The Archbishop of York visited Butere Diocese during its 100th year celebration
Archbishop Wabukala’s Address to Butere Diocese ”˜Hope & Transformation’ Conference 8th February 2014
It is a great landmark to be able to celebrate a century of gospel proclamation and discipleship in Butere. We thank God for the love, faith and perseverance of those who first brought the gospel to this place.
Looking back we can see the power of the Word of God. Even from very small beginnings in this place, the gospel spread far and wide to bring about the Church we see today. I am reminded of the words of our Lord in John chapter 10 verse 10 when he says ”˜ I came that they might have life and have it abundantly’.
The abundant life which Jesus brings can be reflected in many ways ”“ care for orphans and the homeless, justice and integrity in our government and judiciary, economic empowerment and the protection of the weak and marginalized, but it is important to remember today that these things are not the gospel itself. They are the fruit of the gospel. The new life we have in Christ comes through repentance and faith in Jesus as Lord as the one who died for our sins
Transformation can never be separated from salvation. We must always hold firmly to the cross and the need for personal conversion. So as we look forward to the next hundred years, let us make sure that we do not drift away from what we have heard. We must not forget the first half of the verse I have just quoted. Jesus has indeed come to bring us abundant life, but that wonderful statement comes with a warning that ”˜ The thief comes only to kill and destroy’.
The world is connected today by technologies that those who first proclaimed the gospel here could never have imagined. This brings great opportunities, including the way in which our beloved Anglican Communion can become a reality in the experience of ordinary believers people around the globe. But it also brings challenges because it opens the door wide to new temptations and false teachings.
The gospel is a message to be prized. It is something of great beauty because it brings the grace of God into our lives, so we must be alert to the strategies of the evil one who comes to kill and destroy. Our bishops and pastors must be good shepherds who protect the flock from the wolves and equip the whole people of God to be strong, well-taught and discerning disciples who put their hope fully in Christ.
So it is my prayer that as you begin a new century of Christian life and witness in Butere, you will keep a strong grip on the gospel. Let go of all that that leads to darkness, sin and confusion, and choose life. As we begin a new century of Christian life and witness here in Butere, may you continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.
The Most Rev. Dr Eliud Wabukala, EBS, Primate of Kenya
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