June 18, 2022
JUNETEENTH – FREEDOM DAY
We pause for a moment to remember and celebrate the great people of history who defended and fostered the human rights of all people. We are especially moved by those who spent their lives pursuing the Beloved Community in which we might live in peace and mutual respect (Thank you, John Lewis). We recognize and cherish the self-sacrifice of so many who give us the hope that one day soon mutual respect might be a reality. Many people who have suffered greatly have been a source of great blessing to others. Think of Nelson Mandala, Sojourner Truth, and the African American Slaves. Juneteenth (June 19th) is rapidly becoming an international observance. The delayed announcement of emancipation (Galveston, Texas, 1865) now celebrates the heritage, culture, and courage of a people who suffered cruelty, hatred, and enslavement.
Juneteenth is now a conscious part of American history, and its observance is one more step in the honest portrayal of America’s past sins as we seek a more just and loving future. May the ideals of freedom promised to a few become the reality of all.
Throughout history, people have risen up in the cause of what is good and right. It is customary on Juneteenth to sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” It is an anthem of hope and courage. Consider these touching words the next time you find yourself with a broken-heart:
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won
Let us lay aside the weapons in our hands, may we dispel any hopelessness in our hearts, let us embrace the light of our souls as we stand up for what is right, just, true, and beautiful.