Your Neighbour lives downstream from your waste
“34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John Ch13 v 34 (NRSV)
To start off this reflection one has to consider what does this scripture look like in our context that we find ourselves today? Does the way we care for creation show that we love one another? If Jesus was here today and saw the how some people live because of our actions, would he say that we love each other or not? Does what I consume have a negative impact on society around me?
Do we know that the production of the electricity from coal power stations has a negative health impact on those who live around them, and those who work in the coal mine. When Cape Town suffered with drought last year, did we hoard water to make sure we had more than enough for ourselves, while others were struggling with just the little bit they could collect. If our waste is polluting the oceans and causing our neighbours downstream to get sick – how are we showing love?
We are commanded by Jesus to love our neighbour, in this scripture to love fellow believers and by doing so others will come to know that we are His disciples. The love that we show and portray is evidence to the world of who we follow and serve. What about love for the next generation, and the generation after that? What world will our children inherit? Much as Jesus loves that we praise him in song and at church service, but if we don’t help the hungry, if we do not help those in need, which would Jesus prefer?
Love as much as it is a feeling that warms us up on the inside, it is something that is showed through actions. “Don’t just tell me you love me, show me you care”. Jesus said it himself “if you love me, you will obey my commands.” (Jn14:15, Jn14:21) The fact is that until we show compassion to those who are affected by climate change and try to change our negative impact on the environment, we are not showing love to them. Climate change is now not only an environment issue, it is a human rights issue. Climate change is affecting the livelihoods of people and it has the biggest impact on the disadvantaged communities. So by acting in making the world a better place we show love to those who are disadvantaged.
So what action of love can I perform for my neighbour? How can I reduce my carbon footprint so that my neighbour can have a better environment? How can I reduce my waste for the good of my neighbour downstream? #rubbishcampaign @renewourworld