All Souls Bethlehem Church
Rev. Tom Martinez
First Sunday of Lent
February 22, 2015
A Lenten reflection on the movie,
Avatar, and the E. B. White story,
Charlotte’s Web. The Biblical passage comes from
Paul’s letter to the Philippians about Jesus humbling
himself, even unto death on a cross.
I wanted to begin with that New York Times article (see below for link) about the Keystone Pipeline in order to broaden our reflection on the meaning of suffering to include the Earth and all her creatures. Traditionally the time of Lent focuses our attention on the suffering of Jesus. In the past we’ve explored how he suffered at the hands of Empire due to the radical nature of his teachings. Using the language of the Unitarian Universalist Association we could say he was persecuted for having the courage to stand on the side of love.
Jesus saw those on the margins of society and was drawn to them. Sinners and outcasts, people who suffered physically and emotionally and spiritually, whose value was diminished in the eyes of the world, were especially important to Jesus and his message of all-inclusive love. We could even point to sayings attributed to Jesus in defense of our expansion of this circle of concern to include all of creation. For example he reportedly said not one sparrow falls to the ground without God’s knowledge, which implies an omniscient creator, intimately aware of and concerned with Her entire creation. Continue reading