Nelson Mandela International Day – 18 July

On 18 July every year, we are invited to mark Nelson Mandela International Day by making a difference in your communities. Nelson Mandela, fondly remembered as Madiba, remains a symbol of freedom, forgiveness and hope for the nation and the world. He kept the spirit of freedom alive in his battle to end apartheid.
(Madiba: The name most commonly used by South Africans. Madiba is the name of the clan that Mandela belonged to and is derived from the name of a chief who ruled in the Transkei region in the 18th century. By using that name, South Africans expressed their respect for Mandela as the son of a traditional chief, but mostly it as an endearment).

A prayer of thanksgiving for Nelson Mandela
This day we give thanks for the life of Nelson Mandela.
He led a nation on a long walk to freedom.
He fought for reconciliation and not retribution.
He argued for peace in place of war.
Lord, we give you thanks for Madiba.
When other surrendered to darkness he kept faith with the promise of tomorrow.
He envisioned a path to “heal the wounds of the past… “
…with the intent of constructing a new order based on justice for all.”
His work inspired the world.
Lord, we give you thanks for Madiba.
In his time, the powers and the principalities reviled Jesus.
The leaders of great nations in our time called Mandela a terrorist and a communist.
Powerful interests stood up for white supremacy during the Apartheid era.
Mandela stood up for the least of these.
Lord, we give you thanks for Madiba.
Death is not the final victory.
Nothing can silence the voice of Nelson Mandela – not Robben Island, not death.
His words are eternal.
His voice will echo throughout time.
Lord, we give you thanks for Madiba.
Let us have an ounce of his courage.
Let us have an ounce of his faith.
Comfort those in South Africa and across the world who mourn.
Let the work of Nelson Mandela continue in us.
Lord, we give you thanks for Madiba. Amen. (Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie, HuffPost)


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Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
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