From Jessie Dye, Earth Ministry Program & Outreach Director:
On this good Earth, cows take more water, corn, and soil per calorie than goats, sheep, chicken, pigs or fish. In this same world, Americans take more than our share of food, fuel, and resources. I look at my midsection, and know that despite my best intentions I am personally taking more than my share. It doesn’t feel right; I’m like an American cow, betraying my personal loyalty to faith and to the Earth by overconsumption.
The great Christian story of Holy Week, celebrating the time that Jesus traveled into Jerusalem on a donkey to be praised by the people, to the Passover Seder the night before he died, to his death on the cross, is all about bringing the story of death and resurrection to those who suffer. That every tormented animal, every mother who bears a child to see it die for want, every one of us who lives daily with understanding of our own mortality might see the light beyond the pain, beyond the grave.
I gave up cows for Lent to experiment with a personal way of reducing my carbon footprint, and as one way to take my share and no more. Hear is what I have learned: it is a true sacrifice to give up cream in my coffee, cheese is best left uneaten, and goat is a strange substitute for beef. I don’t need all the food products I had taken for granted, and I feel clearer, closer to the Source for making this Lenten journey. The austerity of the season is a blessing and a gift to ourselves, as well as to our sweet atmosphere. I’m deeply grateful for the discipline of Lent, and experience my discipleship more deeply for having thrown myself into it.
Holy Week and Passover are the spiritual center of the year. I go forward into this deep week of ritual and prayer humbly, and with a sense of having done my inner work.