The Green TLC Sunday message

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Who is my neighbour?

International Human Rights Day is on 10 December, but in South Africa we commemorate our own Human Rights Day on 21 March, paying tribute to the men, women and children who gave their lives in the struggle against apartheid. I have been reminded at this time of the Story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37). In verse 29, Jesus is asked: But who is my neighbour?

This Human Rights Day we ask if it is possible that even the rivers and trees, the animals and the soil are also our neighbour and deserve the same compassion as the man who was set upon by thieves. We consider a world in which we are told that violence towards others is unacceptable, but we think nothing of violence to the earth with extractive processes, destruction of habitats and pouring chemicals into soil. We consider our campaigns to halt violence against women and children, but we think nothing of cruelty to animals in industrial farming processes.

Imagine if we started to see all of God’s Creation as our neighbour and display the same compassion for other life forms that we want for ourselves. Jesus’s instruction to do unto others as you would have done unto you – the Golden Rule – becomes a call to action to protect our beautiful earthly home and all the life she supports.

- The Green Teaching and Learning Community