2 minutes reading time (333 words)

Desmond Tutu - Alleluia!

What a man! What a Christian!

There is so much that could be said - and has been said - about Archbishop Desmond Tutu; and a great deal of it focuses, rightly, on his implacable, courageous opposition to apartheid and all its works.

But, thinking about him since his death on Boxing Day, three things come to mind:

1) His passion for a Church - an ideal Church - which would welcome and accept all. No barriers, no one excluded because of race or character or gender or sexual orientation - and this last category made him deeply unpopular with many other Church leaders. But it was no mere liberal fad; rather, the heart of the Gospel for him was the Christ who came to live alongside, and give his life for, the human race, the whole human race. Nothing less will do.

2) His well-documented rootedness in prayer. This is where his strength and his fearlessness came from: a deep, unshakeable sense of communion with God. 

3) Joy - laughter - mischief - fun! Desmond Tutu made being a Christian seem attractive and enjoyable. He seemed to be fully alive, firing on all cylinders, and his engine was an irrepressible joy. He knew we are foolish, laughably so, and we continually make a mess of things; and yet Tutu brought us the echo of the laughter of God, who delights in us and never despairs of us - because his love reigns.

And, most encouraging of all - bearing in mind that Desmond Tutu was no plaster saint, but a flawed human being like you and me - we can all aim to emulate him in these ways. We can all practise accepting, welcoming love of others, whoever they are. We can all find time to be with God and discover a deeper sense of his presence with us. And we can all laugh, and treasure laughter as a sign of God's joy.

The laughter in heaven just got a little louder!

Be born in us today
 

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