SAUL’S experience on the road to Damascus can be mistaken for the classic story of repentance: the sinner whose sense of guilt opens himself to Jesus’ saving grace.
But by his own light, and those of his community, Saul, the Jew from Tarsus, was doing no wrong in trying to suppress a descending movement within Judaism. It took Jesus to show him the error of his ways.
Most of the evil in this world is done by people like Saul, who believe they are doing good. In an earlier time, as a society, we condoned racial segregation with racist arguments – even in our own houses of worship. And we did not even welcome, let alone ordained, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons into our church and society.
Back then, many in the society thought they were doing the right thing. When it finally came, our “conversion” as society was not dramatic like that of Saul. Jesus’ voice did not suddenly stop the society in the tracks, neither the voice of those we discriminate against. In short, it took time for the society, to discern and accept that Jesus’ message of radical inclusion leaves no one out.
Back in the 1960s, the concerns that Martin Luther king addressed were not just issues of society and culture, they were issues of justice. The same is true for many of the challenges that face this country today.
The call to respect and care for each other as brother and sister is not just a political or social statement. Remember the word of Jesus: “If you love me feed my sheep”. The greatest commandment is to love the Lord God with all our heart and mind, but the second one is to love our neighbour as homelessness, war and health care and the marginalisation of the voiceless and powerless, are moral issues. They are issues that people of faith must be engaged in.
If there is exciting moment is time is going to be anything other than a short-lived, feel-good moment, then all of us must be partners in bringing about the changes we seek. And that includes those of us who are people of faith. We do not have the luxury of sitting in church on Sunday and not taking our faith with us on Monday back to the society we live in. Our role as a predominantly Christian nation is to continue to raise our voices for more just systems, for eradication of poverty, for policies that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, physical ability of sexual orientation to encourage, support and pray for peace. And we are called not at a political perspective, but because of a belief in a Still-speaking God who is a God of love and God of Justice.
“Where your treasure is there your heart will be also”. May we therefore find our treasure, and our heart through sharing resources and changing lives within a generous gift to one great hour of sharing.
Let us rise up with a greater readiness and determination. Let us move on in these days of challenges to make the Namibian House a better nation. If not now then when?
Rev. Jan A. Scholtz.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015