Skip to main content

Eco-Justice Notes - 12/31/04 - Earthquake, Tsunami and God

Another excellent edition of Peter Sawtell's Eco Justice Notes found here: Eco-Justice Notes - 12/31/04 - Earthquake, Tsunami and God.

Some great deeper theological reflections on the tsunamis and our reactions to them and what all this means for people of faith.

"God did not cause the earthquake and tsunami in some premeditated fashion to punish the wicked, to warn us of the impending end times, or to call the survivors into deeper compassion. (There are writers who have suggested each of these.) If we grow in compassion and relationship as a result of this tragedy, that is a blessing for us and the world. But God has better ways to nurture compassion than killing hundreds of thousands of people...

The intentions of God, and the workings of nature, are not all about humans. The whole universe is not centered on our experience. The Earth existed long before humans came on the scene, and it will be here long after we're gone. As we ponder the meaning of this event, we must do so in light of the entire history of this planet, and in the context of the entire web of life...

The scope of this event pushes us outside of our normal moral categories. There is no human cause behind the earthquake and the waves. The destruction has killed and displaced rich and poor alike -- although, of course, the long-term effects will be hardest on the poor. There are not, apparently, any gross failures or abuses in providing available relief and aid -- only the inability of local, national and international systems to respond adequately to such a widespread catastrophe. Blame and fault, sin and evil, are categories that just don't fit here. Rather than pointing fingers at others, we do better to acknowledge our own limitations...

It is in the long-term projects for rebuilding that we must work toward our best understandings of justice for all involved. Let us seek to establish societies that provide care and empowerment for the poor. Let us rebuild with a commitment to the most sustainable societies."

(emphasis mine)


Popular posts from this blog

Sermon for Second Sunday in Advent, "Peace: All Is Calm, All Is Bright," Isaiah 11:1-10, Mark 13:24-37

Sermon 12/3/17 Mark 13:24-37, Isaiah 11:1-10 Peace: All Is Calm, All Is Bright             “Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright. Round yon’ virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace.”             This week, I read news stories about North Korea testing a missile that perhaps could reach across the whole of the United States.             This week, I spoke with a colleague in ministry who had, like all churches in our conference, received from our church insurance company information about how to respond in an active shooter situation. She was trying to figure out how to respond to anxious parishioners and yet not get caught up in spending all of their ministry time on creating safety plans.             This week, we’ve continued to hear stories from people who have experienced sexual assault and harassment, as the actions, sometimes over decades, of men in positions of power have been

Sermon for the First Sunday in Advent, "Hope: A Thrill of Hope," Mark 1:1-8

Sermon 11/26/17 Mark 1:1-8 Hope: A Thrill of Hope             Are you a pessimist or an optimist? Is the glass of life half empty, or half full? My mom and I have gone back and forth about this a bit over the years. She’s wildly optimistic about most things, and sometimes I would say her optimism, her hopefulness borders on the irrational. If the weather forecast says there’s a 70% chance of a snowstorm coming, my mom will focus very seriously on that 30% chance that it is going to be a nice day after all. I, meanwhile, will begin adjusting my travel plans and making a backup plan for the day. My mom says I’m a pessimist, but I would argue that I’m simply a realist , trying to prepare for the thing that is most likely to happen, whether I like that thing or not. My mom, however, says she doesn’t want to be disappointed twice, both by thinking something bad is going to happen, and then by having the bad thing actually happen. She’d rather be hopeful, and enjoy her state of

Sermon, "Invitational: Deep Waters," Luke 5:1-11

Sermon 1/31/16 Luke 5:1-11 Invitational: Deep Waters                         I’m fascinated by the fact that for all that we know, as much as we have discovered, for all of the world we humans feel like we have conquered, there are still so many that things that we don’t know and can’t control, so much that we are learning yet, every day. Even today, every year, scientists discover entirely new species of plants and animals. And one part of our world that is rich in things yet-to-be-discovered is in the mysterious fathoms below – the deep, deepest waters of the ocean. In 2015, for example, scientists discovered this Ceratioid anglerfish that lives in the nicknamed “midnight zone” of the ocean. It doesn’t look like other anglerfish – one news article described it as looking like a “rotting old shoe with spikes, a scraggly mustache and a big mouth with bad teeth. And it has a long, angular fishing pole-looking thing growing out of its head.” [1] Or there’s Greedo, named after