"In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent." Acts 17.30
Whether you believe in God or not, the renewal of the world has come to the fore as the most urgent issue of our time. For non-believers it's a matter of survival, for believers it's about preparing for the New Creation by being better stewards of the one we currently inhabit. The crisis is so acute that, whichever worldview we hold, we shall not reach the goal we share incrementally, we have to act radically and we have to act fast.
In a curious way the pandemic has given us a head start. So much has been on-hold over the past couple of years and, in that sense, we have got used to change. We also know that we need to get going but that, for everyone's safety and for the sake of the planet, we must "build back better". Knowing what we now know about the world's limited resources and their unfair distribution, levelling up is not an option. We need to redistribute wealth and reduce our environmental impact. It won't happen incidentally, we need local, national and international policies and we need a new political system capable of delivering them.
This might sound like a call for dictatorship, whether of the communist or fascist kind, and we know where that leads. To avoid turning a crisis into catastrophe, what we need is re-invigorated democracy. Who knows what that will look like but it will surely include the following: recognising the intrinsic worth of all creatures, prioritising the needs of others especially the poor and vulnerable, treading lightly on the earth, sharing the fruits of our labours, being agents of reconciliation, healing and hope. Now, where have we heard all that before?