Sunday, 11 July 2010

Day 25 - Into the future.....

The Final:

Spain 1 v Holland 0

These 25 days have taken us on a trip around a complex and rich diocese. On the face of it, the Northern Cape is the forgotten part of South Africa. The World Cup matches may have passed it by, but the spirit of the game is all around. Tourists who visit, discover a beautiful landscape and a deep and fascinating history, which includes one of the oldest skulls ever found, Baden Powell, gold mining and a fight for justice and freedom.

However, it is the people who hold the key to Kimberley and Kuruman's vibrancy. They all have stories to tell, and each church holds within it a deep spirituality, which celebrates all that is good about life.

The Oxford diocese, have much to learn...but also much to give. In comparison to our affluence, the needs of the poor in South Africa, for good housing, water and sanitation; the needs of the clergy for resources and support in an often lonely and isolated role; and the needs of the diocese for clergy, good administrators and central financial support, are stark reminders of how unequal the world still is.

The plight of HIV/AIDS cannot be ignored, and whilst better distribution of more effective drugs are helping individuals to have a better quality of life, the number of orphans and vulnerable children increases. We also need to take some responsibility for the scars that remain in Kimberley and Kuruman from the greed of the past - corporations who mined without thought for what they would leave behind in terms of environmental damage and health problems; those who took the riches and, literally, left a hole behind; those who fought for the superior good of the white man which has led to division and inequality.

So as a diocese we remain firmly committed to our neighbour, for what we can give and receive. Let us continue to pray...and as we do let us remember these verses from 2 Corinthians 4.

'For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,"made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. '

These verses unite both dioceses in our mission and ministry, in our separate settings of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire, the Northern Cape and North West Province, but also as we continue to see Christ in one another.

God bless Africa
Guard her children
Guide her leaders
and give her peace;
for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Karen. Much to think about.