Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Good Friday/ Earth Day Stations of the Cross

This year, Good Friday and Earth Day converged. As a Christian community living on an organic farm, this was too much of a co-incidence to let it pass! Together, we wrote a "Stations of the Cross" liturgy that, while remembering the suffering and death of Jesus, laments environmental suffering and the injustices of our food system.

An example from Station 10: Jesus is stripped of his garments.
When they came to a place called Golgotha, they offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And they divided his garments among them by casting lots. This was to fulfill the scripture which says, "They divided my garments among them; they cast lots for my clothing.

Jesus was stripped of his dignity and left naked. Sit and take a handful of rich topsoil. There are over 3 billion microorganisms in your handful of organic topsoil...topsoil is a complex web of life divinely constructed to give us life. However, we are stripping topsoil from our Earth. Topsoil erosion, caused by mono-cropping, which is when a single crop is planted int he same field year after year along with chemical farming practices in conventional industrial agriculture, is causing us to lose our topsoil seventeen times faster than we can replace it. When we strip Earth of rich topsoil we become even more dependent on chemical fertilizer to give nutrients into crops. What will happen when Earth is stripped of topsoil? What will happen when our farming practices leave Earth naked? Consider a stripped, naked Jesus. His friends and family watching him being stripped of his clothes and dignity. Contemplating your handful of soil, consider a stripped, naked Earth. Consider us watching Earth as she is stripped of her soil, her dignity.


Though I wasn't able to attend (visiting home), friends said the event was really powerful. Here's an article on it in the local paper:

Monday, April 4, 2011


Two sticks in drifted snow
mark the trench where I laid the leeks
in cool dirt in October.
Now I dig down through old
frozen crust to damp dark hay
to the thick grey green leaves
of the leeks and pull them
from the piled earth and
shake dirt from their white
hairy roots. They come up
like creatures from under
the ocean. In the half-cold,
half-light the odor of earth
gone all these long months
wraps around me, and it is as if
these leeks have come from
a world where there are great
pleasures of the body, where
the mind grows smaller, where
libraries mold in the dark,
where worms in purple and brown
rule the streets, and the corridors
of power are moist and rich
in a way that radio voices
can’t conceive of, and the talk
is of the thick trunk
of seasons, the nose
of rootedness, the eye
that works its way through,
hair that feels its way,
the skull that follows,
the toad of desire, the beetle
of bone density, the grub
of grief, the larva of longing,
the moon coming up and the quiet
at the end of February.

I pick up the pile of leeks
and carry them to the kitchen.
I wash them clean. I chop them
on the old board. I cook them
in oil and salt. I taste
their great sweetness. I remember
that the earth will hum into spring.

- Abbot Cutler