Tijdens de Klimaattop in Glasgow hadden wereldleiders afspraken moeten maken over de snelheid en ambitie van klimaatactie. Hoewel de eindovereenkomst verre van perfect is, zijn er wel stappen in de juiste richting gezet. De mogelijkheid om de opwarming van de aarde te beperken tot 1,5 ˚Celsius is klein, maar nog wel aanwezig.
Ik denk terug aan de klimaatpelgrims die vanuit Polen, Duitsland en Zweden onderweg naar Glasgow o.a. Amersfoort aandeden.
Hun boosheid en vreugde, hun vasthoudendheid en gemeenschapszin ontroerde me. En raakte me in mijn ziel. Had ik mijn verdriet om wat we de aarde en onze medeschepselen aandoen zo ver weg gestopt? Durfde ik het kwaad waar ik mede schuldig aan ben niet in de ogen te kijken? Zie ik de tranen van de Eeuwige in haar ogen niet meer? Ben ik een toekijker (a guilty bystander, Thomas Merton) die zich in slaap laat praten door gemakzucht?
De wake up call van de klimaatpelgrims, van de tienduizenden protesteerders in Amsterdam, de activisten van Extinction Rebellion en Christian Climate Action heb ik nodig om alert te blijven en consequent mijn leefwijze bij te stellen. Uit solidariteit.
In het oecumenisch avondgebed met de klimaatpelgrims hield ik deze overdenking (voertaal was Engels):
Taizé daily readings : 1 Corinthians 3, 9 - 15
Paul writes: 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
When the apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians about his and their work as churchplanters, he uses the imagery of a building company. Pauls himself laid the foundation. He did the early work; the base-construction.
Maybe it is the thoughest part of the job: digging the ground, removing the big stones.
Maybe it is the most humble part: When people look at the house when it is finished, and the residents move in and use it as a living, no one will say: “hey, what a nice, comfortable house this is. That must be because of the foundation.”
No, the foundation, its strength and accountability is only noticed in times of trouble: when the flood comes, when it is going to rain like in the days of Noah. When an earthquake makes the walls tremble. Thén you know if the house is built on a solid foundation. That it is safe.
And that foundation happens to have a name: Jesus, the cornerstone of the church, the base of all human enterprise.
What can be said of the church as a living building can also be said of our common home, planet earth. The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral save home.
That Jesus is the foundation, does say that the Creator will not abandon us; he will not and shall not and never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created the universe.
Pauls indicates that he is no soloist. He is a co-worker. He is part of a greater ‘we’. He started and others went onward and will finish the job. Just like the Creator did. And does! God and men are partners, they form a ‘we’ in building and creating a common and save home for all people.
When I hear these words in the context of the urgent questions of the climate-crisis I hear one, single word: the word ‘solidarity’.
The Covid-pandemic has shown the absurdity of thinking any of us, individually, locally or nationally, can seal ourselves away.
The climate emergency is the same. Even if you’re not living below Sea-level, as most of the Dutch people do, the effects will reach everyone soon enough.
And the poor will be among the first victims. And the one who will bear the heaviest consequences and losses.
We cannot say: “That’s your problem. Wé have built houses with a firm foundation. So look after yourself.”
We cannot deny the ‘we’, we cannot step out of that solidarity.
The house of the earth is built on the foundation which is named Christ. The keeper of the poor. For God’s sake! That’s why.
There’s only one “We” now — and that’s the global “We”. What used to be charity or imperial paternalism is now simply enlightened self-interest.
It’s like the difference between the ethics of wearing a seat belt and of smoking a cigarette. Not wearing a seat belt endangers yourself. Smoking a cigarette endangers everyone around you.
Above all: the ‘we’ in the climate emergency isn’t just about everyone living today. It’s about everyone who comes after us. Our children and grandchildren. And of those who are nameless to us, but known by God.
So: we work together. And we stand together. And we walk together. We work the work that God started with creating the universe.
Today we join in your climate-pilgrimage. A pilgrimage of hope and of building together as co-workers. Knowing that the kingdom of God is justice, peace and joy.