From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ACNS3249 Archbishop Livingstone Nkoyooyo's New Year Message

From "Anglican Communion News Service" <>
Date Fri, 3 Jan 2003 11:38:09 -0000

ACNS 3249     |     UGANDA     |     3 JANUARY 2003

Archbishop Livingstone Nkoyooyo's New Year Message

Today is the day when we celebrate the beginning of the New Year. Each one
of us has taken inventory of his past life and are making various
commitments for the new Year. We as Christians have also have also made
resolutions for the New Year, in our quest for a meaningful and authentic
Christian life.

One of the great themes of the teaching of Jesus, and most especially as
presented to us by Matthew, are the dangers of nominal Christian life. In
Mat. 7:5-17, the focus therefore is on false prophets, whose test for
authenticity lies in the moral quality.

Even before the coming of Christ, John was hammering home the same
message-Mat. 3: 7-10. He warned people who came for baptism that they should
bear fruits worthy of repentance. Adding that it was no use claiming that
they are descendants of Abraham.

As we usher in the New year and also make various resolutions to improve on
our Christian lives further, may we seek to make meaningful and authentic

The perpetual war in the North by the Lord's Resistance army led by rebel
leader, Joseph Kony is a case of nominal Christian life. Joseph Kony a
Christian says he is fighting the Government in Gulu and Arua towns in order
to restore the Ten commandments-and the war has now lasted over 15 years
claiming countless civilian lives!

In the West of Uganda, it is also not any different. There is a revolt in
the Diocese of Muhabura where Christians have rejected Bishop elect, Canon
Sebuhinja David and have gone ahead to burn down the retiring Bishop Ernest
Shalita's house whom they accuse of betrayal.

May the year 2003 be a year when we seek to make good deeds and living a
righteous life central to our resolutions this year. James uses a clear
metaphor of a body. Faith without works, he said; is as dead as the body
without the Spirit! Jas. 2:17

Reformation in the sixteenth Century was largely fought over the issue of
good deeds versus faith. Surely, we are saved by grace and not by good
deeds, they argued. Adding that probably there was a contradiction between
Pauline letters like Galatians and the Catholic letters like James.

Yet really there is no contradiction here. Jesus calls each one of us to
repent and believe in him. And when we do, we receive the forgiveness of God
and the gift of eternal life. In the language of the synoptic gospels, we
become the children of the Kingdom. Evidence for this redemption is not in
the verbal profession, it is in the verbal practicality.

David Winter in his book, the Millennium has said, good deeds are the
evidence of faith as the stars are the evidence of the night.

The Most Revd Livingstone Nkoyooyo

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