Sermon: White- The Peace, Hope and Light of our Nation
The pastor of a village church somewhere in your rural home, whether from Central or western- stands alone in his church on a weekday when no congregant is present. He looks around at the church building, probably squeezed in a leased property, He remembers that the land lord will be on his case in a weeks’ time, the collections of this last week were not as good. The make shift structure is in dire need of repairs, there is no electricity, the only music instrument they have is the worn out keyboard they got from the first fundraiser they did. He recalls the faces of some of His congregants, they are tired, worn out, and equally in need. He is still handling the cases of several failing marriages among his church leaders, the small wrangles of position among his elders and then he remembers his health and age is failing him.
He skims through the scriptures for something to encourage him and stumbles on this passage: Rev 21:22-27: Which speaks of the glory and honor of the Nations brought into the new Jerusalem at the end of the age. He stops to wonder: What is the Glory and Honor of this Church, What is the glory and honor of this Nation?
This is likely the story not just of the village pastor, but the village chief, the mother of 15 children somewhere in Turkana, the IDP’s of this day and many young Kenyans whose dreams have been robbed by the poverty, corruption, destruction and hopelessness around them. They are all asking: Where is the Glory and Honor of this Nation?
Today I ask this same question to us, where is our glory and honor as a Nation, what gives us hope and energy to live as Kenyans? Is there Hope for a better Kenya? Like this dim lit candle- sometimes this is what our hope looks like in Kenya?
Today we climax the introduction of our series for this term: Mkenya Halisi. We have been reflecting on the colors of our National Flag over the last 3 weeks and today we look at the Color White: The Peace, Hope and Light of this Nation. The question we ask ourselves is: Where is the glory and honor of this Nation?
My Thesis today is drawn from that familiar passage in 2 Chronicles 7:14
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land”
Have you ever looked into the eyes of a fellow Kenyan as you walk down the streets? Do you wonder what their stories are? Are they stories of hope? What is our collective story as Kenyans? The story of the Post-Election Violence in 2008 has probably caught our attention especially as we draw again in this election period.
The book- Kenya Burning, released after this event and the museum that was set up brought me to shudder at the sight of grim pictures of death, maimed bodies, wailing mothers and children, smoke and destruction all over. It surprised us how our country sunk to such Anarchy. What happened to Color White?
My answer is simply this- There is HOPE, Color white has been found among the saints who see themselves in the light of God’s word.
Let’s turn now to our Key text:
Rev: 21: 1-8, 22-27
In this passage we see a glorious picture of the future of the world through the visions of John. John sees a new earth and a new heaven- the new city of Jerusalem at the coming of our Lord, when everything will be made new again. When all the evil will be dealt with finality and all the corruption, murder, and evil will be swept away. There will be no more weeping and sorrow for God will wipe away all their tears.
A beautiful city made of precious stone and gems awaits us. The climax is verse 22 (Read)
Another beautiful picture is that of a wedding of the Lord Jesus Christ and His bride- The church. The church is being prepared for this great wedding feast.
This Picture though speaks of the end times, is a true fulfillment of the coming of God’s Kingdom on this earth through the church. It is the church that will usher in this new Kingdom.
My first Point is simply this: The Church is the glory and honor of this Nation.
One of the reason for our hopelessness in Kenya, is the myopic vision of the Church today. When God’s people are blinded by todays circumstances and they do not see this future. They don’t see with eternal eyes. Paul prays that the church would have this vision, that the eyes of their hearts may be opened, that they may be enlightened to see the hope, the power and riches that God has called us to.
1 Peter says to us: You are a Chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy Nation, a people belonging to God, which you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkens into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people but now you are the people of God, once you had not received Mercy but now you have received Mercy.
So the future, hope and glory of this Nation, Color white is found not in structures of our government, not in the heroes of the land, not in the prosperity of the Nation, but in between these, God’s greatest blessing to this Nation is the Church, The true White. The bride of Christ dressed in white unstained robes.
