Wednesday, February 25, 2009

God Uses Foolish Things!! - Does He?

Faith and Healing (2 Kings 15 vs. 1-14) - A Theological Reflection

Naaman was a very successful commander. He had done so well by giving victory to the people of Aram. The king of Aram had great respect for him. He however had the dreaded disease of leprosy. Leprosy was feared by the society to the extent that those affected were left in the bush so that they would not affect others. Naaman, perhaps because of his position he was spared that ill treatment.

A girl who had been captured during a raid on Israelites and was saving in Naaman’s household noticed the disease and advised that he should go and see a prophet in Israel who would cure him. Arrangements were made even by the highest office of the king for the passage of Naaman to go and be healed by the man of God.

The interesting thing, though, is that upon arrival at the prophet’s home the prophet did not meet Naaman. He just gave instructions through a messenger while the door of his house was closed. Naaman was not amused. He took this behavior to mean that he did not care. He was told to go to river Jordan and wash seven times there and he would be cured. When he had expressed his displeasure his servant went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’? (vs. 13). He took heed and he washed and was healed and his skin looked like that of a young boy.

Healing is not guaranteed in all cases. Paul a servant of God had to put up with an ailment for the rest of his life. “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthian 12 vs. 7-10).

On the other hand when a woman insisted that her daughter should be healed from demon possession Jesus reasoned with her. The woman knelt before Jesus after his disciples had prevented her several times. Jesus said to her “I was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me,” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that hour. (Matthew 13 vs. 23-28)

God works even with simple and uninspiring things. Just washing in Jordan seven times someone is cured. There were even better rivers in Naaman’s land. How often do we want things to be perfect for God to act? The Lord has shown his hand in our affairs and now we have an imperfect inclusive in Zimbabwe. We are anxious and skeptical and rightly so. But let us be reminded that God works through such imperfect arrangements. Let us give God a chance. Paul was refused, a healing miracle, the woman who insisted had her request granted. He is the same God people of this world should put their faith in. Should we give up because what we expect is not happening in the way we want? Naaman got healed when he did a foolish thing. Some say it is a foolish thing to join a unity government. Such is how the good Lord works. Foolish indeed!! God bless.

Friday, February 20, 2009


MDC 10th Anniversary Celebrations - Solidarity Message

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe and President of MDC, honourable Morgan Tsvangirai; Deputy Prime Minister and Vice President honourable Ms Thokozani Khupe; the Speaker of Parliament and National Chairman honourable Lovemore Moyo; the Finance Minister and Secretary General, honourable Tendai Biti; all Ministers here present, all Senators, members of the Standing Committee, members of the National Committee, and all those who are in leadership structures and all the invited guests to the tenth (10th) anniversary celebrations; I extend congratulations from Christian Alliance CA, Save Zimbabwe Campaign SZC and myself as we join you celebrate the achievements and successes you have scored thus far.

The above organizations I represent are non partisan. We committed ourselves to support all democratic forces that were fighting and continue to fight for justice and freedom of all Zimbabweans.

This anniversary comes at a time when MDC is now part of the Inclusive Government which we all welcome as the first step toward setting the structures of a truly democratic society.

It is my hope and prayer that, this phase will enable all peace loving Zimbabweans to fully participate in the second step of the processes that will give birth to the Zimbabwe we want. I am personally convinced that the vision of a democratic Zimbabwe is now in our reach.

Let me, however extend a word of warning to you my sisters and brothers; that as you enter into government, there is a lot that the Nation expects from you. Psalm 124 has to be your motto in the journey toward realizing your dreams/vision for better Zimbabwe. Don’t forget those who inspired you this far. Don’t forget those who lost their lives for this cause.

In 1997 the Church through ZCC discovered that its project on the advocacy for the new constitution was also being looked at by the Trade Union movement who’s General Secretary then was Morgan Tsvangirai. At a joint meeting with the Trade Union movement and other stake holders the Church agreed to the election of Mr Tsvangirai as the first chairperson of the National Constitutional Assembly NCA. I take this personally as an approval by the Body of Christ. Some would look to this as an anointing to leadership by the Church. Now Mr Tsvangirai is the newly appointed Prime Minister. We congratulate him for that.

