Smuts van Rooyen on the Blessing of the Reverend Canon Tutu
December 16, is a national holiday in South Africa intended to celebrate ethnic unity and harmony. It’s called the Day of Reconciliation. In 2015 it was marked by protest rallies in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape town, and Port Elizabeth. There was a strident call for president Jacob Zuma to step down. What sparked the demonstrations was his impulsive firing of Mr. Nene, the Minister of Finance, which sent the currency into a free fall and resulted in the downgrading of the country’s investment rating by Moody to junk status. Thousands of citizens took to the streets carrying “Zumamustgo” signs. In Cape Town the marchers were sent on their way with a remarkable prayer by the Rev. Canon Tutu, the daughter of the iconic Desmond Tutu. She prayed:
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May God bless you with foolishness so that you may think you can make a difference.”
What strange and powerful blessings! Imagine anger and foolishness as blessings coming from God! But as I see it, it is a prayer of last resort. Both anger and foolishness are a call to stop anxious handwringing, and feelings of futility in the face of a crisis. In short the blessing is a call to get mad enough to try.
It is important to understand that the central issue at the upcoming Fall Council is still the ordination of women. The matters of GC authority and denominational unity that have recently arisen are structures of deceit meant to deflect from the immoral way the church is treating women. We all want unity, and we all see the GC as having legitimate authority. We want to throw our support behind the mission of the church, and its leadership. What we cannot tolerate is our leaders insisting that women sit at the back of the bus.
Blessings to you!
Smuts van Rooyen