In the long struggle for freedom in South Africa, parts of the church played a major role, even as other parts colluded with the apartheid regime. Few actions in that struggle were more important than the Belhar Confession.
The Old Testament and gospel readings for Epiphany
function as point and counterpoint. Isaiah offers a word of great comfort to
those who have been so long in darkness. Impoverished as the hearers have been,
honor and fortune are on their way. It's a message of rejoicing: the light that
has dawned will make all who see it radiant.
In anticipation of the 500-year celebration of the Protestant Reformation, a “Luther Reading Challenge” is being launched by the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France. Writings of Martin Luther are being made available online. Persons who sign up for a free account can engage in online discussion groups with people around the world in English and other languages, including Hungarian, Chinese, and Portuguese.