Qunu - Former president Nelson Mandela's life had significant echoes of the parable of the talents in the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of SA Ziphozihle Siwa said on Sunday.
Matthew 25: verses 14 to 30 is a tale of three slaves whose master gave them money, referred to as talents, and then returned after some time to see how each slave had added to his investment.
The third slave is given the least money, one talent, and did not manage to increase this.
For Siwa, this third slave's actions resonated with Mandela's defiance of oppression and apartheid.
“He acts from a position of disadvantage and makes the best use of the disadvantage. He is my hero,” Siwa said in his sermon at Mandela's state funeral in Qunu in the Eastern Cape.
“He acts in a way that will give him a platform to address and expose the unjust system. Did not Mandela do the same at the Rivonia trial?”
Siwa also drew inspiration from Shakespeare's Macbeth.
He said Madiba's life was in stark contrast to a Macbeth soliloquy in act five scene five, where Macbeth learns of his wife's death.
Siwa said: “This life was not brief and its impact will be with us for many years to come. It is a life that will continue to echo on the stage of life for many years to come. It is not a tale told by an idiot, has no sound and fury, but is oozing with dignity, meaning, integrity and focus”.
“...We salute you Tata,” he said.
“The best tribute we can pay is to strive that our lives become both recipients and transmitters of light, of hope, and vibrations of life to others... that we strive for the fulfilment of his dream.”