Excruciating Vulnerability

Grace and peace to you …

During our Three Hour Service on Good Friday the reflection entitled The Cross as Excruciating Vulnerability seems to have touched a nerve. You can find it on www.cmm.org.za if you missed it. One email response I received articulates so crisply what I think so many of us feel:

“Your sermon made me think lots today, which I try to avoid, really. Part of the numbing maybe. But when I think I tend to get to a horrible place that I don’t know how to get out of.

My biggest challenge is changing my self beliefs so that I believe I am enough, that I am worthy. I battle to connect because I feel I am not enough, that I am actually that miserable sod you mentioned! My perspective is that the relationships I have had with people are proof of that. And if anyone thinks differently it is just because they haven’t got to know me enough, got to know the real me.

I think I have backed away from some connections with people because I believe I am not enough in all sorts of ways…People deserve better or more than what I am.

So I ended up in a marriage that started when I was in an extremely stressful place. I was exhausted. I needed the connection with someone more than ever. But I still struggled with my self beliefs. Thinking I didn’t deserve better. A bad connection is better than no connection. Feeling the shame of who I am…thinking I should recognise and at least be grateful for what I do have. But then the connection never felt safe. I didn’t feel like I could be vulnerable. I wasn’t heard…I couldn’t share. If I tried it would be dismissed. So I felt like there was something wrong with me. It reinforced what I thought about myself in the first place.

The point where I get stuck is how to change my thinking, to start believing I am enough, I am worthy, I am not a miserable sod! And knowing that I need to believe it for myself, not feel that I am getting that self belief from others. If I don’t feel worthy to be loved how do I break the cycle? If we do not feel loved into worthiness and believed it to be so, what do we do?”

This is the question that propels us on our long walk to freedom,

President, do the honourable thing says Methodists

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa welcomes the unanimous judgement by the Constitutional Court on the Nkandla matter. Of crucial importance is comment by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng that “ours is a genuine and vibrant constitutional democracy capable of self-correction and self-preservation… and that the rule of law is imperative for the survival of democracy.”

The clarification of the powers of the Public Protector is also welcome and will hopefully serve as a deterrent to any who would want to undermine any Chapter 9 institutions. The remedial action articulated in the Public Protector’s report and those expounded by the Constitutional Court must be implemented without further delay. The public resources that were wasted on unnecessary investigations are regrettable.

The judgement found that the President violated the Constitution and his oath of office in that he “failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land...” Furthermore, he defied the orders by the Public Protector to pay back a portion of the money for the non-security upgrades to Nkandla, backed by the National Assembly which too was found to have acted unconstitutionally and in flagrant violation of their duty to protect the constitution.

These events call for President Zuma to do the honourable thing and resign to save himself, the ANC and the nation as a whole from further embarrassment and ruin. This will go a long way in assisting his supporters to accept his exit, without the polarisation of society. If this does not happen, we the people of South Africa must put pressure on the ANC and Parliament to ‘assist’ the President to vacate office peacefully and constitutionally. The president’s embattled term of office has been marred with too many unresolved claims and scandals including Nkandla, the Arms deal debacle, and the recent revelations of alleged State capture by the Gupta’s and the time has come to put the country first.

We further call on the South African public to learn from these unfortunate events and rally together towards the building of a future that promises hope and well-being for all. We have a duty to protect our constitutional democracy for the generations to come.

We further pray that the National Assembly will in future act in a manner that demonstrates that they put the interests of the country first, uphold the trust placed in them by the electorate and are not just blind pawns and protectors of any individual.

This is the time to soak the nation in prayer and the MCSA calls on all people of faith to join together in prayer for peaceful resolution and possible transition into the post-Nkandla era.

Statement released by Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa
Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa

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