Springtime by Alex Kladnik, Creative Commons
Seeking the True Joy of Advent
Matthew 11: 2-11
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at?” Matt 11:7
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus, it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.
by Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson
Amid the shadowed darkness of impending winter, our Advent lection from Isaiah envisions springtime joy. We might at first wonder, “What does Isaiah’s imagery have to do with the celebration of the birth of Jesus?” This questions leads to another query: What exactly are we hoping for with the coming of the one we call “messiah” and “lord”? Or as John the Baptist puts it in this week’s gospel, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” (Matt 11:3) Continue reading
The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
Many peoples shall come and say,
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:1-3)
By Laurel Dykstra
It is hard to be hopeful in the Anthropocene, in the days when the destructive human impact on climate, individuals and communities, creatures, waterways and ecosystems is unprecedented. The lectionary passages this week have a fierce and compelling urgency but they seem far from the Advent theme of hope and further still from this lectionary project’s focus on Creation. Just what should we be awake to? Why the urban emphasis the focus on judgment?
Landscape with Shepherd and Sheep; Anton Mauve, Vanderbilt lectionary project for art
Jeremiah 23: 1-6
By Reverend Kelly Giese
Jeremiah’s oracles of a future king, a messiah, indicate that the sheep, the pasture, the people, the flock, never leave the watchful eye of the Lord. All are referred to as “mine” belonging to Yahweh. There is a close association of the Lord the God of Israel to those who shepherd and know the sheep; and to the land, its fecundity, and even to the spiritual lives of the sheep and shepherds: God dispels fear, corrects those who are in error, and even finds the missing. Continue reading
Photo Credit Brynn Craffey, Vancouver Climate Strike, 2019
Proper 28 (33) C
By Brynn Craffey
This week’s first Lectionary reading from Isaiah features a vision of the Almighty who promises to create, “new heavens and a new earth,” in which, “the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.” Restoration is a theme running through Isaiah, and today’s passage conjures up visions of utopia in my soul. I imagine old paradigms collapsing, social justice replacing unfairness throughout the land, and communally supported programs, such as Medicare for All and robustly-funded public health care systems, ensuring that, “No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.”
A Review of The Overstory by Richard Powers, by Sarah Holst. Originally published in Geez 54: Climate Justice.
Last year, during the enormous, bursting green of Minnesota in July, my partner and I welcomed our first baby into our arms and into the cradle of the Tischer Creek Watershed.
Somewhere within those first months of the strange unveiling upheave of being a mama, I learned to read a book with one hand while balancing a baby sleeping on my chest. We were fortunate to welcome a stream of loved ones into our home in this time, and one of them brought with her The Overstory, a book travelling on the relational lines of beloveds deeply embodying lives of meaning in a time of climate catastrophe (like adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy before it). Continue reading
Harlington Heights, looking south David A. Galbraith, CC
By Sandy Reynolds
I am often confronted with the destruction of the natural world from my backyard. I live near the escarpment trails that run through the city of Hamilton, Ontario. On a clear day, you can see across the bay to the CN Tower in Toronto. Frequently the view is hazy and the landmarks in the distant are barely visible. Looking through the all too familiar yellow-tinged smog I try to imagine what this land was like when it was pristine. Before my people came. Continue reading
“Discover Our Stories” by Sarah Holst
By Solveig Nilsen-Goodin, originally published in Geez 54: Climate Justice
“Are you a self-help group?” “Are you a church?” “Where do you worship?” We get these questions a lot! But for EcoFaith Recovery, the answers are more evolutionary and revolutionary than simply yes or no.
EcoFaith Recovery was birthed in 2009, when Robyn Hartwig began calling together friends and colleagues in Portland, Oregon, to try to make sense of our addictive culture and its escalating symptoms – the economic, social, ecological, and spiritual crises culminating in global warming and climate chaos. Gathering in those early years, we embarked on a process of discovery. Not unlike the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, we discovered that we felt more sane just by coming together. We felt less alone. We were less despairing. And we also discovered common experiences and feelings among us that compelled us to seek a way of recovery. Continue reading