Where there is no vision

Where there is no vision, the people perish.

This proverb was quoted by Claire Perry, the ex-COP President fired at the beginning of 2020, in her resignation letter. I have thought of this often in the ensuing months, wondering what it might take to have that vision.

Over the past decade, the average annual growth rate of global emissions has stood at 1.5%, increasing not just climate risk, but the growth of climate risk. Until we reach global net zero, this risk and the material consequences of this risk, will be ever-increasing. The prospects for change on the timescales which are needed feel increasingly slim.

At times I feel an acute sense of powerlessness, on the sidelines of slow catastrophe unfurling across my lifetime. At times I feel utterly detached, wedded to the dishonesty of a comfortable life shielded from disaster.

Where there is vision, the people live.

I am a believer twice over. In the apparent unreality of real climate collapse. In the reality of the seeming-unreal risen Christ.

Someday I will see the glory of the love of Christ and how it holds this earth together. For now I catch mere glimpses in the peripheries of life’s wonders.

In the meantime, the first of my faiths brings hope and clarity to the other: blessed are the peacemakers, they will inherit the earth.

The teachings of Jesus greet violence with peace. He did not teach us how to kill or wage war or make money; he taught us how to be nonviolent, love our enemies and make peace.

Peace is intimately connected with God’s purposes for the earth: the word of God sends us out to serve the world while the power we have to serve is the vision and life of the word of God.

Where there is vision, the people live.

May the word of God, the seeming-unreality of the real risen Christ, bring life + light in the fullest sense to the impoverished unreality of this lifetime, the pervasive reality of different deaths which ensnare and blind us. Amen.

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