With everyone debating the fallout from the recent presidential debate and the United States Supreme Court’s decision to give former president Donald Trump partial immunity, let’s not forget about the devastation being unleashed in the Atlantic Ocean and moving into the Gulf of Mexico.  

Hurricane warnings are going off right now.

Hurricane Beryl was the very first recorded Category 4 storm in the Atlantic Ocean in June. In the following month, it made history again by becoming the earliest recorded Category 5 storm as it moved into the warming waters of the Caribbean.

The storm is predicted to move into the Gulf this week and make landfall in Mexico and South Texas over the weekend. Meteorologists and hurricane watchers are certain that the powerful storm will be devastating to island countries and coastal communities.  

Last year, National Geographic published an analysis of hurricanes escalating more rapidly than ever before. Citing a study by Nature, one of the world’s most respected magazines, National Geographic wrote, “Within 240 miles of coastlines, rapidly intensifying storms are now significantly more common than they were 40 years ago.”

With the rise of global warming, the magazine stated, “If water in the ocean beneath the hurricane is warm enough, it releases large amounts of energy as it evaporates, which in turn creates a dip in air pressure that whips up powerful winds.”

Henry Potter, an oceanographer from Texas A&M, concluded, “The inevitability here is that the oceans are just going to become like bathwater in the summer— deep baths that are great for storms to intensify.”

As storms intensify and become more destructive, the truth remains that the poor and marginalized will be affected the most. For this reason and many others, the fact that the United States Supreme Court struck down the “Chevron Doctrine” last week was immoral.

Justices split down ideological lines, with the six conservative justices voting to repeal the principle that gave power to federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, to regulate companies that are harming the environment. The principle had guided the law for the past 40 years.

Environmentalists fear companies will now feel free to place profits over environmental protections. With the planet increasingly warming due to carbon emissions, SCOTUS’s decision could add to the climate disaster unfolding before our eyes.

Last week, Missy Randall and I sat down with Brian McLaren on Good Faith Weekly to discuss his new book, “Life After Doom.” McLaren pointed out the life-threatening dangers humans face due to our obstinance regarding the environment.

In the book, he wrote: “We (Christians) didn’t raise ethical objections when we heard the cries of the Earth and the cries of the poor. Instead, we let our theology conveniently turn our attention to what happened after we died.”

In other words, while the church placed all our energy on saving souls, we abdicated our responsibility as stewards of God’s creation.  McLaren points to Indigenous wisdom – and the Bible as an Indigenous narrative – to help us be more responsible to our Creator and the creation.

McLaren points to Robin Wall Kimmerer and her book, “Braiding Sweetgrass,” as an example.  Kimmerer writes: “Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.”

Christians must realize that we are not the center of the universe but part of a symbiotic relationship between the divine and the outpouring of the divine. When we act outside of our created self— acting out of privilege and power— we upend divine existence and creation.  

In other words, when humans think of only ourselves, we reject the Great Commandment and sever the relationship between humanity and God, humanity and humanity, and humanity and nature.  

We must do better.

Hurricane warnings are sounding all around us. We can no longer put our fingers in our ears and refuse to heed the alarms. If we do, it will be devastating.  

We must rise up to embrace our place in this creation and our responsibility as creation-caretaker. We will never dominate nature—hurricanes and tornadoes have taught me that simple truth. But we can work with creation to sustain a better existence for all living creatures, including humanity.

Prayer:

Lord, we are ready to return to the Garden and care for it as you asked, “The Lord God took the human and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). 

Lord, forgive us for our arrogance and provide another opportunity for us to do the right thing.

We are your created living within your creation.

Amen.

Share This