Submitted by Rev. John Gibbons
The Citizen received a note from First Parish’s Senior Minister, who, in the waning days of his 3-month sabbatical, is in New York City, spending time with, among others, Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping (https://www.revbilly.com).
Rev. Billy and his anti-consumerist and climate-activist gospel choir have visited Bedford three times. “Earthalujah! Changealujah!” they would say.
Herewith, an excerpt from Rev. Billy’s sermon for the 2019 Winter Solstice:
HAPPY EARTHMAS! The planet over-heats everywhere. Like all animals, we flee the fires & floods. We also flee from old ideas. Extinction silences life around me. What am I learning?
HAPPY EARTHMAS! All animals, plants on the planet are in motion, trying to survive! Do we celebrate life by circling one dying pine tree? No, we are in motion too, we notice when we are ready.
HAPPY EARTHMAS! What will it take to act? Follow the Earth. The states that went to Trump experienced 1,000 tornados this year. The Earth tells us: Be a whirlwind in the land of hate and fear.
HAPPY EARTHMAS! Every Christmas, the Pope & Dalai Lama say: “Don’t let Christmas be too materialistic!” What they need to say is “Consumerism teaches us to hate each other.”
HAPPY EARTHMAS! Passivity is Hate. Mindless repetition is Hate. The monoculture turns neighborhoods into wastelands of luxury – Hate. Let the storm of complexity to you – that is Love.
HAPPY EARTHMAS! Soon, Christmas culture flips over. No plastic in gifts. No pesticides or guns. We have living Earth in our gifts. We practice giving life to life.
HAPPY EARTHMAS! Christmas changes when we accept that what actually happens does matter. If a plastic gift comes from oil? That is its meaning, not the Peace On Earth painted over it.
MERRY EARTHMAS! And deep down in our DNA-conscience, down in our understanding of what life really is – we want to express our love at the holidays by respecting the originator of love, the Earth.