit from non-sustainable consumption of the earth's gifts. We tabled it out of concern that those who depend upon employment in the industry would suffer.
"God created humans to live as a harmonious part of the created order, as the caretakers of all that God made. When we as human beings forget that calling, the earth pays the price. Famine, drought, disease - these are not part of god's intentions for the earth. They are what come from human selfishness and greed. When we pollute the air, the rain becomes toxic. When we pollute the earth, the earth's resources become toxic. And when the earth suffers, people suffer, Our disobedience brings about devastation." Carla Barnhill
Our consuming habits are "overgrazing" the resources of the earth: fertile soil; breathable air; clean water; healthy food; beauty; interest... Like a modern plague of locusts, we denude the land of God's beatific Face, and dishonor the glory of Their Name. Life is a complexity of interacting cogs, organs of a body (of the Body). When too many organs fail, death is inevitable.
Who pays the price for "progress"? The order of God's creation: an environment of grace and blessings; an ecosystem of diversity and community.
Who pays the price for sin? First, that which we sin against - nature. We think we are writing a check that someone else will pay; we are forgers and frauds. We have forgotten in our pathological hubris that we are a part of the Body, and that we are killing ourselves a body-part at a time. We have become Unclean by making God's world unclean.
"Forgiving God, we confess that we have not cared for the earth as you have called us to. We have failed to love your creation as you do and have ignored the calling to live as your people in the land you gave us. By your grace, heal us of our shortsightedness, our selfishness, our ignorance. restore in us a vision of partnership and interdependence with all of creation." Carla Barnhill
(Barnhill quotes from: The Green Bible Devotional)