From the Bible Read Isaiah 5:1-7 I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines.
About Howard Thurman
Born in Florida in 1899, Howard was raised primarily by his grandmother – a former slave. He showed signs of a vibrant spiritual life early, and would read the Bible to his grandmother. Thurman tells the story in his most famous work Jesus and the Disinherited that his mother would not permit him to read anything by the apostle Paul (besides 1 Corinthians 13) because the abusive theology that the white preachers would perpetrate on her and others enslaved – biblical mandates to be “good slaves.”
Thurman grew as a pastor and academic, often in ways that convince many people to call him a mystic. He had a significant bond with Quaker leader and pacifist (and key leader of the forerunner of the American Friends Service Committee) Rufas Jones at Haverford College which led him to leading a delegation to meet with Mohandas Ghandi.
As a theologian, Thurman was a pioneer in articulating Jesus’ mission of liberation of oppressed people and taught that “if you ever developed a cultivated will with spiritual discipline the flame of freedom would never perish.” He served as one of the pastors of the first intentionally interracial church in the US – The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Fransico. As a friend of Martin King, Thurman became a spiritual adviser and mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr. Howard Thurman is usually credited with the development of nonviolence theories and tactics that were central to the Civil Rights Movement. Howard Thurman wrote over twenty books besides speeches and articles. He died on this day in 1981.
“Whatever may be the tensions and the stresses of a particular day, there is always lurking close at hand the trailing beauty of forgotten joy or unremembered peace.”
-from Meditations of the Heart