Glory, Glory, Hallelujah

November 16, 2006

Having the privilege to attend a historically African-American parish, I have been thinking more and more lately about what the early African-American experience must have been like lately.

What occurred to me this evening, as I’ve had a hard couple of weeks getting used to the very different and less progressive church in Texas than in Los Angeles, is that I cannot fathom how the new “Americanized” Africans, as slaves and I assume recent Christian converts (I’m sorry to say I still don’t know my history all that well about their lives) had enough hope to begin to sing spirituals as hopeful as this:

Glory, glory, hallelujah !
Since I laid my burden down

I feel better, so much better
Since I laid my burden down

Feel like shouting “Hallelujah!”
Since I laid my burden down

Burdens down, Lord, burdens down, Lord
Since I laid my burden down

I am climbing Jacob’s ladder
Since I laid my burden down

Ev’ry round goes higher and  higher
Since I laid my burden down

I’m goin’ home to be with Jesus
Since I laid my burden down

How amazing must their spirituality have been to come up with such hopeful, uplifting, and meaningful lyrics at such oppressive times in their lives.

Would that we could all have the same hope and be as uplifted at the low points in our lives!  It reminds me how important it is to leave our burdens at the cross so that we can be free in Christ to love and serve.

j

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