CHOKOLOKOBANGOSHE: A HOMILY ON FRIDAY, FIFTH WEEK OF LENT
A story is told of an old witch whose name is Chokolokobangoshe. Chokolokobangoshe has a little boy living with her, whose name is Montulewa. She made Montulewa’s life so miserable that Montulewa wanted to go back to her parent. One day, Montulewa met three wise men who promised him that they will help him out of the old witch’s house. They went to the old witch and asked her to name her price; what it will take for her to let Montulewa go. She told the wise men that she will let Montulewa go if Montulewa can discover what her real name is. She likes to sing with her name but the song confuses Montulewa so much that it was hard for his young mind to pronounce the name which is rather too long. By the way, she sings this song at a particular time once a day. Montulewa gave the trick to the tree old men. One of them went and listened as the old woman sang. “Montulewa doesn’t know my name. Montulewa doesn’t know my name. Ooo, aaaa, Chokoloko…” At tis point the man ran to tell Montulewa her name is Chokoloko, but when Montulewa told her. She said that is not her name. Next another wise man went and listened to the song: “Montulewa doesn’t know my name. Montulewa doesn’t know my name, ooo, aaa, Chokoloko, Chokoloko, Chokolokobango”. At this point, he went back to tell the boy her name is Chokolokobango. Well he was wrong. It was the last wise man who stayed and listened till the song was over and he helped Montulewa to memorise the name and get it right. This is a lesson in patience.
The common mistake we make with scriptures is that we read a particular passage, but we do not read it till the end. When we do that, we only get a part of the message. For example, our First reading began on a very bad note and ended on a good note. It is very easy to remember the way it began and not see the way it ended. The same is also true of the gospel of today. I have read so many bible passages like the first two wise men, and I think you may have also. John Bergsma describes 7 parts of such passages as we find especially in the Psalms, namely, 1. The situation is described. 2. The writer cries unto God. 3. The writer makes a vow to offer a todah sacrifice if God would save him. 4. God saves the writer. 5. He fulfils his promise to God in the temple. 6. He celebrates the victory with his family and friends. 7. He gives a public testimony of how God has saved him. All passages will not follow the same format, but this gives us an idea. Sometimes we read certain passages and they sound very negative to us, but that is only because we did not read them to the end, or we do not read other related passages. Let us read the scriptures like the third wise man in our story. Even in our relationship with people, sometimes we remember only the negative things they have done and said to us. No matter how people treat us, let us not forget that they are created by God and loved into being by God. No matter how bad the situation is, let us not fail to see the blessings loaded there in. No matter how negative the scriptures may sound, let us not forget that the word of God is always good news. That is why the day of Christ’s death is called ‘Good Friday’. The word of God is always good news. If it doesn’t begin as good news, wait for it. It will end as good news.