Why Every Christ Follower Should Celebrate Black Liberation...
This will be a quick, but joyous post!
I wish a Happy Juneteenth to all the readers out there (Father's Day, too!)
I am not completely sure why, but my heart overflows with joy when I think about celebrating Juneteenth, ever since it was made a Federal Holiday back in 2019.
Yeah, I'm a little giddy. Let me explain why a little bit more...
As you may know, Juneteenth started to gain a new surge of recognition within the past decade, as racial tensions have risen across our country. Beginning with the murder of Trayvon Martin and the rise of Black Lives Matter (in this contemporary slice of time), to the countless police executions of unarmed black people caught on video, not the least of which was the public lynching of George Floyd, a new rise of black consciousness and calls to liberation have emerged. Most people did not learn about Juneteenth in school (or the Tulsa Massacre on Black Wall Street, nor Rosewood), so if your family or community did not teach you about it, you probably missed out on having even an inkling of what this consequential event meant for black people in america. My father taught me about Juneteenth when I was a little girl. My parents did not leave it up to the school system to teach us about black history. We grew up watching Eyes on the Prize on PBS, reading black conscious literature by black authors, and listening to first hand accounts of their experiences during the civil rights era. I was shocked as young girl when my Father told me about Juneteenth, and it made me hungry to keep learning the hidden and unknown stories of the black experience in America. In spite of all the darkness of our past experience in America- black people deserve Black JOY!
An Appropriate "Turn UP"
So we are here now- Juneteenth is a Federal Holiday. And while this doesn't fix the myriad of problems still facing the black community, it's still a prime opportunity to turn up and celebrate progress! I want to turn to the Body of Christ and highlight the importance of this special day. I won't rehash the events of 1865, but I will share a great documentary about it below- stay with me.
I urge Christians to consider the spiritual origins and impact the Juneteenth Holiday. Further, I encourage every believer to glean the spiritual significance of Juneteenth as well. Juneteenth is a liberation story- just as the story of the Exodus of the Children of Israel is a liberation story. These stories are important in the eyes of God, because God wants everyone to be free- free from the bondage of sin and death, and free from oppression by the powers of darkness as they work through some of our human brothers and sisters.
Jesus and Juneteenth
To celebrate Juneteenth is to celebrate Jesus. As you read and learn more about this holiday (Try the National Museum of African American History and Culture here), you will see that the people who celebrated the first Juneteenth in 1865 were believers who viewed their liberation as coming, not from the government, not from the slave masters, but from God Himself. I learned more about the original Juneteenth celebration and it's spiritual origins watching this excellent documentary produced by "Our Daily Bread: Voices Collection". Check this out- you won't be disappointed.
Celebrating Juneteenth as a follower of Christ is yet another way to display the Glory and Honor of Christ as the Great Liberator (much in the same way christians choose to celebrate Passover Seder to gain a greater understanding and insight into what Christ has done for us.) So rejoice! And grab at this opportunity to demonstrate the gospel, to give God High Praise, and continue to advocate, in the Name of Jesus Christ, for the continued liberation of black people in america.
PS- I may need to admonish my non-black brothers and sisters (supposing you worship with black people) to be sensitive to how black people want to commemorate this day. I would love to hear some ideas on how black christians can pioneer some spirit-led Juneteenth events that include all ethnicities. (Remember, in the Kingdom of God, all are welcome, and it's appropriate to have cultural cross pollination and multi-cultural celebration. If any race of people can celebrate passover in Christ, then, in Christ any ethnic group can celebrate Juneteenth as long as it is respectful.
That's it! That's the post! Leave me a comment in the comment section, and LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to receive notifications of our monthly blog post releases. Don't forget to snoop around our website to hear music and read more posts! God Bless You and Happy Juneteenth!