*I realize Juneteenth is a uniquely U.S. celebration, but I trust the themes of freedom and celebration resonate around the world.

An early celebration of Emancipation Day (Juneteenth) in 1900. Public domain photo from Austin Public Library.

Thank you for the celebration of Juneteenth:
For those who claim the historical declaration of freedom,
Who live within the spiritual reality of liberation,
Who work for true justice in our country and our world.
Thank you for stories of black strength and power passed through the generations,
For songs that stir our hearts and shake our souls,
For parties that are also protest.
When you were on earth in Jesus, we know you loved a good party.
And as your Spirit is with us now, we know you are present in our protests.
Thanks be.

Rev. Joanna Harader serves as pastor of Peace Mennonite Church in Lawrence, KS. She blogs (sporadically) at Spacious Faith.

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