Virginia seminary dean on the death of Mandela

December 6, 2013

[Virginia Theological Seminary] The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary, wrote about the death of Nelson Mandela in his daily Dean’s Commentary today:

Nelson Mandela dies at 95. When the word of his death reached us, I knew that the world had lost a giant like it has not often seen. He walked a “stony road” for freedom. His was a life of sacrifice with 27 years in prison. His dignity and service led to the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa. He was truly the world’s moral compass. Compassionate resistance to colonial power was his way of being. Truly an elder statesman. He was embraced by the world – a man who struggled for us all. He was freed from prison once. Now he is freed from this earthly journey. A giant has left us.

Do watch your email for a possible candlelight prayer service tonight to honor Nelson Mandela. This will be our moment to acknowledge the extraordinary gift of Nelson Mandela to the world – the man who modeled forgiveness and advocated reconciliation.

Bishop Tutu stood with Nelson Mandela. We stand near them and in awe of God’s saints in our midst.