Addressing Climate Change, Changing Our Hearts and Ways

The prophet Joel addresses how the devastation of the land comes to an end–by a metanoia, a change of heart, among humans.  Fasting, mourning, repentance are in order.  Acknowledge the cosmic suffering, for there is “mourning among the beasts and the herds of cattle wander bewildered…. The earth quakes, the skies tremble, the sun and moon grow dark, the stars lose their brilliance” (1:18: 2:10). 

“Chehalem Mountain Fire – small smoke against backdrop of smoke from Riverside and Santiam fires, which burned 350,000 acres in western Oregon in less than 48 hours.” Photo by Sheila Sund on Flickr.

Breakthrough will come: the Day of Yahweh will awaken the people whose hearts will finally be opened up by the tragedy around and within them. The Day of Yahweh is the day of the coming of wisdom or the messiah—which is all of us, we are all called to heal the planet.

But now, now–it is Yahweh who speaks–
Come back to me with all your heart.
Fasting, weeping, mourning.
Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn,
turn to Yahweh your God again.
for Yahweh is all tenderness and compassion. (2:12f)

Polish protestors chain themselves to logging machinery to protect the Puszczy Białowieskiej forest during breeding season. Photo by Greenpeace Poland on Flickr.

This awakening corresponds to the awakening of heart knowledge or wisdom; and of entering the darkness that is called mysticism.  With this breakthrough the day of Yahweh–a day of compassion and justice, of healing and celebration–can truly happen.

One scholar writes that Joel’s “contribution is to prophesy the outpouring of the Spirit on all God’s people in the messianic age.”  This Joel does and promises.  Yahweh speaks, “Now I send you corn and wine and oil, until you have enough” (Joel 2:19).  Good things begin to happen, “the pastures on the heath are green again, the trees bear fruit, vine and fig tree yield abundantly.”  (2.22)

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, p. 4.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: “Eye of the Storm” The eye of a tropical storm, shot from the coast of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Photo by Riccardo Maria Mantero on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you recognize yourself and others as “messiahs” in the sense of being called to turn things around when it comes to climate change today? Do you recognize if enough people gather to do this, good things can begin to happen?

Recommended Reading

The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
“The eighth wonder of the world…convincing proof that our Western religious tradition does indeed have the depth of imagination to reinvent its faith.” — Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story and Journey of the Universe.

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4 thoughts on “Addressing Climate Change, Changing Our Hearts and Ways”

  1. Avatar

    Thank you for most powerful message which speaks to the thread within my heart. When I step into action to bring change from love of mother earth, I experience the receipt of spirit of which you speak. I just never had words for it. I feel we all have same thread on our hearts, we just forgot, buried in the haze of our created jungles. These words came to me “Rotten away bridges annoit free flowing isness shining but not glimpsed until heart can speak”.
    Thank you Matthew, you make a difference! Peace ?️

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Karen, Yes, Matthew has made, and continues to make a difference in the way we look at the world, and the way we act in the world, and on its behalf.

  2. Avatar

    In response to Karen Elise: My poem ‘FLUX’ [1985]

    Fudge factors
    original as sin
    stand still Reality so
    we can fill in your
    spaces with knowing
    you mustn’t keep growing 

    We need images and models
    to freeze for our heads
    we tie flowing is-ness
    to neat procrustean beds
    stretching then chopping
    a factor here, a factor there 

    Still in darkness we pout
    in consternation we shout
    “Shape up to the model
    so we  can just get a handle…” 
    But You slip away dancing your
    own kind of dance ’til we burn
    our fudge factors and take the next chance 
    You slip through air tight infallibilities
    You spin away from mock-up realities
    then laughing You scold in your most serious take
    “For Goodness’ sake you’re all tied up in knots,
    it just doesn’t matter, let’s try a gavotte!”   

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