Let's cut to the chase. We find ourselves in the midst of a climate breakdown saga, with global temperatures currently at 1.2 degrees above preindustrial levels, signalling a turbulent path ahead.
The scientific rundown? Brace yourself for a rocky road, hurtling towards 2.7 degrees by the end of the century. Picture a near future world marked by mass migration, mass starvation, and societal collapse.
Antonio Guterrez, the UN-Secretary General, dubs it a direct existential threat. Even Archbishop Justin Welby declares that the 'horsemen of the climate apocalypse are already at the gates.'
This is our story.
The harsh reality of climate breakdown hits us hard, drowning us in anxiety and grief. We're caught in the crossfire of systems pushing us towards a point of no return. And yes, there is a point of no return – tipping points, feedback loops, all signaling that even if we ditch fossil fuels today, temperatures will keep climbing.
Some of us end up in what I call "missional paralysis" – like deer caught in headlights, clueless about what to do, so we end up doing nothing. Or, we're ostriches with our heads in the sand while the storm brews.
Now, leaders (global, national, local) should ideally be steering us through this mess. But let's face it, finding effective leadership on this front is like finding a needle in a haystack. What kind of leaders do we need at this late hour?
Yet, amidst this climate chaos we're part of a grander, more beautiful story. It's a narrative that's rewritten lives, a tale of a Trinity of Love doing its thing. It's about humanity grappling with sin and evil, coming face to face with the mercy and love of God.
A story in which God loved the world so much that he sent his only son.
This story, the wondrous story in which the crucified is raised to life, proving a new world and humanity are possible. A story in which God is in the business of reconciling all things, where love triumphs, and justice flows like an unstoppable river.
This is our story, our anthem.
These two stories – climate breakdown and the cosmic shalom hope – share space as we navigate the present and the not-yet of the kingdom. Recent weeks brought record-breaking floods to the UK, a stark reminder of the consequences. So, how do we tackle it? My suggestion: let's hit the reset button on the path of love. In Jesus' words, love God with all you've got, and love your neighbor as yourself.
- Rev’d Jon Swales,