26 Jun Juneteenth and the Gospel
Good Saturday afternoon y’all! I do hope the school holidays have started off well for each of you.
We’ve dug up an unwanted bush & managed to dodge the rain sort of…I may limp a bit in worship tomorrow…worse than usual, but Brenna & I are feeling pretty satisfied with our efforts. ;-D
I’ve been thinking about the newest National Holiday in the US…it’s been in the news here so it seems like a big deal.
Juneteenth…it commemorates the 19 June 1865 event where the last of the slaves of the Confederacy were finally told they were free men & women after the Civil War ended.
A Union States General (Major General Gordon Granger) rode into Galveston, Texas with a small detachment of soldiers & announced the public freeing of the slaves in Texas. It was an odd moment because officially they had been free since 1 January 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation; or at least since 9 May 1865 when the Civil War ended. But no one told them until Maj Gen Granger came to Texas with the formal notices & made sure the former slave owners understood the new status of their former slaves. They would now be paid to work if they stayed with their former masters or free to leave if they wanted…and there were incentives for that!
BUT…They had a choice. Never before in their lives had they enjoyed such a moment.
Now…what does that have to do with the gospel?
Well…Jesus has already died & risen. His defeat of death, sin & evil does not need to be repeated…it was finished when Jesus said “It is finished.” And it was proved true when he stepped out of the tomb. That victory is for everyone & that means for everyone.
But what about those who do not know…who perhaps who have not heard?
Think about those Texas slaves for a minute. Since no one told them, they kept living like slaves. Until that freeing word was brought to them & declared to their defeated slave-masters, life went on as it always had. Slavery today. Slavery tomorrow. Slavery the day after…
Paul says it like this:
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” – Romans 10:14-15
How awful would it be to have something like freedom & not enjoy it because no one told you? When you share your faith with someone, you’re a lot like Maj Gen Granger…you don’t make something new happen, you just declare what already has happened. But when you do, & freedom finally hits home for someone who’s been a slave all their lives…
I’ve got an idea. Let’s make every day Juneteenth in Wagga Wagga! Every day let’s declare what has already been done by Jesus Christ for the world. Let’s really let freedom ring.
See y’all tomorrow