Rev Canon Ann Easter on how Nelson Mandela fought for real equality


- Credit: Archant

Free, Nelson Mandela! The amazing and endlessly moving facts about the life of Nelson Mandela will be marvelled at in every form of medium all over again now as the great man comes towards the end of his life – and we all have our favourite bit about him.

I particularly like the way in which Nelson Mandela campaigned and fought for real equality. He did not want black domination, any more than he wanted white domination; he wanted people of all colours, cultures and creeds to live together as a family, in harmony. Nelson knew only too well the horrors of segregation and worked with President de Klerk towards sustainable peaceful change for South Africa.

And I’m so glad that Nelson had twenty years since his release from solitary confinement to live in that change and see it develop.

And now, in the words of the South African president, Jacob Zuma, Nelson Mandela is going home. And, of course, there’s a whole sermon around what ‘home’ means but, in short, we can say that, at its best, home’s a place of safety where you can relax, kick off your shoes and please yourself; a place where your loved ones and loved things are, a place where you can learn who you are and grow into yourself by being in relationships and feeling a valuable and valued part of a group.

And I believe that that‘s what Heaven’s like, only better, because all those loved ones who have gone on before us are there too, and the angels and saints, not to mention God, of course, wiping away every tear from their eyes. There’s music – different sorts depending on tastes; sunshine and shade and everyone’s at the front. And all of the created universe is well and whole and free.

Having once celebrated his release from prison, we will then sing with confidence that Nelson Mandela is truly free. Hallelujah!

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