One incident we will not forget in our history is the 11 March 2007 when your leaders were beaten for wanting to attend a prayer meeting we had arranged in Highfield. When the beatings were shown all over the world (courtesy to the world media which was incidentally banned) the president Mr Mugabe was summoned to an emergency AU meeting where Mr Thabo Mbeki was chosen to mediate between the rival leaders in Zimbabwe. Yet as CA and SZC we had been asking our leaders to have round table talks. The response was the ‘never, never, never’ fame. The wise say never say never.

It is important to mention that many of us were demonized for asking our leaders to talk to each other. I was arrested five times for leading those who were propagating for talks. The security agents went to the extent of arresting me for stealing cattle which I never did. The previous government is known for coming up with trumped up charges just to demoralize and scare democratic agents. Many Zimbabwean have been arrested for treason including Mr Tsvangirai.

Two warnings which you should take heed of: As Christian leaders we will advise our follower not to vote for a party which denigrates others. Parties in this country use terms like ‘pasi na’…...meaning kill so and so. Why should we sink so low in order to win votes? If you resort to violence we will not vote for you. This is our message to all political parties.

The second warning is “Please do not revenge on your own.” The Lord advises us to leave revenge to him. African people are no strangers to God’s ways. A village in Mashonaland Central lost 13 of its members to cholera within a short space of time. One family in this village lost five members. When they were asked why they did not send their relatives to clinics the answer was very revealing. The elders in the family were reminded of the fact that some of their members in the family had killed people during the previous elections. Those responsible to take care of the sick surrendered to fate. They thought these deaths were being caused by the spirits of the dead.


Bishop Dr Levee Kadenge: CA convener and SZC chair.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Our Prayers and Condolences to Australians Fire Victims

On behalf of the Institute of Theological Reflection and myself we send our prayers and condolences to victims of Australia's worst fire disaster. To those who have died we ask God to welcome them home. To those who have been injured we pray for speed recovery. To those who have lost property we pray that they be grateful that God has spared their lives. God will give them more energy to replace their properties. To those who have relatives who have been affected we pray that you will be strengthened by the concern coming from all over the world and moreso from the caring Australians. Be consoled by the fact that God presides over all His creation. Nothing happens which He does not know. Let us put our faith in His good judgement. He is a God who cares. Let this event bring us more closer to our maker and to each other. God bless Australia at this hour!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009



All nations have their ups and downs in the history of their developments. We were created because God loved us so much. When hell broke lose here on earth God did not spare his only Son Jesus Christ who came for the sole purpose of redeeming us. One gift that we were given was that of free will. God did not choose to force us to love him. We are at liberty to love him or to ignore him to our peril, though. On his part God does not give up on us. He is always beckoning on us because his love is everlasting. There will however come a time when we will be told to look for God when there is still time.

The text above from Isaiah is preceded by a very strong warning on those who choose to disobey God. “Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and depended on deceit, this sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant.” (Isaiah 30-vs 12-13). Evil people can also comfort each other. Isaiah confirms the Lord’s side of the bargain, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are those who wait for him.” Vs 18.

Looking at the history of nations we can categorize them between those who tried to follow the God’s way and those who took the opposite direction. The old Roman Empire covered most of Europe and at some stage England. Christianity took centre stage in the development of these nations. Yes there were problems when other emerging European nations varied in the way they took God’s guidance. On the whole God was recognized. Most of the nations in Europe were built through alliances and agreements made between kings and rulers of these nations. Marriage was also used as a weapon to unite nations and to avoid war.

