Tag Archives: juneteenth

Forward Today: Celebrating freedom, lamenting captivity

A spherical candle, brown with white etched patterns on it. The candle's light is the only light in the image,
Photo by Andrew Itaga on Unsplash

Dear friends in Christ,

Every year on June 19, the people of the United States celebrate Juneteenth. As a 2022 General Convention resolution puts it, this day is a way to “lament the historic evil of slavery and celebrate the emancipation of enslaved peoples.”

We can hold two things together in tension. We lament the evils of slavery, past and present. We celebrate freedom. We can celebrate today’s commemoration of the emancipation of enslaved people in Texas on June 19, 1865, and we can mourn the fact that it took so long after the Emancipation Proclamation for these people to receive their freedom.

Sadly, slavery of various forms continues in our world, today, both far and near. I hope that we Christians—who follow the liberating Lord Jesus—can work to end the enslavement of people. But today, we celebrate freedom. It’s a core message of the Gospel. In Jesus Christ, we are all set free. We are freed from our captivity to sin and death. And, God willing, I pray all people are freed from any other captivity.

On this Juneteenth, I encourage us all to read and study Exodus 14, the story of the Crossing of the Red Sea. This chapter, and the ones just before it, center God’s desire to free his people. May we work so that all are freed. May we lament enslavement past and present. May we celebrate freedom.

A blessed Juneteenth to you.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn's signature

Scott Gunn
Executive Director

P.S. At the end of next week, Forward Movement will be at General Convention. If you’re there, come visit us in the exhibit hall.

More from our ministry:

Pray with us every day: prayer.forwardmovement.org

Lament and celebrate with the Spirituals: Face to the Rising Sun

Follow the story of God’s liberating love: The Path

Bridge the gap between knowing and living the Bible:
The Social Justice Bible Challenge