"Thank you" Pentemont-Luxembourg church for a spiritual start to COP21
On 29 November, the LWF delegation was invited to the United Protestant Church of Pentemont-Luxembourg [Église Protestante Unie de Pentemont-Luxemboug] for Sunday worship. Together with the congregation, we got an important and spiritual start that has given us energy and hope that will last for these two long weeks of following the negotiations in front of us.
When we arrived we were welcomed with open arms as brothers and sisters. Part of the service was dedicated to the coming weeks of climate negotiations, which for me, felt like it had been made just for the purpose of giving us all the strength to carry on. The sermon challenged us as human beings to be responsible and not just wait for God to step in and save us.
Here are excerpts of the sermon:
“Nowadays the news from the earth is rather terrifying. We can change the natural order of things, in particular the climate. It is the agenda of COP 21. But we are not doing it, or not doing it enough.
Shall God step in? The answer is no. Shall He prevent the wreckage of mankind, His children? The answer is no. Shall He protect His favourite planet from disaster? The answer is no.
Why not? The answer is here in the Bible at the very beginning: God has wanted us free and responsible. He has ordered us out of the Garden of Eden, precisely so that we could endorse this responsibility fully: to keep, serve and be responsible for the earth and those who inhabit it, including ourselves.”
It is very important for us to realize that it is only we who can make the difference. Many have already made the choice to live a more brotherly and sisterly lifestyle, to give the Earth a helping hand. Now it is time for us to come together and work towards the same goals. We can’t have climate justice without social justice and that is where faith plays a big part. We need to care for the creation to be able to care for our brothers and sisters.
After the service we shared lunch together and had a rewarding sharing of experiences with the members of the church. As a part of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), it is important for us to meet other people of faith when we are around the world. That is something that we, as a delegation, learned and experienced in previous years both at the COP sessions in Warsaw (Poland) and Lima (Peru). The sharing of different climate and faith experiences together with other people who can share from their own context is what gives us the power and inspiration to continue our work for climate justice.
No one went from the Worship service disappointed. Our time together was precious and I know that we all will remember it for years to come. We were blessed that we got the time to pray together with these wonderful open minded people. We know that we will be in their prayers these coming days and that is very important for us when we are facing the challenges to come.
Thank you Église protestante unie de Pentemont-Luxembourg for opening your door for us and welcoming us into your family.
(LWF delegate Matilda Mattsson, 23, represents the LWF Nordic region at the COP 21 conference in Paris. The Church of Sweden member is passionate about finding durable solutions to climate change that ensure the protection for the world’s most vulnerable people.)