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Readings for Reflection: April 2015
from the Committee on Ministry and Counsel

The Lamb’s War and Climate Change

The idea of participating in a community of faith and action has appealed to me all my life, and I commend to you the article in a recent Friends Journal by Will Taber, entitled “The Lamb’s War and Climate Change.” Will encourages us to think deeply about care of our beautiful earth, and to act on our convictions along with our fellow humans. It is very “faithful” and timely that our Environment and Social Concerns Committee is inviting us to join in a discussion on the issue of climate change; I look forward to joining my faith community in this important exploration. ~ Nancy Taylor

Not just Friends but the whole world is being called back to the Lamb’s War: the struggle to choose life. This was true for the children of Israel; it was true for the early church; and it was true for early Friends. So if we are to choose life today, how might we expect that struggle to be reflected in our lives?

The first sign would be movement in our spiritual life. The roots of the problems we are seeing lie deep in our attitudes, our way of thinking, our institutions, and our economic system. We cannot think our way out of our situation because our very thinking is suspect. So, in the words of Isaac Penington in “Some Directions to the Panting Soul,” the first act is the following:

Give over thine own willing; give over thine own running; give over thine own desiring to know, or to be any thing, and sink down to the seed which God sows in the heart; and let that grow in thee, and be in thee, and breathe in thee, and act in thee, and thou shalt find by sweet experience, that the Lord knows that, and loves and owns that, and will lead it to the inheritance of life, which is his portion.

... The second sign of the Lamb’s War at work in us will be a seeking of community. Individuals need to make changes, but individuals alone cannot accomplish the work. While there is much interior work for us to do, it is work that requires a community. We need to find people with whom we can share our struggles and find our way forward, providing and receiving comfort, support, encouragement, and advice. Ideally, we will find this in our meetings. We need to learn to act in community; we need to learn to become a people....

Jesus was not a rugged individualist; he was a builder of the community of God, including the outcasts, the sick, poor, widows, sinners, and oppressors. He scandalized the upright by eating with tax gatherers and sinners. If we are faithful, our communities will grow, deepen, and include the dispossessed, which will challenge us.

... Because Friends believe that God resides in each of us, we value every human being as an embodiment of God. We need to see and value the world in the same way.

Will Taber: “The Lamb’s War and Climate Change,” Friends Journal, January 2015; www.friendsjournal.org. Reprinted with permission.

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