My Dear Parishioners
The number of homicides in our Federation for 2015 and January of 2016 has caused the SKCC, the SKEA and the NIN to mount a National Season of Prayer Fasting and Repentance. This is particularly important especially as this observance overlaps with the season of Lent, which as you know, is a time for self-examination, self-denial, renewal and re - commitment to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Also as a result of the escalation of crime and violence, the Christian Council decided to
use as its theme for our Midday Lenten Ecumenical Services: “Love Your Neighbour as Yourself.” We are recognizing more and more that neighbourliness is fast becoming a thing of the past and that being a good neighbor needed to be reconsidered as being important in our social life.. A neighbor of course, is anyone who needs the help, that we have the means to provide, despite cultural, social, ethnic or religious differences. It is not just the person living next door to you. In fact, your neighbor can be your enemy, as is often the case for among persons living next to one another. But the real issue for neighbourliness is not so much who is my neighbour, as it is who acts as a neighbor to me, or the one who acts as a neighbour to you.
Under the general theme, the Anglicans shared some ideas on the Fifth Commandment: “Honour your Father and your Mother,” This is a reasonable topic because Mummy and Daddy are our nearest neighbours and charity begins at home. But honouring father and mother is not meant to restrict respect to your parents only. It means that we must respect all in authority. The ancient Jews too thought that this commandment referred only to one’s parents. However, we Christians are taught to have proper respect for the orders of anyone in authority, as long as these orders do not conflict with or indeed contravene our Christian principles. So pupils must respect teachers, patients must respect nurses and doctors, citizens must respect the Police and Ministers of Government, Church people must respect the Clergy, soldiers must respect majors and so on.
How do we breach this commandment? We do so by disobeying the laws of the land or the laws of the country where we reside; we breach it when we disobey the rules of the Church, the school and other institutions. Just being disrespectful to our elders is enough to break this law of God. How do we keep this commandment? We keep it by being good citizens; by observing the laws of our country; by obeying the rules of the Church ; by showing respect for the pastors, and by being loyal to our family.
Thus honouring parents is a subject which concern all of us; there is hardly a household that it does not touch: parents, God-parents, guardians, brothers, sisters, children, aunts
and uncles, teachers, nurses and police. All these relations, separate and combines, must have an interest in child-parent relationships. I conclude therefore that few can be found who might not influence some child, in giving advice on what is expected in terms of respect, courtesy and good manners towards others in the home and in society. This must mean that all of us can and should do something either directly or indirectly to teach children how to live with others. So the first thing we have to remember when teaching children to give honour to all, is that children are born with a decided bias towards evil, and therefore if you let them choose for themselves, they are certain to choose wrong. Proverbs 22:15 says ’foolishness is bound in the heart of a child’ and 19:15 declares: ‘a child left to himself brings his mother to shame’.
At the same time, parents must honour and respect their children; you cannot engage in any criminal activity because that is setting a bad example for your children and brings them dishonor and disgrace. If you love your children train them up in the habit of prayer, and let it not be your fault, at any rate, if they never call on the name of the Lord.
Every blessing upon you and yours! Archdeacon Emeritus