Today’s reading was once again out of the Deuterocanonical Books. I have found the Common English Bible to be a great help in reading a portion of text I am unfamiliar with in my tradition. It keeps me aware of the importance of good translations that are easier to read.
Sirach 43 is a tribute to the incredible majesty of God. And it should be a sobering reminder to our frailty as humans.
While we are called to “creation care” in our world, nothing is more full of human pride than to have some politician, or even scientist, stand in some place like New Orleans or New Jersey after a hurricane and declare something foolish like, “We need to make sure something like this (wait for it)… never happens again.”
Oh… really? So you’re going to move the city of New Orleans to above sea level finally?
I am not denying the effects of climate change and I make no claims in that particular argument as to exactly what should be done. But this I know: our actions are important, but they are not the final authority. And we need to stop acting like we’re the be all and end all of this planet.
Climate change, economic change, healthcare change… whatever it is… we need to work hard to do what is best as we see it, but let’s get over ourselves!
Hurricanes will come again. If New Orleans insists on staying below sea level, there will still be threats and more empty promises from foolish politicians as to how this will never happen again.
YES, we need to be responsible.
NO, we do not get to ultimately have the final say in what nature does as the Creator calls for its actions. And Sirach 43 is a powerful reminder.
19 He pours frost, like salt, upon the earth,
and when it freezes it has pointy thorns.
20 A cold north wind will blow,
and ice will freeze on the water;
it will settle on every pool of water,
and the water will put it on like armor.
21 He will consume mountains,
burn up the wilderness,
and extinguish grass like a fire.
22 A mist hastens the healing of all things;
the dew that appears
will give relief from the heat. (Sir. 43:19-22, CEB)
27 We could say many things
and never say enough.
The final word is: The Lord is “the All.” (CEB)
The final word belongs to the Lord. Not to us.
We can try and promise new things. We should indeed work to make things better. But we are not the final word.
That’s not to say we give up. It is a call to say, “Worship the One who does make the call when it comes to his creation.”
Our eyes need not be on humanity for final solutions. Our eyes need to be UP… and our lives need to be worshiping.