The Daily Prayer
THURSDAY, February 20, 2020
Frederick Douglass (1818—1895)
Frederick Douglass was born a slave in Maryland. His mother died shortly after his birth, and he was raised by his grandparents. A resourceful youth, he learned how to read and write by giving away food in exchange for reading lessons from neighborhood kids. Before long he was able to teach other slaves to read the Bible through weekly Sunday schools. In 1838, at the age of twenty, Douglass escaped from slavery by impersonating a sailor and went on to become one of the most famous abolitionists and leaders in US history. He was a firm believer in the equality of all people, whether black, female, Native American, or recent immigrant. He was fond of saying, “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”
Frederick Douglass wrote in his autobiography, “Between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference—so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I, therefore, hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity.”
Jesus, even in our waking, grant us dreams by which to guide our lives. Make us to dream of justice for the oppressed, reunions for those torn from loved ones, hospitality for immigrants, and the healing of all wounds. Amen.