LETTER TO KIGALI: At Home

By Thomas Kagera
On 5 April 2020 at 08:15

Dear Kamanzi,

Even with much of the world under lockdown, and the cold silence sweeping through our cities, villages and lives, I cannot forget to remind you, dear brother, that we are walking in the Holy Week. A time we ponder and reflect on birth-pangs of the Church. A time we are reminded that the road to new life passed through death. The Death of Jesus the Christ.

Our troubles today are not anywhere near the pain and certainty with which Jesus, the Saviour, faced death in order to save me and you. Yes, He was certain He was going to die. And He was certain that His death was the only sure path to the eternal life of humankind.

He endured the mockery, the stripes, brutality and the callous indifference of the Pharisees that approved His death. He was shackled. With wry sarcastic and deriding smiles, they pierced His hands and feet; telling Him to call on His Father to rescue Him. He endured it all in humility to the end.

These hard times you experience, even during the Holly Week, should enable you explore who you are and your relationship with God.

So, my friend Kamanzi, l beckon you to take the humility that Jesus demonstrated during his last week on earth. Not for some time, but all the time. To the end.

Today it is not possible to commemorate Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Resurrection of Christ in conventional church buildings. But, maybe, God has a reason for letting us do so AT HOME. Is there any place better than a home? With all the earthly toils, where we put many man-hours in our work across geography (tens, hundreds, some times thousands of miles away ) and time (from morning to evening; from our youth to our evening hours), we eventually get back AT HOME.

And, my friend, remember those times when everything seems to be falling apart. A friend, before delving into giving you emotional and physical support, will tell you to feel AT HOME.

What am saying is this; maybe God has put a situation that forces us to make our homes become the church space in physical and spirit so that at the end of the hard times we will willingly take our homes to the church. I am made to believe that what we are now experiencing may contribute to our own ongoing journey as God’s people as we prepare to get AT HOME.

Kamanzi, the home in which you now mainly find yourself, offers you a place in which your faith can be discovered afresh, where you can find ‘the Church within’.
And, in symbol and in reality, when we are done with our work here on earth, we shall meet the Lord AT HOME. God is giving us to understand what it means being AT HOME. So let us rejoice in all situations, for there are many episodes that God brings before triumph. He brings a storm before serenity. He brings birth-pangs before delivery.

And am in agreement with messages that church leaders have sent forth.
The Anglican Church during these hard times has reminded us that: “As in the early days of our faith, public gatherings of Christians outside the home are [for now] forbidden. Nevertheless, we are finding ways to join in prayer and intention; to cry ‘Abba, Father’; and to recognize we are all buried with Christ by baptism into his death, that we might walk in newness of life. The present situation does not negate the joy we have been granted in the resurrection.”

And the Holy Pope, in his Holly Week message encourages love and generosity. “Let us try, if we can, to make the best use of this time: let us be generous; let us help those in need in our neighbourhood; let us look out for the loneliest people, perhaps by telephone or social networks; let us pray to the Lord for those who are in difficulty in Italy and in the world. Even if we are isolated, thought and spirit can go far with the creativity of love. This is what we need today: the creativity of love. This is what is needed today: the creativity of love.”

Kamanzi, let us humble ourselves and pray: “Father, we thank you for your unending Love. We pray for your unconditional healing. We thank you for keeping us AT HOME as we prepare ourselves to meet you one day AT HOME. We worship and adore you; now and forever. Amen.”

Bye for now my friend,

Yours,
Thomas Kagera


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