ZAMBIANS should not take the social and economic crisis they have found themselves in as a sign that God has abandoned them.
But they should thank God and live above evil vices such as hate, bitterness, contempt and envy, the Council of Churches in Zambia has advised.
Following President Edgar Lungu’s proclamation of 18th October, 2015, as a day of national prayer and fasting for reconciliation and forgiveness, the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) issued a pastoral letter yesterday in which the church gave an ecclesiastical and ecumenical call to Zambians to heed the President’s call to keep the day solemn in response to the social and economic crisis.
The Pastoral letter signed by CCZ general secretary Suzanne Membe-Matale and Bishop Alfred Kalembo, said President Lungu proclaimed 18th October a day of national prayers and reconciliation after he had remarked that hate, bitterness, contempt and envy were vices that should not have any place in society.
Rev Matale and Bishop Kalembo said even if Zambians were badly hurt by disrespect, poverty, a weak Kwacha, load shedding and general distress, prayer would always be part of the country’s turnaround.
CCZ has also said that Zambians had been called to humble themselves before God to confess their individual and national sins through fasting and prayer.
The clergy said it was important to place the repentance prayer and fasting day into a broader biblical context, advising that the Bible often encouraged Christians to always thank God in all things.
They said that the Bible teaches that even in a crisis and while enduring physical suffering Christians should always thank God.
The church said the nation should be encouraged by the Disciple of Jesus Christ who continued to thank God even after they suffered physical pain when they were flogged.
“As a Christian nation, we should not take the social and economic crisis in which we find ourselves as a sign that God has abandoned us. God counts us worthy of suffering and we can still continue to thank God in all things.
“Even if we are badly hurt by disrespect, poverty, a weak Kwacha, load shedding and general distress in our midst, even if we hope and pray that this day of repentance, prayer and fasting will be part of a turnaround, of God lifting us up again, Rev Matale and Bishop Kalembo said.
Rev Matale and Bishop Kalembo stated that it was commendable that Government wanted to take the social and economic crisis to God by encouraging the nation to dedicate a day for national prayers, fasting, repentance and reconciliation.
The two clergy said it was imperative that Zambians specified that they needed to repent, and confess their individual and national sins if the day of prayer, fasting and repentance was going to be meaningful.
“This is what gives us reason in the darkness of our social and economic crisis to call upon the Lord that we humble ourselves, hoping God will forgive our sins and heal our land,
“ Note that God does not promise that the darkness will go away, no, not yet; our light will rise in the darkness. Part of the social and economic crisis is beyond our control, part of it is due to international forces, spiritual forces and God’s mysterious will,” they said.