The juxtaposition of this Sunday, the second Sunday of Advent’s theme is Peace, with the death of Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, a few days ago was almost painful. I found the outpouring of grief and the sense of loss mixed with triumph absolutely extraordinary. I am pretty sure this is unprecedented for a, primarily, political figure, even as it is richly deserved.
If you have been following this blog or listening to me preach over the years you may have noticed that I don’t bring a lot of current news into my preaching; lots of current happenings in my and my family’s life plus what I know of the congregation’s events but not “news.” I don’t even seem to notice Mother’s Day or Father’s Day or Valentine’s Day or any of those sorts of days and I am not likely to apologize for either of these areas I skip over. But. There are some events that are very much worth talking about in a sermon and the death of the man described as the moral leader of the twentieth and early twenty first century is one of them.
One of the things I was trying to get at in today’s sermons is the difference between peacefulness and true peace. One of the Lectionary readings, at first glance, doesn’t seem to fit “Peace” in any way but it does. I have been wrestling with how these texts work together every three years for the past seven years or so and I think I finally got something this year.
Knox Presbyterian Peace
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Peace
PS This is the song that solidified my understanding of what Mandiba was working to end, Biko by Peter Gabriel