Following up on our Sunday for the City services, I thought I would include today a short narrative and poem that I think is a beautiful expression of the type of reconcilition (and forgiveness) we are ultimately called to as followers of Jesus. The poem was included at the end of our worship bulletin a couple of weeks ago, but in case you missed it, here is is again.
After the collapse of South Africa’s racist, apartheid regime, and then the miraculous rebirth of that nation, President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African leaders, held a National Service of Thanksgiving on May 8, 1994. That day, Desmond Tutu led a litany of reconciliation. And this is what those worshipers said in 1994:
We struggled against one another:
now we are reconciled to struggle for one another.
We believed it was right to withstand one another:
now we are reconciled to understand one another.
We endured the power of violence:
now we are reconciled to the power of tolerance.
We built irreconcilable barriers between us:
now we seek to build a society of reconciliation.
We suffered a separateness that did not work:
now we are reconciled to make togetherness work.
We tried to frighten each other into submission
now we are reconciled to lift one another into fulfillment
We acknowledge the presence of Christ among us who reconciles the world.
(South African national service of Thanksgiving).