Tomorrow is a public holiday to commemorate the act of more than 20 000 women marching on the Union Buildings in 1956 to protest the pass laws being extended to women. This makes for a really perfect long weekend and I believe we should be forgiven for perhaps focusing more on that than what the day itself is meant to celebrate. I say that in the context of us having coming out of a hard lock-down, a cold winter and an exhausting first portion of 2021. So, for those who have the opportunity to just rest, or perhaps even have a short get away, I pray that it is a time God will use to refresh and renew you and those you love and pray for. Yet, even as we enjoy the slight reprieve of warmer weather and a long weekend, we can perhaps spend some time reflecting on why “Women’s Day” could be meaningful to us. Hot on the heals of the recent violence and looting, perhaps it is a time to reflect on how ordinary people coming together for a common cause is part of our DNA as South Africans? While we saw much destruction, we saw the
same spirit of those women in 1956 being displayed in communities coming together both during and after the looting. We see here the power of ordinary people when we can find a compelling reason to stand together. Given we are in the Month of Compassion, I started wondering about this “compelling reason”. Yes, it is easier when we have a “common cause”, but what about if we were to stand together because we have compassion for the other? What could our solidarity achieve if we were to be grounded in compassion for one another? Our reading from Ephesians this morning gives some sense of what we would see in our communities if we were able to live compassionately with
those around us. This week our Compassion Challenge asks us to focus on showing compassion to those we love. This is a good place to begin practicing those behaviors and attitudes needed to create the power of standing together as communities.

Pray for me, I am praying for you.

Reverend Anastasia Huntley

08 August 2021