On October 9th Uganda celebrates 50 years of our independence. 50 years ago, 1962 our country Uganda received our independence from Britain. We had been colonized for more than 60 years, and on that day we received freedom to rule our self as an independent country.
Although we had turbulent 50 years, we thank God that 50 years have elapsed.
50 years is very special in the Christian and Jewish faith, and it was a season of celebration. The word used is Jubilee and it comes from the Hebrew word Yobhel which means Rams horn, it also means jubilation.
When God gave the law to Moses, he said to them that every after sabbatical years which is seven times seven (7×7) that is forty nine(49) years, the people of God were to celebrate the 50th year as a year of jubilee, and that year began with the blowing of the trumpet, announcing the arrival of jubilee.
1) Leviticus 25:10 -14 describes this jubilee very well, Jews were required to go back to their original ancestral homes
2) All debts between Jews were enrolled
3) All Jews who had been slaves were released, that year was considered a holy year. The law on which they were released was given rest and God’s people celebrated all the workings of God in their country, families and their land.
Given what we learn from Jewish history, jubilee was a Sabbath of all Sabbaths and the word Sabbath means rest. Our God when he created the world and all its creation he rested on the seventh day and that was required for all God’s people as the time of worship, time of appreciation and time of renewal.
The book of Hebrews expands on this word Sabbath. Hebrews 4:1 talks about another rest, and this rest is expanded upon verse 8 – 11; this rest was brought to us by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Hebrew writer describes this rest as a rest from the law, from works, to a rest where by faith will have accepted the grace from Jesus Christ.
What does Jubilee therefore mean to us as Christians?
Given the turbulent past of Uganda, we realize that politics, self rule, managing our own affairs has not given us the alternate rest that we have looked for. Political freedom without a freed heart doesn’t assure us a free country, so the answer to the freedom that Uganda needs is in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Which means that the church of Jesus Christ needs to rise up and preach freedom that only Jesus can bring.
We have as a nation the responsibility of bringing restoration to the degradation of our morals, our environment and our society in general.
Then as a church we need to join our political leaders in preaching about the change of heart as the work on the development of our country.
I pray that the church takes a center stage in breaking the bondage which comes from tribalism, sectorism, nepotism and all the enzymes that have brought cancer to our society.
For the church in Uganda, God is reminding us about a great revival that exceeded Uganda political independence. We had the Anglican East African revival in the 40s and 50s; we had the Pentecostal revival in the 1960s and the years that followed.
God was preparing a nation then and I believe that God is speaking to us one more time. Let us use this remaining time of this year to make self evaluation of the church.
These last 10 years have been years of scandals upon scandals, our unity as body of Christ has been tested, where the zeal for prayer and purity has gone low, and these last 20 years because of the peace that the country has had the church has become relaxed and not as evangelistic as we were.
So our prayer is that we committee as a nation to see a new move of God because as the church goes there goes the nation.
I pray for a great Jubilee week to all of us but let us committee ourselves to God as a center of the next 50 years of the land.