U2 - “Ordinary Love”
“The sea wants to kiss the golden shore
The sunlight warms your skin
All the beauty that's been lost before wants to find us again”
Prayer, meditation, inspiration:
The sea reigns supreme
The waves rocking up with endless force
Most days with a calmness, but we know
The sea can unleash
With untameable ferocity
And the sea rolls up on New Brighton beach
Easter Sunday – Otakaro Avon:
Mahinga kai has been identified as a key Ngai Tahu value for earthquake recovery and as part of efforts to restore the Avon Otakaro River.
It is a concept which exemplifies the complex, interconnected cultural beliefs and practices of Ngāi Tahu in relation to the environment, describing not only the species gathered but the places and practices involved in doing so. It includes the direct and indirect use of resources for ceremonial, medicinal and sustenance purposes.
Mahinga kai, or mahi nga kai (work the food), is a management concept, a way of thinking which involves and understands the simultaneous protection and use of resources. Ngai Tahu interprets mahinga kai in its broadest sense to include food for body, mind and spirit. Education, learning (‘food for thought’) and spiritual sustenance are as much a part of mahinga kai as the physical food.
Otakaro means “place of the game”, however the river is also known as Otakaroro meaning “home of the karoro” or black-backed gull.
As we come to the end of our journey it is time to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. And the big question – what are we going to next?
As the United States prepared for Donald Trump's inauguration as US President back in January, American writer Jim Wallis reminded Christians that “resistance is patriotic and Christian”. We should not be afraid to stand for what we believe in and we must stand up against injustice, whether the injustice is against people or against the environment.
As Wallis wrote at the beginning of this year:
“Power always produces accommodation and already Trump is being normalised by the media and the political world - with the elites adjusting to the new situation of power as they always do. Celebrity has replaced leadership, chest pumping has replaced unifying, tweeting has replaced press conferences and international policymaking and profiteering looks to become a presidential business.
“The president-elect’s denials of facts - like intelligence community reports of Russian intervention in an American election - are breathtaking.”
Donald Trump has also been denying the reality of Climate Change. What are we as a community of faith and other concerned people to do in this sort of environment? Remember unity with loses is not really unity. Compromise with injustice is still injustice.
“Accommodation and compromise are not the only responses to power. And we cannot just sit with hope that the president-elect’s words and promises are not to be taken seriously - or that he doesn’t really mean all of his attacks on people for their race or ethnicity, their faith, their gender, their physical abilities, or their identity as Americans,” Wallis says.
“A better response is resistance to all those things, in defense of vulnerable people in particular, in the hope that such resistance might deter, or obstruct, or defeat such behaviors and policies.”
Wallis is referring to non-violent resistance, like that offered by Jesus. He offers a six-point plan of resistance and this can offer some tips for us to as we continue our struggle for clean, fresh water:
Engage legislative and legal discision making (both local and central government – and make sure you vote in this year's general election!)
Mobilise your church and community
Use social media and media for moral purposes
Stand up to hateful words and acts, and anyone who would silence those with the courage to speak out for what they believe in
Prepare for civil disobedience
As Brian McLaren says, Easter Sunday is about an uprising - of love, not hate; of hope, nor weapons: “This is what it means to be alive, truly alive. This is what it means to be enroute, walking the road to a new and better day.”
As Nelson Mandela once said: “It always seems impossible, until it is done.”
Once again, we need to ask ourselves “are we tough enough for ordinary love?” to quote a line from a song “Ordinary Love” by the Irish rock band U2 for the Nelson Mandela movie.
Above all, let us remember to keep talking.
(Sources: Brian McLaren “We Make the Road by Walking” and Jim Wallis' article:
Challenge for Easter Sunday:
How can we demonstrate ordinary love?