Mugo Kibati, the current Group CEO of Pan Africa Insurance Holdings Limited, said it right, in reflecting upon vision 2030: He says Kenya has the right hardware for vision 2030, but the wrong software for vision 2030.
I propose that It is the Royal Priest hood that will bring the glory back to this land, it is the church. God’s gift to Kenya is the Church.
The church is the true representation of this glorious Kingdom of God, here on earth. This is probably the most powerful prayer we can make for our Nation: As we were taught by our Lord Jesus Christ
‘May your Kingdom come, may your will be done in Kenya as it is done in heaven”
The Kingdom simply put is “God’s eternal Plan”
It’s more than just a realm or place. God’s eternal plan gives substance and meaning to everything else in our history as Kenyans. It’s the big answer to the question in history “Why”. This plan expresses God’s thought and heart of the matter. This plan ultimately is God himself expressing His LIFE to the world.
In this sense then “The coming of Jesus into the world- Was God trying to say “guys here is my plan” In and through Jesus we see God’s intent and plan not just for Kenya but the whole world.
Jesus taught us to pray “Your Kingdom come, in other words- Let that eternal plan take its full course. We welcome you- Jesus, We welcome God’s Plan, We welcome God’s LIFE to be expressed in and through us. All plans of the nations will fail, only God’s plan prevails.
A nation or a people that rejects the church, rejects God’s Plan.
As I mentioned last time, the constitutions of many stable communities today are a gift from God through the Church. The church has played a significant role in building and destruction of Nations. That is you and me? We are the glory, the hope, the awaited honor of this nation.
In the words promised to our father Abraham: All the Nations will be blessed through you.
So carry your candle, run into the darkness… It may feel small like that village pastor, but in you, you carry the flame of God, the new Jerusalem, the new earth, the new Kenya, empowered by God’s Kingdom.
My Second Point: What shall we do? Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near
That passage again: If my people who are called by my name…..
The call is clear: To Repent.
There is first the place to Repent in Prayer,
God has given this Nation the blessing of a voice that will move his heart- The Church. He harkens to the prayers of his people. In Repentance we call out that we are a nation belonging to God, we renounce our rebellion against God, we invite God and his authority and rule into our hearts and Nation. This is the power of Prayer. In prayer we call on God to purge us from the evil that consumes us today.
As you know our Muslim brothers have begun their prayers, we will see their devotion and passion over the next few months, What about us- Will we just sit back and observe? It’s time to pray for this Nation seriously as a nation, as a church, as a family or life group or individual.
In Repentance we bring back God to the Centre, where He is the ultimate Authority, Where He Reveals his plan for this Nation and where many people respond by putting their faith in Him.
But the Second point of Repentance is to go and be SALT and LIGHT
Again, the call of Esther is upon us “For such a time as this- God has put you in your area of influence to ACT for a cause”
When Christians have followed biblical teachings, the church’s life and outreach have profoundly affected the world. When we engage in evangelism, when we engage with Compassion in our world today, When we engage in social justice and fight the cause of the oppressed and the poor, when we fight for the sacredness and God given dignity of every human life, when we stand against corruption, when we excel in our fields of work, we begin to usher in this Kingdom, in small and powerful ways.
Despite flaws and failings, The local churches are more strategic to the transformation of a society than its leaders, president, legislators, business men, educators or scientists. That’s because God has uniquely blessed the local church to carry his Plan of Redemption and healing to the Nations. For this to occur, the mere physical presence of Churches is not enough, but each of us as believers must Understand our role and boldly take God’s truth into all spheres of this Nation.
This is the Call we are responding to through this series: Mkenya Halisi.
It is not just another study, but an opportunity to participate with God in what He is doing over this Nation. A Nation will Change, with those who are willing to change. No change comes easy.
So we are asking each of you to make some changes in your time and priorities and even in your budgets. Get yourself a copy of this book, plug into a LIFE group near you- The Church next door and commit to grow together as we listen to the Lord through this series.
With this picture in mind, Let’s now turn to God in prayer for this Nation. As we commission our Church Next Door champions and pray over this series.
(Ask them to come with their candles)