In God's Hands is the 2015 Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book. In this little gem of a book, Archbishop Desmond Tutu distils the wisdom forged through a childhood of poverty and apartheid, an adulthood lived in the glare of the world's media, and the long and agonising struggle for truth and reconciliation in South Africa, into the childlike simplicity which Jesus tells us characterises the Kingdom of God. Archbishop Tutu has produced a meditation on the infinite love of God and the infinite value of the human individual. Not only are we in God's hands, he says, our names are engraved on his palms. Throughout an often turbulent life, Archbishop Tutu has fought for justice and against oppression and prejudice. As we learn in this book, what has driven him forward is an unshakeable belief that human beings are created in the image of God and are infinitely valuable. Each one of us is a God-carrier, a tabernacle, a sanctuary of the Divine Trinity. God loves us not because we are loveable but because he first loved us. And this turns our values upside down. In this sense the Gospel is the most radical thing imaginable.
It is extremely moving that in this book Archbishop Tutu returns to something so simple and so profound after a life in which he has been involved in political, social and ethical issues that have seemed to be so very complex.
Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and the Templeton Prize in 2013, and was the founding chair of The Elders from 2007 to 2013. In 2009 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1994, Tutu was appointed chair of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where he pioneered a new approach to moving beyond civil conflict and oppression.
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