Climate change is a reality that is ignored to our peril
We of the twenty-first century have given ourselves over to consuming addictions more than any time in history. Even a casual look at how we live our lives makes it abundantly clear that we are so caught up in our addictions that we can’t even begin to notice that our world is on the brink of disaster. Scientists have been telling us for years that our over use of fossil fuels has been having a negative effect on our planet. Climate change is a fact, yet we’re so addicted to over consumption that we even look at the scientific facts in a selective way, finding ways to deny the inevitable. We’ve managed to politicize an issue that should have united us, all because we want to continue to our foolish abandonment.
Marine scientists know that the carbon dioxide that has been spewing into the air, has been sinking into our oceans. The result is the devastation of sensitive coral reefs, caused by the warming of ocean temperatures. We’re now seeing increased movement of non-native species into ecosystems that are foreign to them and we are on the brink of mass extinctions of ocean life that have not been seen in thousands of years. Much of the world’s population depends on food from these oceans and the depletion of whole species promises to deplete much of our world’s food supply. We’re not talking about a hundred years, but tens of years.
Because of our addictions to having it all, we’ve put our collective heads in the sand, pretending that all is going to be just fine. We are a technologically advanced race that can take care of any eventuality, we tell ourselves. The fact that we are seeing record breaking storms, floods, droughts, fires, and increasingly erratic weather patterns, seems too frightening to even contemplate. Our oceans are rising with the melting of the great ice caps and we are denying the reality of global warming. By telling ourselves we are just in a natural climatic change we dismiss any personal responsibility. We live in denial much like the alcoholic who has just been confronted by his family.
As a race we have turned our backs on God. We’ve adopted “abundance and prosperity” theologies that have led us to believe that God wants us to exploit the planet, and have put our priorities in the wrong place. We leave simple, ecologically sound, living to those losers who can’t afford the good life. Meanwhile we fiddle like the grasshopper of the childhood story, all the while running out of time.
We ignore, in our pride and arrogance, a clear message. God has called us to repentance, for our planet is spewing us up like so much vomit. Our sin of over consumption, and greed, has led us to forget that God anointed us to be good stewards of the earth. We’ve been worshiping the false gods of prosperity, gluttony and consumption, while ignoring the invitation of our Creator to place our hearts and minds at His disposal.
“It is the sign of an infantile mind not to care for oneself with the resources that are available, but rather to partake of something clearly and undeniably harmful while trusting in unseen hopes (Saint Basil the Great).”
It is time we put all political and religious differences aside, face up to the catastrophe that is already upon us, and reverse, as much as possible at this eleventh hour, the destruction we have inflicted upon our planet. Although there have always been cycles of climate change, the current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years. We must stop our abusive living, and demand our government enact laws that greatly reduce carbon dioxide emissions. We must reduce our dependence on beef, and other animal products. We must learn to ration our water supplies, and live, collectively, lives that are not ruled by consumerism. If we don’t act now, we, as a species, are doomed.
The important thing to remember is that we are talking about “climate change”. “Global warming” was the title given it by the media, early on, and it stuck. The terrible winters in the Midwest do not mean global warming is not happening, but simply that the whole of the world’s climate is changing rapidly. The vast majority of scientists have been warning us about this for a very long time, but some Christians, and some politicians, have turned this warning into some kind of vast conspiracy, which it is not. The evidence is clear, and the impact climate change is having on the whole of the world promises famine and destruction the world over. We don’t have time to sit around and debate this. We have to act NOW!
With love in Christ,
Sunday January 10, 2021 / December 28, 2020
31st Sunday after Pentecost. Tone six.
Sunday after the Nativity of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, holy ancestors.
Righteous Joseph the Betrothed, Holy Righteous David the King, and James the Brother of the Lord (movable holiday on the Sunday after the Nativity of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ).
The 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia, including Glycerius, Zeno, Theophilus, Dorotheus, Mardonius, Migdonius, Indes, Gorgonius, Peter, Euthymius, and the virgins Agape, Domna, Theophila and others (302).
St. Cornelius, monk of Krypets Monastery in Pskov (1903).
New Hieromartyrs Nikodim, bishop of Belgorod and Arcadius deacon (1918).
New Hieromartyr Alexander priest (1920).
New Hieromartyrs Theoctistus, Leonid, Nicholas priests (1937).
New Hieromartyr Aretha priest (1938).
Venerable Ignatius, monk, of Loma (Vologda) (1591).
Apostle Nicanor the Deacon (34).
Venerable Simon the Myrrh-gusher, founder of Simonopetra Monastery, Mt. Athos (1287).
Venerable Babylas of Tarsus in Cilicia.
Martyr Secundus (Greek).
The Scripture Readings
The Apostles Commissioned
19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Seeing and Believing
24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here,and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
That You May Believe
30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
Call to Apostleship
11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
Contacts at Jerusalem
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.
The Flight into Egypt
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
Massacre of the Innocents
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more.”
The Home in Nazareth
19 Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” 21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”