What you need to know:
- On this special occasion when Christians celebrate a new Church year, Ugandans should renew their faith, join hands and work together, as brothers and sisters, to build a united, peaceful and prosperous nation which is guided by the spirit of our national motto: For God and my Country!
Today, December 3, is the first Sunday in Advent which marks the beginning of a new liturgical year, commonly known as Church Year.
The Advent season is for Christians a time to reflect, wait and prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25, Christmas day. The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus.
As Christians worldwide remember and celebrate with great joy the first coming of Jesus Christ, they also anticipate and look forward to the second coming of Christ the King to judge the living and the dead at the end of time.
Advent provides a golden opportunity for Christians to reflect on the first coming of the Messiah, to be alert of his second coming and to renew their commitment to the faith we profess in Jesus Christ.
Whereas all of us who are alive did not witness the first coming, nobody will miss and nobody can avoid the second coming which Scripture warns will be a time of distress for nations, trepidation and tribulation.
Isaiah prophesied the coming of the Messiah 700 years before it happened. He wrote, “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him; the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding; the Spirit of counsel and of power; the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord – and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:1-3 (NIV)
“In that day the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him and his place of rest will be glorious.” Isaiah 11: 16 (NIV)
The liturgy of the Advent season should put Christians in a disposition to wait for the coming of Jesus Christ. Advent is a time of waiting and a time of joy because the coming of Christ is not only a gift of grace and salvation, but is also a time for commitment.
The second stanza of a popular Advent hymn titled, O Come, O Come Emmanuel says: “O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free. Thine own from Satan’s tyranny; from depths of hell thy people save, and give them victory over the grave. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel; shall come to thee, O Israel.”
Whenever this beautiful Advent hymn is sung, I am reminded of tyranny which has been imposed by force on people in many countries and societies of the world.
It’s a consequence of Satan’s tyranny of sin mentioned in the hymn and Scriptures. There is something evil, wrong and unacceptable with all types and manifestations of tyranny.
Advent means a lot to people of faith and plays a central and significant role in Christian doctrine.
For a country like Uganda whose foundation is rooted and built on Christianity, the Advent season is an appropriate time to reflect on the past, present and future of our beloved country whose citizens should focus on and do what will please and give God the glory.
God has blessed and endowed Uganda with abundant natural resources which are a precious gift from our Father in heaven who has provided enough resources for our common good.
The gifts of God must, therefore, be shared fairly and equitably among all Ugandans without fear or favour.
On this special occasion when Christians celebrate a new Church year, Ugandans should renew their faith, join hands and work together, as brothers and sisters, to build a united, peaceful and prosperous nation which is guided by the spirit of our national motto: For God and my Country!
In this regard, Ugandans from all walks of life should participate in a national dialogue for the purpose of achieving national reconciliation and ushering in a new beginning which Uganda needs and deserves. Happy New Church Year!
Mr Harold Acemah is a political scientist and retired career diplomat. [email protected]