As you’ve no doubt read, the highly respected South African activist and politician Nelson Mandela passed away yesterday. Mandela long career contain many highlights, but it’s his message of forgiveness rather than vengeance—even in the face of terrible injustice—that is likely to be his most lasting legacy.
While Mandela’s life and passing are being widely discussed on news sites around the web, here are a few reflections from Christian sites and writers that discuss the spiritual element of Mandela’s lifelong work.
- At ThinkChristian, Bronwyn Lea reflects on what she learned from Mandela’s words and deeds while she was growing up in South Africa. For Lea, Nelson’s legacy brings to mind that of Cyrus the Great, an ancient Persian ruler who is mentioned in the Bible.
- Gideon Strauss writes at Christianity Today that Christians have much to learn from Mandela about the place of politics.
- “How Nelson Mandela Accomplished the Impossible” notes the quiet but strong faith upon which Mandela’s approach to politics was built.
- Adrian Warnock describes Mandela as a person who “represents so much that is good, and upright, and that reflects the peacemaker values of Jesus Christ.”
- Michael Trimmer talks about the ways that Mandela’s faith both inspired and restrained his actions during his long struggle against institutional injustice.
- Pope Francis praised Mandela for modeling non-violence and grace throughout his life.
- And lastly, here’s a collection of quotes from Christian pastors and leaders around the world reflecting on Mandela’s legacy. (And while you’re at it, see this gathering of famous quotes by Mandela himself.)
Photo by Paul Weinberg.