We Barn Geese are so convinced of the value of Black spirituals that we believe they’re worth singing even in the complicated context of mostly-white congregations. Also, we are pretty dang white ourselves. So we recognize that this gets complicated.
The song “Freedom is Coming” triumphantly declares a transformation that is both happening and not yet fully realized. As a freedom-song of the South African anti-apartheid movement, and eventually a freedom-song sung throughout the world, “Freedom is Coming” is all about helping people to imagine something that can be but isn’t yet.
Fruited and unfruited trees both grow within each of us, and John’s urgency is not directed toward certain individuals, but toward everyone, calling us all to reveal to ourselves the patterns of behavior, habits of thought, and spiritual practices that undergird our daily choices.
“‘Immediately after the suffering of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then the sign of the Human One will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn,Continue reading “November 14: “My Lord, What a Morning””
[Jesus said,] “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. ThenContinue reading “November 28: “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning””
[John the Baptizer] went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of Adonai, make God’s paths straight. Every valleyContinue reading “December 5: Freedom is Coming/Jesus is Coming”
And the crowds asked [John the Baptizer], “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said toContinue reading “December 12: “Cuando el Pobre” (When the Poor Ones)”
God has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; God has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. Luke 1:52-53 Finally, it’s here: the day we hear Mary sing her song! Our Advent songs of liberation, justice, hope, and peace culminate in Mary’s words asContinue reading “December 19: “Canticle of the Turning””