By Taddeo Bwambale
KAMPALA - The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali has advised Ugandans to take advantage of the Christmas festive season to fortify their faith instead of simply merry-making.
In his Christmas message delivered at a press conference held at the Church of Uganda Provincial Office in Namirembe on Friday, Ntagali warned against reckless behaviour.
“Let this be the Christmas that is not just about meat and eating and new clothes. Let it be the Christmas when you invite Jesus in your heart, to live there as your saviour and Lord,” he said.
Alluding to his recent pilgrimage along with Anglican clergymen to Holy Land in Israel, Ntagali said the events on the life of Jesus were real.
“We saw those places with our own eyes and we have come back to testify. This story we hear every year at Christmas did not come from someone’s imagination. It really happened,” he said.
He appealed to Ugandans to emulate the selfless life of Jesus and shun corruption, warning that the vice was tearing the country apart.
“Corruption is killing us; it is chocking our development and growth of our country. If God had been greedy, he would not have sent His son Jesus and we would not have Christmas,” he said.
He advised Ugandans to embrace the same spirit of reconciliation during the festive season and resolve disputes without rushing to courts of law.
“In our own church, I call upon all people to let Jesus be the Prince of Peace and strive to maintain the unity of peace by resisting going to law courts to resolve conflicts. Please, let us sit together and seek the mind of Christ for all our various concerns,” he said.
Ntagali paid tribute to the people of South Sudan and called for dialogue to end the week-long conflict that has claimed lives of at least 700 people.
He appealed to Uganda Government to take a key role in ending the conflict through dialogue.
“It’s a pity our neighbours in South Sudan are at war with each other. Government should take upper hand in ensuring that our neighbours return to peace,” he stated.
He observed dialogue that was the best way to resolve the fighting and proposed that Uganda could play a mediation role to resolve the crisis.
“Hardly two years ago, South Sudan got its independence. It was a great joy to see them free. Uganda, in the spirit of good neighbourliness, should advocate of reconciliation,” he said.
He wished Christmas to President Yoweri Museveni and his family, the church and clergy of all Christian denominations.