Christmas is seen as a reminder to all Ugandans and the world that the birth of Jesus Christ is the only hope for the world living and departed. In Uganda this year’s Christmas comes when the country is experiencing the worst pandemic in the history of mankind, Covid-19. Besides, it comes two weeks before we elect new leadership for our country to drive it to greater heights. In all this, there is a crisis in our midst, but in every crisis, there is always a message. The birth of a Saviour comes with light to drive away the crisis.
History reminds us that at that time of Jesus’s birth, the people of Israel were oppressed and longing for their long-promised messiah. Many anticipated a hero to deliver them from human tyranny, but Jesus did not come as a political or military hero. Instead, He came as a baby to the town of Bethlehem. As a result, many missed who He was. Apostle John wrote “He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him (John 1:11).
Fellow Ugandans, God’s ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts, (Isaiah 55:8) our expectations are different from God’s plans yet He has better plans for us. What he expects and sees in a president or any chosen leader is not the same way we perceive it “the change” for man is not necessarily “the same change” for God. Let us a wait expectantly for the right leader for this nation according to God’s Will.
Jesus’ birth in Israel was to bring God’s light into the darkness and to give His life so that everyone who receives Him could be forgiven and freed from the power of sin. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; and that living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2). During this Christmas season, there is need as a country to emphasize “a value- driven country” in all our sectors in order to completely drive away corruption and elect men and women whose integrity cannot be compromised.
What many leaders in this world are not addressing is the fundamental question about the kind of people we want to become in future? What is lacking in our plans is the forgotten foundational element in all human development, which is the character and morality we desire for our future. Ironically, the issues of character and morality have a direct bearing on economic and technological development. The key to a nation’s development lies in the character of its people and not in the eloquent parliamentary debates we cherish. There is a direct connection between morality of a society and its survival.
Jesus’ birth gave us life and it was the light of the world, which must open our eyes to love one another and see the truth in life.
Building a value-based society is an essential tool for a nation’s development and prosperity. A strong value system is important in that people develop a positive character trait that motivates them to do the morally right things not out of fear of consequences of doing the wrong thing, but out of vision, courage and conviction that it is the right thing to do. Therefore, building a value-driven society requires carrying out amoral revolution of the entire society. This involves cultivating a positive character values among citizens. The best tool for carrying out this moral revolution is through carrying out character moral education through the education system.
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” (Frederick Douglas). Those that are not in the education system, we can adopt an approach of civic education. As we celebrate this Christmas season, it is important to know that it is an individual’s choice to work in order to promote the common good once given a job in government or outside. Let us set our own standards and attend to our work with great enthusiasm and passion, without compromising or abusing the rules and regulations set by the institutions we represent. Jesus Christ is the life and light of our country, let us strive to shun tribal and religious differences that promote hate speeches which characterize our nation today. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Rev Can Aaron Mwesigye is the Director for Religious Affairs, Directorate for Ethics and Integrity, Office of the President.