The death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Boxing Day 2021 will bring to greater focus the outstanding work of this great man.
What stands out most for me is his unapologetic commitment to defend the rights of all people, regardless of their race, sexual orientation, or other socially imposed category. Yet as chairman of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he is widely known for his insistence on forgiveness and public apology as the way forward in the aftermath of apartheid.
I am forever grateful to Archbishop Tutu for helping me to understand why a loving, caring God has allowed institutionalised racism to persist, and to be justified by persons purporting to be Christians.
The Archbishop’s response was:
“…we are human beings who have been given, extraordinarily, by this God we worship the gift of freedom. And God has such a deep reverence for that gift, that God who — alone I usually say he has the perfect right to be a totalitarian, had much rather see us go freely to hell than compel us to go to heaven. God takes seriously the gift that God has given us. And we make choices. And the God, who is an omnipotent God, in many ways become impotent, because God has given us the gift to choose.”
Making the choice to forgive is one of the best gifts that we can give ourselves and other people. Forgiveness closes the door on the futile attempt to change the past. Forgiveness paves the way for a better future.
“Without forgiveness there is no future. Any process of peace is bound to collapse if this is missing. There is no way peace and stability can come through the gun of vengeance.”Archbishop Desmond Tutu
May his soul rest in peace and rise in glory!
Christ in you, the hope of glory. That’s why glory matters.