I’m in Durban, South Africa because the UN Forum on Climate Change got started today. The city is expecting 20,000 people for this important global conversation. I came in response to a request to strengthen the presence of the Canadian Church leaders. Because I think climate and environment concerns are an important topic for Canadian Church leaders – I responded positively to the invitation.
I’m in Durban, South Africa to be a witness to the global political leaders as they determine what they consider to be appropriate measures in maintaining a healthy earth. I want to stand in solidarity with the Church across Africa as the governments of the world deliberate. For many these talks are not hypothetical –for them climate disasters are being experienced.
I’m in Durban, South Africa because I want to worship God. The earth and all its fullness is a result of God’s love. Like a loving parent gleefully preparing a special gift for a child, like a mother busily fashioning the perfect environment for a child’s wedding – God’s passionate love poured through the creative act. And then with satisfied joy, God paused and said; “It is good.” Such a gift must not be disregarded. Such a loving God must not be disrespected. As an act of worship, we honour God by cherishing and protecting the passionate gift of creation.
I’m in Durban, South Africa because I want to uphold the greatest commandment given by Jesus: love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind - and love your neighbour as yourself. To uphold this commandment is to take seriously the impact, real and potential, of our consumption patterns. Excusing, supporting, or ignoring inequity does not express love to our neighbours. If the earth cannot sustain my neighbour consuming what I consume – then obedience to Christ must compel me to strive for a consumption practice that can also be shared with my neighbour.
I’m not sure what to expect these next two weeks. But I am praying that my worship to God – through obedience and confession – will be strengthened.