‘Juneteenth’ is now a Federal Holiday, observed this year on Monday, June 20, 2022. Federal offices, including post offices, the stock market and most banks CLOSED today.
Why is ‘Juneteenth’ important?
Black churches across the country met to worship, pray, and thank God for the freedom that came to their brethren on January 1, 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. But it would be another two years after the first Watch Night service before this proclamation of freedom became a reality in the last holdout state of Texas.
The arrival of Union troops in Galveston, Texas, was a watershed moment in the nation’s history and included thousands of Black soldiers—some recently freed themselves—who had joined the military unit. The next day, General Gordon Granger announced General Order No. 3: an “absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves.”
The news spread like wildfire, and nicknames for the day proliferated as well: Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Juneteenth, and so on. When I discovered that one of the first names given to the commemoration was Jubilee Day, the significance for the church was brought home like a preacher dramatically coming to the sermon’s conclusion.
Like the national healing sought through the tradition of Thanksgiving, Juneteenth would likewise provide a day of healing to millions of Americans who had much reason to give thanks: those who were set free and those allies of abolition who fought for their freedom.
Described in Leviticus 25, Jubilee was an Old Testament festival to be observed every 50 years to honor the Lord by forgiving debts, releasing fellow Israelites from bondage, and even restoring tribal lands. The name came from the exultant joy that naturally accompanies such a momentous occasion.
That these newly emancipated Americans referred to the day as Jubilee meant they understood their deliverance not only in a physical sense but also in a spiritual sense—no doubt seeing connections between their liberation and God’s deliverance of Israel from over 400 years slavery in Egypt.
VERSE: “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD” Psalm 150
QUOTE: “A person who loves his job, will never work a day in his life.”
MON-SAT 6A-10A(& Sunday@5 host)