This quote by one of the greatest Presidents in our history says a great deal about our President elect. Sadly, it’s already obvious that not all our Presidents can be great leaders.
Explosive rants on Twitter in response to perceived, or even real, personal insults is not the kind of anger that points to greatness. Uncontrolled outbursts of verbal abuse against those with whom you disagree is vindictive. It is the petty anger of smallness.
The anger of greatness is being furious at inequality and injustice, being incensed by bigotry and racism, seething at hunger in a world of plenty. The anger of greatness is the anger that leads to a better world for all.
I cannot see any such anger in our soon-to-be new President. He demonstrates plenty of anger. Sadly. it’s not the anger of greatness
For all those who have fallen victim to hatred and inhumanity, for those loved ones who are left behind to mourn, for the souls of those whose hearts are cold, Lord, hear our prayer. For the children who are being born into this world of conflict and violence, for women and mothers who suffer needlessly, Lord, hear our prayer. For all those who have been forced into unemployment, who long to return to work, for all those who struggle to support their families, Lord, hear our prayer. For the soldiers who are misguided in thinking that their bullets will bring about peace, for those who feel called to conscientiously object to military orders, Lord, hear our prayer. For the children who cry in their beds at night and wonder “what have I done?” For the mothers and fathers who must try to explain the unexplainable, Lord, hear our prayer. For all the children who have died before their time, for the soldiers who allow their uniform to strip them of their humanity, for the healers who are denied the opportunity to use their gifts, Lord, hear our prayer. For the redemption of souls of both victim and perpetrator, for those who commit themselves to the forgiveness of sins, Lord, hear our prayer. AMEN.
A brief, yet powerful sermon we all need to heed. Having just returned from a trip that included both India and Nicaragua, this resonates with me more than ever. We all need to stop being so sensitive to personal affronts and far more sensitive to the real pain, greed, and injustice that fills the world.
We all have been told that the pen is mightier than the sword. And although I agree, words in and of themselves cannot change the world.
Yes. We need to express ourselves, and speak out against injustice in every form. Yes. We need to speak up for the oppressed and those unable to speak up for themselves.
But speaking up, speaking out, is not enough. We must come to the place where we distill our feelings into pure action. We need to translate our compassion and need for global justice into the pure eloquence of action. Only then will we achieve the global good we all seek.
This is what I have always wanted. What makes it so much fun is that we’re actually doing it. We are making the world a better place.
Our society is tremendously flawed and tolerates unbelievable injustices to be perpetrated on the poor. Yet, we are still moving the world in the right direction.
The number of poor and hunger continue to go down. That’s success. The number of girls being educated is growing that’s success. More children have access to clean water. That’s success.
Working together we can create a better world. And like I already pointed out, it’s great fun. Let’s continue making it happen. Our children and our grandchildren will see it for what it is, a gift from our generation to theirs.
Normally, I do not think too highly of resolutions and statements issued by boards and other legislative bodies. Words are cheap. I am much more impressed with action. However,I applaud this statement by the World Methodist Council.
I have been in South Africa numerous times and have seen firsthand the violence brought about by irrational xenophobia. I also know and am proud to call Ivan Abrahams, and my friend. I have seen him struggle with this issue when he was Bishop of the Methodist Church of South Africa. He has a true heart for the oppressed, the refugee and the stranger in our midst. He is a man of faith and action.
I have also visited with refugees camped in Methodist Church sanctuaries in the heart of Johannesburg. I have heard their stories and felt their fear.
I have seen the anger and rage directed at these refugees. It is too often incited by those with hidden agendas and those whose motives should be held up for closer inspection. It is manufactured on fear and an appeal to nationalism.
Xenophobia is the fear of the stranger. There’s nothing Christian in such a response. Perfect love casts out fear.
World Methodist Council Issues Statement Against Attacks on Foreigners in South Africa
17 April 2015
Peace March in Durban, South Africa on 16 April 2016.
Photo Credit: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
In the wake of escalating violence against foreign nationals, refugees and asylum seekers in the Republic of South Africa, World Methodist Council representatives express concern and disappointment at these clear violations of human rights. General Secretary Ivan Abrahams and the Social Justice Committee of the World Methodist Council issued this joint statement today condemning the violence and attacks:The World Methodist Council condemns these attacks which so clearly undermine human rights and dignity. We applaud the actions of Methodist family members within the Republic of South Africa who have stood up against these human rights violations. We also welcome the recent statements of President Zuma and senior government officials. We further support the marches and events held to bring awareness to take a stance against such atrocities. We pray that they are successful in continuing to promote initiatives toward peaceful coexistence. We implore the South African government to protect the rights of all people as enshrined in its Constitution. We further call on Methodists and Wesleyans within the neighboring countries of South Africa to stand in solidarity with and aid all those affected by these attacks. We are one human race. Let us all continue to pray and speak out against the injustices throughout our world.