FROM OUR PASTOR
Sunday, January 16, 2022
As we approach a day set aside to remember Martin Luther King Jr. and to engage in acts of community service, let us remind ourselves that we can make a choice to hope and not despair. We can make a choice to focus on faith and not dreariness. Many of us have been through a lot. Today we are reminding ourselves again, that we are not alone—that others have suffered more than we can imagine and, more importantly, that we have them to look to for inspiration. We can make the choice to be led by those who have set an example of honor, love and bravery. One of these is the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice,
you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace prize laureate who helped end apartheid in South Africa, died the day after Christmas. He was one of the driving forces behind the movement to end the policy of racial segregation and discrimination forced by the white minority government against the black majority in South Africa from 1948 until 1991.
Despite his intense sense of mission he was always gregarious and emanating a spirit of joy. He was witty and his conversation was frequently punctuated by high-pitched chuckles. But above all he was a man of impeccably strong moral convictions who strove to bring about a peaceful South Africa.
“There is a certain kind of dignity we admire, and to which we aspire, in the person who refuses to meet anger with anger, violence with violence, or hatred with hatred.” ― Desmond Tutu, The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World
One thing Desmond Tutu is faithful to remind us of is that the love we have for each other matters. Let us look for opportunities to serve and respond with compassion to those we encounter this week, and the weeks beyond.