For the second time in a year, I was a guest on “Voice of Kigezi” radio, representing African International Christian Ministry of Kabale. The Sunday morning program is broadcast to five countries in sub-Saharan Africa, reaching a potential audience of more than 10 million listeners.
Mwebale munonga. Mukama asiimwe. (Thank you very much. Praise God)
Amazina gangye ndi Patrick Hill (My name is Patrick Hill)
Ninduga California USA omuri America. (I come from California USA in America)
Nkija hanu omwaka oguwire. Neshemwerwire munonga. (I was here last year. I feel very happy)
Nakunda Mukama. Nyine omwana w’omowjo. (I love the Lord. I have a grown son)
Ndenda kusima munywani wangye Bishop Enoch Kayeeye ahabw’omugisha ogu kugamba ninwe akasheshe aka. Mukama asiimwe munonga. (I want to thank my good friend Bishop Enoch Kayeeye for this opportunity to speak to you this morning. Praise the Lord)
Ndikutura omuri Kabale kandi ndabasa kumara emyaka eshatu. Ndikukora na AICM. (I am living in Kabale and hope to stay for three years while working with AICM)
Ogu ni interpreter wangye…Patience….Agandi, nyabo…. (Here is my interpreter, Patience. Good day..)
Ndikwegw’orukiga. (I am learning Rukiga)
I would like to deliver this message entirely in Rukiga.
The Lord has blessed me in many ways…but speaking Rukiga is not yet one of them.
Among the appointed readings today is Psalm 51, verses 1-13, a lamentation of David.
David cries for mercy from God for what has happened. He confesses his sins and seeks forgiveness.
David had just been rebuked by his friend Nathan for killing Uriah the Hittite in order to take his wife, Bathseba.
In this famous story, found in 2 Samuel 11, David schemes against Uriah..and sends him into the front lines of a battle where he is killed.
David has relations with Bathsheba, who bears him a son. But his actions displeased the Lord.
The Lord struck the child ill…and after seven days, it died.
In our lives today we can sometimes get involved in activities not been seen by our friends and neighbours, yet God sees all things.
Our attitudes and pride may prevent us from confessing our sins.
So it is left to another. A family member or a friend to confront us.
That is what Nathan did to David.
Nathan told David a story, of two men in a certain town, one rich, and one poor.
The rich man had a large number of sheep and cattle.
The poor man had one little ewe lamb. It ate and slept in his arms like a daughter.
A traveler came to the rich man, Nathan said.
The rich man did not take one of his own sheep or cattle to feed the traveler.
Instead he took the ewe from the poor man and prepared it for the traveler.
At hearing this story, David was outraged. “Surely this man must die because he had no pity,” he said.
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!”
The Lord God of Israel anointed you king over Israel, delivered you from Saul.
Yet you despise the Lord by doing what is evil in his sight.
“I have sinned against the Lord,” David told Nathan.
“You are not going to die, the Lord has taken away your sin,” Nathan replied.
“But the son born to you will die.”
In Psalm 51, David cries mercy and forgiveness:
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love.
according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Against you you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.
So you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean, wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness, let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in my a pure heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.
David’s salvation seems complete in verse 13 when he says “I will teach
transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.”
Throughout, David speaks to God with intimate language. He writes many psalms. Surely he knows the Lord.
The Lord knows David’s heart. He hears his prayers. Despite his sin, he is beloved.
David returns to Bathsheba who bears him a son, Solomon.
David would have many conquests after the incident.
In our lives today, sin is destructive.
It can destroy relationships, marriages, families.
But turning to God with a repentant heart can bring healing, as it did to David.
This is my third visit to Uganda in three years. I am very happy to be here.
When I arrived two years ago I knew no one. But I was not alone.
My relationship with God provided me a fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
And I was fortunate to find Christian communities where I also had instant fellowship.
And for those listening to me now, while we may never meet….
we have a relationship through our love of Jesus Christ. We are in fact brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Mukama asiimwe. Asiimwe munonga. Mukama nimarungi. Ebiro byona.