(A version of this blog post was distributed as the Climate Caretakers Weekly Prayer Newsletter of March 12, 2019)
Climate Action Signs of Hope & Opportunities for Prayer in a New Generation; part 2
The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them. Isaiah 11:6 NIV
by Kermit Hovey
I have been struck by additional recent developments. Youth of the world now organize to call those supposedly in-charge adults to take long overdue action against climate change. One In particular, the Global Youth Climate Strike, happens this Friday, March 15. Swedish 9th Grader Greta Thunberg boldly, plainly and forthrightly expressed that sentiment at the 2018 United Nations climate conference in Poland. Greta has since inspired the upcoming strike and plans for additional actions.
15 year old activist Greta Thunberg speaks truth to power at the UN COP24 climate talks.
These developments stirred to my mind Isaiah 11:6, in particular the closing clause, “…and a little child will lead them.” There are certainly
Messianic overtones to this and many often explain it as declaring the young will lead adults and show them the way of righteous life. Yet it seems to more precisely imply that in a future era a child will lead previously incompatible wild animals in peace and unity.
As poetic metaphor and as prophetic symbolism, I see how it suggests a future time of shalom when the once wild and unreconciled abide together and take their lead from a child. That in turn actually sounds like the miraculous time we need to be in – a time where adults cease to act like wild, unreconciled animals and when the young do lead the transformed adults into righteousness. Without such transformation, we, including creation will continue to experience pain and suffering rather than healing and hope.
Thank you for fresh and continued signs of hope. Thank you for evidence that you are stirring in the world’s youth today and through them stirring the adults to follow. Thank you that your spirit has roused a new generation to care for your creation and protect its climate. Thank you for heightened awareness of our responsibility to act. For the sake of our common home and a healthy climate, continue to stir youth from fear to leadership, and adults from inertia to action . Amplify the prophetic voice of young people speaking truth to power as they exercise free speech and boldly express their passion for a livable tomorrow
Youth Climate Strike – United States – https://www.youthclimatestrikeus.org
Greta Thunberg full speech at UN Climate Change COP24 Conference – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFkQSGyeCWg