Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Glory of Reconciliation and the Hell of Alienation

South Sudan
I have seen people reconciled to God, and to one another. Nothing, to me, is more beautiful.

Linda and I watched "The Color Purple" tonight. It just finished. I have tears in my eyes.

The most glorious and impactful scene of reconciliation happens at the movie's end, where the prostitute Shug is embraced by her father who pastors a church. At this point in the movie God is telling all kinds of people something, and they are listening. This is followed by one of the great reunion scenes in filmdom, where the long-exiled sisters Celie and Hattie see each other, and Celie sees her children for the first time since they were infants. We are right here at the heart of the gospel and the kingdom of heaven. This, for me, represents why I follow Jesus.

The movie is over, and I am satieted. I go to and read "Born in Unity, South Sudan Is Torn Again."

I've been following Sudan from afar ever since I was in Kenya a little over a year ago. I was then told of the impending split of Sudan into two nations, Sudan and South Sudan. Danger and fear and hope were in the air. Mostly fear, from those I talked to. (Imagine being Kenya today, with South Sudan to the north and Somalia to the east?)

Then it happened - in July 2011 - a new nation was birthed. There was momentary jubilation.

Now, we have unreconciled hell on earth, the antithesis of the Gospel of the Kingdom.

The article begins...

"The trail of corpses begins about 300 yards from the corrugated metal gate of the United Nations compound and stretches for miles into the bush."

"There is an old man on his back, a young woman with her legs splayed and skirt bunched up around her hips, and a whole family — man, woman, two children — all facedown in the swamp grass, executed together. How many hundreds are scattered across the savannah, nobody really knows."

"Eight thousand fighters just besieged this small town in the middle of a vast expanse, razing huts, burning granaries, stealing tens of thousands of cows and methodically killing hundreds, possibly thousands, of men, women and children hiding in the bush.

The raiders had even broadcast their massacre plans.

“We have decided to invade Murleland and wipe out the entire Murle tribe on the face of the earth,” the attackers, from a rival ethnic group, the Nuer, warned in a public statement."
"The attack was presaged by a fund-raising drive for the Nuer militia in the United States — a troubling sign that behind the raiders toting Kalashnikovs and singing war songs was an active back office half a world away. Gai Bol Thong, a Nuer refugee in Seattle who helped write the militia’s statement, said he had led an effort to cobble together about $45,000 from South Sudanese living abroad for the warriors’ food and medicine.
“We mean what we say,” he said in an interview. “We kill everybody. We are tired of them.” (He later scaled back and said he meant they would kill Murle warriors, not civilians.)"
This war is about ethnic divisions, and "ethnic cleansing."
In Christ there are no ethic divisions. God is trying to tell people something, but people are not listening.