In 1215 King John (of the Robin Hood fame) of England was forced to sign the Magna Carta for the simple reason that he was becoming despotic. This resulted in the sharing of power between the king and his subjects. In 1965 Lord Denning had this to say about it, ‘The Magna Carta is the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot.” As a result the first parliament met in January 1265 to promulgate laws of the nation of England. Power was now shared between the King, parliament and the judiciary.

The United States of America came into being after a war of independence in the late 1700 from Britain. The foundation of this nation was based on the Bible. The founding fathers of America feared God and included in their constitution Biblical principles of freedom and liberty to all peoples. Yes, slavery made them look hypocritical. They however fought this evil and later abolished it. They recognized their mistake. To this day America displays a fear of God. America now is one of those nations in the West that has many people worshiping God than its counterparts in Europe where Christianity is becoming almost extinct.

France took renaissance and humanism too far to the extent that it had to pay the price during and after the French revolution. While bloodshed was spelt both in England and America during their transitional periods the diabolic nature of the struggle in France was because the nation was moving away from God deliberately. From Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Napoleon Bonaparte reason and humanism took centre stage and God was thrown out of the window. Things came to a head when the calendar was changed because the revolution became the beginning of time. Dates, weeks and months were changed. For fourteen years this was tried but did not work and it was abandoned.

Russia followed suit. They tried the socialist way. God was discarded and communism took centre stage. For most of the time this system was tried many people suffered and were tortured and killed to safeguard the oppressive governments in Eastern Europe which had adopted the practice. Lenin and Stalin became the icons of the Marxist regimes that emerged.

At independence in 1980 Zimbabwe took the so called scientific socialism route. Communism was advocated for to the extent that those who did not subscribe to it were labeled enemies. A one party state was introduced and the woes of people multiplied. Now we have deteriorated further for we have been forced to look to the East. The East has come with its gods. This nation has been abused by its leaders. At one stage Libya became our closest ally. By providence this did not last. Islam was going to be the major religion here.

Let us hope that the Government of National Unity GNU will usher in a new era of fearing God. We are one of those nations which will have to come up with its new constitution. Our advantage is that we have seen many constitutions and we have also seen that which was handed over to us at Lancaster House Conference is defective and has been amended 19 times. We have seen the South African acclaimed constitution and the onus is upon us to come up with a much better one.

We pray that this transitional arrangement will bring in a just system which will bring about fair and free elections at last after we have produced our own home grown constitution. We will make sure that we will be on God’s side and not pulling away from God as our nation had been forced to do. There will be no concentration of power in the individual. We are in the process of making our own Magna Carter. God bless.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Zimbabwe: Excitement all over

There is excitement all over the place. People from all walks of life have been waiting for 11 February, the day SADC said the priminister should be swon into office. Tomorrow is the day they have been waiting for, the day when their leader Morgan Tsvangirai is being swon in as the second Priminister of the Republic of Zimbabwe. President Robert Mugabe was the first priminister at independence in 1980. "Look, for the first time we have drinks at this garage. This is a sign of good things to come," commented one garage attendant this morning.

Early tomorrow morning Mabelreign Methodist church is having a dedication service for one of its members Mr Morgan Tsvangirai who will be swon into office later in the morning. They decided to have the service early because they were not given space at the official ceremony. Mabelreign was branded an enemy church because it was associated with an enemy of the president. The church was under serveillence for a very long time. The church did not mind. It went on with its business as usual as if everything was normal.

In a few minutes time Tsvangirai will be announcing his Cabinet members.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Bethel: The House of God
Genesis 28 vs.: 10-22; Matthew 21 vs. 12-16

In every religion the founders and subsequent followers were women and men of God who had no time for pretence. If they did not agree with their God they said so and if they did they were quick to say so too. The problem is with us late followers because we are given to pretence and as a result we do not get the benefit of being true disciples of a particular religion. Jacob names the place he had a dream in which he was promised both, the land and many descendents Bethel, meaning, the house of God.

