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11th April 2020

“EASTER MESSAGE FROM ANGLICAN MISSIONS AFRICA!”

THE LIFE, DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST: FOUNDATIONAL TO OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH AND GOSPEL PROCLAMATION.

By Rev. Canon Captain Richard W. Mayabi

Let me start by defining resurrection as the act of raising from the dead, especially after one is buried in the grave and his fate sealed.

In scripture, there are countable cases where the dead resurrected from among the dead.

In John 11: 43-44, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after four days. Matthew 27:52-53 records that at the death of Jesus, the tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. The third case of resurrection is about Jesus himself.

WHY IS THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST IMPORTANT?
The answer is that both Lazarus and the many who resurrected during Jesus death in Matthew 27: 52-53 died again waiting for the final resurrection when Christ returns as a judge to establish his eternal kingdom.

In the history of humanity, there is no one other than Jesus Christ who died, buried and rose from the dead. This act of resurrection, combined with life and ministry on earth, makes Jesus a unique and divine saviour and redeemer of humanity.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ was not a coincidence or a crisis but rather the essence of his divinity.

In Luke 9:22, Jesus stated that “And the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and the third day be raised to life.

It is this claim that caused the leaders of his day to hang him on the cross.

“The fulfilment of his Messiahship was not going to be complete without dying and raising from death.”

WHAT DOES HIS RESURRECTION MEAN TO US?

1. RESURRECTION IS THE REASON FOR OUR PROCLAMATION. 1st Corinthians 15: 3-11, Paul asserts that the resurrection of Christ is the reason for our salvation. Christ died for our sins according to scripture, he was buried, he was raised on the third day, and he appeared to a host of witnesses including his disciples and Five hundred people.

Verse 14. Paul states that if Christ has not been raised from the dead, then our preaching is in vain.

1. CHRIST IS OUR HOPE BEYOND THE GRAVE. Verse 20-25 Paul drives the point home. Christ had been raised from the dead, the firstborn of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For as in Adam, all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive. I must state here that those who have repented of their sins and hidden their lives in Christ.

Though today, just like Jesus in his human body, he suffered many afflictions, including death on the cross and overcame. So to us, our hope is beyond present human suffering. We shall overcome. Colossians 1:27 Paul encourages us to hold on Jesus, for he is our hope of glory.

3. IN RESURRECTION, WE ARE OVERCOMERS. Colossians 2: 13-15, Paul writes. When we were dead in our sins and the uncircumcision of our flesh, God made us alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins. He counselled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us. He took it away, nailing it on the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the power of the cross.

In Mathew 28: 18, after the resurrection, Jesus came to his disciples and said: All Authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, I, therefore, hand it back to you. Now you can go. In Mark 16: 17-18, Jesus assures the disciples that these signs shall accompany those who believe. They will pick snakes with their hands, and when they drink of any poison, it will not hurt them, and when they lay their hands on the sick, they will recover. (I MUST CLARIFY THAT IT IS NOT PHYSICAL HANDLING OF SNAKES OR DRINKING POISONOUS DRINKS BUT RATHER HANDLING OF SPIRITUAL FORCES IN OUR LIVES)

4. RESURRECTION OF CHRIST IS DIVINE AND SUPREME ABOVE EVERY OTHER SELF-EXALTING RELIGION.
Philippians 2:9-11 Paul puts it this way. Therefore after resurrection God exalted Christ to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every other name. That at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven and earth, and every tongue acknowledges that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father.

CONCLUSION:
Our Christian faith stands or falls on this doctrine of the resurrection. I am convinced beyond doubt that there is no alternative to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Over 2000 years now, this doctrine has faced resistance, but it has always triumphed now and years to come, it will triumph.

I want to call on the whole world during this Easter as we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to acknowledge the supremacy of Christ as Lord and saviour of all humanity.

May Christ, the healer, be the healer of our tribulations during this challenging period the world is suffering from COVID-19.

