Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


God "doesn't do waste"

In his New Year's message, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams writes in part,
Archbishop Rowan WilliamsDespite constant talk about recycling and thinking "green" - we're still a society that produces fantastic quantities of waste. From the big issues around toxic industrial and nuclear waste to the domestic questions of managing day-to-day waste and the build-up of stuff around us that can't be recycled, it's not something we can ignore. Look at the number of plastic bags flapping around by the roadside, in town and country alike - and you see what I mean.

What I wonder is – how much this influences attitudes in other parts of our lives?

In a society where we think of so many things as disposable; where we expect to be constantly discarding last year's gadget and replacing it with this year's model - do we end up tempted to think of people and relationships as disposable?

...And if we live in a context where we construct everything from computers to buildings to relationships on the assumption that they'll need to be replaced before long – what have we lost?

Christians, like Jews and many other religious people too, talk a lot about God as 'faithful'. God is involved in 'building to last', in creating a sustainable world and sustainable relationships with us human beings. He doesn't give up on the material of human lives. He doesn't throw it all away and start again. And he asks us to approach one another and our physical world with the same commitment. The life of Jesus, the life in which God identifies completely with our flesh and blood is the supreme sign of that commitment.

God doesn't do waste.

He doesn't regard anyone as a 'waste of space', as not worth his time – from the very beginnings of life to its end, whether they are successful, articulate, productive or not. And so a life that communicates a bit of what God is like, is a life that doesn't give up – that doesn't settle down with a culture of waste and disposability – whether with people, or with things.

Perhaps a good resolution for the New Year would be to keep asking what world we want to pass on to the next generation – indeed, to ask whether we have a real and vivid sense of that next generation.
The full text is online here: God Doesn't Do Waste.



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