“Careful musicologists, from studying phonograph records of folk singing rather than, as earlier, inadequate, conventional notations of “art” spirituals, are coming around to the verdict of Alan Lomax that “no amount of scholarly analysis and discussion can ever make a Negro spiritual sound like a white spiritual.” Sterling Roberts
Hello SANCTUARY NYC Friends,
Our theme for the month of April comes from a Negro Spiritual which is at least 100 years old. The real meaning probably speaks to the biblical idea of “Judgement Day” but that whole concept means different things to different folks. The community out of which this deep music comes was waiting for some G-d to pass judgement- finally- on the oppressive people and systems they endured. And so it was GREAT news to think that there was some heavenly day of reckoning that they didn’t have to worry about. But for me there is still so much meaning in the whole thing…It speaks to getting’ up, in a way that feels like resurrection. “In that great getting’ up morning’ no man can injure me!” If you try anything big, you need to be prepared for push back. the bigger the idea, the bigger the push back. And sometimes we end up in some pretty dark corners while we are going through the character building phase of that process. But the worst thing we can do is to stop trying, to stop dreaming, to stop contributing. We fall down all the time if we are about anything. But it’s the “getting’ up” that makes the difference between defeat and victory. and you are made to get up!!!
Both Passover and Easter celebrate the G-d of miracles in tough places…really in impossible places. The tenth biblical plague which was visited on the people of Israel before they could get out of bondage in Egypt was the death of all of the first born. But a miracle signaled the passing over…and the children were saved. The tomb was not to hold Jesus either, and after three days in that extremely dead place, he rose again.
If you have experienced pain and the death of dreams or loved ones or of hope…and we all have, this is such a sacred time of year, because there is ample proof that the same G-d which passed over the homes and empowered the resurrection is still speaking. You are living proof of that!
This Sunday at 2 pm we are going to have an amazing service to really lean into this miraculous process of descent and emergence.
The music, dance, messages and fellowship will be memorable and inspiring, and we look so forward to having you join us.
No matter what you are going through in your life, please know that you are never alone, that G-d is able, is ever present, all seeing, all knowing, and is working it out.
And THAT is good news.
With love and thanks,