Monthly Archives: January 2014

Who shall be satisfied?

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.” (Matt 5:6)

You are warmly welcome!

A search for satisfaction is in the inside of every living being; so, we look out for food,
entertainment, occupations, friendships, family – to be satisfied. The Greek root ‘chorta-’ for the word ‘satisfy’ literally means a ‘court’ or ‘garden’, as well as by implication, pasture, grass or hay. Its verb form means to fodder, to supply food in abundance, to feed, fill or
satisfy. The value of good pasture ‘courts’ is best told by pastoralists who live in desert lands such as Palestine; when their cattle or sheep are hungry, they feel even more hungry and worried; such pasture is the source of their livelihood, comfort and hope for the future. It ‘satisfies’.

This Greek root ‘chorta-’ appears twelve times in the Gospels, eight of which relate to the two accounts of
Jesus’ feeding the five thousand and the four thousand. The disciples asked, ‘Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed [and satisfy] so great a crowd?’ (Mt 15:33). However, in both episodes, ‘they all ate and were satisfied’. Jesus made it clear to the hungry Canaanite woman that He had come to feed and satisfy the children first (Mark 7:27). Although Jesus’ mission had a target group, many more people were hungry
elsewhere. Again in Jesus’ parable, poor Lazarus desired in vain to be fed and satisfied with what fell from the rich man’s table (Luke 16:21). He was only satisfied when he went to Abraham’s bosom in the kingdom of the King.

Who then will be satisfied? Not necessarily those who hang out with the rich or those who come from strong nations, but those who look to Jesus Christ – our righteousness. Hunger and thirst are expressive of strong desire; those who feel that they are lost sinners and strongly desire to be holy, are welcome: Moreover, no other hunger has a promise and lofty blessedness except the hunger and thirst for righteousness. Jesus Christ calls us to focus on the only longing, prospect and expectation that will not be thwarted –
for righteousness. Jesus Christ is our
righteousness, and he satisfies all that come to Him, and they will forever be satisfied in His eternal Kingdom.

God bless you!

“Abide in me”

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit,
for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Who is your father? The question of paternity is fast gaining frequency. It is a really
awkward situation to be finding out the real father of a child that was born out of actions of consenting adults; but this shows how fallen our world is! It is still a question of identity, belonging and relatedness. Jesus introduced God the Creator as his and our Father;
he emphasized the relationships with various illustrations with a view of calling back lost sons and daughters to the ultimate family. To all who are invited, the choice is still left to each to decide whether to reject and sever or accept and affirm the relationship.

Our relationship with Jesus Christ, in a healthy state, is compared to a vine and fruitful branches (John 15). To remain in the Vine, First, you must bear fruit. The verdict for the barren branch is clear: it is cut off and dissociated from the Vine, thrown away and
followed up with fire. How can a branch that is firmly attached to the Vine be barren and fruitless? This branch represents people who are conscious followers of Jesus Christ, but are spiritually sick; the sickness could be stuntedness, laziness, weakness or being under oppressively possessed by hindering evil spirits. Jesus is the Great Physician and you can be healed and start bearing fruit, and thereby escape the destroying fire.

Secondly you must be deliberately willing. Those who are loosely and carelessly attached are choosing not to remain: they eventually fall off; this category points to children and adults who only associate with Christians, follow relatives or peers to Church, even join some ministering groups – but without a personal resolve to follow Jesus Christ. They have no discipline of reading the Word of God regularly; they only depend on what they hear on Sunday, if at all they pay attention. The seed of the Word that falls in their hearts is as good as the seed that ‘fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.’ Eventually they
cannot bear fruit, and they suffer the fate of the barren branches – they too are cut off to dry and be burned.

To abide in Christ is to abide in His Word – to read, meditate and put in practice the Word of God; and to bear fruit is to exercise unconditional love to God and to people. These are the marks of identity for those that belong to God as Father.

God bless you!

“You are the salt”

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?” (Matt 5:13)

When we talk about Identity, we cannot run away from the fact that each one of us desires to be known for something: some want to be known for being excellent professionals or administrators or footballers or kick-boxers or great pastors or business gurus or celebrity musicians or army generals, and on and on. Each one of us has a sphere – no matter how large or small – in which one is distinctly known and therefore can wield a significant
measure of influence. What are you known for?

