CHRISTMAS MESSAGE - 2005
The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi
ARCHBISHOP OF CHURCH OF UGANDA
Greetings in Jesus’ Mighty Name this Christmas Season!
The event which is coming to us is a great reminder of God’s divine love to the world.
All over the world excitement has seized people because the good news has hit them. Some are excited because they will buy new things and give gifts to loved ones, but others are equally excited because they are going to make money by selling. Whatever the reason for celebrating Christmas, do know that God gave us His Son Jesus Christ and it is worth remembering.
The angel told Joseph that Mary conceived Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Being a righteous man, Joseph would not embarrass his wife-to-be, so he determined to divorce her quietly. The angel also announced the sex and the name of the baby: He would be born a boy and would be called Jesus.
According to Jewish Law, the first-born son was to be dedicated to God. In the case of Mary’s divinely conceived first-born son, his name was also his mission. Literally, the name Jesus means Saviour. His name is Jesus and he is the One who saves humanity from their sins.
The world needed a Saviour then and it continues to need a Saviour now. Jesus the Saviour was born to save us from sin.
Humanity has fallen short of the Glory of God because of our rebellion against God. Much as we try, we keep failing. Our sinfulness reflects itself in our poor relationships with each other, and restlessness is another common sign of our time.
My message to the people of Uganda during this Christmas is summarised in these points:
First, let Christmas draw us near to God who has taken the initiative to come to us. He came that we may know God and become his children. He has come to reveal to us God’s love. Will you take this Christmas to be an opportunity to show love to someone? Will you allow bitterness and hatred to pass with the passing year and embrace love? We need this love in our nation today. Do not allow politics, greed, desire for prominence, ambition, and fear tear you apart. Hold together as a nation and build a country for our children and children’s children.
Secondly, in the coming of Jesus, a prophecy has been fulfilled, “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call is name Emmanuel, which means God with us.” This is an appropriate message for us today. ‘God with us’ at all times is a re-assuring message. All of us must know that we are not alone. God is with us in the times of joy and festivities. He is with us when we are faced with challenges and difficulties. He is with us when we are perplexed. He is with us when we face uncertainties. It is easy to think that God has deserted us during times of trouble.
I call upon all believers to rise up and call upon Jesus during this time when we are faced with change in our political transition. This is not a time for loose talk but for prayer. Your prayer will direct the affairs of our nation. A praying nation is a winning nation. He is with us, so you can confidently pray and He will direct the minds and actions of our leaders.
To God’s people who are in the Internally Displaced Peoples’ Camps (IDP) in Gulu, Kitgum, Lira and Katakwi Districts, God is with you. No one can shut Him out even in the Camps. Your tears and cries will continue to rise up to God for freedom. He is with you to deliver. Do not harbor any bitterness or anger against anyone because that cannot help you. He is with you (Emmanuel) to one day take you to your home.
I call upon the LRA to stop shedding innocent blood, thereby increasing curses upon our Land. Lay down your guns and come back home to peaceful living and build Uganda.
To Government soldiers, I ask God to protect you in the execution of your duties to the nation. Defend the citizens of this country against their enemies.
To victims of HIV/AIDS, I encourage you to know that God is with you (Emmanuel). May you receive strength and peace during this Christmas season!
To the Youth, I encourage you to trust your bodies with Jesus this festive season. He is with you at all times. He understands the pressures you go through; the need for new clothes, shoes and enjoyment. I encourage you to wait upon the Lord and not to give in to the temptations of cross generation sex for material gains. God is with you and He will bring you to have all the things you need at the right time.
May the Church of Christ remain faithful in praying that God will protect the borders of our nation and that His peace will enter every part of this nation.
Finally, with the coming of Jesus, we hear these words from the Angel, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased.” He is the “PRINCE OF PEACE”. May he rule our thinking and action so that we may have peace one with another!
We need peace in Uganda during our political campaigns, peace between parties and Presidential candidates, peace in our city Kampala and other towns, peace in our homes, and peace on our roads. May the Prince of Peace usher peace in our individual lives, homes and work places. I pray that you will allow Christ’s peace to fill your Christmas celebrations this year 2005.
I send warm Christmas greetings to President Yoweri Museveni, Maama Janet and the entire family, and all government leaders. I send warm greeting to all leaders of the Churches and all other believers.
May God bless you during this Christmas season and prosper the year 2006 with His mighty Presence for you. The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi ARCHBISHOP OF CHURCH OF UGANDA.