A Prayer Of Thanksgiving For Nelson Mandela

A prayer written today by Rev. Chuck Currie.
United Church of Christ minister

This day we give thanks for the life of Nelson Mandela.
He led a nation on a long walk to freedom.
He fought for reconciliation and not retribution.
He argued for peace in place of war.

Lord, we give you thanks for Madiba.

When other surrendered to darkness he kept faith with the promise of tomorrow.
He envisioned a path to “heal the wounds of the past… ”
…with the intent of constructing a new order based on justice for all.”
His work inspired the world.

Lord, we give you thanks for Madiba.

In his time, the powers and the principalities reviled Jesus.
The leaders of great nations in our time called Mandela a terrorist and a communist.
Powerful interests stood up for white supremacy during the Apartheid era.
Mandela stood up for the least of these.

Lord, we give you thanks for Madiba.

Death is not the final victory.
Nothing can silence the voice of Nelson Mandela – not Robin Island, not death.
His words are eternal.
His voice will echo throughout time.

Lord, we give you thanks for Madiba.

Let us have an ounce of his courage.
Let us have an ounce of his faith.
Comfort those in South Africa and across the world who mourn.
Let the work of Nelson Mandela continue in us.

Lord, we give you thanks for Madiba.

Amen.

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19 thoughts on “A Prayer Of Thanksgiving For Nelson Mandela

  1. The age old dilemma raises it head:- What’s the difference between a bomb-throwing ‘freedom-fighter’ and a bomb-throwing ‘terrorist’?
    Mandela wasn’t in jail on a trumped-up charge. Rightly or wrongly he was responsible for the murder of many, and other atrocities.
    Comparing him to the Jesus character is a travesty.

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      • That:- “In his time, the powers and the principalities reviled Jesus.
        The leaders of great nations in our time called Mandela a terrorist and a communist.”
        ,,,, sounds to me like a direct comparison.
        Moreover, one might wonder on which previous occasion Rev. Chuck Currie (among many other would-be VIPs) waxed so effusive about anyone, including Jesus, or anything.

        ….and of course the 24/7 media hurricane of hyperbole and superlatives is little short of vomit-making. Apparently the South Africans generally are showing a much less hysterical, more muted response to the news.
        Much more respecting and ‘respectable’ one might think.

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  2. You got it all wrong. Sure his methods weren’t perfect but he stood his ground for what he believed in, and that is for freedom and equality for his home country and the people. And despite the dangers he endured he never lost his footing. Not many people have the heart and courage to stand up to the Big Brother system. He is worthy to be seen as an inspiration for many.

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  3. You know, I’ve admitted before that I never really knew much about Mandela but on reading about him he seems to have been a man with purpose, heart, someone who made mistakes paid for them and changed his way. Overall a good man and we will leave him to God now. I’m sure he is at peace with himself. He tried his best and from the outpouring of love shown to him on his passing, his best was pretty good. Not even the saints were perfect.

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    • Well said Kate.

      I suspect that, in the midst of the Yum-Yum-Mandela feeding frenzy, I’ve been misunderstood.
      I have enormous admiration for the man for all the reasons listed above ~ and perhaps a few others . Neither do I have a problem with the means he felt compelled to employ to achieve his ends, unless it’s to suggest they were somewhat restrained.

      My disdain is directed to all the (mostly media, political and some ‘religious’) wannabe’s crawling out of their grease-traps to make their names for history by lodging their claims of camaraderie and solidarity with somebody who puts their own mean and miserable lives in the shade. (which reminds me: where’s Tutu?)

      And while putting it on the line to do ‘good’ is the paramount validation of any life, to some extent one’s efforts must be measured by results and consequences. To that extent Mandela was a failure.
      South Africans are perhaps worse off now than they were under ‘apartheid’, given the ballooning crime-rate (particularly violent crime like rape and murder), and corruption, unemployment, housing, etc; and let’s not forget the insidious AIDS epidemic, which hasn’t even been addressed.

