This morning we heard a beautifully sung rendition of Kyrie Eleison (“Lord Have Mercy”). The words of this litany are powerful. It is one that stirs people into responding to the social realities that exist. One line, however, was both interesting and problematic. It read: “to empower the weak as they struggle against the bonds of oppression.”
On 24 March, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission on World Mission and Evangelism pre-assembly event invoked renewed thinking and commitment on evangelism, disassociated from the forces of oppression, and grounded in humility and respect for all.
Last week I led a retreat for Congregational ministers in the Eastern Cape at the Benedictine monastery Mariya umama we Themba near Grahamstown. A retreat is an opportunity to quieten down and listen to what God is trying to tell us. At the opening Eucharist the Moderator of the Region reminded us of the story of Samuel’s call to be a prophet, and how he had to become attentive to the word of the Lord. “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” How difficult it is to do just that, especially for ministers who like talking!
Written by Oupa Ngwenya
I’m no angel to guarantee the God-fearing a straight flight into heaven nor a devil's ambassador to make hopeless sinners look forward to a journey of reducing themselves into ashes in the high temperatures that burn in the fires in hell.
But deep in my heart there nevertheless resides a religion that those that build their happiness on the sadness of others are an offensive curse to all that was intended by God's creation.