World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay stood before the All Africa Conference of Churches 12th General Assembly to reflect on unity, reconciliation, and justice.
“Your journey, as the vanguard of ecumenical engagement on the African continent, has been marked by these enduring values,” said Pillay.
“We are called to be salt and light in the world.”
We are called to love like Jesus and live like Jesus, noted Pillay. “This love is not passive but active, dynamic, and transformative,” he said.
“This love equips us to advocate for justice, to seek reconciliation in the midst of conflict, and to extend a hand of compassion to the marginalized.”
Our world looks to us for hope, healing, and inspiration, Pillay further noted.
“In the continent of Africa, we see both the beauty of unity in diversity and the challenges of division and discord,” he said.
“It is here, on this continent, that we must demonstrate to the world the transformative power of reconciliation, the healing balm of unity, and the unwavering commitment to justice.”
We must recommit ourselves to this ecumenism of the heart, Pillay urged.
“Christ’s love compels us to Christian unity, to work together as brothers and sisters in Christ to heal and reconcile a broken and suffering world,” he said.
“Yet churches continue to divide because of theological and ethical issues, personalities and material matters.”
Christ’s love is forgiving, healing, and reconciling, Pillay continued.
“Christ’s love compels us to Christian unity and witness in a world so much in need of healing and reconciliation,” he said.
“We cannot be preaching love and yet perpetuate hatred, disunity and discord.”
We need to practice what we preach rather than send contradictory messages to the world, Pillay said.
“We are called to be agents of change, to challenge the status quo, to confront injustice, and to champion the cause of the marginalized,” he said.
“In the power of God’s Spirit and love, let us transform the world to make it a better place for all people and creation.”
First published on the World Council of Churches website on 20 November 2023.