October 2, 2008


Posted in Philosophy, Religion, South Africa, Thoughts tagged , , , , , , at 1:08 am by randallbutisingh


From: Randall Butisingh <randallbutisingh@hotmail.com>
Subject: RE: South Africa – “Who is my Neighbour”
To: bekonkol@yahoo.com
Date: Saturday, September 20, 2008.

I visited the ELCA – Evangelical Lutheran Church of America website (www.elca.org), and read the sermon by Father Lapsley on ‘Who is my neighbour” and was most interested. Most Christians do not seem to realize that there is only one race, the human race and whatever the colour of our skin, our ethnic background, our culture, we are all God’s children, created by the One God, made from the same dust, in His Image, with His Divine spark in us and therefore we are all equal. We are however endowed with different talents in varying degrees, but each an essential component in the Mosaic which is indivisible Humanity. Each, therefore, has to show respect to the other and cooperate, or else there will be conflict and disharmony. We are our brother’s keeper. We are neighbours to our enemy as well as our friend. Our Lord exhorts us to love our enemies. It is the only way we can win him and make him our friend. To try to overcome him by violence is only fostering more hate, which is not conducive to harmony and peace.

We must also remember that we are expected to use our talents wisely. To whom much is given, much is required. Also we cannot cull the flowers and make a bouquet and then say the flowers are ours, or stake off a piece of land and say it belongs to us. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. Think, O man, your neighbour is yourself.

From: bekonkol@yahoo.com
Subject: RE: South Africa
To: randallbutisingh@hotmail.com
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008
I appreciate your words about the beauty of “unity” and “diversity”. It reminds me of a sermon I preached just a few weeks ago, where I considered the joy of hearing many voices in a choir. The choir is “united” by following the same music and following the same conductor, yet it is diverse in the sense that it contains many types of voices. I concluded that we as a human race are similar, for although we are all united as One People created in God’s Imagine (and hopefully, we are following God just as a conductor!), we are also unique in that we all have a special part in the choir. We are not “identical” (how boring would that be!), but we are united through our diversity.
Of course, all of this is much more easily said than followed through in day to day life. I believe the candidacy of Barrack Obama is showing people in the USA that racial tensions are very much alive and real, and the concept of “who is my neighbor” continues to be tested. Obama is an amazing man with great leadership credentials, yet it is clear to me that many Americans simply cannot vote for a non-white. Of course, people will make excuses such as “not experienced” or “not tough enough”, but I am convinced that when it comes time for people to vote, many of the private prejudices will be displayed in the isolation of the voting booth. It’s sad that we still have such a long way to go. Thank you again for sparking these thoughts! It’s always good to have someone to bounce ideas off of.
God’s blessings to you this day and always…
With peace,
Rev. Brian E. Konkol
Project Co-Coordinator, South Africa
Young Adults in Global Mission
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
P.O. Box 28694
Haymarket 3200. South Africa
Phone: (Country Code 027) 033-396-5494
Cell: (Country Code 027) 071-121-9692
E-Mail: bekonkol@yahoo.comWeb (personal): http://briankristenkonkol.blogspot.com
Web (project): http://elcamud.blogspot.com


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