‘You are God’s people of reconciliation’ – Archbishop preaches in South Sudan
Wednesday 5th February 2014Preaching at All Saints Cathedral in Juba, South Sudan, last week during a six-day visit to Africa, the Archbishop of Canterbury offered encouragement to South Sudanese Christians in their role supporting reconciliation in the conflict-torn country
Archbishop Justin has reassured Christians in South Sudan they are not forgotten by Christians elsewhere and urged them to see themselves as “God’s people of reconciliation”.
In a sermon preached at All Saints Cathedral in the South Sudanese capital Juba on Thursday last week, the Archbishop said Christians in England pray daily for Sudan and South Sudan and its Christian people. “Your courage and faith gives us courage and faith,” he said.
Archbishop Justin is currently on a six-day visit to South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to be in solidarity with Anglican leaders and communities.
In a sermon focused on the nature of reconciliation, the Archbishop said such work is “long and hard” and stretches the resources of even the most loving human being. But he said the reconciliation of Christ is without limits. “If you want reconciliation in South Sudan, renew your reconciliation with God in Jesus.”
The Archbishop said reconciliation requires facing reality and telling the truth about suffering experienced and harm done. It needs to be “lived in relationships”. “When there is enough confidence to meet each other, then honest talking is possible.
Stressing the importance of caring for those who have suffered, the Archbishop added that no conflict can be solved without women – in particular he said God is calling the Mother’s Union to “lead reconciliation”.
Ending his sermon, the Archbishop told those gathered that reconciliation must be “nourished”. “God resources us in reconciliation. The more love we give, the more love we get.
“I promise to accompany you and support you in reconciliation in South Sudan. I don’t know how, but God will give us the means. We will find the resources. We cannot do much but God can do everything. You are his people of reconciliation. We are Christ’s ambassadors, as though God is making his appeal through us, be reconciled to God. Be reconcilers of South Sudan: men, women and children.”