By Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo-
As in the story of Joseph and the Pharaoh’s dreams in Genesis 39, today once more in the land of Egypt, dreamers and scientists, governments and religious leaders, farmers, activists, young and old, and women and men wonder, await, and debate about their best-known ways of responding to a crisis of unprecedented proportions; one of which threatens the lives of millions and future generations.
Today, we no longer follow the dreams of a pharaoh as a way of knowing, but instead, we listen to the knowledge of climate scientists. Scientists and climate activists are people who are actively organizing to avoid unnecessary suffering. With them, there are also people of faith speaking words of truth and power, while trying to interpret what this revelation means to God’s people.
Among us, as people of faith, there are of course many who can’t interpret this moment and don’t know how to take advantage of a fleeting opportunity. However, they must also know sooner than later, as the Egyptian pharaoh must have known, that no one can rule people who are suffering with need indefinitely, and therefore, they will be forced to listen to the meaning of this revelation for all sectors of society.
The people of faith have an incredible role to play to make that happen.
As we have seen in the past, it is the people; the people of faith, the people who have suffered injustices, and the people who have been marginalized, who can and should lead on what the world needs.
Without this wisdom, the gift of faith will not be able to achieve the purpose for which God has sent it, and we will not avoid a catastrophic disaster.
As we hear the announcements of scientists and listen to Mother Nature speak, we are obligated as communities of faith to put our talents to work by caring for the earth, raising our voices, and guiding the rulers and the people of the world to save lives and prevent a greater evil.
Joseph points to the need for a joint plan, with each sector of society doing its part. Even in times of abundance, it is wise to live without being wasteful and to think about the future.
This is how God’s glory and love are made manifest. Even in a time of crisis, we listen and act to protect the lives of millions.
It is time to listen, to respond, to act, to resist, to care, to demand: Climate Justice, now!
The author is GreenFaith Latin America coordinator