By: Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt Minister for Environmental Justice, UCC National
“Fighting for abolitionist futures means that we have to undermine climate change and environmental degradation,
and resist policing and militarism as solutions to these problems.
– Dereka Purnell, Becoming Abolitionists.
When it comes to environmental justice, there are simple truths that bear repeating:
At times, this third truth becomes visible to the broader public—the water cannons used by police in freezing temperatures at Standing Rock or, more recently, the rubber bullets and tear gas used against the Line 3 pipeline resistance in Minnesota. Abolition invites us to examine this interconnectedness, challenge this inequity, and imagine a world of earth care and environmental justice without criminalization.
Amid the injustices of his own time, the prophet Isaiah points to a world remade. The prophet’s abolition vision describes a world in which the nature around us rejoices, blossoms, and sings. It is a world in which the glory and majesty of God are manifest. This is the world for which we are dreaming, praying, and struggling, and this Advent, we are called to lean into the promise that we shall “see” it. Empowered by this vision, for the beauty of the earth, we continue now in the tradition of prophets.
Our Wild God, we await your coming like the desert dreams of water
and you put among us prophets who speak into life abolitionist visions of blossoming abundance.
As we long for your justice to come and dwell among us,
keep us working to bring your promise to life,
for we will see glory. Amen.
Artwork: “Regeneracao” by Yohana Junker (discover more at: https://www.yohanajunker.com/)
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