Monday, April 02, 2007

Abolition Act - act against slavery again

One of the best things in the resources for the commemoration of the abolition of the British Empire's slave trade (in 1807) has been the information about the lesser known "abolitionists". William Wilberforce did not achieve it on his own. We have rediscovered Olaudah Equiano, the former slave who travelled Britain, telling his story. We have rediscovered Harriet Tubman who escaped slavery but returned to help free a further 300 people through the 'Underground Railroad', the network of secret contacts and safe houses. Also there was Hannah More, a British writer who inspired many women to join the movement. They remind us of Shiphrah and Puah in the Book of Exodus, chapter 2: Egyptian midwives who undermined the Pharaoh's instructions to kill the newborn male Hewbrews. For freedom was not won by Moses acting alone! So, on 25th March, the anniversary date, Lees Street looked at the call of Moses: faced with a burning bush, revealing God's presence, he 'hid his face'. How true that we want to hide our faces from the realities of slavery - which still goes on - and from God's call to us to act, again and again. But faced with God's call, the God who has been there throughout the ages, the God who hears the people's cries and seeks a way for freedom to be brought into being, Moses found himself saying, "Here I am." So we too must hear the cries, hear the call, and see where we are ... here we are! So we made our paper chains, symbols of enslavement, joining with other churches doing the same thing, and we signed the 'stop the traffik' petition, and our remembrance of one 'abolition act' became a commitment to abolition today. Moses and Wilberforce did not act alone; Shiphrah, Puah, Equiano, Tubman, More, countless others ... and now, hopefully, we add our own names to the movement for human freedom, again and again.

Click on these links for more info. Set All Free or Stop the Traffik