By: Kathryn Gilje, Lay Leader, First Congregational Church of Oakland
“Indigenous resistance is not a one-time event. It continually asks: What proliferates in the absence of empire?
What grows with the abolition of colonial logics, with decolonization?
Thus, it defines freedom not as the absence of settler colonialism,
but as the amplified presence of Indigenous life
and just relations with human and nonhuman relatives, and with the earth.”
― Nick Estes, Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline,
and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance
We are in glorious, tenuous, and deepening darkness. Compost times of an extractive empire falling and, even still, cruelly grasping at death. This Advent time of decay: hold still, grow souls in grief–ridden yet glorious ruins, and wait. Yet how.
A deep current roils, the night sky shines. Assurance, God is coming.
All around us the Land and her people are calling, tenderly, fiercely, rooted, and strong – for our hearts to light afire in acts of repair.
All around, Land and her people, unstoppable. Held by Indigenous peoples of each place, who steward, re–member and rematriate, against all devastating odds, God is coming. Held by Black Farmer and family hands healing fertile soil, reclaiming grain and sun and moon and the earth with vision, plan, and action. Reparations, God is coming. Held in the relentless hearts of essential farmworkers growing our food while dusty, barb–wired walls cross land and families. Walls will crumble, God is coming.
Rivers running clear and free. Salmon spawning. Harvest baskets full. Fire tended. Songs rising. God is coming. May we usher her in.
Turn our lives over, to Land, Her healing.
Hold us; we know that repair is on us.
Righteous rivers flow and will carry on.
Mountains yield full, of honey and repair
We are God’s people, freedom for the land.
With appreciation for teachings of Dekaaz from Rachel Bagby, as part of Jubilee Journeys.
Artwork: “Heal” by Yohana Junker (discover more at: https://www.yohanajunker.com/)
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