Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Slaves felt kinship with the shepherds, the first to hear the news of Christ’s birth

From Dallas-

The Christmas spirituals of the enslaved people of the American South are among their greatest creations. The unknown poets powerfully identified with the refugees and castaways of the Christmas narratives. They recognized their own plight in the journey of the Holy Family; they understood what it was like to be hated, scorned and mocked. Like them, Mary, Joseph and Jesus were powerless, hunted and hounded by the absolute rulers of the land, forced to hide in tents and stables and caves.

And the slaves felt a deep kinship with the shepherds, the lowest of the low in society, the untouchables, consigned to society’s distant edges. Both spent much of their lives outside, under the stars, keenly aware of the great cosmic mandala of light that swept across the horizon against the endless black skies during the never-ending nights.

That’s why “Rise Up Shepherds and Follow” is still so evocative today.

More here-

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