While contemplating the events of the past couple of weeks while the year is running to it's end, we see what some see as 'a perfect storm' developing and overtaking all that we considered secure and under control. The firm way Laurent Fabius the president of the Climate conference concluded the agreement is somehow symbolic of the ridiculous claim of mankind to having things under control. Thinking about the huge contrasts, I felt the need to leave the French flag mourning the death of terrorist attack in the banner of this blog, to add the many migrants who have died in the past year while trying to flee violence, conflict or climate related disasters all over the world. Today is world migrant day.
In this time of remembering the Christ child, many are contemplating the stories surrounding his birth. Simple herdsmen listening to angels and magicians from Syria having read the stars all making their way to meet the Christ child in Bethlehem. King Herod, suspecting some competition for power, killed all under two's in Bethlehem as a result, leaving the whole town in tears. In the meantime, Joseph and Mary and their little baby fled to Egypt,
All today's stories seem to come together in the story of this one miracle child who by his live and death provided for peace and reconciliation of mankind with the planet and its Creator. A reconciliation that is much needed to enable human beings to continue their stewardship of the planet. Migration and terrorism are still surrounding claims for power and religious inspired hatred. In Jesus days the religious clergy could not stand his love of sinners and his care for the disadvantaged.
Hence with so many at our doorstep longing for better lives for their families and loved ones, will some of us continue to claim that all places are full? Providing shelter was not without consequences for the people of Bethlehem. Providing the Christ child with a place of birth made him a citizen of Bethlehem with horrible consequences for his fellow citizens. But did that inn keeper have a choice, but to offer that manger?
In yesterday's talkshow at Dutch television a leader of the Christian Democratic Party (CDA) in the Netherlands held the view that "there is a limit to our moral duty with regard to providing shelter". He must have been misguided by populist views. At the same time our morality will not save us, as climate refugees or those who live in poverty will plea guilty against us. Restoration is only possible when we are willing to accept that we have fallen short and acknowledge the rightful claims for loss and damage as also presented in Paris. Unfortunately many still turn a deaf ear when it comes to this part of the agenda. Nevertheless, we need to pay the full price, in one way or the other, or some miraculous debt relief has to be found and shared. Could the Christ child help out?
My name is Reinier van Hoffen.
Click here for a summary.
Also find the text of a lecture Dr. Achterhuis held at the 2012 Bilderberg conference.