When Marion Anderson was forbidden to sing in Constitution Hall in 1939, she sang “Deep River” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Deep river, my home is over Jordan.
Deep river, Lord, I want to cross over into campground
O don’t you want to go to that Gospel-feast?
That Promised Land where all is peace?
According to what I’ve read, the “campground” referred to camp meetings which slaves were sometimes allowed to attend. But, of course, the double meaning of Heaven is clear.
Dear God, As we yearn for a peaceful home in the Promised Land, we are stuck in a world rampant with hatred and destruction. We need more than hope. We need to actively fight for freedom and justice. And yes, let us also pause with gratitude along the banks of the Gallinas River because we are alive and able to hold what is mortal against our bones. Amen