Jubilee + Juneteenth
What is the relationship between Jubilee and Juneteenth? This Sunday, not only do we celebrate Father’s Day, but we also commemorate Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, which became a federal holiday last year. Juneteenth calls our nation to look back to June 19, 1865. On that day, the Union army brought the word of freedom to Galveston, Texas, that slavery had been abolished. It, no doubt, would have been to the utter shock of the enslaved people that their freedom was established two years before through the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Can you imagine that? Can you fathom that though declared free, you endured the horrors of slavery for an additional two and a half years? Juneteenth, which combines June and Nineteenth, celebrates the declaration of General Orders 3, which U.S. General Gordon Granger read as the following — “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” Why should we celebrate Juneteenth? Of the many reasons, one includes the name of our church — Jubilee Community Church. The name of our church is a proclamation of liberation. Listen afresh to Jesus’ inaugural sermon as he began his ministry, of which we are great recipients.
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16–21
Jubilee and Juneteenth go together because both are proclamations of liberty — the latter from slavery and the former from the slavery of sin! In other words, when we reflect on Juneteenth, it should point us back to the Greater Juneteenth when a greater proclamation of liberty was made, not from a U.S. General but the King who says, “Whom the Son sets free is free INDEED!” So, Jubilee, Happy Juneteenth! Not only do we celebrate fathers this weekend, but we also celebrate the Father who sent his Son to set us free and declare our liberty in him!
You might be asking how you can partake of Juneteenth this year? That is a great question. Below you will find two videos to watch with you and your family called Juneteenth: Faith and Freedom and Why Juneteenth Should Matter to the Church. This is a great place to start learning more about the holiday. Also, check out these two links (here and here) to some activities around the city this weekend to consider going with some friends!
Jubilee + Juneteenth