The last two words of TS Eliot’s third poem, ‘The Dry Salvages’, in The Four Quartets. We are approaching Lent and the wilderness is in view. The horizon draws nearer. The desert where all is stripped away and we are left naked and exposed.
We, as human beings, created from the soil of the earth and breathed into by God, thus becoming ‘significant’, were tasked with being God’s image present in his creation, itself just completed as an act of exuberant joy.
Instead, we have made ourselves gods of creation, thinking that ‘dominance’ means to dominate, rather than exercise the Creator’s ‘dominus’, or Lordship, expressed in the delight and honour of a created world of wonder.
Modernity. Science. Power. Money. All the things that we use to define western progress turn out to be the arrogant antithesis of who we actually are. And the consequence is the environmental disaster we see unfolding before our eyes, still blind to seeing the molecules around us as an interleaving of our very bodies.
So we head to the desert, heads hung low with repentance, and seeking forgiveness from the one who calls us his children. We follow where our Dominus has led…
The Bewcastle Benefice sermon for the 2nd Sunday before Lent can be found here.