Connecting with Culture
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‘This year has really kicked my awareness into overdrive.’
This is a quote from a recent BBC article asking the question ‘Has Coronavirus made us more ethical consumers?’ The resounding answer according to this article is – yes!
COVID-19 has brought into sharp focus the reality of our interconnected world. For many of us, this is the first time our lives have been dramatically and so negatively altered because something happened on the other side of the world.
The climate crisis is another example of such global connectedness, and potentially created the environment in which the virus could flourish. The injustice is that what is largely caused by a few rich countries is lived out in the poorest. Awareness of this, and care for creation, is rising.
A recent survey of Christian young adults and teenagers in the UK showed that 9 out of 10 care about climate change. It is no longer an issue exclusively for scientists to wrestle with, or ‘keen beans’ to act on. It is real, it is urgent, and many of us want to see change.
As followers of Jesus, we celebrate when creation is cared for because we know that ‘the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it’ (Psalm 24). We take the climate crisis seriously because we know it affects people living in poverty first, and worst. We read Mark 12’s invitation to love God and love others, and we know that this includes women like Jessy, a grandma in Malawi who struggles to feed her family because of the climate crisis.
But how can the church lead in this area?
There are simple steps to making small changes: make your next purchase a careful one; commit to praying for those impacted most. The crisis can feel overwhelming and complicated, but you can pick one thing and do it. And, when you’re able, pick the next thing.
Could you inspire your church to act? The research found that only 1 in 10 respondents believe their church is doing enough. Will our churches step up and do what we can?
Coronavirus is a very difficult time. A season we’re in no hurry to repeat. But global connectedness and impact awareness can help us meaningfully and courageously follow Jesus. Jesus purposefully aligned himself with those living in poverty, actively spent his time with those on the margins of society, and cares deeply for creation. Will you?
Co-Director of The Justice Conference UK and Head of Youth and Emerging Generation Team, Tearfund