The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda The Most Rev Stanley Ntagali has held a press conference today in which he delivered his Christmas Message with a call to stand firm for the families of the nation, salvation and a spirited fight against greed and corruption.
Below is the message;
The Bible says in the famous verse John 3.16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
We are so used to hearing this verse that we are no longer surprised by it. But, we should be surprised. If this passage followed the normal patterns of human behaviour, we would expect it to say that “God so loved his Son that he gave him the world.”
But, that’s not what it says. The Bible says that God loves the world that he gave his Son. That’s what Christmas is about. This is the radical message of the Gospel.
The Gospel proclaims that God’s love is a self-giving love. It is a sacrificial love. It is a love that costs him something personally.
God gave his Son because he loved the world. Because he loves you and me.
When I was a young man, I got saved. I received God’s love by receiving his Son Jesus as my personal Lord and Saviour. Since then I have spent my entire ministry as an evangelist, sharing this good news.
If you want true love, it can only be found in God. To receive God’s love, you must receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.
Love has a name and it is Jesus.
Hope has a name and it is Jesus.
This is the simple, yet profound message of Christmas.
For the last three years, we have intentionally focused on promoting the Family and Children. At Christmas, we need to remember that we are celebrating the birth of a child into a family. Like many of us, Jesus was born into poverty and grew up in a small village. God’s favour was not only on Jesus, but also on his mother, Mary, and his family. Remember the wise men that enriched this family with their treasures? I pray for such favour on our children and on our families today.
But, we still have serious issues facing our families today – domestic violence; marital infidelity; pornography; human trafficking; defilement; pre-marital sex; homosexuality; abortion; illness and untimely deaths from road accidents, poor medical care for women giving birth, and preventable and treatable diseases that still take many lives.
Many parents and several adult relatives are so greedy that they go to the shrine and engage in witchcraft that puts children at risk and, even worse, causes children to be sacrificed.
We also have serious issues facing our country – violence, greed, injustice, youth unemployment, and land grabbing. It was my great joy to join His Excellency the President and other national and religious leaders in the recent Walk against Corruption. So many things in our country could be resolved if corruption disappeared.
We also have serious issues from the UN’s pro-promiscuity, pro-gay, and pro-abortion sexual agenda that are trying to infiltrate Uganda. Such are sneaking into Uganda through re-writing government policies as well as through UN-funded NGO’s. We continue to say “No” to Comprehensive Sexuality Education and fully support UJCC’s efforts to intervene on this matter.
We also say “No” to efforts to legalize abortion. There is plenty of evidence that demonstrates that legalizing abortion is not a significant factor in reducing maternal mortality, despite the rhetoric we commonly hear. Abortion is just another form of child sacrifice and our government should not legalize it.
Fundamentally, Uganda’s problems are spiritual. As I have said before, we have allowed evil to flourish in Uganda at all levels, including our families. This is why we have focused the last three years on the Family and, specifically, on Children.
The transformation of our country begins when individuals and families recognize their only hope has a name, and it is Jesus.
My fellow Ugandans, our greatest need in Uganda is for another revival – for us to repent of our greed that manifests itself in so many ugly ways, and to be truly born again.
How can greed and corruption and entitlement and violence be driven out of our hearts and our communities? Only when we invite Jesus into our hearts.
God so loved the world that he gave his Son as THE ANSWER to all our problems and challenges. My last Christmas message to you as Archbishop is that you turn to Jesus and receive God’s love in your life by receiving Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour.
I also urge you to join me in rejoicing and praising the Lord for the Holy Spirit’s work in the 28th August 2019 meeting of the House of Bishops in electing the Rt. Rev. Dr. Stephen Kazimba Mugalu as the 9th Archbishop. He will be enthroned on 1st March 2020 at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe. Please continue to pray for him as he takes over the leadership of the Church of Uganda.
Am glad to inform the nation that our youths with support from our partners have developed an App called Just Good Work which is a free interactive mobile app that aims to promote safe migration and prevent human trafficking and exploitation of migrant workers in labour supply chains by providing informed, safe, transparent pathways to work. Just Good Work gives job-seekers and workers critical information on working abroad in simple, jargon- free, home language.
It provides information and advice on your rights and responsibilities during the recruitment process and at work in your destination country. The app gives workers abroad guidance on accessing help and advice at every stage of their employment, including returning home. It provides insights into life and work in specific countries, on topics such as the weather, local customs and leisure activities.
The goal of the app is to make sure Ugandans have access to safe and decent work that enhances the quality of their lives and is free from exploitation. That they have the information they need to make safe decisions about taking work abroad.
Above all, the app seeks to be a means of informing families and their neighborhoods about migration issues. (This is a tool the Church will use for discipleship and pastoral care of migrants in their Countries of destination).
I send warm Christmas greetings to His Excellency, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Mama Janet Museveni and their entire family. To all our government and civic leaders, all the Bishops and their wives, the Clergy, Lay Readers and all Christians of the Church of Uganda. I also send my sincere greetings, along with prayers for a blessed Christmas to our Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Pentecostal brethren, and all those who have looked in hope to the Child who has been born and the Son who has been given, Jesus the Christ.
A BLESSED CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!
The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali
ARCHBISHOP OF CHURCH OF UGANDA