“I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners” – Isa 57:18
Learning never ends. As a young person, as a growing person, as a living being, always keep your mind open to learn. I am currently meditating on reaching out with the gospel message to people whose language I don’t understand! I need to learn their language first; then I’ll be able to share a message. What do you need to learn? Are you growing in learning? This is what will keep you alive. Today’s Scripture passage from Isaiah 57:14-19 climaxes in hope from our God for a people who walked in sin for a long time and were punished by God; their hope unfolds in verse 18 where God speaks confidently: ‘I will heal them’. I turn this hope to those who are repenting of ‘ignorance’ or repenting of ‘stopping to learn’. The disciples kept inquisitive, seeking to learn. Think about the disciples who were researching on who will be ‘the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven’.
Jesus Christ is the greatest source of learning, and thank God He was available to answer the disciples’ question. He amazed them with his answer the question on greatness. “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 18:3). I am sure the disciples did not imagine this kind of answer could pass for that important question. Yet Jesus Christ made this important revelation for our educations – that in that little Child is the example of lowliness that is required to be great in the Kingdom. He used the opportunity to further draw us to love and care for children.
There is great need for us to pay close attention to children, not just for the sake of learning how to become great in the Kingdom of heaven, but to also carry out our responsibilities of caring for one another and caring for them. In this generation, it is real hard work; there are many enemies to fight – the cartoons that need to be put in right context, the misleading examples in the media that need to be explained so that children do not imitate… much work is needed to care for children today. When John Newton quit slave trade and turned to Christ, one of his deepest expressions of repentance and reformation was his hymn ‘Amazing grace’. He literally was lost in all those voyages, but when he was found by Jesus Christ he regretted and received the hope and renewal.
Are you lost when it comes to dealing with children? Do you not see in them the lesson and example of greatness as expressed by our Lord Jesus Christ? There is hope, and this is an opportunity for you to revisit your position and value these little children of God who are a gift to us for responsible stewardship. God bless you.
take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce… and say to the priest in office, “I declare today to the LORD your God that I have come to the land the LORD swore to our ancestors to give us.” (Deut 26:2-3)
Today is the Kakumba Home Coming Sunday, and we welcome in a special way those who are ‘coming home’. It is a great think to look back at a journey that has brought us this far, reminisce, and celebrate. True, the journey may not have been smooth all the way, but every experience and every patch and every corner was a learning opportunity. Now we have the space to put the lessons together and make them a thrust for the life ahead as we seek to advance in life and fulfill our callings. The indicators of arrival – whether it is a stop-over or a final arrival – include rest, refreshment and revival. Today’s key Scripture above calls the Jews to go and make offerings before they enjoy these three gifts.
The children of Israel were finally gathered into the Promised Land, after going through many challenging years of hard life in the wilderness wanderings. Many didn’t make it there, but those who arrived were full of testimonies and memories of all that the Lord had done for this chosen race. It was too much to tell in one event, and that’s why by law they had to celebrate the arrival into the Promised Land (the In-gathering) every year with a one-week long Feast; this was also called the Feast of Tabernacles, which reminded them that as they went through it all in the wilderness, they dwelt in temporary shelters. At such a feast, Jesus taught many things and multitudes put their faith in Him. But some sinners were also there! One woman caught in the act of adultery towards the end of the feast was brought to Jesus and to her and to those who brought her Jesus preached covertly and overtly, ‘go and sin no more’. Many lives were thus transformed.
The fulfillment of the Feast of In-gathering in Jesus Christ will be when the children of God will finally be gathered into the final Promised Land in heaven. Imagine saying these words before Jesus Christ, the Great High Priest, saying them with the knowledge that you have arrived into eternity for good: ‘I declare today to the LORD your God that I have come to the land the LORD swore to our ancestors to give us.’ I reckon this will be such a great moment, and those who arrive will be the real harvest – the wheat and not the tares, those who did not defile themselves, purchased from among mankind, no lie was found in their mouths, they are blameless (Rev. 14:4).
The promise is sure and the hope is living. There will be great celebration and it will last endless ages. The Lord himself will receive us and say, “Welcome Home!” and nourish us with perfect rest, refreshment and revival. The joyful feast today is a foretaste –