Sunday, January 18, 2009

They’ll Know You Are My Disciples

How refreshing, challenging, and disturbing. MukomaWa Ngugi wrote his appraisal of lessons learned and not learned from the Kenya election fiasco of 2008 in the Jan-Mar 09 edition of BBC Focus on Africa.

Refreshing because Ngugi profiles the National Council of Churches of Kenya as responding in an honorable role during this hiatus of Kenya politics. Not because the churches remained exempt from participation in the violence, but rather because they publicly acknowledged their partisan response to the post election violence and apologized for not taking a united stand for justice. Such a humble public admission of wrong stands out as a stark example in a time when many governments and leaders flounder to make reasonable and honorable excuses for their own failures that have crippled nations and cost great loss of lives.

Challenging because Ngugi showcases the church’s apology on the international field, setting a standard for the Church worldwide to be as courageous in admitting their failures to be the source of solving problems rather than being embroiled in the problems along with the public. Challenging because the watching world knows how the Church should respond! Challenging because they know the Church should be different.

Disturbing because Ngugi has highlighted the Council of Church’s acknowledgement and apology in such a way that leaves us as believers with a serious reminder to follow their example in our very basic everyday existence. While it feels quite safe for us to honestly confess our sins privately to God, it is another thing to transparently acknowledge those same sins and failures in the presence of our most beloved critics, our family members and peers. In an era of political mud slinging and dodging expertise, the National Council of Churches of Kenya has clearly modeled the radical humility that God calls for in those of us who would call ourselves Christians.

So refreshing, challenging, and disturbing. The eyes of the world have observed and recognized a higher standard. And they shall know you are my disciples by your…humility and confession of wrong. Now that is disturbing.

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