The receding sea where Jesus walked

August 1, 2011

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The lectionary reading from Matthew's Gospel is the story of Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee in the midst of a storm. In a couple of decades, anyone will be able to cross the Sea of Galilee on foot because of climate change. It's heartbreaking to see how far the water level has dropped in the last few years. Docks hang in the air, and fishing boats are left high and dry on shore.

Climate change poses a serious threat to all humankind. It is the uncontrollable storm that threatens to sink our collective boat. Addressing the issue requires a level of attention and sustained effort that we seem unable to achieve in this country or anywhere else in the world.

Part of the problem is that the situation feels overwhelming, and we doubt that our individual efforts make any difference at all. Yet look at the disciples, that rather unremarkable band of 12 who, through faith in Jesus Christ and by their individual efforts, began a transformation of the world that continues to this day. Even Peter, who steps out of the boat and into the crashing waves, is able to do the impossible, if only for a moment, when he keeps his eyes on his goal: Jesus Christ.

If we're going to tackle the issue of climate change, we need to focus on the goal and know that every small effort matters. We have to love this creation that God has given us and strive to be better stewards, one small step at a time. As Mother Teresa once said, "In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love."