Faith is a special divine gift which is passed on by human mediators and tradents. In that respect I owe my faith to my stubborn Central-Eeuropean Calvinist ancestors who preserved and handed it over through the dark times of contra-reformation (1620-1781). But that was centuries before I was born! More personally and more intimately I owe my faith to the African-American spirituals. I grew up in the Czech Republic under the Communist totalitarian regime. In the midst of stifling censorship, crippling political control and impotent atheistic ideology I grew up with blues and spirituals on my lips and deep in my heart: Swing low, sweet chariot... Go down, Moses... The Gospel train is coming... Go with Me to That Land... My generation of Protestants found in this Black music an authentic expression of life and faith. We might be white as white Europeans can go, but our souls resonated deeply with the black spirituals. We might sing those spirituals in Czech translations but we internalized the Exodus story (and other formative biblical stories) through the prism of struggle for elemental human dignity and civil rights. I hadn’t met a black person before I was 20, yet through music, I was brought up, to a large extent, in the spirit of black faith, its defiance, resistance and hope. Please join me this Sunday as we learn from and celebrate our black spiritual roots.