Le­sotho comes first

Sunday Express - - Leader -

THE Re­form Agenda seeks to set Le­sotho on a trans­for­ma­tive path that would ben­e­fit the whole na­tion through strength­en­ing in­sti­tu­tional ca­pac­ity, pro­mot­ing good gov­er­nance, re­spect and pro­tec­tion of hu­man rights and en­sur­ing re­spect of the rule of law.

To pave way for this fun­da­men­tal process, the govern­ment or­gan­ised a two­day Multi-Stake­holder Fo­rum on Re­forms sched­uled to take place on 7 and 8 De­cem­ber this year in Maseru.

This plat­form pro­vides a rare op­por­tu­nity to bring to­gether var­i­ous ac­tors to dis­cuss how to col­lec­tively walk through the re­form process and en­sure an ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion plan that would cre­ate sys­tems and struc­tures strong enough to foster good gov­er­nance driven by par­tic­i­pa­tory ap­proaches, in­clu­sive of all peo­ple, ir­re­spec­tive of po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion, creed or gen­der.

Fol­low­ing three years of po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity in­sta­bil­ity that has robbed fam­i­lies of their loved ones, the coun­try is ripe for en­gage­ments that will help in iden­ti­fy­ing real is­sues of na­tional con­cern and to col­lec­tively de­cide how to take the coun­try for­ward.

Re­cent ex­changes be­tween some po­lit­i­cal par­ties through the me­dia over the Multi-Stake­holder Fo­rum have proved un­help­ful to the tra­jec­tory that Le­sotho is tak­ing.

Im­por­tantly, Le­sotho needs men and women who will se­ri­ously con­trib­ute to mak­ing his­tory through op­por­tu­ni­ties cre­ated for the par­tic­i­pa­tion of all peo­ple.

The Fo­rum might not seem cru­cial to some po­lit­i­cal ac­tors now, but it fa­cil­i­tates Le­sotho’s first step to­wards ef­forts aim­ing to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment that will al­low last­ing peace to thrive, eco­nomic growth and equal distri­bu­tion of wealth.

This Fo­rum pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for var­i­ous ac­tors to work to­gether in search of a way through a con­flict that has di­vided a na­tion by dis­sect­ing causes of con­flict, mis­trust and work­ing through these in the spirit that says Le­sotho is for all Ba­sotho.

While there is a time to fight, die, mourn and bury loved ones — there should also be a time to sober up, make peace, re­build a na­tion and cel­e­brate our pains and suc­cesses.

A time has come for all po­lit­i­cal par­ties to bury the hatchet and see the wis­dom in com­ing around the ta­ble to ma­turely tackle the chal­lenge fac­ing the coun­try.

The ben­e­fits of this di­a­logue process, which will make way for the de­vel­op­ment of the re­forms and im­ple­men­ta­tion are far-reach­ing and can be en­joyed years to come by the same po­lit­i­cal par­ties against the process to­day.

The po­si­tional bar­gain­ing stance by the Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) out­side for­mal plat­forms, will make it dif­fi­cult for its con­cerns to re­ceive ap­pro­pri­ate at­ten­tion that also al­lows other ac­tors to con­trib­ute to the achieve­ment of win-win out­comes.

The Fo­rum pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for a col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach that will aim to iden­tify is­sues and dis­cuss them with the view to col­lec­tively iden­tify so­lu­tions that are sat­is­fac­tory to all sides.

Com­pro­mises have to be made for the coun­try to go for­ward; and not only by the op­po­si­tion par­ties but also the govern­ment to en­sure progress in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of its Blue­print of re­forms.

This is an op­por­tu­nity which must not be missed and we urge all po­lit­i­cal ac­tors to put the coun­try first by com­ing to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble.

IN the dark­est hour of his­tory, the dark­est hour of Je­sus’s life, Je­sus de­voted him­self to seek­ing the joy of his dis­ci­ples and equip­ping them for what was ahead.

