Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Voortrekker Monument

Last Friday we visited the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, built to honor the Afrikaanse pioneers who left the coastal areas and British subjection to forge their way into the frontiers of South Africa.

These migrations were partly theologically motivated. The Pioneers, Dutch Reformed Calvinists, read the Old Testament and saw their story in the story of Israel and her journey to the Promised Land. They believed they too were God's people, with rights to their own Promised Land. In the museum of the Monument you can find their Bibles and books of sermons, which were read in Sunday services when a minister could not be present.

The Battle of Blood River is steeped in theology, prayer en religious observance. Read about it here.

The day of this battle will never be forgotten. On December 16 every year, at noon, the sun shines through a tiny hole in the dome of the monument and lights op an inscription on a crypt placed far below on the lower level. The inscription reads: We for Thee, South Africa. The day used to be called The Day of the Vow, but since 1994, the first free elections in South Africa, the day is called The Day of Reconciliation.

I wonder if it is possible that we today read the Bible and find in it the justification for things we want to believe.

Why should we be any different than the Pioneers?

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