As we journey toward Easter, I am remembering the powerful witness of Harriet Tubman and her audacious calling to serve as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Repeatedly, she risked death in order to liberate other people, earning her the title of “Moses.” As I read and learn more about the Underground Railroad, I see a resemblance between the historical journey of enslaved people to freedom and our liturgical journey from Lent to Easter.
One might say that Harriet Tubman lived through an extended Good Friday vigil. She was born a slave around 1820. She endured fiendishly oppressive treatment at the hands of slave owners.
But Easter finally triumphed. In 1849, Harriet escaped the unspeakable cruelty of American slavery. Basking in the warmth of freedom, she dedicated her life to leading others to liberty. She returned to the South at least 19 times to rescue other people from slavery. She personally brought more than 300 people through unrelenting terrain, carrying them from captivity to deliverance. Just like Moses, Harriet Tubman led her people to the Promised Land.
This message is excerpted from “Beyond hallelujah, a Moses named Harriet” by Angela Khabeb in the March 2016 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Harriet Tubman, 1913 and Sojourner Truth, 1883; renewers of society.
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