Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda’s Easter Pastoral

In this Easter season, I want to ask you, “What is your destiny?” “Where are you going?”

 

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the most important belief in our Christian faith. It reveals so much to us about who our God is. It completes the salvation that Jesus offers us through his death on the cross for our sin. And, it shows us the destiny for all those who put their faith and trust in Jesus.

 

So, what is your destiny?

 

If you want your own resurrection life, you need to trust your life to Jesus. Easter is not just about new clothes and eating meat – it is about trusting that God raised Jesus from the dead so you can have the reassurance that your sins are forgiven and your destiny is with God forever. Please do not let this Easter pass without letting Jesus change your life.

 

I also ask all of us as Ugandans, “What is our destiny as a country?”

 

I believe our destiny is in Jesus, and our children and youth are our future. Yet, as leaders and parents, we have set up too many obstacles for our children and youth to grow into the full stature of Christ. There is a great need and urgency to address these challenges now.

 

1.      Too many of our youth and children are being taken out of this country and given to unknown people in the name of adoption. Young people are promised jobs and trafficked to places they do not know and end up in big problems like slavery. I appeal to all parents and to law makers to ensure that we all work together to protect the rights of our children.

 

2.      Domestic violence is still a big problem in our country. Many children are growing in violent and unproductive environments. I appeal to all families in this country to change their attitudes as couples by ensuring that there is mutual respect in order to make their homes better places for their children. Parenthood is a God-given responsibility which must be respected.  The drunkenness, poverty, and sexual immorality of parents are some of the major causes of domestic violence.

 

3.      Most of the people in Uganda who are involved in corruption are actually parents who have children.  This means that we are eating our children’s future.  Surely, greed and corruption have no place in our destiny. We are very rich as a country with our good weather, good agriculture, good natural resources, and everything that God has given to us. If managed properly, under God, then the destiny of our country is very promising.

 

This year’s budget introduced a number of new taxes as a result of reduced international aid. Recent news reports suggest that Uganda loses approximately 10% of our annual budget every year – that’s more than 1 trillion shillings a year – from various forms of corruption and bribes. Yet, if we really got serious about pursuing integrity, I am sure we could not only replace the aid that has been cut, but even rise above it and go beyond it.

 

4.      We will soon enter into a season of campaigning and elections. We have come a long way as a country in our more than 52 years of independence. I urge all of us to take our democratic process seriously and, more importantly, peacefully.  Let each of us ensure that no lives or property are lost in the coming months before elections.

 

My fellow Ugandans, through Jesus’ resurrection, we have a great destiny as individuals, as families, and as a country.

 

I want to especially appeal to the youth this Easter to think deeply and seriously about your destiny.  I want you to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve in your lifetime by setting your priorities correct and straight, and follow in the footsteps of Jesus.  Avoid drunkenness, smoking, drugs, and sexual immorality, which leads to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS.  Our country needs you strong, active and healthy.

 

I call upon all of us to claim the great destiny available to us through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  This destiny can be yours through trusting Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour and trusting your future to Jesus.

 

We send greetings to the President of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Mama Janet;

The Vice President of Uganda;

The Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament and all Members of Parliament;

The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister;

Members of the Judiciary;

Our Brothers and Sisters in other Denominations;

My Brother Bishops, Clergy, Lay Readers and all Christians in all our Dioceses and;

All of you fellow Ugandans!

 

I wish you all a joyful Easter.  May this Easter be the day we all claim our destiny in the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali

ARCHBISHOP OF CHURCH OF UGANDA.

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