Jesus and Juneteeth

person holding brown beaded necklace Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

I planned to write about Sustainable Barbie today, but then a few things converged that made my mind go other places.

  • President Joe Biden signed Juneteenth a National Holiday commemorating the end of slavery;
  • My Monday Bible study’s concrete action this week is to spend some time in silence;
  • The hoopla about Critical Race Theory continues to grow and some places are banning the New York Times, 1619 Project.

Maybe it’s because of all the “silence,” or maybe it’s just the way my mind works. At any rate, I’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about Juneteenth, as if celebrating the end of slavery is somehow the downfall of the American way. Jeeze-O-Pete’s! I hope that isn’t so.

Long ago, when I was a much younger woman, religious conservatives raised Caine about the movie, The Last Temptation of Christ. Some considered the film sacrilegious because it pictured Jesus as a married man with children. And you know how he got children, don’t you? (Movie spoiler: not the miraculous way; the man loving a woman way.)

Curiosity got the best of me, so I watched the movie. Satan comes to Jesus as he hangs on the cross and offers him one last temptation. Christ has already turned away Satan’s temptation of glory and power. What about a perfectly normal life? A life where He’s loved by a wife and adoring children? Satan shows Christ what happiness could be His; if He only turns away from all this Savior and Father’s will stuff. (Movie Spoiler: Christ doesn’t fall for Satan’s shenanigans.)

Several U.S. Representatives voted against the Juneteeth Bill because they thought the full name was confusing. (Juneteenth National Independence Day Act) For sure some people will get confused. Some people are confused when asked, what date is the 4th of July; and many don’t know the official name of that holiday. I’m pretty sure this new holiday will be called Juneteeth, and I hope we get acquainted with why. I didn’t know until an author explained it several years ago. And I’m still learning. Today I learned that almost every state already had a holiday for Juneteenth. So far the country has not fallen apart. Well, not due to celebrating Juneteeth.

So what’s the big worry?

Oh yeah! Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project. That sounds just about as scary as Common Core Curriculum and it’s getting just about as much blowback. Critical Race Theory is nothing new and it’s not Marxism. (Common Core is not an attempt to remove God from our lives either.) I know not everyone likes change. Not everyone celebrates curiosity. Most people would cringe at being a professional student. But, please, please, please, listen to at least one episode of the 1619 podcast by clicking here. It might be a good way to begin your Juneteenth celebration.

May God bless our new holiday, Juneteeth. This might be the one year that we can spend time just learning about Juneteeth. I’m sure by next year the date will be filled with furniture sales, like almost every other holiday.