Freedom, Revived

Sunday, June 18 at 11am | Bulletin


We are going to spend some time with a little known text from the Bible this week, Habakkuk, found in the Hebrew scriptures.

In this text, Habakkuk, the prophet, is angry at God. Why hasn’t your justice arrived, Habakkuk complains?  How long do people have to wait? “Why do I cry out violence, but you do not save?”  God tells Habakkuk to watch and wait awhile to see the salvation God is planning. The prophet won’t be disappointed, God promises.

Habakkuk was an obscure Hebrew prophet who lived over 2,500 years ago.  Maybe his anger, impatience, and his hope resonate with many of us? Maybe especially today as we commemorate Juneteenth, the 1865 emancipation of a quarter-million slaves in the state of Texas? Juneteenth is a day to celebrate freedom, a theme we’ll pick up again the following week as Pride.

Do Habakkuk’s words tell us anything about how to prepare for a revival?  Look around: there’s so much to lament. The fulness of freedom hasn’t come, and the promise of a multi-racial democracy in the U.S. remains an illusion.  Justice is not complete.  Why, God?  What are we to do, and how are we to be?

Remembrance, lament, joy, and resistance are essential aspects of Juneteenth celebrations. Aren’t they also central practices of Christian life? On this Sunday, as on every Sunday, let’s ask: What does freedom look like, feel like?  Can we liberate church?  How can we be a liberating church for the sum of us all?

I’m looking forward to wrestling with these questions together.

See you Sunday,

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