Ubuntu and the Peaceable Kingdom


Following on from the previous post about Boyd Varty’s TED talk, let us open up a discussion about the ubuntu philosophy and the peaceable kingdom of Isaiah.

In 2008, Anglican archbishop, Desmond Tutu shared some thoughts on ‘ubuntu’:

One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity.We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.

Keeping-Company.com Ubuntu

Let’s have another look at Isaiah 11:1-5:

A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

What do these two texts speak of the call and challenge of living righteously? Of living harmoniously? Of being people for others, in striving to restore justice?

Ask for the grace of stillness, so you may listen and recognise the gentle voice of God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in this.

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