Whilst news of war and threat continues and we seem locked into its endless cycle of destruction and loss, it is something of a miracle to hear of the restoration of Iraq's Mesopotamian Marshes. Saddam's ruthless destruction had engineered the loss of 93% of the 7,700 square miles of marshes on account of dissidents taking refuge in this once primitive Eden.
So how could any man offer hope of new life here between the Tigris and Euphrates now made desert by dread willed drainage schemes, and suffering from instability in ongoing power brokering as this fractured country seems set against hope or new beginning.
Amongst those returning to their homeland Azzam Alwash, an engineer in the States, used his expertise to co-ordinate and deploy resources in breaching the drainage canals, and managing the re-flooding of desert. His vision to re-instate this Eden has been rewarded with the Goldman Environmental Prize for grassroots activists, but he himself acclaims his reward to be some years away, when he can bring his children to see this first Iraqi national park not only providing sanctuary and security for wildlife but also for its peoples and nation.
What a miraculous vision for those who pray daily God's Kingdom come on earth as in heaven at your hand and at mine, we can be the change we want to see.
Easter celebrates new life begun in the vision and sacrifice of the one man Jesus, who through his self-sacrifice bought hope in love and knowledge of God the world over. His life, though seen to have been bought to an end on the cross, was begun again as the tomb's walls holding back the waters of life were breached and news of His rising again poured over a peoples parched of hope. In encounter after encounter, even to this day, Jesus meets us to answer our thirst and fills us with new life.
No matter how lost, or dark our despair, in Jesus we all can begin again, in Him is new life begun.
Alleluia Christ is risen.
Rev'd Brin Singleton