Archbishop Desmond Tutu - We can be human, only together

24.07.19

Archbishop Emertius Desmond M Tutu shared a beautifully written foreword to our devoted Fresh From the Word readers in the 2014 Edition.

Welcome to Fresh From the Word. Whether you are a new or returning reader, whether you are young or old, may God bless you and inspire your reading of the Bible this year, guided by this book.

The Bible is not some dry and dusty list of rules. It is the story of how we are created good in God’s eyes, how that goodness was damaged, and how wholeness is ours with God. Depravity came into the world through individual choices, drip by drip. The Bible is an invitation to wholeness instead of brokenness. We can choose wholeness and a life of beauty. We can choose to work for peace in the small choices that face us each day. Each of us has the dignity of these choices, whether we are rich or poor, from the global North or South, in prison or not. The Bible shows us how. It is about peace and reconciliation. It is about social justice in your neighbourhood. It is about joy and laughter.

The International Bible Reading Association has a rich history. It goes all the way back to the evangelical revival in the nineteenth century and the creation of Sunday schools and public education for all. IBRA has always been an association, not just a publisher of Bible reading notes. To be an association means we learn from one another,
wherever we are in the world. We can be human only together – we have too much to learn from one another to be divided. In South Africa our word for this is ‘ubuntu’ – we are whole together, and all are diminished if one of us is diminished. We must be an association! Despite all the horrors of life I have seen in my work for reconciliation,
I am still struck by how wonderful people are. We are created by God to be a blessing, and we need one another to become this. Fresh From the Word carries on the founding vision of IBRA for our generation to be this kind of global association for good.

In the words of the psalmist, the Bible is ‘lamp for my feet’. May the ‘Word for Today’ found in this book be a ‘Light for our Path’. I pray that this book and its writers will guide us in our efforts to make peace, and in our laughing and loving. Life is too precious for anything less.

I hope you are ready for the adventure. Day by day as you read, I hope you are aware of the gracious, peaceful, and hopeful presence of God, and are changed by it!


God bless you

Archbishop Emeritus D M Tutu

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Originally written for Fresh From the Word in December 2014.