by Christine Sine

by Christine Sine

Monday, in the US we celebrated what is known as Juneteenth, a relatively new federal holiday, established just three years ago in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. It celebrates the end of slavery in the U.S. at the end of the Civil War. Unfortunately, modern-day slavery still exists in our world. It takes many forms, including forced labor, human trafficking, child exploitation, and bonded labour, a form of debt in which work is exchanged for a debt which, ultimately, can never be paid. Victims of slavery are found hidden in most of our countries. Often marginalized and vulnerable, they are trapped in horrific circumstances, their lives robbed of freedom and dignity. The prevalence of modern-day slavery is perpetuated by systemic inequalities, poverty, and vulnerability of marginalized people. So Juneteenth is not just a celebration of freedom. It is also a call to action. It challenges all of us to open our eyes to the injustices that still enslave millions around the world and prayerfully consider how we might make a difference in the lives of at least a few of these very vulnerable neighbours.

As I contemplated Juneteenth on Monday and considered the implications it has for my life, I was reminded of the words from Richard Rohr that I quoted in my Meditation Monday: Everything that Happens is Potentially Sacred “Everything that happens is potentially sacred if we allow it to be.” There is a sacredness to celebrations like Juneteenth, that calls us to a deeper commitment to Jesus who was the ultimate advocate for justice. This is a day not just remember what happened in the past, but also to commit ourselves to the unfinished work of justice, equality and liberation in the same way that he did.

Part of the purpose of Godspacelight is to better prepare us for this challenge. Through liturgies like that provided by Carol Dixon this week in Seasons of the Spirit and reflections like Lilly Lewin’s reflection on Beauty we seek to encourage flexibility and an openness to change that strengthens our ability to be the people of commitment and action that God intends us to be. Or as Jenny Gehman expresses it in her post Soft and Sacred God wants us “ To create softness in order to be more hospitable to the Holy.” And when we are more hospitable to the Holy, we are more open to changes that bring life into the circumstances others face.

As part of my preparation for Father’s Day on Sunday, I reposted one of my favourite Father’s Day posts God the Father Reimagined. In the same spirit, on Facebook I posted a meme “Why are some men so insecure that they cannot conceive of women preaching or teaching?” If you are interested you can read some of the discussion in the 243 comments on my personal Facebook page, or the lesser number of comments in the Godspacelight Community Group. It was a very lively discussion with people expressing very divergent viewpoints. I was pleased that no one got abusive and on the whole people listened graciously to what others said. These kinds of discussions can, I think create softness in all of us and we never know what pathway that softness to the Holy Spirit will lead us into. I found it to be a very helpful discussion. Let me know what you think.

Many blessings on you as you navigate the coming week

God of compassion,
Who reaches out and touches us,
when others turn away.
God of love,
Who heals our diseases,
When others reject us as incurable.
God of delight,
Who finds joy in us,
When we feel unworthy.
Fill the empty spaces of our lives.
Soften our spirits to your Holy presence.
Be with us this day and every day.

Christine Sine

GoWResourcesDid you know that alongside Christine Sine’s book The Gift of Wonder, we have many resources available to you? The free downloadable bonus packet or beautiful prayer cards featuring prayers from the book, for example – something to hold and behold! Or perhaps you’d like to journey through the book alongside a retreat – we have that too! You can check it all out in our shop!

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