“You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now.”
John 11:25 MSG
There are lots of excuses that people use to get out of engaging with the issue of climate change. A much-repeated religious one is that: “It’s fine, when Jesus comes back, we’ll get a new earth – it says so in the Bible.” It might be that the person using that excuse means: “It will all come out in the wash,” or, “It’ll be alright in the end,” – those age-old devices to kick the issue’s tin can down the road. But, in reality, it’s a breath-taking abdication of responsibility. By making it all God’s problem to solve, it becomes something that we simply don’t need to worry about. Because, you know, Jesus.
When Jesus’ good friend Lazarus died, Jesus tells his friend Martha that: “Your brother will be raised up.” Perhaps thinking Jesus was talking spiritually, Martha is consoled, sure in her belief that she will see her brother again, eventually. But then Jesus doesn’t leave it there. He says to her: “You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now.” Actions of course speak louder than words – so Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead right there and then.
I am right now. The moment. Present. Here.
As we try to figure out our place in the fight for the earth, Jesus challenges our focus, calls us to pay attention. If Jesus modelled the best way to live, then the idea of not waiting until the end, but acting now, is something to put into practice. Sure, we can wait around praying for a gleaming new earth to appear at some far-off future point, or act with love for the earth and our fellow human beings NOW. We can quit waiting and just act. Because, you know, Jesus.
Bible text taken from:
The Message (MSG) © Eugene H Peterson, 2018