Tag Archives: South Africa

Jesus was not a white man

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December 19, 2013 · 20:35

Soul Food

A missionary once told this story;

In the 1980’s during the apartheid era in South Africa, I worked as a missionary in Zambia. My colleague, a European missionary working with me in the same mission, visited South Africa for his vacation. He came back to Zambia and was excited to tell everyone how much better South Africa was in comparison to Zambia. He told of the wonderful preaching he gave in South Africa, calling on the youth to give up their anti-apartheid struggle.

His reasoning was that since Zambia had Black majority rule and its economy was in a shambles, and since South Africa had White minority rule and its economy was doing much better, they should give up their struggle for Black majority rule unless they wanted to be poor like Zambia.

In reply I said to him, “Why don’t we do this: we lock you up in prison and then give you everything you want to eat and drink, but still keep you locked up in prison.” Immediately he got the point.

The hunger of the human spirit goes beyond the hunger for food and drink. We may have all the material food in the world but if we lack such spiritual food such as freedom, truth and love our hearts will never be satisfied.

 

The clock in a restaurant window had stopped at a few minutes past noon. One day a customer asked the owner, “Bert, do you know that the clock in your window has stopped?” Bert said he knew the clock wasn’t working.

“In fact,” he added, “it hasn’t been working for months. But you would be surprised to know how many people look at that clock, think they are hungry, and come in to get something to eat.”

 

These days, we don’t need a broken clock to remind us that we are spiritually hungry. There are so many dislocations and empty spaces in our lives that the spiritual self-help business has become a booming multi-billion- dollar industry.

We know that there’s something missing. The only real question now is how to find something that will satisfy the hunger. There’s a good deal of spiritual “fast food” out there. And then there’s Jesus, the Bread of Life

 

Scripture reference:  John 6 verses 24-35

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Desmond Tutu – Acceptance Speech, Nobel Peace Prize Award – 10 December 1984, in the Oslo City Hall, Norway (closing remarks)

We work assiduously so that all of God’s children, our brothers and sisters, members of our one human family, enjoy the basic human rights, the right to a fulfilled life, the right of movement, the freedom to be fully human within a humanity measured by nothing less than the humanity of Jesus Christ himself, then we are on the road inexorably to self-destruction, we are not far from global suicide. And yet it could be so different.

When will we learn that human beings are of infinite value because they have been created in the image of God, that it is blasphemy to treat them as if they were less than this, and to do so ultimately recoils on those who do this? In dehumanizing others, they are themselves dehumanized. Perhaps oppression dehumanizes the oppressor as much as, if not more than, the oppressed. They need each other to become truly free, to become human. We can be human only in fellowship, in community, in koinonia , in peace.

Let us work to be peacemakers, those given a wonderful share in our Lord’s ministry of reconciliation. If we want peace, so we have been told, let us work for justice. Let us beat our swords into plowshares.

God calls us to be fellow workers with him so that we can extend his kingdom of shalom, of justice, of goodness, of compassion, of caring, of sharing, of laughter, joy and reconciliation, so that the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdom of our God and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever. Amen. Then there will be fulfillment of the wonderful vision in the Revelation of St. John the Divine (Revelation 7:9ff).

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Desmond Tutu at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 2009

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April 24, 2013 · 22:59