Archive for the ‘governance’ Category

CHRISTMAS: ONE FESTIVAL, TWO KEY CONCEPTS

Today is a special day for Christianity. Many non-Christians have also adopted Christmas out of solidarity or for personal convenience. It, therefore, seems appropriate to us to stimulate reflection on the deep meaning of this festival and its impact on humanity in the light of Luke 2:13-14: « Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God, and saying, « Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. » (NIV)

These words follow the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ and his solemn announcement to the shepherds who tended their flocks in the vicinity of Bethlehem. It was at night. The timing could not be better to announce the birth of the Light of the world. However, the symbol does not stop there because the choice of shepherds seems highly disconcerting. Indeed, the shepherds did not have a good reputation at that time. People perceived them as dirty, dishonest, and unreliable. They were, therefore, on the margins of society. But curiously, it is on them and not on the political authorities, the religious leaders, or the business men and women that the choice of God falls to have the scoop of this announcement as exceptional as it is. But what is the deep meaning of this divine strategy?

The hermeneutical key seems to reside in the two fundamental concepts: « glory » and « peace ». Although the original text is in Greek, the terms dóxa (glory) and eirênê (peace) naturally refer to Hebrew realities because the first listeners were Jews. Thus, the glory does not only translate the external beauty and the excellence of the divine nature. It also reflects the Hebrew term kavod, which means « glory, honor, respect, distinction, and importance. » Thus, beyond the aesthetic dimension, the divine majesty is so immense that its weight is terrifying. As a result, human norms and conventions crumble like a house of cards before divine glory, giving shepherds the same value in the eyes of God as any other individual in society. The reasoning is simple: everybody is welcome since even marginalized people are now valued. Christmas is good news for everyone, without any discrimination. What about the second concept?

Here too, it would be aberrant to see in peace mentioned in this text the notion of absence of war and conflict conferred by the etymological meaning of this term in Greek. Instead, this word is deeply rooted in the Jewish cultural and religious context. Thus, « peace » refers to the Hebrew term shalom. It confers the idea of harmony in all dimensions of the human condition. It is harmony with God, with oneself, with one’s fellow beings, with one’s activities, and with one’s environment. In short, it is holistic well-being. At Christmas, God announces to humanity the solution to the multidimensional imbalance caused by the fall in the Garden of Eden. Through Christ, God is interested in spiritual, physical, psychological, social, economic, environmental, and integral welfare of His creatures. It is also under this holistic paradigm that the Lord Jesus placed his ministry through reading the passage from the book of Isaiah, which relates to it in detail (cf. Luke 4:16-19 and Isaiah 61:1 -2 [old Greek version]). Thus, the shepherds have become agents of integral transformation. They promptly assumed this responsibility, spreading the good news in their immediate surroundings (cf. Luke 2:16-20). We then understand that if the outcast can be catalysts for holistic peace, those with a more honorable social position can do it more.

Therefore, this profound message has a broader scope than a superficial reading of the text! The fact that the text is available today, even translated into multiple languages and within reach of the contemporary public, challenges us all. To celebrate Christmas in the spirit of the biblical story is to go beyond the peripheral, material, commercial or worldly dimensions to live the values it contains. As former US President John Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) so aptly said, « Christmas is not a day or a season; it’s a state of mind. »  Beyond Christmas’s lively and temporal character, human beings may draw from the depth of their relationship with the Creator of the universe and everything within it to be an instrument of peace in all its dimensions. In so doing, the world would be a better place to live. May it please the Lord to grant us the courage, wisdom, strength, and perseverance to be ambassadors of shalom, in words and deeds, in a world plagued by hostile forces and violence in its many forms!

Prof. Moussa Bongoyok

Christmas 2022

LA CÔTE D’IVOIRE RÉAGIT: Excellent exemple de prise de position en faveur de la famille en contexte africain

Le REMEAF et Contributions africaines saluent la courageuse position des députés et des leaders religieux ivoiriens en faveur de la famille. Cet acte devrait inspirer les autres leaders du continent africain! Prière d’écouter l’audio ou de visualiser la vidéo ci-dessous.

REMEAF and Contributions Africaines salute the courageous position of Ivorian Members of Parliament and religious leaders in favor of the family. This act should inspire other leaders of the African continent!Please listen to the audio or view the video below

The Prayer of Habakkuk

  • In what ways COVID-19 has impacted the local economy and even spiritual life negatively?
  • What do we learn from Habakkuk in such challenging times and how do we apply these lessons to our individual and collective lives?
  • Joy must characterize the life of a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. If there is no joy in your daily life, please watch as there is certainly a spiritual leak. Ask yourself these diagnostic questions: Am I complaining often? Do I have the tendency to blame others for almost everything? Do I talk to myself negatively? Do I dwell in my past successes or failures? Do I resist to change? Do I want to please everybody (which by way is am impossible task)? Do I doubt God’s wonderful plan for my life? Do I neglect my Bible study, church attendance, and prayer life? I am hiding to commit sin or life my life like an ungodly person without a respectful fear of God? Am I jealous? Am I envious? Am I afraid of what will happen to me given my current life circumstances? Bring these issues to the Lord in prayer and your will enjoy His peace and joy.
  • Prof. Moussa Bongoyok

A case for transformational governance

This is a paper on « A Case for Transformational Governance » that Moussa Bongoyok presented at the first Promise Governance Institute International Conference on June 14, 2018 in Ontario California (USA).

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