Monthly Archives: October 2014

Jehovah, our Healer

If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, … I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians,
for I am Jehovah Rapha – the LORD, your healer. (Exodus 15:26).

You are warmly welcome to Kakumba Chapel!

Every October we commemorate St. Luke’s Day. Recall: Luke the Evangelist is referred to some scholars as the physician of Antioch; and being converted by the Apostle Paul, as is very probable, he became of a physician of bodies, a physician of souls. He was a
companion of Paul on mission trips, and Paul refers to him as ‘the beloved physician’. Luke used his learning and skills, ‘having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account’ that is now the third Gospel; He also wrote the Acts of the Apostles. Luke’s double edged career is a good analogy of his new found Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Great Physician – a true unfailing physician of body and soul.

God introduces himself to the Israelites with different names and descriptions at various occasions; the name ‘Jehovah Rapha’ is found in the verse quoted above. He not only manufactured us but also maintains and protects us; we should be thankful because our bodies face numerous dangers but we are kept alive. Even the knowledge and tools used by the medical practitioners are partial revelations from God our Maker; many doctors therefore admit with the cliché, ‘we treat, God heals’. He heals way beyond what medicine and all manner of therapy could ever achieve: those troubled with stress headaches,
demonic sleeping disorders, chronic retrogression in life – all can receive healing freely from the Lord of Life, Jehovah Rapha.

The Israelites are – and so are we – called to diligently listen to the voice of the Lord. In
Isaiah 35, the healing promises are stretched into the Messianic reign of the eternal
kingdom where all who diligently listen to and obey the voice of the Lord will live forever: this will be the ultimate healing for these people and all creation. Jesus’ gave a foretaste of this hope while he lived on earth: he healed many and gave instructions to his disciples when they went for ministry to a city, to “Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” As we declare Him as Jehovah Rapha, He longs for us to embrace this good news – the Kingdom of God has come near you.

God bless you all!!

Respecting Authority

“Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matt 22:21)

It is Youth Sunday here today. We thank God for our young people, full of energy and
enthusiasm, full of ideas and dreams, of plans and hope, youth full of ambitions and speed. They minister every week in prayer meetings, in ushering, in small fellowships and care groups, in Children’s Church, in the worship team, and in many other places. They also critique the elders and really want to make things better. They have far
reaching aspirations that need to be recognized, guided and harnessed – our youth are worth celebrating.

It’s a good opportunity to reflect on the question of Authority as this is one of the areas in which our youth struggle to strike a balance. It was his test but Jesus used it as an
opportunity to teach, as was his usual custom. His key message is contained in a verse that has become a popular quote even among non-believers. Have you not heard some
government officials or politicians say in whatever dialect or version, ‘render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar’? Of course there are many using this for selfish gain – to
get people to bow and obey and pay more taxes – yet they do not pay enough attention to their obligation in the other part of the verse that points them to the Higher Master. The bottom line is that transcendent authority comes from God and must be observed and
respected.

Many young people have been caught up in wars with their parents or guardians or elders; some have locked horns with leaders at Church or in the University, or even at their work places. Stand-offs are often sorely painful, ugly and even bloody at times, and they spoil the image of God in us as individuals and as society. Apart from the good loyals who may be introvert or extrovert, when gentleness and humility do not set in, we end with loyal rebels or even rebellious rebels. Loyal rebels appear to submit to authority on the outside, but inside they are boiling with disapproval and will snap out of control at the next
possible outlet; they only comply because they must otherwise police will chase them or
financial support will be cut down. Rebellious rebels on the other hand put up an open-boot disobedience in the face of parents or elders with reasons that seem to make little sense others.

Think about your own relationship with the authorities in your life. The Lord desires
peaceable living and each one of us must work for this. While pursuing your unique
interests,remember the call of God to gentleness, respect, humility, generosity and peace. Many cases of rebellious youth have arisen because of rebellious parents; as youth are called upon to ‘render to Caesar’ by way of patiently negotiating with and respecting
authority, elders and leaders must in turn intently pay attention to the other
obligation – ‘render to God’. It is a joint effort that we all must be engaged in.

God bless you all!