7th April 2020

WHAT IS THE THEOLOGICAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE PALM SUNDAY? (LUKE 19: 28–48)

INTRODUCTION:

By Rev. Canon Captain Richard W. Mayabi

Palm Sunday or Triumphal entry as it is popularly known is quite a significant event in the history of the Christian Church.
FIRST: It is a prophesy being fulfilled, foretold by prophet Zachariah 14: 1–21. Between 520–518 BC putting it in context. Verse 1 Zachariah explains the future of Jerusalem when its possessions will be captured, plundered and divided up within their very walls.
The implication here is that unlike other times when they have been sent to exile, this time their oppressors will rule them in their land.
Verse 2—9 puts in perspective the anticipated vindication by the Lord, who will come as King at the appointed time (Pax Romana) to fight for the liberation of His people.

The triumphal entry marks the fulfilment of Zachariah’s prophesy when Jesus begins his homestretch mission of accomplishing this prophecy.

JESUS ENTERS JERUSALEM AS BOTH LORD AND KING.

LUKE 19: 28-48 presents Jesus as both Lord and King. Verse 28-34 Christ is on his way to Jerusalem this time as both Lord and King to demonstrate that he was the much waited Messiah to set Jews free from the oppression of the Roman rule.

He is radical in his approach.

A. Unlike earthly kings who used Horses and chariots and a mighty army. Jesus used a young donkey that had never been used before.

B. Unlike earthly kings who owned many possessions at their disposal. Jesus used a borrowed donkey.

C. Please note the significance of using a donkey that had never been used before. Jesus is opening a new chapter implying that God was ready to enter into a relationship with people of the nations who had no divine relationship with him.

D. Unlike the Horses that were a symbol of power and prestige. Jesus uses a donkey to challenge the worldly understanding of power.

“Verses 35–40 Displays the Kingship of Jesus Christ. It was Cairo’s moment for Israelites. The Messiah whom they had waited for a long time, had arrived. They praised for the miracles Jesus had done, and now finally coming to restore the ridership of their father David.”

Verse 38 they declared him both King and Lord. This meant that Jesus was headed to full throto to reveal his Messianic power. Matthew 21: 9 records that the crowds followed him shouting, Hosanna to the Son of David. At this point, they were determined to enthrone him.

This gesture of such triumphal entry is what threatened both the Jewish and Roman establishments. Christ had become a threat that required a quick address.

On the contrary, the mission of Jesus was not taking over the physical kingdom but rather a spiritual one. He had come to liberate people satanic oppression. The greatest need for humanity is being liberated from demonic possession. It was rebellion and sin that had led to Israelites being oppressed by Roman’s in their very land. Jesus’ sole mission was to break the bond of sin and set them free to relate with God as freed people.

Verses 41-44 states that Jesus wept over Jerusalem. The city of God that had fallen into the trap of sin. People who had been waiting for the Messiah but are not able to recognise him. Priests who had backslidden and served their interests. Religion was no longer about faith and relationship with Yahweh but somewhat ritualistic sacrifices that had lost spiritual meaning. The Jews served Roman pagan gods that blasphemed God’s name.
Jesus wept over Jerusalem.

Verse 45–48 reveals deplorable state in which Jerusalem was in. The Temple, a sanctuary sanctified for Holy services had been reduced to a market place. The god of Manon had taken control and everyone, including temple priests had become captive.

Jesus now being both Lord and King took control to restore order.

WHAT PALM SUNDAY MEAN TO US DURING THIS DIFFICULT PERIOD OF COVID-19?

If Jesus Christ was entering the City of Nairobi, London, Paris, San Paolo, New York. Sydney. Etc what would be the reception?
In what state would he find the Church? What about the spiritual status of pastors, priests and church elders? What about spiritual status of government leaders?

You can agree with me that Jesus will still weep over our current situation.

