On this Youth Day, 2020, REACH-South Africa remembers and mourns for the many young people who lost their lives in the struggle against Apartheid. As we pause to remember our painful past, we are also grieved at the many divisions that still exist in our society today. The current focus on racial injustices in the USA has echoed around the world and reminds us again of the many prejudices that remain entrenched in our society and ultimately, in our hearts.
As we remember the terrible legacy of our Apartheid past, we also confess that our own denomination bears the guilt of silence over many years when we should have made our voice heard. We commit again to ongoing prayerful reflection, dialogue and reformation in our quest to rightly reflect Christ’s united church in Africa.
We affirm that the gospel of reconciliation to God in Christ must also work itself out in reconciliation with each other. This includes caring for the poor and marginalized, standing against injustice and working for a better society. For God’s people, there can be no personal piety without public Christianity. To disregard the suffering and pain of any human being is a failure to live out God’s will for the lives of His people. This is true whether we speak of racial injustice, the abuse of women and children, the killing of unborn babies and the elderly or whatever sins might be dominant in a society.
We pray for our country and ask that God would show mercy to her people over this time of crisis. We ask God to give our leaders wisdom and courage to lead rightly and justly. We pray for Christ’s church in South Africa, that we would be bold not just in proclaiming the gospel but also in living it out. May God’s people set the example in showing Biblical reconciliation, restitution and justice in our land.
Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika
The Bishops of REACH-South Africa
Youth Day 2020
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28 ESV)