by beatrice ofwona
5/10/2010 / Christian Living
A living rat is to be more feared than a dead lion-African saying
We haggled with a friend about whether or not a nation needed repentance especially if it was going through famines, earthquakes and general strife. From the current goings on like the Haiti quake, I drew parallels of interpretation from the bible about instances when God had brought down famines or destructive rains in torrents and floods to pass a message. Thinking of the general discontent in some countries, I wondered if our leaders could humble themselves with the rest of the nation and repent if that is what it would take to right things.
We had both watched a Fijian documentary entitled 'Let the Sea Resound' and which centered around the Fijian Islands unrest of May 2000 that came as a result of an election stand off after an Indian Fijian was brought to the helm of leadership and rejected by a percentage of the populace in a country of mixed races who had been having long standing issues. The events that preceded these dark days were dominated by discontent between native Fijians and the business oriented Indo-Fijians of Asian descent. In what came to be 56 days of holding the leader hostage in his palace by coup detat perpetrators, the country's main city disintegrated into a chaotic mass of looting, vandalism, violence and a collapsed economy as tourists abandoned the Islands as a choice destination.
These divisions were fuelled by the different denominations and churches which had always lived in finger pointing, mudslinging and cat and mouse sort of relationships. These ill feelings seemed to have been simmering underneath the praise and worship of the different churches. Luckily though, the churches realized that this one time called for looking beyond the walls of competition and embracing one another in communal transformation. In what can only be termed as a miracle, the whole nation went down on its knees in repentance in wails and cries that could be heard throughout the city as they drowned out gunfire, hatred and mistrust of yester years. Days of prayer saw those whose businesses had been vandalized healed in hugs and tears of forgiveness. In God's merciful intervention, co operations that were long overdue were fostered in the formation of the Association of Churches in Fiji and through whose prayers the country saw itself pulled back from the brink of despair. In July 2001, countrywide prayers and fellowships were held during which time the Prime Minister gave a humbling, moving and healing prayer of forgiveness. In an unprecedented speech, he honored God as the King of Kings and asked for personal renewal to enable him be a better leader. Elections were around the corner, but not once did he use the platform to campaign for votes.
Many nations now conduit wrong doings, encourage abortions, thrive on sensationalism and cushion impunity as they seek to outdo one another in the arena of dishonesty. Whether or not we fail to see the connection between actions and a country's depravity is debatable. It has been said that a leadership will reflect a culture of a people yet from whence the rotten apple cometh is not known. Somehow the sack now carries many apples in the same state from the top to the bottom. As the worms of impunity burrow deep into them, a stench arises that necessitates that the apples be sorted lest their fate be wholesomely sealed. It is suddenly left for us to wonder who really is 'church' and who really Christ commissioned to be like him. Because the hope of the world lies with us.
May these words (sermons), from various men and women of God be a blessing to all.
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