“In 1865, slaves in Texas were the last to learn of their emancipation following the defeat of the Confederate States of America. In African-American communities throughout the United States, this good news of liberation to captives is still celebrated as Juneteenth” (COMMON PRAYER: A LITURGY FOR ORDINARY RADICALS).
Are you joining in any Juneteenth celebrations? What do you do to celebrate this milestone of both American history, and especially both southern history and black history?
Juneteenth is a good time to remember the legacy of racism and slaveholder Christianity on our lives and world. It is a time to remember that often legal freedom is not the same thing as freedom from oppression. It is a good time to remember Jesus’ call in Luke 4 to be a force setting free the oppressed, and to commit to live lives of faith that are aimed at the same. It is a time to commit ourselves to the cause of freedom and human rights. It is a time to renew our commitment to abandon all interpretations of faith & Scripture that oppress, discriminate against, or marginalize.
Where in your life do you see people continuing to live as if burdened and oppressed, especially based on categories like race? How can we work to change this in your neck of the woods?
Juneteenth also reminds us that the Gospel is not the call to invite people to freedom but instead is the message that God in Christ has already set you free. When did you receive your personal spiritual proclamation “You are free!”? Many are sitting waiting, wondering, and hoping not knowing the freedoms they already have in Christ.
This Juneteenth Day, let’s experience your freedom and enter into life! Let’s renew our commitment to be people of freedom.
And I’m not just whistling Dixie here!
Your progressive redneck preacher,