Jesus told his disciples, ‘you are the salt…’ in order to obligate them to deliberately
influence society with Christ-like mentality and character. Salt is a powerful analogy for
influence: a little of it persuades food to taste delicious and appetizing; it is also used as a preservative, as an antiseptic in medicine – it is a germ killer. Salt is a mufti-talented
companion with many functions indeed. What does it mean for you to be the salt of the earth? As a mission imperative statement, ‘You are the salt’, how do we understand it in the
extents of our ‘Jerusalem, … all Judea, … Samaria, and to the end of the earth’ (Acts 1:8)?

You need to be a person of influence by all means. People around us need inspiration to advance, encouragement in sober living, motivation to do right and shun wrong; they need clear correction, rebuke, and sometimes reprimand when they stumble at besetting sins and corruption – moral or financial. Even innocent-looking folks need a regular showing of the Way, to walk in it and not go astray. Many people around us need to be encouraged to follow Jesus and live according to the purpose and will of God for their lives. Those who
receive this message, ‘you are the salt’ are expected to actively influence the people around them positively – to Christ-like living.

Offer yourself today: it was law to always
season grain offerings with salt: “You shall season all your grain offerings with salt. … the salt of the covenant with your God” (Lev 2:13); here the salt signified the requisite purity, perfection and faithfulness in worship. If your community is to be accepted in God’s sight, then you are the required seasoning – You are the salt.

God bless you!

“The identity of Christ”

‘Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the son of God! You are the

King of Israel!”’ (John 1: 49)

Education is an important subject at all levels and in different methods. We pray for
success for the University students facing Exams in this season, while P.7 and S.4 leavers wait for results to be released in about two Weeks’ time. However learning and research is even is even much more outside formal school. In offices, business, politics, at home and in
voluntary service, there is always much to learn and keep growing. Never stop learning.

One important research topic among the Jews was ‘Who will be the messiah?’ Their
scriptures clearly predicted, and the Nation was waiting in continual expectation. When Jesus was born and some suspected him to be the One, the inquisitive minds of were
engaged even more, to prove and be certain of this identity of a boy in a manger in
Bethlehem by parents from Nazareth, a little known village in Galilee. This is still a relevant subject to explore; we are spiritual beings in need of answers about today and tomorrow, and
ignoring the question about the Messiah leaves all the keenest searching in life empty, futile and frustrating.

Picking a leaf from the characters in John 1:29-51, you don’t have to wait for consensus: As different people met him, Jesus is welcomed and given names from the known
prophecies; He is enthroned in hearts of individuals even before the public receives him as
Messiah He is

  • The Lamb of God -v.29
  • The Son of God –v.34
  • The Rabbi – v.38
  • The Messiah –v.41
  • The Prophesied One-v.45
  • The King of Israel-v.49

Nathanael is particularly interesting having begun from a point of contemptuous doubt; his conclusion is in total faith and recognition of Jesus Christ as the ‘Son of God’. We do not have to wait for whole club, school, clan, village or nation to accept the coming of the Lord; from personal conviction, experience and appreciation- all by the grace of God-
enthrone Him.

“Sacramental Identity: Baptism”

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for Forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gifts of the holy spirit.”(Acts 2:38)

Baptism is a sacrament or outward symbol of purification or regeneration by the grace of God and admission to the Christian Church. Talking of symbols, recall the picture of Stephen Kiprotich wrapped in a Uganda flag after winning gold in the marathon on the
final day of 2012 Olympic games in London; the Ugandan flag flew high again at the 2013 World  Championships in Athletics in Moscow. The Uganda flag is one of the important
National symbols, with unfathomable value of importance. The concept of of such
outward symbols is undeniably entrenched into human beings to the extent that any
successful business today must invest in branding with consistent symbols and styles.
These are not new inventions -God created us with a sacramental sense, a thing for
symbols that  touches the heart deeply.

