ARCHBISHOP’S EASTER MESSAGE 2011
APRIL 21, 2011
CELEBRATING VICTORY OVER THE TROUBLES OF THIS WORLD
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.”
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
When Jesus made the profound declaration, “I have overcome the world”, the disciples must have thought he meant that the end of all their earthly troubles was near. They must have been excited at the prospect of the Messiah overcoming the current leadership and taking over the affairs of all Israel, if you like.
But a few chapters on, the Bible tells us that the disciples were faced with the reality of Jesus’ death, and the pain and disappointment they experienced; the agony of watching their dreams crushed right infront of their eyes.
2000 years later, societies have since grown and developed in many aspects, but we remain the same as humans. Human beings always hope for a better tomorrow, keep trying when they could have given up; keep believing in the power of miracles to make their worlds better. Like the disciples, we cling to every hope that we are given as an ultimate solution to our problems. We cling to money, we cling to power, we cling to Charismatic leaders and to those we believe can bring about the change we hope for.
And many times, like in the chapters that follow this passage- we become disillusioned. We are crushed when our expectations remain unmet. When food and fuel prices are soaring; when our young ones remain unemployed; and when our mothers, wives and sisters die during child birth. Like the disciples, we wonder what happened to the solution we had so much hope and faith in to make our world a better place.
The truth is, we cannot forget the fact that Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.” Our troubles are not only physical, but also spiritual, and emotional. We have all sorts of troubles, unending, like a vicious cycle. And we ask ourselves, why is life so hard? When will the days get better? When will we see no trouble? When will our tears stop flowing? When will this end?
Brothers and Sisters, the truth of the matter is that while we are here on earth, our troubles will continue. That is why, it is important to look to the one who overcame the world for victory over your worldly troubles. He made the world, he knows the troubles of the world and he alone can give you grace for your troubles.
The resurrection of Christ is the one assurance we have that we too will overcome the world and its troubles. Jesus’ act of dying and rising again, gives us a different attitude towards the trouble we experience here on earth.
It is true that at the moment, the cost of living in Uganda is very high. The levels of disgruntlement are manifested in the headlines of our papers and on the screen. The growing number of street children, high morbidity rates, poor nutrition and social abominations like child sacrifice rage on. How can we face the challenges of our time?
Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Jesus is also the provider of all our needs; after all he owns Heaven and Earth. It is about time that we realise that our victory over the troubles we face lies in Jesus alone.
Ugandans, your faith is under test. Will you look to Him who remembered you even at his darkest moment.
In the act of dying on the cross, Jesus catered for all these things. At the cross we find freedom from the power sin and death. Through Jesus we find much needed peace to carry us through the storms of life and only through Jesus do we actually get the wisdom to find solutions to our troubles.
My prayer this holiday is that each one of will take time to reflect on the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection; to know that through his death, we receive victory over the world and its challenges.
May you be inspired by Christ’s attitude towards those who oppressed him and abused his rights- that you too will always be forgiving and tolerant of others different from yourselves.
May those in leadership also learn fom Christ; he used his authority not to oppress the poor but to lift them and bring healing and hope into their lives. Leaders are servants of the people, using your power and mechanisms to oppress others is ungodly. Leadership should have space to talk and listen to their people.
Above all, may all Ugandans know and celebrate the victory over sin and death.
I congratulate all Ugandans for completing the elections in relative peace. The fact that you chose to be tolerant of one another and to choose peace over violence is an answer to our prayer. We made a choice to remain a family in spite of our differences.
I send sympathies to those suffering in Japan from the effects of the Tsunami and the nuclear exposure thereafter. I also empathise with all those in the Arab world, particularly, the Christian community as they endure civil unrest and cry for reform. May God comfort all those who call to him in distress.
I ask all Ugandans to continualy adopt peaceful, lawful, and unifying strategies to address their challenges. Disgruntled people should ensure that they do not encroach on the rights of others to go about their business. Government, especially institutions like the Police and Defence forces, should remember that they are servants to the Ugandan people; their duty is to maintain order in society using the most peaceful methods possible. Abuse of power, of authority acts as a catalyst to disgruntlement and produces a vicious cycle of unrest.
I send Easter greetings to His Excellency the President, Maama Janet and the family; The Vice President and his family; The Prime Minister and his family; the Kabaka of Buganda and all cultural leadership and the Members of Parliament in our nation.
I send greetings to all religious leaders in Uganda especially, the Council of Presidents of Inter-religious Council of Uganda, Co-chairs of Uganda Joint Christian Council and all Christians as they celebrate the resurrection of our Lord.
May we make this a season to celebrate the victory we have over our troubles through Christ’s resurrection.
Yes, he is ALIVE!
To God be the Glory!
The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi
ARCHBISHOP OF THE CHURCH OF UGANDA