Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
“Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing.” vss. 12-13
The people of Israel were facing an invasion, not of armies, but of a horde of locusts. Joel likely knew this wasn’t the first time–the devastation wreaked by the regular migratory cloud of insects had been seen before, but he knew the country was facing a crisis. There was no defense, yet Joel advises prayer and fasting, the impending disaster could be averted! We are reading these words on the threshold of Lent and in the context of global climate change. If our prophets are correct, the current warming of the earth’s atmosphere spells catastrophe for billions of people. Of course there are some who insist that there is no issue, that it’s all “fake news,” and even if it were true, there’s nothing that can be done about it. But others believe the indicators and are suggesting that believers use the season of Lent for weeping and fasting, for prayerful consideration of what each person might do to at least slow the progression of the warming trend. They’re calling for repentance, a change in attitude and policy on national levels. They say that if we are willing to make short-term sacrifices, there will at least be the potential for long-term blessings. Of course that’s a big ask! In this age of massive financial gain, sacrifice seems a quaint and forgotten notion–even if it is the core of the gospel message!
Thought for the Day: What can I sacrifice to combat climate change?