Christianity and the Anthropocene – Part 3

anthropocene

The Priest and Prophet in the Anthropocene

            What follows is a poetic exploration around the subject of the Anthropocene, laid out following Brueggemann’s three part structure of reality, grief, and hope, including a psalm, a song, and finally, a prayer. Part 1 is available here, part 2 is available here.

Part 3: Hope

 

An Old Hope in a New World

 

Our hope has not changed.

The same words of John the Baptist are as true and as prophetic as they were 2,000 years ago when they first rang out, echoing across the dessert sand:

Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Our hope is in repentance. Our hope is that with God’s help we can turn around; can turn back to God; can turn from our desire to be immortal, all-powerful, all-consuming gods and with God’s help we can be content to simply be. To be the small, seemingly insignificant but wonderfully beloved part of God’s beautiful creation that we truly are.

If the Kingdom of God is at hand then it is good news, because it means God is not done.

It means this world is not as good as it gets.

It means we no longer have to offer daily sacrifices to the gods of efficiency, productivity, and profit and chalk up our exploitation the necessary cost of “civilization”.

It means that this world of injustice and coercion is in fact not the pinnacle of human potential or possibility.

It means that human transcendence is not found in our ability force the entire world to submit to our will, but is found in a divine consciousness that gives us the courage to submit to that Holy Spirit that lives within All Life itself,

within the particular and the universal,

within the tiniest bones,

and the infinite everything.

 

It means that God is still working,

still moving,

still breathing,

still luring,

still drawing us out,

towards a new kind of Kingdom,

towards new set of relationships,

towards a delicate, tender,

selfless but self-including

nuanced

World

of

Love.

 

This new world will not look like the small, self-centered, ego-driven dreams of our father and our father’s father our father’s father’s father. In the Kingdom of God we can embrace our uniqueness, we can own and honor our blessed God-given individuality, we can learn to see ourselves as God sees us…and

 

We will learn to see others as God sees them.

The refugee.

The muslim.

The single mother.

The day-laborer.

The black-tied French-cuffed lexus-driving private-jet-flying corporate-hedgefund-executive desperately enslaved by his own greed and self image.

The buffalo.

The polar bear.

The cow.

The chicken.

The flower.

The weed.

The brook.

The forest.

The soil.

 

And in this new Kingdom of God,

All creation will cry out

Together-

“Hallelujah!”

And all the animals

Will clap their hands

Together –

“Thanks be to God!”

And all creation

Will bow their heads

Together –

And when they pray this prayer

It won’t be just mumbled words

Or dry recitation

This prayer

This hope

will Vibrate

Hum

In every cell

Of every body

Til the world is

Alive

Teeming

Dance

Together-

With the Spirit

Of God

A Prayer from the Future, First Spoken Long Ago

Our God

Who art in Heaven

Hollowed be Your name

Your Kingdom come

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven

Give us this day our daily bread

And forgive us our trespasses

As we forgive those who trespass against us

And deliver us from evil

For yours is the kingdom

And the power

And the glory

Forever and ever

Amen.

 



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