Twenty-one years ago today was a big day in the Anglican Communion. For on this day in 1986 Desmond Tutu became Archbishop of South Africa. This man is a life-long advocate for justice and has demonstrated well the discipleship of tolerance and respect for all people. This man has taught again, and again the saving message of a God of Love and freedom. Tutu has been for the Anglican communion a great injection of Gospel. In his life, and in his theology we are given a glimpse of the divine, the holy, the sacred. He recently spoke about the sad situation of persons in parts of the Global South denouncing the church in the Global north. He said;
"Jesus did not say, ‘If I be lifted up I will draw some’." Jesus said, ‘If I be lifted up I will draw all, all, all, all, all. Black, white, yellow, rich, poor, clever, not so clever, beautiful, not so beautiful. It’s one of the most radical things. All, all, all, all, all, all, all, all. All belong. Gay, lesbian, so-called straight. All, all are meant to be held in this incredible embrace that will not let us go. All."
Tutu has not just a sense of good theology – he has a wonderful sense of humour. In speaking about the missionaries who came to South Africa he mused;
When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”
Thank God for Desmond Tutu. Today you might offer a prayer of thanksgiving for him. It is an open day in the Church’s calendar and I think we should begin to lobby to have the Anglican Church of Canada to make today his Commemoration. Why wait till this great man to gone to have a day for the church to honour him? He reminds us always what the gospel is.
I don’t preach a social gospel; I preach the Gospel, period. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn’t say, "Now is that political or social?" He said, "I feed you."
Because the good news to a hungry person is bread.”
Here is avideo of Tutu at PeaceJam. Good stuff- shut off the music up top before you play this.