God’s Light Awakening Us to Our Common Home
Apaga tu motor, prende tu conciencia!
(Turn off your motor, turn on your conscience.)
Pacha Mama, Pacha Mama, si no se cuida no se ama.
(Mother Earth, Mother Earth, if we do not care for you, we do not love you.)
These past two years I have participated in climate marches that were inspired by the global meetings COP 20 and 21. There I heard these two chants as crowds from around the world gathered in solidarity, carrying signs and passing out flyers throughout the streets of Lima, Peru and La Paz, Bolivia. In Spanish, the word prende (in the first chant) expresses the command to turn on or to light. Perhaps this light, which the gospel writer John called us to attend to so long ago, is what needs to shine in our world these days. This can be a light that awakens us and calls us to live consciously; thus we will care for the Pacha Mama (the indigenous term for Mother Earth) and for God’s gifts of life to all beings.
In his contemplative Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si, Pope Francis so beautifully affirms this call for us to care for our Casa Común (Common Home). We are to live in “integral ecology,” to be in communion as we embrace the interconnectedness of our environment.
In Bolivia, through the PC (USA) Presbyterian Hunger Program, Joining Hands, our network, UMAVIDA (Joining Hands for Life), is working with churches and grassroot groups to answer this call to care for Creation. Our mission is to address the root and structural causes of hunger and poverty through joint campaigns. Accompanied by our US Presbytery partners, our campaign advocates for environmental justice for communities affected by mining contamination and left without access to clean water. These global issues are interconnected, as we are in the body of Christ. Through our mission work, we strive to develop a spirituality of that “global solidarity” of which Pope Francis reminds us.
Prayer: God of Love and Light,
Our world cries. We pray that, through our faith, we can commit ourselves to reconnect to our Casa Común and be the light that inspires stewardship of your Creation, the Pacha Mama. Amen.
Chenoa Stock has served as Mission Co-Worker for the Presbyterian Church (USA) for ten years. She served in India and Sri Lanka, and for the past five years has been the Companionship Facilitator for the Joining Hands network in Bolivia, South America, UMAVIDA (Joining Hands for Life).