Day 9: Reckoning with Fire

Fire is “too much with us; late and soon….”
Of late, terrorists made spectacle of massacre, setting ablaze a living man, in a cage.
Of late, 9/11, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Dachau and Auschwitz,
Fiery crosses and lynching trees—hate’s infernos.

Soon (and now) fossils afire, we warm the oceans, parch the soil, turn trees to kindling.
Of late and soon, self-immolating, we set this world, our home, ablaze.
We make spectacle of massacre.
“For this, for everything, we are out of tune….”
But let us never forget, never again—fire “changes everything.”
In the beginning was fire, and fire’s the seed of stars—
Ex ignis, we come from fire.
Fire, our first tool, warmed and gathered us.
Fire, need not and cannot and will not be, our blazing cage.

Dr. Michael Hogue is Professor of Theology at Meadville Lombard Theological School and teaches and writes at the interface of religion and ecology.

Today’s practice is to light a flame and reflect on the power and symbolism of fire for you. Dr. Michael Hogue writes of fire’s many meanings. What does fire symbolize for you? Honor the complexities and contradictions of fire and consider how to tend the flames of inspiration, resistance, and justice without allowing fire to become “our blazing cage.”

Today’s resource for deepening this message is the free movie Disruption. This 52-minute film created by the organizers of the People’s Climate March provides a powerful encapsulation of where we are now and how we got to our current social, moral, and ecological crossroads, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the organizing of the largest climate rally ever. (This 3-minute “tipping points” excerpt is a great shareable clip.)

Commit2Respond's Climate Justice Month intends to take you through a transformative spiritual process leading to long-term commitments to climate justice. At the end of the month you will be asked to SHIFT to a low carbon future, ADVANCE human rights, and GROW the movement. Learn more and start thinking about how you will #commit2respond to climate change.

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