Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Bishop Trevor Huddleston was a well known peacemaker . He was a Community of Resurrection missionary …Over the course of 13 years in Sophiatown, T. Huddleston developed into a much-loved priest and respected anti-apartheid activist, earning him the nickname Makhalipile (“dauntless one”).
He fought against the apartheid laws, which were increasingly systematised by the Nationalist government which was voted in by the white electorate in 1948. and in 1955 the African National Congress (ANC) bestowed the rare Isitwalandwe award of honour on him at the famous Freedom Congress in Kliptown .
He returned to England in 1956 and wrote his seminal work, Naught for your Comfort . He served as Bishop of Mauritius and Archbishop of the Indian Ocean from 1978-1984 and during his awesome Episcopacy in Mauritius , Archbishop Ian and myself and many others joined the Seminary . As a staunch defender of the Oppressed in South Africa he openly declared that ‘ I will see the death of Apartheid in South Africa before I die ‘ . His dream came true as he witnessed his friend Nelson Mandela freed from prison and the exit of officialized apartheid in S Africa.
Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962 for conspiring to overthrow the state and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial. Mandela served 27 years in prison, initially on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. Amid growing domestic and international pressure, and with fears of a racial civil war, President F. W. de Klerk released him in 1990. From his 27 years in prison he became the first Black Elected President of South Africa in 1994 . Mandela emphasised reconciliation between the country’s racial groups and created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission chaired by Archbishop Tutu to investigate past human rights abuses.
Mandela’s leadership in the relatively peaceful end to the brutal apartheid system was indeed critical, as was his leadership three decades earlier in the shift from armed resistance by the African National Congress (ANC) to the non-violent PEACEFUL way forward .
Jesus reminds us all in Matthew 26:52
“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to Peter, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. In other words : ‘ he who kills by the sword dies by the sword ‘.
The vicious circle of lethal violence can be stopped and only the bravehearted humble peacemaker who can courageously and patiently manage it .
Today’s world is witnessing often selfish , arrogant and violent bullies at political and all levels of society . In warmonger prone countries killings are a common daily happening and people live in fear and trembling . The example of Mandela’s struggle against White Apartheid South Africa and the way forward post–Apartheid is exceptional compared to the event in Zimbabwe in 2000 where , Quote , ” hundreds of Zimbabwe’s white farmers prepared to leave their land yesterday following Robert Mugabe’s announcement of the seizure of 804 mostly white-owned farms for the resettlement of poor black farmers.
” No cheap solution is acceptable for any party but for the Bravehearted humble Peacemaker ..when the going gets tough , the tough get going ..!!! God’s Children believe in God’s grace and mercy to the end .
Peacemakers are children of God as they fuse and infuse the new incomparable peaceful creation to be birthed in our broken sinful world . A new vision and a new earth and a new transformed society can be remodeled and refashioned with a new paradigms of creativity by the grace and mercy of God .
For with God nothing shall be impossible .. God’s Children believe in these promises just like candid innocent children …Luke 1:37-50
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 1 Thes 5:15
Lord Jesus Christ, open the eyes of my heart to recognize your presence with all the peacemakers as their faith in action speak louder than millions of words . May I learn to understand the truth of your saving grace as I put your unquenchable love and peace into practice and nourish me with your yummy crunchy bread of life. Amen
+ Bishop Roger Chung Jaomalaza