Living Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19 – Pentecost 3A (Juneteenth)

Living Psalms Book

Psalms in the form of words and art, reborn in the specific contexts of our world, privileging the voices of historically marginalized communities and those acting in solidarity with them.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Juneteenth

We give thanks to God
for freedom and emancipation of the enslaved people.

God heard the voices and supplications of enslaved people
those enslaved beyond Emancipation Day in 1863
cheated of their lives and livelihood by oppressors
beyond the pale of human rights and dignity.

From the shacks and plantations of Texas they cried:
“God, we pray, save our children!”

The snares of death encompassed them in the places
where they were held captive and used as commodity
God inclined his ear to them
delivering them from the distress and anguish of this living hell.

From the shacks and plantations of Texas they cried:
“God, we pray, save our lives!”

Because of their skin they were deemed less than farm animals
these African and African American people made in the image of the Divine
therefore they called on God all day long
praying to God to loosen their chains.

From the shacks and plantations of Texas they cried:
“God, we pray, keep us from harm and danger!”

We will pay our vows to God
in the presence of all people
we give thanks and praise to God
for the full emancipation for these human beings.

From the shacks and plantations of Texas they sang:
“God, we thank you for saving our lives.”

“All persons henceforth shall be free”
were the words spoken in 1863
today we reinforce with thanksgiving
God’s life, love and liberty.

From the depths of our hearts we cry:
“God, we thank you for deliverance.”

Living Psalm for Pentecost 3A (Juneteenth) – Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19 was written by Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson.

Living Psalms Book is created by UCC Witness & Worship Artists’ Group, a Network of UCC connected artists, activists and ministers bridging the worship and liturgy of the local church with witness and action in the community. Maren Tirabassi, editor

Logo is detail from Living Psalm 80 by Sophia Beardemphl, Redwoods, CA. Recovering from significant bullying, Sophia, age nine, read Psalm 80 and thought of brokenness that needs mending. She drew this broken and mended bowl.

© Copyright 2023 Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.