Readings, Reflections and Pondering for Fredrick Douglas; Wednesday 20 February 2019: Epiphany

Psalm 85:7-13  Isaiah 32:11-18John 8:30-32

“I will listen to what the Lord God is saying, for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him.” (Psalm 85:8)

Today we remember Fredrick Douglas (February 1818 – February 20, 1895)

Douglas was born a slave in Talbot County, Maryland.  When Douglass was about twelve, his owner’s wife started teaching him the alphabet, which was against the law. Douglass succeeded in learning to read from white children in the neighborhood and by observing the writings of men with whom he worked. As Douglass learned and began to read newspapers, political materials, and books of every description, he was exposed to a new realm of thought that led him to question and then condemn the institution of slavery. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

What all of us can learn from the life of Fredrick Douglas is that no matter how humble our beginnings may have been, in poverty or in an abusive family, we can, through education and a life of faith, improve our station in life. And I might add especially in the United States.  We have many in America today who take issue with the hatred an unfair treatment of various walks of American life and I think it is right to do so.  Such acts of consciousness are carried out in knelling for the National Anthem or conducting demonstrations and acts of nonviolent civil disobedience.  I don’t agree with every method of expression.  Fredrick Douglas lived with legal slavery and laws against the education of people of color and yet, was educated and led the way advocating for the rights and improvement of his fellow men and women, and Native Americans. I would say he followed the Psalmist instructions where he writes, “I will listen to what the Lord God is saying, for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him.” (Psalm 85:8)

Fredrick Douglas was a gifted speaker and used his God-given gift to stir this new Nation to move towards a more fair and equal place.  And while it didn’t work, the Civil War came about where some were influenced by Douglas’s words. At least President Lincoln was influenced by him as the two men did talk with one another.

We must always keep our ears open to what God is saying. Douglas was ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church that was started by Richard Allen near the time of Douglas’ birth.  Douglas 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.” (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

No matter our walk in life, we need to know that God is speaking peace to God’s faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to God. Thank You Jesus.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people and “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.”  John Thomas Frazier Sr.

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