Sallie McFague is one of my personal saints. She’s a theological scholar who manages to jump out of every box people put around her, and is a strong voice for ecological and gender justice. She writes in ways compelling both to theological academics and to justice-minded church-goers alike; her work is on the ground and relevant to the cultural moments we’re living. I’m sure you’re shocked that a practically-minded ecofeminist person like me would be drawn to her! This week, I’m hoping we can use two of her excellent metaphors from her book Super, Natural Christians: How We Should Love Nature to frame our conversation about Sabbath practices for the land (and why these matter to people). McFague draws on Jesus’ Sermon on the mount, describing our cultural distance from the land and the need to “subdue” it with the metaphor of “The Arrogant Eye.” If we look at the world as an object we are entitled – some even say commanded – to use, then we are free to demand as much from the natural world as possible. We can follow our cultural messages that tell us to get as much as we can for ourselves, no matter the consequences – though this has a real cost to our sense of self-in-relationship, to our economically marginalized neighbors around the world, and to nature’s economy, which does not match the pace of consumerism.
McFague counters the Arrogant Eye with “The Loving Eye.” In a direct challenge to societal norms that advocate the objectification of people and planet through consumerism and wealth accumulation, McFague takes us back to Jesus’ words, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” For McFague, the whole world is God’s body, and we are always in relationship to it – everything we grow, eat, breath, touch and throw away is part of God’s self-expression. This is a pretty serious challenge to our culture, and resonates strongly with the concept of Jubilee.
Join us Sunday, 11am at Kidd Springs Rec Center, to be together and talk about these kinds of things. We’d love to have your voice in the conversation.
On Wednesday, April 10, and Sunday, April 20, Scott answered questions related to ordination. Now, there is a vote underway. If you would like to vote in favor of ordaining Scott to ministry in Church in the Cliff, please email your vote to firstname.lastname@example.org or show up at the community meeting at 10am on May 5.
We are still taking contributions for Occupy Wall Street’s Rolling Jubilee. Our unofficial count stands at $1837. $2k would be a nice, pretty, round number. Or, be an anarchist and shatter preconceived notions of what beauty is. We will love you anyway. Okay, we will love you especially.