March 1, 2009

Fasting for Lent

The psalmist says that “the earth is the Lord’s” but we have surely lost sight of that. We live as though the planet is ours to dispose of – and that is all too often just what we are doing. What if we came to see our home in the universe as the gift God meant it to be? Would we live differently?

The theologian Sally McFague thinks we would. She has offered a new way of thinking about the world and about God, in her work on the universe as the body of God. This incarnational metaphor calls us to a new kind of relationship – with God, incarnate in Jesus, and with our world.

In some Christian traditions, Lent is a time to give up something, a time to fast. One group of Christians has created a carbon fast, an intentional approach to the care of the world during the days of Lent. Each day’s fast is a small discipline; nothing is so great that I cannot do it. And it calls me to consider the preciousness of life; it reminds me that everything is a gift from God; and it creates in me an awareness of the duty of love I owe to my brothers and sisters who call this planet home.

It makes so much more sense to my spirit than giving up chocolate for forty days….

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