Painting by Thomas Morawski
There is something deeply satisfying in walking in solidarity with thousands of others for a principle that one deeply believes in. The marches in Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban on Wednesday 30 September against corruption were aimed not only against government but also business and all other forms of corruption. The slogan of ethics, values and clean living resonated among many. One man told me “I am marching against corruption in the knowledge that I personally need tighter discipline and ethics”. The Pretoria march from Burgers Park Hotel to the Union Buildings flowed like a river with more than 7500 people enjoying the diversity and expression of solidarity. Banners as diverse as from those with political slogans to Lawyers for Human Rights Against Corruption, Poor Against Corruption, Atheists Against Corruption to Churches United Against Corruption made for a united message that SA is mobilising. One particularly striking poster was a picture of the Union Buildings with a “for sale” and then “sold” sticker on it. As the day passed, I started pondering the significance of what had transpired, and thought of Christ walking the streets of Jerusalem 2000 years ago. There were similar sounds, revolutionaries baying for the overthrow of the Roman occupiers to the indifferent response of the compromised elite. Herod and his ilk had sold their souls for power, privilege and wealth. Jesus, cognizant of both, kept His gaze upon the Kingdom and its objectives. He was bringing the Gospel as planned before time with the Good News that the Kingdom of Heaven was near: the Kingdom being about righteousness, justice, shalom and joy. Threatened by this, the status quo, both revolutionaries and the compromised elite, played their roles and participated in His crucifixion. “Give us Barabbas” they shouted! South African Christians need to know that while we walk in solidarity within a defined Kingdom space and as we march against corruption in the streets, because we have to, we march however, in the knowledge that we follow a Kingdom agenda. Our position and space is only really safe when we are persecuted by both the revolutionaries and the compromised elite. To be their friends tells us that we are ourselves in great danger!