Friday, December 11, 2015

Third Week of Advent Devotional

Attuning Our Spirits to God's Word
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning...” (Romans 8:22) 
What an astonishing text! It is on this theme that Pope Francis speaks in his encyclical: this Sister, Mother Earth, now cries out because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible uses and abuses of the goods with which God endowed her.  We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. “This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she ‘groans in travail’.”
When I go to the supermarket, it upsets me to see with what abandon people use plastic. Most plastic is not biodegradable, and much of it ends up in the oceans, forming “pits of plastic,” killing sea creatures and choking birds.
My family tries to live simply.  So we were pleasantly surprised when we received a letter and graphics from our energy provider, congratulating us on being the most energy efficient household in the area!  We will continue on this path and, doing so, help to slow down global warming.

As we enter this Advent season, we are reminded “For a child has been born for us, a son is given to us … he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).  This child grew to become “the man of sorrows,” who suffers with the earth and humans. As the spirit of Christ dwells within us, at odds with the power of sin and death, we experience conflict, yet not are driven to despair.  Our redemption means hope for the whole creation, which “waits with eager longing for the revealing of God’s children.” As children of God and joint heirs with Christ indwelled by his Spirit, we are one with creation in suffering, longing, and hope.

Prayer:  Spirit of God, groaning in creation, attune our spirits to your cries and the cries of all creation longing for liberation and renewal of planet earth.

Kay-Robert Volkwin did his schooling and seminary training in Cape Town, South Africa. He continued his studies in this country.  In 1976, he completed his M.A. (Religion) and in 1984, his Doctor of Ministry. He was a pastor in South Africa and here in the US.  He served as presbytery associate and synod associate executive.  From 1999 through 2004, he and his wife served as mission workers in South Africa.

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