Watch night is an African-American tradition dating back to Dec. 31, 1862, when slaves from across the nation gathered in churches to pray and await the possibility of freedom. It started the night before the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln.
Those slaves waited patiently, hoping the document would be signed and loose the bonds of slavery in America. They believed their freedom was contingent upon one man. Yet, the Bible declares that Jesus Christ alone has the power to give us freedom: “‘Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed’” (John 8:36).
I don’t know what it’s like to be a slave in the fields, but I have had some areas in my life in which I wasn’t as victorious as I could have been. Fear, intimidation, regret, self-pity and inner pain were among my slave masters.
For years I sat on my God-given gifts and wouldn’t take a microphone, worried about what people might think of me. I allowed the fear of man to bind me with chains no less oppressive than the physical shackles that cut the feet of those dear slaves.
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DISCUSSION: What Keeps You From Walking In Your Calling By Serita Jakes was originally published on praisecleveland.com