Why We Should All Celebrate the Juneteenth Holiday

Juneteenth celebrations began in churches and rightly so.

The holiday began one year after the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas.

The Confederate army had surrendered months earlier but it was on June 19, 1865 that Union General Robert Granger read the liberating document in the streets of Texas. A year later the commemoration began.

Jesus came to bring liberty to captives.

He also came to lift the oppressed. The entire Bible grants freedom to captives and joy to oppressed people. God gave his word to and through slaves and people living under the oppression of others.

Jesus taught that the Kingdom had come, yet it remains out of reach of millions. In our country Juneteenth is both a celebration and a cry for equality. We as believers, whatever our heritage, should join in rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep. These words read as more than a suggestion to people serious about their walk.

General Granger held that the freeing of slaves “involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property, between former masters and slaves…” Until we achieve that equality Juneteenth should be a day of both rejoicing and weeping for all of us.

Juneteenth represents the promise of a declaration we make each Christmas when we sing “O Holy Night.”

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love, and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name, all oppression shall cease.

The holiday celebrates the end of a national sin and an unfinished task for all of us. As long as the scars of that sin linger the end of oppression remains a front-burner work.




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