Open letter to His Divine Grace Dr Bishop BE Lekganyane

Mabila Mathebula

Mabila Mathebula

Published Mar 28, 2024


Mabila Mathebula

Kgotsong! Have you felt a sense of reverence that you could not adequately express yourself? You feel with the Psalmist that your “cup overflows”.

That was how I felt when I penned this letter to you. By the time you read this letter, the Prince of Peace would have long entered Jerusalem, the city of peace, which peace is more slippery than an oiled eel in our modern and unstable world.

The Easter Weekend is synonymous with the Zion Christian Church Easter pilgrimage where millions of pilgrims throng to the Holy City of Moria to intercede for the country and the world. I am aware that this year, the ZCC pilgrims will not be making their Easter Weekend pilgrimage to Zion City Moria (ZCM).

I am writing this letter from a purely ascending perspective and not from a descending perspective. May I impress upon you that there are two ways of acquiring knowledge: the ascending process and the descending process. By ascending process, one is elevated by the knowledge acquired by themselves. For example, knowledge acquired from a university or college. On the other hand, the descending process involves receiving knowledge from God or a higher authority. There is no doubt that your knowledge comes from a higher authority.

From time immemorial, the ZCC has been a catalyst for political change in South Africa, from the Anglo-Boer War to now. As we celebrate 30 years of our democracy, most analysts look in the rear view mirror by focusing on the past 30 years as opposed to the past 40.

I am focusing on the past 40 years in preparation for our democracy when in 1984, you invited PW Botha to the Holy City of Moria. There, you lectured him on peace after you exchanged Bibles. The invitation changed the South African political landscape forever where a negotiated settlement became a better option as opposed to the armed Struggle.

Ten years later, in 1994, you also invited Nelson Mandela, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and FW de Klerk to the Holy City of Moria where you impressed upon them strength in unity as well as the essence of a peaceful transition to democracy without the shedding of blood. Simply put, you have been a torch-bearer of peace and the protector of the flame in South Africa.

On May 29, our nation will be going to the polls to elect their preferred leaders. This is a crucial year for the country because it is facing enormous challenges such as the high unemployment rate, the high crime rate, moral degeneration, substance abuse, escalating food and fuel prices and the lack of credible leadership in the private and public sector.

The challenges we are facing as a country are convoluted but not insurmountable. I have been asking myself what would happen to this country after the general election was over. The following questions kept flooding back: Which political party will get more votes? How will the new government be reconfigured? How will the international committee relate to South Africa after the election?

I have no answers to the questions; I find myself stuck in the pathless path. My hopes are hinged upon you to unravel the mysteries as you intercede for our beloved country.

This brings me the Holy Scriptures and the reason why I thought it prudent to direct this letter to you. Revelation 5: 5: “I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals? And no one in heaven or on the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has prevailed to open the scroll and loose its seven seals.”

Like John the revelatory, when I thought of our challenges as a country, I also wept but recalled that in the past, you have successfully opened the scroll and loosened its seven seals under all sorts of countervailing pressures when no other leader dared venture into the unknown.

Our country is on tenterhooks. We will need a strong and able crew to effect a safe journey. That is why we need a leadership that has acquired knowledge through a descending process to intercede for us as we are groping in darkness. Our success as a country depends on strong spirituality as aptly put by Albert Schweitzer: “One truth stands firm. All that happens in the world history rests on something spiritual. If the spiritual is strong, it creates world history. If it is weak, it suffers world history.”

Although your church will not be embarking on the Easter Weekend pilgrimage to ZCM this year, I hope the church members will intensify their prayer of intercession in the run-up to the election and after the election.

I think you will agree with me when I say we need to invoke the ancient wisdom of prayer to address our challenges in South Africa.

Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, there was a religious sect called the Essenes (pronounced “e-see-nees”). The Essenes viewed prayer as a language through which to honour nature and the creative intelligence of the cosmos. They practised prayer and peace as their moral compass.

The Essenes never ate meat; they believed that when you ate animal flesh, the meat would shorten your life. In the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Essence wrote: “Then shall the Son of Man seek peace within his own thoughts.”

The last words spoken by members of the brothers and sisters of the Essenes were: “Peace be with you!” Kgotso ebe le lona!

Author and life coach Mathebula has a PhD in construction management.

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