In John 13:1 John says, “When Je­sus knew that his hour had come to de­part out of this world to the Fa­ther, hav­ing loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” How Je­sus does loves his dis­ci­ples to the end? He washes their feet, sym­bol­iz­ing the spir­i­tual cleans­ing they will re­ceive through his death, in­structs them ( John 13:31–16:33), and prays for them and those who will be­lieve through their min­istries ( John 17:1– 26).

Soul-Keep­ing Joy

Five times in his teach­ing he states why he is in­struct­ing his dis­ci­ples.

“These things I have spo­ken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)

“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away.” (John 16:1)

“I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may re­mem­ber that I told them to you. I did not say these things to you from the be­gin­ning, be­cause I was with you.” (John 16:4)

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribu­la­tion. But take heart; I have over­come the world.” (John 16:33)

“Now I am com­ing to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy ful­filled in them­selves.” (John 17:13)

When Je­sus is at his great­est point of need, he self­lessly seeks the full joy and peace of his dis­ci­ples — joy and peace that will keep them from falling away when suf­fer­ing comes.

Je­sus is about to face his dark­est hour; yet he recog­nises that the dis­ci­ples will also suf­fer. Je­sus knows that when he is taken away from them in death, fear may grip his dis­ci­ples, which would rob them of joy and peace. Je­sus re­as­sures them, “I will not leave you as or­phans; I will come to you. Yet a lit­tle while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me.” Je­sus not only prom­ises to re­turn to them after he dies and rises from the dead, but he also prom­ises that he will not leave them alone when he as­cends to his throne. He will send them the Holy Spirit.

While Je­sus is with them, his word gives the dis­ci­ples joy and peace that se­cures their souls, but he has more to teach them that they can­not bear now (John 16:12). He has much more to say to sus­tain them when the world re­jects them and per­se­cutes them for be­liev­ing in him. Je­sus says,

“I still have many things to say to you, but you can­not bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own au­thor­ity, but what­ever he hears he will speak, and he will de­clare to you the things that are to come. He will glo­rify me, for he will take what is mine and de­clare it to you. All that the Fa­ther has is mine; there­fore I said that he will take what is mine and de­clare it to you.” (John 16:12–15)

He Will Guide You

In what way will the Spirit guide the dis­ci­ples into all truth? Je­sus could mean that the Holy Spirit will help them bet­ter un­der­stand the truth that has been re­vealed in the Old Tes­ta­ment, or it could mean that the Spirit will give them new rev­e­la­tion.

While it is un­de­ni­ably true that the Spirit guided the dis­ci­ples into a proper un­der­stand­ing of re­vealed truth (1 Corinthi­ans 2:11–16), what Je­sus says in John 16 is about the Spirit in­spir­ing new rev­e­la­tion. We know this be­cause Je­sus says that there is more he wants to teach them. He will not be the one to teach them these things; the Holy Spirit will. This means that after Je­sus’s as­cen­sion, Je­sus con­tin­ues to teach the dis­ci­ples by the Spirit.

The new rev­e­la­tion in these verses re­fer to the New Tes­ta­ment, not ex­tra-bib­li­cal “rev­e­la­tion.” What Je­sus promised, he has al­ready ful­filled. The Spirit of Christ has guided the dis­ci­ples into all truth by in­spir­ing them to write the New Tes­ta­ment.

Give Your­self to the Book

What does this mean for believ­ers to­day? Well, Je­sus loves you the same way he loved the dis­ci­ples. Be­cause he loves you, he wants you also to have full joy and peace in him. That is why he sent the Holy Spirit to in­spire the words you now have in your Bi­bles.

To ex­pe­ri­ence the com­fort the eleven dis­ci­ples re­ceived from be­ing in Je­sus’s pres­ence, and the joy and peace they re­ceived from Je­sus’s words, you need only read the Bi­ble. In the New Tes­ta­ment, the Spirit of Christ gives us Je­sus’s words. The soul-guard­ing joy and peace that Je­sus gave to his dis­ci­ples through his words in John 13–17 now ex­tend to the en­tire New Tes­ta­ment. Our joy will be full, our peace se­cured, and our faith kept through the words of Christ in the Bi­ble.

For your full joy and faith-keep­ing peace, im­merse your­self in the teach­ings of Christ in his in­spired word.

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