“Finding the Balance” – April 2018

By Rev. Nancy

God is still speaking, and God has been doing this through creation since its dawn. There are many examples of this in the Bible…

God being a pillar of cloud in the day and fire at night in the dessert.

God making the lilies even more beautiful than Solomon's robe.

The sun standing still for Joshua.

God in the thunder and wind, but also in the quiet.

The dove at Jesus’ baptism.

The earthquake when Jesus died.

It’s inspiring to hear these words and to then respond as Christians and as stewards of creation. Recycling, using reusable bags and energy efficient lights - examples of what many do each day.

But other times it doesn’t feel so easy. Our congregation is walking distance of the oil and gas capital called downtown Calgary. We know people firsthand– some of you even – and many in your families who are financially struggling because of layoffs, and for many, your work place is stressful because of the constant threat of layoffs. Images in the news show devoted Christians protesting the expansion of pipelines as a means of caring for creation. And yet we know many faith-inspired folks who are supporting people through financial struggles due to job loss.

What is the faithful and pastoral response in this context? What is God calling us toward? How do we find the balance between care of creation, and supporting individuals in finding sustainable employment in our economy?

Just after the resurrection Jesus came to his disciples saying, “Peace be with you.” He showed them his scars – visible marks of his pain and crucifixion. He invited them to touch his scars.

Creation bears the scars caused by humanity. Theologian Sallie McFague, calls the world God's body. At the very least, the world is a body that God loves. And it has its scars…clear-cut forests, plastics in the oceans, certain species disappearing. These are some of the many scars on the earth's body.

So, may we always live in awe of creation. And at the same time, may we not be afraid to touch the scars creation bears. As we discern the faithful response to preserving the environment, yet see firsthand the effects of economic challenges and the roadblocks to building oil and gas infrastructure, and as we move through the liturgical seasons and enjoy the re-creation of our changing seasons, let’s respond to Jesus’ invitation to pay attention to the body of God that we call the world.

What’s next? Going out in hope, remembering that death did not have the last word at Easter. The new life of spring and summer comes after the coldness of winter. Healing comes to our scars – for all our bodies – and certainly with our help and faithful response, there is hope, healing, and resurrection of God’s creation.