NBTS Faculty Celebrates the 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth
June 17, 2020
For many Christians, their worship or liturgical lives are guided by a calendar that consists of various seasons, feast days to be observed, and portions of scripture to be read in an annual cycle. Within this liturgical calendar, we are now in the season after Pentecost or ordinary time. While this time may lack the high notes associated with the major celebrations of the Christian faith, it remains significant. For it is in the ordinary time, the dailiness of life, where we see, experience, and participate in God’s work of liberation, justice, and wholeness for all God’s people. So, in many ways, it is appropriate that this is a time to protest the unjust killing of African Americans by members of law enforcement. It is right that in this ordinary time we continue to call out the presence of systemic racism in our places of worship and the wider society, name the numerous ways these structures seek to kill and destroy people of color, and do the hard and oftentimes ornery work of liberation that “[transforms] all of us to our full humanity.”1 As statues commemorating the confederacy fall and we celebrate Juneteenth – June 19th the day that celebrates the grassroots efforts of Texas slaves who “transformed … a day of unheeded military orders into a their own annual rite” of African American freedom from slavery – we note that these events are happening in our ordinary time.2 As we live into this season of ordinary time, under the shadow of a pandemic, and with the uncertainty about what our new “normal” will be, may we fully embrace the potential and hope that comes from the liberating power of the Holy Spirit that came at Pentecost, and who dwells in and works among God’s people in our ordinary time.