Monday, 17 March 2008

Are you one of the crowd or are you prepared to bear witness? A reflection for Holy Week from Rev. Dr Setri Nyomi

Setri Nyomi, who is general secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, preached a thought-provoking sermon this morning taking us from Palm Sunday to Good Friday.
He asked us to consider whether we were simply members of the crowd, crying "Hosanna" when everyone else did and "Crucuify him" when that was more in vogue; or whether we were witness willing to hold on to a longer term and more difficult truth.
Setri put it this way,

"A witness stands by what he/she has seen, and is prepared to go against the tide to proclaim it. A witness looks at the evil and injustice in society, and sees God’s call to be agents of transformation – and we can do no other. Someone who goes with the crowd, may when convenient speak the language of justice because we find ourselves in the company of people who are talking justice in this house – but when we are in another setting where people are condemning those who stand for justice as fanatic and ideological, we go along with the flow. It is easy to do."

His preaching also inspired Manoj Kurian to write some verses in response to the challenge. I've posted the verses here but here's a taste:

"Are we part of the crowd ?
Swayed by the influential and the appealing?
Making convenient compromises,
Preserving and expanding our power and status;
Oblivious of the Messiah among the vulnerable and the poor;
Broadening the highways of our selfish desire;
Obstructing the narrow paths;
That lead to the reign of God."

You can find the order of service from this morning here.