Celebrating Juneteenth is not a mandate, but it is a meaningful moment for us to experience together, just as Thanksgiving isn’t a mandate but an opportunity.
Juneteenth gives us that opportunity. It is a historical reminder that invites us to continue “to proclaim freedom for the captives” (Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18)—just like the apostle Paul encouraged the church in Corinth to reflect on Israel’s history: “Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did” (1 Cor. 10:6).
If we let it, Juneteenth is a time to learn from stories we don’t typically hear and seek understanding about how our past has impacted our present circumstances.
I believe Juneteenth is something for which the whole church can say “Amen!”—and I pray we continue to experience more of the freedom and faith Jesus offers us as we celebrate.