The following statement was issued on 12 December 2012
The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town is calling on South Africans to fast and pray for the nation on Reconciliation Day.
In a call made first in The Sunday Independent on 25 November, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba is urging people of all religious communities to tap into the strength of their faith for the sake of the country, much as they did in apartheid years. ‘It is too easy to feel hopeless, even despairing, after the Marikana tragedy, unrest among Western Cape farm-workers, crises in education and unemployment, failures in service delivery, and endless reports of crime and corruption’ said the Archbishop. ‘But we are not helpless, and should not let ourselves feel overwhelmed.’
‘Prayer and fasting are concrete actions, which connect us with the strong foundations of our beliefs: the power of God, eternal moral guiding principles, however we want to describe them’ he said. ‘They will provide new focus and energy, to work for all that is right and true and wholesome for South Africa, in which all people of good-will can join us. Standing together and speaking out together, as so many did before, is the best way to ensure that the vision and promises of the struggle are achieved.’
‘Reconciliation Day is entirely appropriate for such prayer and fasting, especially for Christians’ said Archbishop Makgoba. ‘In the weeks before Christmas, we think about Jesus coming not just as a baby, but also as the one who reconciles all of creation in the love of God the Father. In Jesus Christ, God promises to overcome divisions, heal relationships, mend our brokenness, defeat evil, and ensure that all that is good and right and loving finally triumphs. Furthermore’ he noted, ‘as St Paul tells us, God also entrusts this “ministry of reconciliation” to all who follow him. So we have to play our part too.’
The Archbishop added ‘Therefore, we are truly in the business of promoting genuine, eternal, reconciliation. Perhaps the government did not realise how profound it was to rename 16 December ‘Reconciliation Day’! Yet I like to believe God guided their hand, because I know that true reconciliation is one of God’s greatest desires for our nation. May he bless us, and help us to grow in authentic reconciliation, based on our best hopes for the future, for the sake of all South Africans.’
Issued by the Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
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