1. Will Jesus weep over the status of his Church? Majority of Spiritual leaders have loved the world more than God they serve. Many now use the Church for their gain. Harlotry and worship of sex such as homosexuality. Lesbianism. Adultery, Fornication, Bestiality, and other forms of sexual orientations have been tolerated in the Church.
The modern Church is rooted in tribalism, corruption, power-struggle and emerging of wealth at the expense of true worship, evangelism and discipleship.

2 Jesus will weep because worldly governments have lost moral authority to govern and protect human welfare for the common good. Countries with remarkable GDP growth are using it to manipulate and control weaker countries.
Majority of world leaders are not God-fearing, they are corrupt politicians who grab wealth they will never use.

CONCLUSION.

The triumphal entry marks a new beginning. It was a redefining moment when Jesus was establishing a new order. Liberating people from evil.
In Zachariah 14: 12–21 lists several plagues that were going to befall people of Israel if they did not repent and accept God’s mercy. God judges people because of their rebellion and stiff-nakedness.

COVID-19 is a form of God’s judgment on the humanity of the world. Forget about a conspiracy theory that it was manufactured somewhere to target bringing down some world’s economies.

The fact is that we are all feeling judged and helpless. We have become afraid and hiding from unknown forces. Even most qualified doctors are scared. Science seems to have no quick solution. Interestingly when God is judging humanity, also the righteous suffer.

Let us all focus on the triumphal entry theology where Jesus Christ is liberating us from the final curse of sin.

3rd April 2020

THE SEED OF MISSION OUTREACH AND EVANGELISM WINNING SOULS TO CHRIST IN KISII AREA BISHOPRIC

By Sila Kevin Achenda

Anglican Missions Africa (AMA) visited Kisii Area Bishopric on 3rd March 2020 to conduct training at ACK St. Philips on Healthy Church Capacity Building Program. The training that took three days brought together Sixty (60) participants both clergy and laity, from the entire Kisii Area Bishopric. The program mainly focused on Key elements of the Healthy Church narrowing to Church planting and church growth. The Suffragan Bishop John Omangi Orina was happy with the training and was optimistic that it would revolutionize mission outreach in the region. Bishop John Orina led several sessions where he urged the clergy and laity to implement the teachings of the training in their local churches. The training was one of its kind to happen in the diocese.

The lead trainer Rev, Canon Captain Richard W. Mayabi, who doubles up as the Anglican Missions Africa African Director, was encouraged with the number of people who turned up for the training. His anchor point during the training was that a healthy church is one that focuses on primary Missionary work (Evangelism, Discipleship, Church planting, and Social Mission), bringing more sanity in the way church leaders conduct services in their churches. Canon Richard Mayabi added that the church leadership will know their health status and change their lifestyle by adopting healthier living standards. Kisii Area Bishopric is among the five dioceses in Kenya that have signed a partnership with Anglican Missions Africa. The training program is spearheaded by AMA in the diocese to empower the clergy and laity. Kisii Area Bishopric is part of the larger Southern Nyanza Diocese. The region was curved out as an Anglican Mission frontier with a clear focus on growing the new area through Church planting.

THE BEGINNING OF ANGLICAN CHURCH OF KENYA IN KISII LAND

Mr. Zedekiah Oyando started the first Anglican Church in Kisii in 1938 when he worked for the Ministry of Agriculture. The church started growing tremendously, and in 1959, St. Philips was constructed and consecrated by the then Rt. Rev. Festo H. Olang, the Bishop of Maseno. The church, however, never managed to grow beyond Kisii town as it came to be associated with none locals. The bishop of Southern Nyanza Rt. Rev. James Ochiel caught a vision of localizing the Anglican Church in Kisii land and appointed Suffragan Bishop John Omangi Orina to grow the Anglican Church in the Kisii region in 2015. Since then, the bishop has spearheaded evangelism and mission outreach, growing the parishes from four to seven in 2019. Many churches are being planted and winning many souls to Christ.

