LUSAKA: ST BARNABAS CONGREGATION – This quarters’ Synod Sunday fell on 14TH September 2014. St Barnabas Congregation of Chelstone Consistory in Lusaka Presbytery observed this special Sunday. The Minister-In-Charge, Rev Lubinda M. Mukelabai (also in-charge of All Saints Congregation) had invited a Guest Preacher, Rev Dennis Mbita Sikazwe to take up the pulpit and celebrate Holy Communion.
The homily was taken from Prov 19:17; Luke 11:5-10 and James 1:22-27. The visiting preacher shared on the theme: “Doing God a favour or a moment of blessing?” He noted that God had throughout all generations been a God of particularity, who calls a particular people to carry out a particular task in a particular generation. “God is always been on the side of the poor and the oppressed”, he said. “Particularly, God is on the side of the orphans, widows, strangers and the Levites. God was their keeper and was to look after them through His chosen nation – Israel”.
God demanded that all the true Jews were to be partners with him in taking care of these groups of people. In return God had promised divine protection and providence for his people. Helping the needy was as good as lending the Lord, who will abundantly pay back. He also noted that Jesus (in John 15 verse14-15) refused to call his followers as servants instead he called them friends. Jesus in Luke 11:5-10 told a story of a faithful and trusted friend who was approachable even at an awkward hour. Jesus was looking for such trusted friends even in our time who do not only take an interest in the welfare of their own family at the expense of the needy and Christ’s ministry. The Preacher reminded the congregants that God was calling them to be partners with Him in taking care of the needy. God will always payback in amazing ways.
As individual believers before we kneels down to pray, we need first to silence the voices of the orphans, widows, strangers and the Levites by attending to their needs. Without doing so, the cries of these needy people will continuously make noise to God and God who is always on their side will not be able to hear our prayers. Divine providence and protection is only guaranteed to us when we work in partnership with Him.
As the United Church of Zambia (UCZ), God counts on each one of us as faithful and trusted friends who can be counted upon even in delicate and difficulty circumstances. God has called us to bail out disadvantaged and poor brothers and sisters out of their misery and shame. Our forefathers and mothers built schools and hospitals in order to mitigate disease, sickness and ignorance. The way these institutions are looked after today is not even worth talking about. They are a shame. Instead of facilitating healing, the environment itself worsens the patients’ condition. But one may ask where are Christ’s trusted and faithful friends?
The UCZ needs to have a stable financial base in order for it to be consistent in the maintenance of the infrastructure and furnishing of these buildings and services. To do this the UCZ has embarked on the construction of the Investment Complex so that once this building is completed and rented out, it will improve the financial base of the church, and be able to support the mission of the church.
Every UCZ member should be part of this vision and share the burden of the cross. Each one of us need to think seriously on the meaningfulness of our contributions first as individuals and then as a congregation. “A RELIGION THAT IS PURE AND STAINLESS ACCORDING TO GOD THE FATHER IS THIS: TO TAKE CARE OF ORPHANS AND WIDOWS IN THEIR SUFFERINGS “. Doing it alone as individuals will achieve something but not much. There is strength in numbers and institutions. If our mission is to make a huge impact on our land then we need to do it at a larger scale.
Let us encourage the efforts of our Fundraising Committee by contributing more than they expect of us. Each one of us needs to take it personal before we take it as a congregation. Most of us think that by making a contribution to the work of God, we are doing God a favour. To the contrary, no one can do God a favour. He is “too Big” to be favoured by a mere human being. Synod Sunday should not be perceived as a burden but an opportunity for God to bless us now and in the future. Hence the theme: “Doing God a favour, or a moment of blessing” Be blessed as an individual, and as a congregation as you make a meaningful contribution to this quarters Synod Sunday. We need to continue making contributions until our eyes see the building stand in its splendour.
For your personal contributions you may be in touch with the following members of the Fundraising Committee: Mr Hastings Chiti at: firstname.lastname@example.org and Ms Emmah Kapuka at cell number 0977425231