“Then accept one another, as Christ also accepted you, to the glory of God.” – Romans 15:7 (AFR83)
I grew up in a normal “conservative” home and am very grateful for the education my parents gave me. Although I am already a senior citizen, this is still the starting point from where I face life.
I thank the Lord for God-fearing parents who only wanted the best for me, my brothers and sister. In the midst of great sacrifices, they saw to it that we were equipped for life and the demands it would make on us.
I am talking about many years ago, a time when South Africa’s context was radically different from what we are currently experiencing.
I make no secret of the fact that South Africa, our own and our children’s and grandchildren’s future, is not only important to me, but is also at stake. We have often referred to the many challenges we face and the demands they place on us. We do not lead an island existence in this country. We are part of a larger whole, we have a common interest in a country that is safe and healthy. We sing it “bless our Lord God, bless Africa”.
My professional career began as a teacher.
It was only much later that I got to know the Lord as my personal Savior and Savior and knew that my childhood dream, namely to be a minister, must now be made a reality.
However, that’s a story for another day and maybe I’ll share it with you.
At the high school where I initially taught business subjects, there was a teacher who invited me to an event where fellow believers from all backgrounds would meet and reflect together on the future of our country. Yes, the conversation about South Africa and its future has been going on for decades.
My imagination was captured. It was the very first time in my entire life that I had the opportunity to interact with fellow believers. In addition to the fact that the congressmen represented different churches, they also came from different cultures than the one I am a part of.
One experience has stuck with me through all these years.
During a break between two sessions, I hang out with a group of my fellow believers and think about the content that was passed on to us.
That’s when one of the congress attendees, I remember it was a young girl, made the following comment: “You come to us with arms folded, not to embrace and welcome, but to keep at a distance. If we want to save South Africa we will have to open our arms to each other and embrace each other.”
This embrace is of course not easy, given our background and education, our understanding of this world and our history
Perhaps we are struggling in South Africa because believers from diverse backgrounds have not yet really embraced each other in order to face the future together. Doesn’t the short circuit lie with the “church”?
After all, in John 17 Jesus specifically prays about this matter.
- ToekomsVenster is a daily message to equip individual believers with practical faith skills. Small group accompaniments, DVDs and functional sermon sketches are available from Drienie ([email protected]) or visit www.toekomsvenster.co.za
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