The vision of Anglican Missions Africa (AMA) is nurturing a healthy and sustainable church in Africa. As such, they donated two tents and Jesus Film to Kisii Area Bishopric for evangelism and mission outreach. According to the Suffragan Bishop John Omangi Orina, they have been pitching the tents in open-air markets and showing the Jesus Film to the masses before planting a church. Out of the two tents, they have been able to plant four new church and showed the Jesus Film to over 2,000 people. He added, “We have shown the Jesus Film to schools and market places and got new converts.”

Rev. Captain Justus Okoti, the Vicar at Daraja Mbili Church, says, “Since we were given the Jesus Film during the inauguration of the church, over 70 members have joined the church.” The Healthy Church Capacity Building Program has six modules, and Anglican Missions Africa will be going back to the diocese in June to continue with the training.

19th March 2020

BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE OF CHURCH

By Rev. Canon Captain Richard W. Mayabi

In Matthew 16: 15-20 Jesus introduced a new subject that radically re-defines kingdom relationships. It is out of Peter’s profound confession that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Most high God. Jesus promised that UPON PETER’S CONFESSION THAT HE WAS THE SON OF THE MOST HIGH GOD. He would build his Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Every Christian should understand this confession.

It is those who confess BEAR TESTIMONY OF CHRIST AS THE SON OF THE MOST HIGH THAT BECOME A FOUNDATION UPON WHICH THE CHURCH IS ESTABLISHED.
John 1:12 puts it in simple language. “Yet to those who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave them right become children of God. In John 3: 16 Jesus is emphatic with Nicodemus that one MUST be born again. Washed by water and Spirit to enter eternal life.

TESTIMONY OF JESUS BEING LORD AND SAVIOUR IS PREREQUISITE MARK FOR THOSE WHO BELONG TO THE CHURCH.

WHAT IS CHURCH THEREFORE?

The word Church is a translation of the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as an assembly. Roman’s 16:5 Paul writes, “Greet the church that is in the house”. It is clear from Paul’s understanding that the Church is not a house but people that meet in the house. We can conclude that the Church is not a building.
Today, many Christians venerate buildings. They spent millions of money outing up sanctuaries in the name of building a church.

On the contrary, rarely do you see the vibrancy in building people, investing in the real Church. There is zero budget on building Children, zero budget on teens and youth. The little budget on discipleship and mission outreach has been left to a few with passion. But left on their own.

Church leadership rarely discusses mission strategy as a collective agenda and draw a common strategy on how to win the world for Christ.

Paul in 1st Corinthians 12: 12-14 introduces another concept that defines what Church is. IT IS THE BODY OF CHRIST. Meaning that all who bear testimony are part of this body. In Ephesians 1: 22-23 Paul writes that the Church is the body of Christ and Christ is the head. The implication is that if one is not saved is not yet under the headship of Christ. But more importantly, the Church is universal and not limited to a denomination with a set of rules that members must adhere to.
Denominations are not the Church. They are expressions of Church. We still have thousands of nominal Christians belonging to denominations that are not part of the Church.

Paul further concludes 1st Corinthians 6: 19 individual believers are the temple of the Holy Spirit. He uses the Jewish metaphor translating the term Church to become a lifestyle of individuals filled by the Holy Spirit glorifying God in whatever they do.
1st Peter 2:5 he equates the Church to living stones, each fitting in its right place building the body of Christ.

So what is not Church?
1. The Church is not a kingdom, not a power, not an organisation in the sense of worldly understanding.
The Church is a universal Spiritual movement constantly seeking to influence the society with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.

2. The Church is not a religion. In religion, people settled for minimum: rituals, sacraments and personal religious rights.

This has reduced Christianity to a mixed bag, where oranges and mangos are translated as fruits. Tribalism, hatred, struggle for power, bitterness, pride, racism, Corruption, homosexual and lesbianism have been embraced and tolerated in a religion.

Conclusion.

The Church is the universal body of Christ called out from worldly sinful passions and have a heavenward vision of meeting Christ at his return. Amen.

