Weekly Message (27th September 2023)

Revd Graham’s weekly message:

On my recent holiday to South Africa, I was privileged to discover more about two men I admire for their courage and leadership – Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I was able to visit a number of sites in Cape Town and Johannesburg with which they both had deep associations. In one particular street in the township of Soweto, only metres apart are two houses where they each lived for a period of their lives, making the street unique inasmuch that only doors apart lived two recipients of the Nobel Peace prize.

Displaying a picture of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela together.

The reason I admire them is this: that they had the courage and foresight to see that changes needed to be made in South Africa in order to bring about some justice and fairness for all people, regardless of culture, tradition or ethnicity. It is a brave thing to do, speaking out against the authorities knowing that imprisonment will ultimately follow on from their words and actions. When you visit such places, it is easy to see the inequalities that exist in our modern world, despite all the technology and knowledge we have at our fingertips.

Part of all that the Bible teaches us, justice and fairness are qualities that should prevail as we interact with one another, no matter how insignificant an encounter might seem. Jesus during his earthly ministry made no differentiation between Samaritan or Jew, male or female, he treated all equally. I hope that we can all follow the example of Jesus as we live out our daily lives – no discrimination. One characteristic of all the people I encountered on my trip was that despite having very little in some instances, they are a proud nation, and embrace each other. The people of South Africa have a long way to go as they evolve into a truly all-encompassing nation, but the signs are there of new beginnings and new growth.

With God’s peace and blessing

Revd Graham

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