Friends World Committee for Consultation - Europe & Middle East Section

Pre-Triennial study booklet: Being Faithful Witnesses: Serving God in a Changing World

Contents

8. Affirmation

Susannah Brindle Australia Yearly Meeting

As we seek to witness to the Christ Spirit within us in this tumultuously changing world, I affirm:

That God – the Ground of Our Being – is incarnate in the Universe, in the heavens above, and beneath, in the earth and all its life communities, and in the waters and the creatures of the deep; in the coming up and the going down of the fiery sun, in the whirlwind and in the still calm air, just as ‘that of God’ is to be found within each human being that breathes the breath of the Spirit of Life. ‘In the Lord’s hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of every human being’ (Job 12: 10).

That when we harm the least of these our brethren, we have done it unto the Whole. That the Spirit of the Living Christ may be known intimately in all of this and that we are never alone, for ‘Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?’ (Psalm 139: 7).

That our Christian responsibility is to love God in all Life’s manifestations equally.

That it is from this first motion of universal love that we begin our witness to peace, simplicity, integrity and equality with all our relations in the human and in the more-than-human world (‘more-than-human’ means ‘all that is not human’ as well as ‘all that humanity may yet become’), and that this universal love will lead us and sustain us.

That this love is learned, not through theories or concepts, but rather through experience of the beloved’s reality in the intimacy of mutual relationship.

That to know and love Creation we must know its essence in its myriad and individual expressions – ‘But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth and they will teach you, and the fish of the sea will declare to you’ (Job 12: 7-8) – and come to recognize its pulse as our pulse and its spirit as our spirit, the pulse and the spirit of God.

That it is through a Creation kinship, learned from the world’s indigenous peoples, that we may come humbly to submit ourselves to the guidance of the Spirit in all Life.

That it is through the guidance of those for whom all is of God that we may be brought once again into a just fellowship with those whom formerly we despised because we believed ourselves superior, and destroyed through fear of our own diminishment.

That it is through the Light of the Creation, which God called good, that we may cease to fear shadow places, until now perceived only as ‘through a glass, darkly’.

That in so doing we may come to witness faithfully to the Truth and serve God in a changing world.

Query:

- How can we learn to treat the whole world as God’s creation?

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