UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI MAIN CAMPUS CHRISTIAN UNION
Sunday Service, February 24, 2013 @ 0900-1100
Texts: Psalm 133 & Jeremiah 29:1-11
In December 1991, my family gathered at our rural home in Olenguruone, located in Molo District. We celebrated Christmas and new year. Little did we know that it was our last time to see our home, for in April 1992 everything had been reduced to ashes. All we had was lost and life was never the same. Coming to terms and being able to forgive whoever did that has not been easy. As a family we have learnt that forgiving and living in peace after such an experience takes the hand of God.
Cohesion is the tendency to stick together. From my above experience I have observed that:-
- · It is difficult to accept and move on
- · It is a choice that is personal but with great public implications
- · It starts with you and I not with your neighbor
- · It starts today and not tomorrow
In Psalms 133:1-3 The bible exhorts us that it is good and pleasant when brothers and sisters live together in Unity. The anointing would flow from the top to the bottom. Our National Anthem reminds us that it is our responsibility to stay in peace and unity.
Today I see and hear many people talk of cohesion but how badly do we want to live together in unity in this country? And are we willing to pay the price of such peace. Is it something we think is a must or something we think we can do without sometime. I say this because, I see us recline to our tribal grouping to drawn on security of numbers. When we fail to consider other candidates because we they are not from our own or they are spoiling for our own.
Cohesion demands we take responsibility – personal and collective. While the promised blessing is assured, it comes with a responsibility. Responsibility to do what is right and to accept when on the wrong.
Jeremiah 29 provides the details of this responsibility.
Central in this chapter is the contention between the appealing voice of false versus the hard sounding voice of truth. It’s a tension of to whom we pay our allegiance? To the everlasting truth or to the enticing but shortlived lies? We find ourselves in similar situation in our school, work and life. We have what we desire to have or where we desire to be but there is a reality of where we actually are. Daily we are faced with the temptation to do nothing productive in our current place because we want to save our best energy and ideas for that great day, when we are in our dream state. We feel the desire to do just enough to get us along. God has a different message for us just as he had for the exiles then.
This letter contains five things that are important and applicable to us today in Kenya:
1. To settle down (Vs. 5) – not to take their situation as though it be a passing wind. They are to build houses, plant gardens and eat what they produce. We live in a world where we are always on the run from one pursuit to another. Accept that we are a country of diversity and that we cannot always have our way. Accommodate others. Be tolerant. God wants us to settle down even in our hearts that we can build a strong relationship with Him and his people. Remember we live once and that is it.
2. They are to increase in numbers (Vs.6) – Marry, have children and give their children in marriage. While this may not be literally taken as it meant to them then, there is a desire in God that we increase. That we improve his world. That we leave the places where we are in now, better than we found it. That we draw more people to his loving grace.
3. To seek the peace and prosperity of the place they are in. To pray to the Lord for it, for if it prospers they too will prosper (Vs. 7). It is interesting that their well being was tied to the well being of Babylon. This is an equally true principle that our prosperity is tied to the prosperity of the place where we are in. We see this all the time in economic, social and political crisis - that everyone suffers when things goe wrong and that people are ‘happy’ when systems are well. We thus cannot ignore what is happening around us for in the end it affects us. This we are to engage in remembering that the true source of prosperity is the blessing of the Lord.
4. To watch against the deception of the false prophets (Vs. 8-9). God’s word as recorded in scripture stands in all times. He blesses obedience and punishes disobedience – regardless of who is involved in it. We live in a world that has redefined what is right and what is wrong. However, this does not change what God’s word says. We are to watch against such and also watch against being the false prophets who give others false hopes.
5. In God’s time he will come and save us (Vs. 10). For the exiles it would be about 3 generations (70 years) before God would take them from Babylon back to their home in Jerusalem. For us we await in faith that God will meet our desires here on earth. Also for the glorious day when Christ shall return to take us home. This is the gift that God gives to those who have choose to put their trust in Him (Rev. 21:12).
In Service to God and Our Country
Abraham Rugo Muriu