December 19 – Here Am I

By: Rev. Amy Johnson, Minister for Sexuality Education and Justice, UCC National

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus...Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Sovereign One; let it be with me according to your word” (from Luke 1:26-38).


“Abolition is also creation.  Creation of many worlds here and now (and still-to-come).
Worlds that exist in and through the many cracks in the walls of our structures and societies…
Abolition is therefore also about redirecting our collective capacities away from the carceral
and toward producing and reproducing these other worlds already here and still to come.”
– Rustbelt Abolition Radio
, Tasting Abolition


When Mary says “Here am I” after Gabriel announces what will happen to her, she is choosing to trust God. While it is unclear whether she has engaged in enthusiastic consent by today’s standards, it is clear that she decides to trust that the Holy Spirit is co-creating with her something more hopeful than the culture in which she lives, where women are legally silenced, dismissed, and owned, in addition to being shamed, stigmatized and even executed for out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Perhaps her decision is made easier because Spirit is known as feminine in the time and place where Mary lived. Perhaps what many see as her subservience is actually a willingness to join the Divine Feminine in the creation of a more just world.

Too often, church leaders continue to translate and use scriptures like this one to maintain a white supremacist patriarchy that shames people into submission, silencing and dismissing too many voices of dissent and resistance.  But Mary’s “here am I” is about building new futures of freedom; it is an abolition vision of co-creation that brings redemption and restoration. Through our willingness, like Mary, to welcome a Living God, let us refuse to shame and stigmatize God’s creation in any form. This Advent, as we await the birth of Love and Transformation into this world, let us celebrate the Womb of Creation and all that the Woman-born One comes to abolish.


For co-creating hope, here am I.
For a more just world, here am I.
For envisioning freedom, here am I.
For birthing Love and Transformation, here am I.
Let it be with me according to your word.  Amen.


Artwork: “Consent” by Yohana Junker (discover more at:


“Abolitionist practice is rooted in co-creating what is needed for our collective healing. It is rooted in deep and profound trust in our ability to love each other and become love to and for each other.” Patrisse Cullors, An Abolitionist’s Handbook

Take Action

Co-Creating Abolition

  • Support: Co-create a hope-filled future of racial justice with the United Church of Christ. Text MVMT to 41444 and donate to the Join the Movement Toward Racial Justice campaign.
  • Dwell: Listen to the Love Period. podcast conversation between Rev. Jacqui Lewis and Christena Cleveland about the power of encountering embodied symbols of the Divine that can move us toward co-creating greater expansion, hope, and love for one another.
Donate Today

Stay Connected. Nourish Movements.

Sign up to receive alerts about new stories and resources. You’ll also enjoy our Join the Movement newsletter, featuring changemaker profiles, reflections on current events in the movement toward racial justice, and more. Get sneak previews and information about upcoming events, workshops and webinars.