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.
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
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.
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.