Jacob whose story we read about in the first scripture above at one time had to struggle with God the whole night. As a result of the fight with God he became disabled and he named the place Piniel because he came face to face with God and his life was spared. (Genesis 32 vs30) The name also reminds him of the struggle he had with God. As people of God we have the freedom to ask, to question and to disagree with Her/Him. This kind of relationship makes God proud of His daughters and sons. They reason with him. It would be a very dull relationship where you agree with everything.

Bethel is a place where God should be honored. Those who defile it are not tolerated. When Jesus visits the Temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 21) and finds out that many followers were defiling it he did not hesitate to take a whip and thoroughly beat the money changers who were misusing the house of God. Jesus declared, “My house will be called a house of prayer but you are making it a ‘den of robbers’.” Jesus too does not hide his anger with people who claim to be his followers and yet they engage in evil behavior.

We see a God who wants to relate at a personal level where everything is above board. Followers are free to put their cases across without fear and the Lord is also free to chastise them when people have wronged him. Here is a healthy relationship which should be at the centre of any religion. Unfortunately religion has been used and abused in order to control people. Yet religion is there to free and liberate people.

Zimbabwean people are a religious lot. They have learnt to abide by the rule of God. Indeed the people of this land were abused. They were tried and tested. At one point the whole world thought the so called ‘people power’ would erupt and change would come in that way. The people of this country refused to be used. They rejected the destructive way and they have not been forgiven by some of our friends.

I remember soon after the 29 March 2008 harmonized elections which were wan by MDC there was a meeting called by the civil society representatives from all over Africa in Tanzania. At this meeting Zimbabweans were challenged to put their destiny into their own hands. The example of what the Kenyans did was sold out to Zimbabweans. Some of us suggested that for once the world should learn from Zimbabweans who had chosen the peaceful root. “Why should we not celebrate the way Zimbabweans have restrained themselves,” I suggested at the meeting. The world is used to ‘celebrate’ civil wars all over. They get the maximum coverage there is. It is time we also celebrate peace and peaceful transitions.

Each people on earth have been given space to occupy, to call their own. But over and above that piece of land belongs to God. That is where they find and meet their God. We do not have to make it the house of robbers, war mongers and charlatans of this world. One thing the whole world has to learn from Zimbabweans is the gift of restraint. For over a month election results were kept away from the people who voted and only to be told what the whole world knew to be a lie. The logical thing to do was to go into the streets and exercise the people power. But alas the children of Zimbabwe respected their land. They had been brutalized by their own government but did not sink with it. Soon change is coming and the old regime will be gone. The people of Zimbabwe remain triumphant. There is room for skepticals. They keep our faith strong. God bless.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


The churches in Zimbabwe met yesterday and cautiously welcomed the Government of National Unity. It was after the Zimbabwe Council of Church ZCC, the Evangelical fellowship of Zimbabwe EFZ, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference ZCBC and Christian Alliance ZCA met with priminister designate Morgan Tsvangirai that the Church agreed that they should support the new government. Morgan Tsvangirai had asked the Church to meet him so that he explained what was going on. After the meeting the Church prayed for the success of the new arrangement.

It was also agreed that prayers would be conducted before and after 11 February when the PM will be swon in. Sunday 15 February was set aside as the day the Church in Zimbabwe will thank God for having taken us such far. The mood at the meeting was so positive despite the fact that delegates were not amused by the reported calls by Frank Chikane and President Montlante of South Africa for the immediate removal of sanctions. The question was asked who gave them the mandate to call for the removal of sanctions. They are on record that they are not in a position to prescribe anything for Zimbabweans. "Zimbabweans are mature, they know what they want," has been their clarion call. Instead delegates thought the priority was the release of political prisoners who should not be in custody a day longer.

Mr Tsvangirai showed confidence in the new set up. He was however aware of the challenges because of the expectations of people who had been brutalised for such a long time. The prirorities he had set out were education, health, food and revival of the economy. "I know once you finish one aspect of peoples' needs the bar of expectation is moved up," Said Tsvangirai. He thanked the church for the confidence it also had in him. He asked the Church to continually remember him and the new government in its prayers.