It seems that as I think about this series more and more, I keep circling back to the question asked in the Luke 10 version of the greatest commandment story: “Who is my neighbor?” It’s a reasonable question. If we are to love our neighbor, surely we should know who that is. The answer, presented in the parable of the Good Samaritan, is, “The one who showed mercy.” If we really think about it, who shows more mercy than the vast expanse of creation on which we depend?
So often, we think of the earth as an object, a resource for our use. There is strong biblical warrant for this, as there is for most power structures. According to one reading of the first creation narrative found in Genesis 1, God, the ultimate power, has delegated to humans power over every living thing. But maybe there is another way.
What if we instead thought of the earth as a subject to which we relate? A neighbor who has shown us mercy? A neighbor who we might love? How might that change the choices we make and the kind of justice we work for?
Grace and Peace,
Genny Rowley is currently a doctoral student in the dissertation phase of Brite Divinty School’s Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care program. Her project involves connecting with people of faith who are working for ecological justice in their local congregations.
July 1 – Introduction
How can love deconstruct power and create justice?
July 8 – The Earth
How do we relate to the earth and how does that frame our relationship with everything else? How (and why) do we divide it up and fight over it?
July 15 – The Alien
How do we relate to the people “over there,” especially when they come “over here”?
July 22 – The Neighbor
How do we relate to the people all around us? Who do we consider to be our neighbor and why?
July 29 – The Other
How do we divide ourselves from the people closest to us, in our families and our friendships? How do we decide who is “the other”? And do we have to?
August 5 – Decisions
As a church, how and where do we direct the resources that we have to create a more just world?