Why Should Christians Celebrate Juneteenth?

Vivian Bricker

Contributing Writer
Published: Jun 19, 2023
Why Should Christians Celebrate Juneteenth?

Christians should celebrate Juneteenth because it is the anniversary of the day when our fellow brothers and sisters were finally set free. This beautiful holiday can show how far we have come in seeking unity.

Brought to you by Christianity.com

Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates the freedom of those who were held in bondage to slavery. It is also known as Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, and Freedom Day.

Our present-day holiday of Juneteenth is the celebration of June 19, 1865, when enslaved African Americans located in Galveston, Texas, found out they were set free from the bondage of slavery.

In the present day, we can celebrate this holiday in many ways, and as Christians, it is important for us to celebrate this holiday also.

Why Celebrate Juneteenth?

Many Christians are not aware of the celebration surrounding Juneteenth, especially since it is often tied together with different causes. However, Juneteenth is a holiday in and of itself, which celebrates the day enslaved individuals learned they were no longer under the heavy weight of slavery.

It can be hard for individuals to relate to this since many people today have never known slavery in the same way African Americans knew of it in the past. African American slaves were treated terribly, tortured, and deprived of all of their rights.

Slaves would be sold, separated from their families, and most likely would never see their families again. Most slaves worked in fields and did manual labor for their owners. Within a state of law, a slave had no rights and no ability to break away from their life of slavery.

If they tried to escape, a heavy ransom would be placed on their heads, and if they were found, they would be killed. As we can see, slaves had difficult lives, and Juneteenth is a holiday to celebrate the anniversary of when they learned they had finally been set free.

Even in the modern day, African Americans have been oppressed simply because of their skin color. This shouldn't be, as God loves all people. No matter what skin color a person has, all people are equal, and all people are equally loved.

We are all made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). This means that we are all beautiful creations of God, and at the core, we are all the same. There is no place for racism or prejudice in the life of the Christian.

Christians should celebrate Juneteenth because it is the anniversary of the day when our fellow brothers and sisters were finally set free. This beautiful holiday can show how far we have come in seeking unity.

While the world has become evil because of the Fall of Man, we can see how God is working in the world, such as how the slaves were set free. The entire process of being able to set the slaves free was a difficult task.

England had already ended slavery, yet America was a bit behind. Even though we cannot be dogmatic about numbers or occurrences, we can be assured that many people, whether African American or Caucasian, were praying for the slaves to be set free.

God is ultimately the one responsible for setting the slaves free and allowing them freedom. After all, it is Christ that has set us free (Galatians 5:1).

Even though everyone is given freedom in Christ from the moment of salvation, God desires to give all people, including the slaves, freedom from their oppressors. Just as God set Israel free from Egypt, God set African Americans free from slavery.

This is a remarkable holiday that Christians need to remember each year. It is even a federal holiday, to which many individuals will get time off to be able to spend with friends and family.

Christians should also celebrate this holiday because it reminds us of the freedom we have. Not only has God given us freedom in His Son, but we are also given freedom in our daily lives. This is for people of all colors.

While it is true that there is still slavery going on in the present day, we don't need to overlook the greatness of what God has done in the past and what He will do in the future. We never need to underestimate the power of God and the love He has for His people.

At one point, we were all slaves to sin (John 8:34-36). It is a metaphor used for us to try and understand the severity of slavery and sin. Although it is nothing compared to the slavery African Americans went through, we do have a slight knowledge of what it is like to be held in bondage to sin.

We are only set free from this slavery by Jesus Christ. Once we place faith in Him, we are freed from the chains of slavery, and we are given a new life in Him.

God never stops redeeming our lives. Just as He has redeemed our souls, He wants to redeem every part of our lives. As in the case of the slavery being brought upon African Americans, God wanted to redeem their entire lives and it is through Him that their slavery was finally stopped.

God hears all of our cries, and He would have heard the cries of the African American slaves. Through these cries and earnest prayers, God came to their side and supported them. In this way, we can see how God worked through this difficult time and blessed His people with true freedom.

No longer were African Americans under the bondage of slavery. They were able to live lives the way they always should have been able to.

It was difficult at times for African Americans to get jobs because of the prevalent racism in those days; however, God still provided, and He filled their hearts with hope.

Most of the African Americans who were taken into slavery were Christians and would sing their own hymns about God. They were firm in their faith in God and weren't afraid to praise Him in their songs.

Despite many strict owners, African Americans sang hymns to their Lord and praised Him even though they were living difficult and oppressed lives. They found comfort in the story of Moses and the Israelites’ slavery in Egypt, although slave owners tried to suppress that portion of Scripture.

Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth

We, as Christians, can celebrate Juneteenth in many ways. We can turn to God in prayer and praise Him for His amazing work. We can also host a party in honor of Juneteenth.

Since Juneteenth is in a summer month, it is the perfect time to host a community party at your church for anyone to come, and this could be a great time to create new connections.

Maybe you don't want to do a really large party, and instead, you could celebrate with a small group of people and talk about Juneteenth.

Another idea could be reading and educating yourself and others on Juneteenth, slavery, and the history surrounding African Americans. It can be truly eye-opening when you learn more about the harsh treatment that was inflicted on African Americans.

Once you learn more about the painful traumas they had to undergo, you can better understand how glorious and wonderful Juneteenth is. It is an amazing holiday that celebrates the anniversary of our fellow believers being set free from their lives of being slaves.

We, as Christians, don't need to underestimate this holiday and how the events that brought this holiday into being has shaped and molded our own lives.

If our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ were still held in bondage to slavery, the world would be a much darker place. Praise the Lord that slavery ceased for African Americans, and they are now given the freedom to live the lives they were always meant to have.

Juneteenth can also be a great holiday to help friends and families see the reality of their racism and take steps to turn away from racism.

Sadly, there are many Christians and non-Christians alike who still are living in the sin of racism. This shouldn't be as God teaches us against racism. We should love all people the same despite the way they look, the color of their skin, or their socioeconomic status.

Why This Absolutely Matters

As believers, we need to celebrate Juneteenth and not allow ourselves to skip over such an important event in our history.

It helps us remember God's great power, the end of slavery and the oppression of African Americans, and the hope for a new future.

During this Juneteenth, try to do something special, educate yourself, and help others know more about this beautiful holiday of freedom.

For further reading:

om/wiki/bible/black-people-in-the-bible.html">Are Black People Mentioned in the Bible?

How Did Different Races Come into Existence as God's Wonderful Created Image?

What Is Juneteenth?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/skynesher

Vivian BrickerVivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.

This article originally appeared on Christianity.com. For more faith-building resources, visit Christianity.com. Christianity.com