Therefore, it is not enough to believe i your heart; a public confession and a symbolic use of water on the confessor are both necessary. John the Baptist used this sacrament for those who repented and turned from  their sins in response to his preaching. Then Jesus came to be baptised , and John was in a shock! Clearly , righteous people like Jesus who had nothing to repent of did not need Baptism. However, in submitting to the  baptism, He formerly identified himself with the expectation of the kingdom and with  its ethical
demands; separated Himself from the evil of his nation , doubtless with confession of its sins; and devoted Himself to His life task in bringing in the Messianic salvation. While still
praying, He received a confirmatory divine visitation from Heaven.(Mat 3:13-17)

Baptism is a mark of identity. Are you baptised? This is a simple question that you just give a quick answer yes or no; it is a question of your identity seriously if you are baptised, is the regeneration and belonging to Christ that comes with baptism reflected in your life? As we seek to know more of Jesus, we also seek to know more of ourselves in Christ Jesus: let us grow our understanding of and faithfulness to our baptism, as well as that of those
under our care.

God bless you and have a Blessed New Year!

Identity – the roots

“yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” (John 1:10-11)

Happy New Year! You are warmly welcome to Kakumba Chapel, Kyambogo University – Uganda.

Praise be to God who has brought us safely through the year 2013. Many good things worth celebrating have happened – in your life as an individual or as a family, but also as a Church and community – we give thanks to the Lord for all his bounty to us. As a Church, we have made significant strides forward by getting a new gallery
development completed, widening the Children’s Church programs and provisions,
running missions in and outside the University, and many other areas as we shall soon see in the annual report. There have been challenges as well, but through it all, we are safely here, thanks be to God!

Did you move with your Identity Card today? The question of identity is of utmost
importance for many reasons, including security and protocol. Let us reflect on this
question as we commemorate the Circumcision and Naming of Jesus Christ. In terms of
positional identity, it is scandalous to mess up protocol at a national function for example – to address dignitaries in the wrong order. Ruling members out of order is common in
parliamentary or committee debates simply because of protocol. It is a
question of identity. It is often a fascinating scene when men in plain clothes flash their identity cards and you discover they are policemen coming to arrest someone near you. Their identity is
first concealed, then revealed, sending fright to the suspect.

Apart from that kind of identity, each one of us has roots or an ancestry; this is revealed by names, language, physique, and sometimes character. One friend of mine is celebrating changing her name from Acan to Alony as one of her great achievements of last year, and this reminds me of many who have changed names: from Ocan to Rwotlonyo,
from Komakech to Komagum, and from Tinyefuza to Sejusa. These changes are normally motivated by strong reasons; similar incidents can be traced in the Bible when meanings of names motivated strong actions, for example, Jacob changed his last born son’s name from Benoni to Benjamin – Racheal’son of my trouble’ became Jacob’s ‘son of my right hand’ (Gen 35:18). In another instance, it is not known if this man changed his name, but he – Jabez – was concerned about its bad meaning and cried out to God about it; his prayer was to completely reverse the pronouncements of the name which meant “Because I bore him in pain.” The Lord answered his prayer and changed him to be a blessed man. In the Lord alone can out true blessed identity be found.

A little more about names, John the Baptist’s name was about to be messed up – they were about to misfire, but thankfully God opened the mouth of hitherto dumb father Zechariah and he told them the name that God had sent through the angel. In this same way, Jesus’ name did not come from ancestral calculations or something to mean ‘born in a manger’, but an Angel had announced what name was to be given to this holy child.
Today, we see baby Jesus being entrenched in his roots by circumcision, naming and
presenting him to the Lord (Luke 2:21-22). God seems to be very interested in names!
The positive and prophetic significance of the name Jesus is a matter that deserves
special treatment in a separate post; for now, suffice to say that it was not just a mere name to print on his passport.

It was clear Jesus was a Jew, but that was not all: John the Apostle philosophically brings out the greatest identity scandal of all time as he introduces him as the ‘True Light’ – this VVIP; He came to his own, but there was no clapping, no standing ovation, no clearing of the high table, and no mention of his arrival! We live in a time when we have opportunity to give him the due welcome and praise, a time when his identity is not as concealed as it was then. After all our true identity can only be found in Him. Let it be our desire to know and honour Him more and more in this year.

Have a Blessed New Year!