Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Sound of a New Song is Coming

Your place of restriction and enslavement is about to become the birthplace of a new song that will create a new sound. What has been formed against you will now be turned into an instrument of freedom. God has a new song for you to sing and its score will be written from your heart, not from your circumstance.

Before the nineteenth century, enslaved people in New Orleans could only meet publicly in groups in designated areas. One of those designated areas was called Congo Square. Congo Square was similar to other parts of the city where slaves could freely gather on Sunday afternoons to socialize, dance, sing and play music. After the Louisiana Purchase, in a move to further restrict the slave population, the mayor of New Orleans declared the only acceptable place slaves could gather publicly would be limited to Congo Square. The other locations were closed. Congo Square was filled with people from Africa, France, Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean. Each of these influences melded together to create a new music genre. Historians believe Congo Square was the birthplace of American Jazz.

As I read this part of our American history, I immediately thought of some of you who feel enslaved to circumstances and situations beyond your control. You are free in your heart but enslaved to your surroundings. God is gathering you together with others who live in similar conditions where people and institutions have placed restrictions on your life and tried to limit your visibility and freedom. A new gathering place in the Spirit is being formed where a new song of freedom will be created. The more you are restricted the deeper and sweeter will be the sound of your music.

The prohibitions you currently live under cannot hold back your new sound. Just as the slaves of old New Orleans were finally restricted to Congo Square, your restriction will be used by God to launch the sound of your voice across the nation as an invitation for others to come and hear a new song of freedom being played in your place of restriction. The sound of freedom has no barriers.

The sound of something new is coming. It will turn your place of enslavement into a place of creativity where others will want to come and listen, just like it is today when people from all over the world come to New Orleans to hear jazz played in the streets that once defined enslavement, but now declare freedom.

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