      ….and ‘apartheid’ exists as effectively as ever, only now it’s not based on skin-colour, but (like most other places) on how much money you’ve got/can control and who you can influence. The parade of expensive-suited and healthily-shiny, more than ‘well-fed’ ‘mourners’ and their women haughtily wearing the latest fashions from europe~ escorted by body-guards or State security-personnel contrasts grotesquely with the poverty-stricken ghetto-dwellers oozing about in the filth ~ including open sewers ~ in their own version of ‘mourning’ for the …..er, ‘Great White Hope’ who actually achieved not much at all other than the accolades of the world’s Malcom Frasers, Bob Hawkes, George Bushes and sweaty-faced Tony Blairs, and their ilk.

      And I must say the endless references to his stoicism whilst serving a gaol sentence irritates me, personally. I’m abundantly qualified to have a realistic opinion, and would suggest most other prisoners around the world have a much harder time of it that does a political prisoner like Mandela.
      Moeover, stoicism demonstrates no great merit when the ONLY option available is suicide: it’s truly a ‘do-or-die’ situation.
      Furthermore, Mandela’s imprisonment was nothing out of the ordinary; ANYBODY can get themselves gaoled: even god (wearing his Jesus hat) managed it.

      ….and I note that South Africa’s gaols are still full to overflowing, in conditions worse than anything Mandela experienced.

      I suspect he’d be embarrassed by the tacky, engineered hullaballoo.
      He was a man who did the best he could and never quit; none can do more
      ……but he wasn’t an orphan; plenty of others do likewise.

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      • Yes, I’ve read of a few o/s politicians who have been hijacking his passing to compare themselves to him. Egos galore.

        I’ve also been reading about what you are saying in that SA is still in a bit of a mess. I still do believe his efforts will leave a lasting impression and hopefully encourage new Mandelas. One man can’t do it all on his own in one lifetime, and he did make mistakes but I understand the frustration and anger that could push you to that point. I think most people do. I doubt he made much about his imprisonment, as you say, others did. From what I can gather though, that time actually may have done him good in that it made him think on a less emotional and more constructive level and when he came out of jail, he put that into action (leaving behind a wife that from what I’ve read, was a bad influence).

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      • Dunno that I entirely agree with that:- ” One man can’t do it all on his own in one lifetime,,,,,,,,”

        Want to have a guess at the character referred to here?:-

        “………..undisguised in public for the first time since the July Days, although not yet having regrown his trademark beard. The American journalist John Reed described the man who appeared at about 8:40 pm to “a thundering wave of cheers”:

        A short, stocky figure, with a big head set down in his shoulders, bald and bulging. Little eyes, a snubbish nose, wide, generous mouth, and heavy chin; clean-shaven now, but already beginning to bristle with the well-known beard of his past and future. Dressed in shabby clothes, his trousers much too long for him. Unimpressive, to be the idol of a mob, loved and revered as perhaps few leaders in history have been. A strange popular leader—a leader purely by virtue of intellect; colourless, humourless, uncompromising and detached, without picturesque idiosyncrasies—but with the power of explaining profound ideas in simple terms, of analysing a concrete situation. And combined with shrewdness, the greatest intellectual audacity.[94]

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      • ps. Have you ever seen an old movie called ‘Reds’ (stellar cast)?
        Although a Hollywood depiction of John Reed who reported the socialist revolution in Russia, it does a fairly good job of conveying a sense of what it was all about.
        ….and the rendition of the Internationale near the end is stirring indeed.

        ….wonder if anyone has suggested playing it at Mandela’s funeral?

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      • ps. Have you ever seen an old movie called ‘Reds’ (stellar cast)?
        Although a Hollywood depiction of John Reed who reported the socialist revolution in Russia, it does a fairly good job of conveying a sense of what it was all about. A bit longwinded, but worth a watch.
        ….and the rendition of the Internationale is stirring indeed.

        …wonder if anyone has suggested playing it at Mandela’s funeral?

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      • I haven’t seen it and I’d never heard of Reed so I did a Wikipedia trip and I don’t think I’d want to see the movie (I also don’t really like Warren Beatty, loved his sister though).

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  4. No one is perfect. Lets hope more Mandelas emerge in the future from countries that still practice apartheid on themselves or their neighbours.

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