As the summer progresses, I feel like I’m becoming more and more conscious of every item I throw into the garbage can. Every piece of plastic, every disposable cup, every paper towel, every wrapper, every item of food that goes uneaten – all lying in a heap, somewhere out of sight.
A giant cricket just collided into my arm as I sit here typing in the lodge as people come and go. I am noticing more and more how we, as a society, have insulated ourselves from everything unclean and undesirable, and how it has become our destruction. We have raped our food of its nutrients and dirtied our planet with single use items. We have packaged up Christianity into a neat little box and separated it from our politics. Without knowing it, we have built up walls – walls that separate
us from one another, from the creation surrounding us, and from the way God intends for us to be.
This week those walls have begun to come down. Sitting out under the stars tonight we gathered in small circles around a tray of food and a lit candle. We slid into the spirit of Shabbat, experiencing what Jesus partook in each week surrounded by beloved friends. After a full day of learning about Judaism, our familiar practice of communion took on new meaning. One of the youth, while saying the words of institution, reminded us how Jesus’ sitting down to supper with his friends was a familiar practice, but that what happened that last night was revolutionary. It’s experiences like this at camp that help us break our pattern and experience just how revolutionary Jesus was and continues to be through our faith in action. It’s amazing what happens when we slow down, when we ask God instead of telling God, when we sit in awe and wonder, when we rest in the mystery of the intangible.
I’m slowing down and paying attention to what I eat, what I use, what I throw away. I’m trying to pay a little more attention to my breath. Justice is tied into everything. I feel like I’m looking at the world through new lenses. It brings an added complexity to life I didn’t necessarily ask for, but I’m grateful for the ways it’s transforming me. It’s a burden heavy on my heart as I witness what our youth have to face, as example after example is shared of the broken places in our communities, the spaces that God would want things to be different. It can be exhausting, but God’s spirit of justice is strong and continues to use me to plant seeds and begin conversations.
It’s almost midnight on Wednesday night of my second week and my voice is getting raspy from so many songs and so many conversations taken place amidst the chaos of joy-filled campers.
A mix of thoughts and feelings fill me but what lies at the center is the realization of how what we eat and how we live are so inextricably tied. God is calling us into a communion that goes deeper than Wonderbread and a plastic cup. God is calling us to care for the earth, care for our bodies, and care for the lives of others. God is calling us to live out the teachings of Jesus here and now, and that is revolutionary.
One Bread, One Body. One Lord of All.
One Cup of Blessing Which We Bless.
And We, Though Many, Throughout the Earth,
We Are One Body In This One Lord.