Once more our beloved land, South Africa, seems to be at a crisis-point. The last huge moment in our nation’s history was in 1994, when, miraculously and in answer to concerted prayer, God delivered all our people from a possible bloodbath in the aftermath of apartheid.
This time it is again a political crisis, with a president who is generally considered one of the weakest leaders ever of the 100-year-old African National Congress. There is an economic crisis, with the rich getting richer and the poor poorer -we have not escaped the ripples of the global economic crisis, even though our own economists assure us that we are better off than Europe. Worst of all is a moral and spiritual crisis with many declaring aloud that South Africa, like most nations around the world, has totally lost her moral compass – we live with massive financial corruption and social protest on an almost daily basis.
I can remember a specific night, in the early 80’s, when our children were small and asleep, my wife and I were praying for their future. It was a time of massive political frustration and fear. We were doing our best to build bridges, but it was like spitting into a storm. How would things turn out for our children? As we committed our family to God I can remember a great peace falling on me as husband, father, provider and protector: God was more than equal to the situation. Some 30 years later my wife and I can testify to the truth of that! And yes, we love and will never leave Africa!
A few weeks ago I recalled a hymn we used to sing during those uncertain days. It was penned by John B. Gardener, a Methodist school teacher. Wherever you are right now, whatever your turmoil, here are words of direction and strength for us all…
“Who will save our land and people?
Who can rescue us from wrong?
We are lost – faint, false and foolish –
We have slighted God too long.
Save the people, Lord and Saviour,
Guide us home from country far;
Holy Fire, consume our rancours
Thy kingdom come in Africa.
Make our land as clean and wholesome
As the white of sea-washed sands;
Stretch our vision vast and boundless
As our brown-spread, dusty lands.
Make our people strong and steadfast
As the hills that claw the sky;
Hear our prayer for land and people:
‘God bless Africa’, we cry.
We believe God is our Saviour; Christ enough to heal our land.
He will use the Church, his servants: We on earth his stretched-out hand.
May his Church in loving service, shown to all whose path is rough,
Give a clear, united witness, and proclaim: ‘Christ is enough!’
Christ enough to break all barriers; Christ enough in peace, in strife;
Christ enough to build our nation; Christ enough for death, for life;
Christ enough for old and lonely; Christ enough for those who fall;
Christ enough to save the sin-sick; Christ enough for one; for all!”
Christ is indeed enough, not only for our society and the Church, but also for us as individual followers of Jesus. I commend to you two other mighty hymns, Ephesians chapters 1-3 and Colossians chapters 1-2!
PS. I hope to blog soon on ‘The Great Disconnect’… something for every serious Jesus-follower. Blog address below…