[BJ's note: In honor of today being MLK day, I've re-upped a post I first wrote about a year ago. Also, you might have noticed some layout changes. I really like the changes I made at the beginning of the year but I also noticed that a lot more visitors were just sitting on my home page. So I went back to a theme with links on the sidebar rather than at the bottom. There's lots of good stuff there. Check it out.]
So Moses said to the people, “This is a day to remember forever—the day you left Egypt, the place of your slavery. Today the Lord has brought you out by the power of his mighty hand. (Exodus 13:3)
Relate: The year was 1865. The day… today. It was January 31, one hundred forty-eight years ago that the thirteenth amendment was passed. That amendment reads in part: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist within the United States.” Today is the day that the slaves were made free. There was an excellent movie made recently that everyone should be required to see, Lincoln. It depicts the struggle that went through to get this to pass in congress. An even greater struggle took place on the battlefields on Antietam, Bull Run, Shiloh, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and many others to bring the nation to the place that freedom was even a likely possibility.
From even before that day, on forward through time there have been a number of laborers marching for true freedom. That list marks people like Susan B Anthony, Frederick Douglas, Sojourner Truth, Eugene Debs, WEB Dubois, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez, Jackie Robinson, and many, many others right up to Mother Theresa and Desmond Tutu. It was also on this day twenty-five years ago that Doug Williams was the first African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl. His accomplishment stood on the shoulders of so many who paved that way. I wonder by what accomplishments will our children’s children will be noted and how they will be made possible because of those of us who today are still standing up for freedom, equality and justice.
React: So what was your day of freedom? I can’t honestly remember mine. I have vague memories of a Sunday School class when the teacher was asking if anyone would want to accept Christ. I remember thinking that I did not need to because it was something I had already done. Mrs Wojack claims I did it in her class and that would mean I was three at the time. Just like those working for civil rights, I have come so far but still have much further to go. In the same way the Israelites were marking their day of freedom but they still had a long march ahead before they entered the promised land. Tomorrow marks the beginning of Black History month. It is a time to look back at all we have accomplished while also looking ahead to where we still need to go. Before tomorrow starts, take a moment to do the same thing in your own life? Where has God brought you? Where is He leading you? How will you get there?