The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) says details and specifics of what the country will be repenting about during the national day of prayer and fasting on 18th October are crucial for the day of repentance to be meaningful.
A Pastoral letter issued today by CCZ General Secretary Reverend Suzanne Matale and CCZ President Dr Alfred Kalembo, obtained by QFM News, says while it is it is very commendable that the Zambian government now wants to take even the social and economic crisis in which they find themselves, to God, by encouraging the nation to this Day of Repentance, Fasting, and Prayer,there is need to go into details, not just about the occasion for a day of repentance, such as the social and economic crisis, but as well and especially about what it is that the country is repenting for.
The church mother body says repentance should be for something specific, otherwise it loses its meaning.
It says the country’s details include repentance against corruption, tribalism and nepotism, adding that this will also mean identifying those who have stolen and deprived the poor of their basic sustenance, that they restore what they took.
The CCZ notes that while in the proclamation of the Day of Repentance, Fasting, and Prayer it is said that the people of Zambia should be “confessing individual and national sins, in fasting and prayer, to make the day of repentance meaningful it is imperative to specify this, both individually and as a nation.
The church mother body has also advised on the need not to take texts that talk about the nation humbling itself in praying and fasting, such as the text from Chronicles that is quoted in the President’s proclamation at face value, but that it should be read within the broader context of the Biblical evidence both encouraging and critical with respect to such a practice.
It states that there is need to follow the Bible in taking this critical and nuanced stance by reading a text like that from Chronicles side by side with for example the witness of the prophet Micah about sacrifice and of the prophet Isaiah about true fasting.
It explains that doing social justice is the kind of fasting that the Lord has chosen as true fasting, adding that connected to true fasting is also a promise.
The CCZ says for God’s promise of light and healing to quickly appear after fasting, those in leadership must be people who demonstrate righteousness, humility and proven hard work on behalf of communities.