Lesotho comes first
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).
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.