“Do you love me?” It’s a question about global warming

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit during his sermon at Marble Collegiate Church, NYC. Photo: Simon Chambers

In a sermon at Marble Church in New York City on 22 September, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit asked an elemental yet profound question: “Do you love me?”

Tveit, visiting New York just before the Climate Action Summit organized by the United Nations, reflected that children and young people are asking this question in a new way. “Do you care for our future? Do you love us? Do you love me?”

Today, Tveit noted, we hear this question as it pertains to this greatest concern of our time: climate change. “Denial is not a serious option,” he said. “We address this human made situation and talk about these catastrophes at our dinner tables, in classrooms, in social media, in private and public, in parliaments, in the UN.”

We also address this situation as communities of faith, believing in God, Tveit continued. “We remind others and ourselves about our responsibilities to take care of God’s creation,” he said. “We talk about achieving just peace with creation.”

As we ponder what it means to hope, we also plan for a just and sustainable way of living, locally and globally, Tveit said. “Do you love me?” he asked. “The question comes from all that are created by God, all that are interdependent with one another in what we call nature.”

This is our testing time, Tveit concluded. “What are you doing now, not only saying, to give your children and your grandchildren a future in which they can live, love, and enjoy life together in justice and peace?” he asked. “What are we willing to give to our sons and daughters as our sign of love?”

WCC, oikoumene.org