To listen to the audio of this Service of Confession, Reconciliation and Healing, regarding the xenophobic violence in SA, click on this link
Dear family and friends – fellow travellers in Following Jesus!
It is with a heavy heart that I (we… I speak on behalf of the Oversight Team) write to you. We are experiencing attacks, with rumours of more attacks, on foreign African nationals in SA. Tens of thousands are living in fear, with their extended families in their home nations worried and perplexed as to what’s going on. It can explode into terrible ethnic violence in SA and retaliatory violence in our neighboring nations… God forbid! What a shameful day to be a South African! We humble ourselves, confess and turn from our sin, asking God for mercy to heal our land of all the blood that’s been shed – not only in this wave of violence, but in our long history of shameless murder and racist violence.
Because of the seriousness of the situation I decided to set aside my planned teaching and hold a service of confession, reconciliation and healing. We humbly ask ALL the foreign nationals, particularly Africans, in our church, to forgive us for what we South Africans are doing to them. God’s house – his Holy Temple, the Church of Jesus Christ – is a “House of Prayer for All Nations” (Isaiah 56:7, Mark 11:17). We are blessed by God to have a growing number of (inter)nationals worshipping with us. What a great opportunity to model here and now God’s future reconciled family worshipping at his heavenly throne: “I saw a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands” (Rev 7:9). May we truly become God’s House of Prayer for All Nations, God’s instrument of reconciliation and healing in society, the hope of Africa!
Read the statement from the Vineyard (below) in response to the xenophobic violence. I won’t comment further – simply to call on us to actually do points 1 to 4.
Prayer is still our primary ‘weapon of warfare’ in the spiritual battle behind the racism of xenophobic violence. We had a powerful time of prayer on Friday night, pouring out our hearts before God in confession, repentance and intercession. Why not commit to come every third Friday night of every month to do ‘prayer-warfare’ with us? Continue reading Pastoral Letter regarding the Xenophobic Violence in SA