8th June 2020

LEADERSHIP FOR A HEALTHY CHURCH

By Rev. Canon Captain Richard W. Mayabi

How is the Church going to manage affairs post COVID-19 Pandemic? For the last four months in Kenya and in some parts of the world may be much longer, the Church has been on lockdown, thus stopping gathering of Christians in Churches buildings for communal worship.
The truth be told. This is a situation that no one anticipated and most of us were in denial when governments directed to close all Church buildings because of the fear the COVID-19 would spread much faster among the people.

The reality is that as the situation slowly returns to normalcy in most parts of the world, a paradigm shift has already occurred. People’s lifestyles have re-emerged shaped by new economic and social conditions that we are now faced with. Conditions such as social distancing and putting on of masks and washing of hands, among others.

 

Most Churches are struggling to meet high and strenuous conditions put in place to facilitate the opening of church buildings for worship. The implications are that some churches will manage while others will fail to meet the conditions.

As a practising Missiologists, one question that lingers on my mind is. What kind of church leadership do we need to chart this new path to sustain missionary spirit and practical undertaking of the same?
My good friend Gordon Swindon observes that the situation of this nature require Strategic Visionary leadership that is flexible enough to discern God’s leading. A leadership that has the capacity to perceive, dream, see opportunities, plan, rally people to support and execute the vision.
In Acts 2: 41- 47, the early Church leadership got it right and we do not need to scratch our heads finding new ways.

 

 

1. The leadership appreciated that the environment of the day was hostile against them and the newly founded faith. This is the situation at hand. EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ARE NOT FAVORING THRIVING OF CHRISTIAN FAITH.
2. Aware of this problem and reality, the leadership changed strategy from the Temple model of worship to house Church. This became underground and most powerful missionary movement that kept all believers in close contact, taking care of each other’s faith. I SUGGEST THAT IN THE CURRENT SITUATION OF COVID-19 HOUSE CHURCH BECOMES THE FALL BACK MODEL IF THE CHURCH IN 21ST CENTURY HAS TO SUSTAIN ITS GOD-GIVEN MANDATE: THE GREAT COMMISSION.
3. To achieve their strategy, they recognised importance of teaching and discipling all believers to grow into leadership and commissioned to step into the mission frontier. ARE THE CURRENT CHURCH LEADERS WITH CAPACITY TO EQUIP, EMPOWER AND RELEASE THE WHOLE CHURCH OF GOD INTO MISSION FIELD?
4. Every believer became conscious of their calling and responsibility of witnessing Christ. HOW INTENTIONAL ARE CHURCH MEMBERS TODAY TOWARDS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY AS WITNESSES OF CHRIST?
5. The challenge for the current Church leadership is redefining what Church means in the true understanding of Christian discipleship. Specifically, the Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers of God’s word need to resist the temptation of clericalism to become equippers of disciples. THERE ARE VERY FEW CHRISTIANS IN THE WORLD TODAY WHO CAN STAND AND DEFEND THEIR FAITH.
6. COVID-19 presents the Church in the 21st century with great opportunity to return to the Biblical model of being Church.
FORMULA
If each Bishop concentrated on discipling and mentoring Clergy towards becoming discipler leaders and each pastor concentrated on discipling Evangelists and catechists, translating them into discipler leaders. And each Lay catechist/evangelist concentrated on discipling 10-12 members of the congregation translating them into discipler leaders. The Church will overcome this fear and worry of not gathering for Sunday worship. Instead, the Church shall be gathering in homes and villages, run and managed by lay leadership under oversight of clergy.

The new normal in this biblical model of being Church is that aspects of church sacraments will have to be restructured.
The new normal will require that the leadership undergoes a mindset change from being heavily administrative to missional.
Christian witness and aggressive outreach will be done by every discipled believer instead of just a few believers in the Church.
IS THE CHURCH LEADERSHIP READY TO DIS- ENGAGE AND ENGAGE?
IF NOT SO, SOME CHURCHES WILL JUST VARNISH BECAUSE COVID-19 HAS PRESENTED A NEW MISSIONAL REALITY.