Friday, December 4, 2009
Getting Ready To Go To Copenhagen
Advent is here. Happy New Year for Christians. In the southern hemisphere, it is spring turning to summer, flowers bursting, people shaking off the last of the chilly weather to revel in glorious heat and long summer days, anticipating the Christmas barbecue or trip to the beach: nothing like taking your shirt off, getting out into the garden, to feel you are getting a new lease on life! In the northern hemisphere, it is the darkest and coldest time of the year, we light candles to remind ourselves that the darkness will not overcome the light, we bundle up, marvel at the first frosts, take time to be a bit introspective, huddled around the fire!
Or maybe not; it is my fantasy at any rate.
Climatic considerations color our experience of the Church year. With a growing global awareness of climatic chaos, the words of the Biblical prophets sound particularly apt. They call us to repent, and prepare the way of the Lord, to live in peace and with justice and equal consideration for the whole of creation which awaits with eager longing the coming of the Lord. But we must DO something about it. For too long we have simply relished the poetry and redoubled our consuming frenzy preparing for the commercial Christmas. "Seasons Greetings!" the cash register receipts read under "Amount Paid."
Tomorrow, Saturday December 5, hundreds of thousands of people are expected in London. We are all going there to participate in "The Wave." Wearing blue or sporting blue scarves and banners, we will circle around the British parliament in Westminster. At three o'clock when Big Ben tolls, we will wave our blue. Blue is the color of the earth seen from outer space. Blue is the color of the clear skies, of the clean waters, a fitting symbol for a whole and rejuvenated ecology and bioshpere. We will be waving at the British members of parliament, reminding them we are there, offering support and encouragement, asking for accountability.
Blue is also the color of Advent in some liturgical circles (always my preference--it is called "Sarum usage" or the Sarum rite...) I am very happy to be able to share the prophetic work, to be a voice among many calling for changed attitudes, different ways of living on the earth:
"Someone is shouting in the desert [and London Embankment]; 'Get the road ready for the Lord; make a straight path for him to travel!"
The message came through loud and clear in the Chapel this week:
"Wolves and sheep will live together in peace, and leopards will lie down with young goats. Calves and lion cubs will feed together, and little children will take care of them. Cows and bears will eat together and their calves and cubs will lie down in peace. Lions will eat straw as cattle do. Even a baby will not be harmed if it plays near a poisonous snake. On Zion, God's sacred hill, there will be nothing harmful or evil. The land will be as full of knowledge of the Lord as the seas are full of water. (TEV Isaiah 11:6-9)