The Fruit of Joy

“Rejoice in the Lord always; … do not be anxious about anything, … And the peace of God, … will guard your hearts and your minds” (Php 4:4-7)

Rejoice? How can you say that in the face of Ebola and Marburg, increasing cases of iron-bar thugs, marriage breakdowns, rebellious children, suicides, and deadly abortions? Our Newspapers even recently have reported how youth are advocating for legalizing abortion, citing one out of three maternal deaths as caused by unsafe abortions. Some of these girls have become pregnant after defilement or rape; but I wonder if majority of cases are not just reckless sinners, and some are selling their bodies to get some material benefits. This host of offences also includes sexual perversion, drug abuse, marital
unfaithfulness, and murder.

From another report, although there is evidence of a decline in new infections over the last three years, we still have to cry over the fact that 570 girls aged between 15 and 24 are
infected with HIV every week – too many girls in this age group in Uganda are dangerously sexually active, most especially those in Universities! In Kenya with a much bigger
population, the number is only 468. The problem of immorality is bringing upon us far reaching effects that we must be concerned about. It is not right to exonerate all cases and claim that these girls are “always caught up in unavoidable circumstances” – young people must rise and put on self control daily. Christians must quit nominalism and live what they
believe.

Paul’s situation had different challenges: he was in prison, in a foreign land where Emperor Nero was getting established in power, and his visitor Epaphroditus had been terribly sick; this visitor had brought him some relief from the Philippian Church and when those church members had of his sickness, they were sad and this stressed Paul and friends even the more. Paul was still zealous for the gospel for which he was persecuted, but even then how dare he say ‘Rejoice’ in such circumstances?

There is enough in God to bring us joy in the worst circumstance on earth. He had said it before in Php 3:1, ‘Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord’. In chapter 4 he says it again, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say Rejoice.’ If good people have not a continual feast, it is their own fault. Overcome personal anxiety and poor physical health by letting your requests be made known to God by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving – and you will have joy. Overcome fights and unrest with people and among people by openly advocating for their reform and repentance and working for peace and their restoration and you will have joy. Overcome fights and unrest with God by submitting yourself to Him fully, fleeing from every form of sin and walking in His righteous ways; remember, no God no peace, know God know peace – and you will have joy.

God bless you all!

The higher calling: Righteousness

“For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Php 3:8-9)

While addressing a conference of Bishops in 1986, President Museveni said, “the
Movement expects the Churches in Uganda to assume their rightful place in the
development of nations and is indeed committed to the support and encouragement of the spiritual and moral rehabilitation of our society.” Consequently, there has been some
deliberate effort to find Christian men and women of integrity to put in positions of
responsibility. Such people can only perform well if they hold a lucid knowledge of
Christian citizenship – a clear understanding of their role to God and their role to people within the context of leadership and managing public resources, such as in the Revenue Authority, city and municipal administrations as well as in government ministries,
departments and agencies.

The temptations of gaining wealth and power from one’s placement have caused many to compromise even their own Christian principles, to the disappointment of God and the public. Some commit outright offences through dishonesty, stealing and bribery that cause financial loss to the tax payers, while others just look on and are silent about the evils happening before their own eyes. The Apostle Paul is a good example of one who was sold to his profession especially after his conversion to Christ; he expresses his
commitment to Christ by lowering the value of everything else that he would pride
in –his privileges as a true Jew as well as a learned Roman citizen – the things that were of
enviable importance in his day.

Righteousness by faith in Christ was for Paul the highest gain, and so should it be for us
today. This is putting God and His will first. Second should be the interests of the public to whom we have been sent as ministers in our various capacities; accepting to ‘suffer the loss of all things’ as an individual for the sake of your ‘ministry’ is in line with God’s will. Paul did not end at gaining Christ and having assurance for salvation, but was compelled to go about preaching near and far, even through suffering and loss and threatenings and riots. Giving up his own comfort for the sake of others was his joy; and today we see many people willing to go through such sacrifices. However, there are still many, even Christians, who prefer to look only to their own wants (not even needs) and serve them at the expense of their ministry to God’s people and to God himself!

God will take care of you. To serve others is the higher calling; and to honour God in the highest calling, and we attain this by gaining Christ who is our righteousness.

God bless you all!