Nelson Mandela - Honoring a Bastion of Freedom & Reconciliation
In remembering the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, one is struck by the incredible courage, endurance and conviction that he showed in his struggle for freedom. At 95, Mandela showed that world that forgiveness and reconciliation must conquer bitterness and hatred for true peace to be won. And, after spending 27 years in prison for his relentless efforts to end apartheid in South Africa, he penned these words... "No one is born hating another person for the color of his skin or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, because love comes more naturally to the human heart than it's opposite".
While many South Africans mourn the loss of a national son and hero, the world has lost a true example of that very love, whose determination to establish justice for the poor and marginalized goes unmatched by most any other man of his generation. In many ways, he lived out the very words of the prophet in Isaiah 58, in his quest for freedom and justice.
However, as much as we may honor and learn from Nelson Mandela, and resolve to live in the light of Isaiah 58, so must we also live in the light of Isaiah 60, and its sobering but hopeful revelation that in the end, all will be well, although not ultimately because of the work of human hands, but because of the outworking of the reign of God in Christ and through the Spirit—toward which the work of a Nelson Mandela is indeed a signpost.