Lection Connection

October 25, 2020: A Prophet Vision’s Power

From Paul Turley

 

For Moses and the people of Israel, it was 40 years of waiting until they were able to enter the Promised Land. For the people of Somalia, the wait has been, to date, 51 years. While what they wait for might not be a promised land flowing with milk and honey, it is an important move toward making their country free and democratic.

 

The last time the nation held a one-person one-vote election was in 1969. Since that time, a complex system of special delegates has chosen politicians who then vote for the country’s president.

 

The United Nations had described the pursuit of one-person, one-vote elections as an “historic milestone” on Somalia’s path to full democratization and peace after decades of war and violent instability.

 

The Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi has named Mohamed Hussein Roble as prime minister, pending approval of parliament. The president said Mr Roble was selected on the basis of “his knowledge, experience and ability to move forward with state-building efforts and the development of national plans.”

 

The president has been under increased pressure to name a prime minister facing accusations from within the parliament that he is, according to former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, “openly disregarding provisions of the constitution and showing dictatorial tendencies.”

 

The opposition have recently stepped up their criticism of the president over his inability to reach a consensus with regional states, clans. and other political stakeholders on an electoral model for the upcoming elections.

 

Currently, the president favours an interim proposal that would allow twice the previous number of delegates to vote in presidential elections.

 

The former prime minister, Hassan Ali Kheyre, was sacked by the president for, as Kheyre believes, insisting that “elections be held on time... to avoid a political, security and constitutional crisis.” Kheyre says that the president is unnecessarily delaying the election by refusing to reach an agreement with the political stakeholders on an agreed-upon solution to the electoral process.

 

Meanwhile, the Somali people wait and hope…

 

Explore… Deuteronomy 34:1–12

  • Why is it important in the Hebrew story for Moses not to be the one who leads the people into the Promised Land?
  • What can the way we read about the transfer of authority in this text teach us about the transfer of authority within our faith communities and within the wider community?

 

Prayer…

God of all hopefulness, so often the psalms cry out, “how long?” and that cry echoes down through the centuries. May we have the compassion to join with that cry. May we too experience the hope you call us to, and may we have the courage, tenacity, and patience to work for justice. Amen.

 

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