The sermon this morning came from Luke 17:20-21 . . . .where Jesus tries to counter political expectations of the coming Kingdom by emphasizing that the Kingdom of God is not visible, and will be accompanied by conflict and suffering as much as by victory. Amen to that, we clearly see that we are not part of a conquering force, and the last two weeks have had their share of conflict and suffering to be sure. On the other hand when John’s disciples ask if Jesus is the Coming One, he answers with concrete and visible Kingdom effects: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the poor have the Gospel preached to them. And that aspect is also clear here in Bundibugyo over the last ten days.
It was not until this morning that I reflected on why we might be iron-deficient in our souls: this has been an amazing stretch of Kingdom progress! Consider that in the space of ten days the book of ACTS was dedicated, the student/parent meetings at CSB were completed and school resumed, the Butogho water line was completed, and tomorrow the Paediatric/Maternity Ward is slated for dedication and handover! That is four major milestones of the Kingdom in the four major areas of our ministries here, all very public and visible. And as expected most involved significant opposition, struggle, last-minute crisis, and conflict. For instance Michael spent days this week dispelling rumors and reconciling with communities over water line issues that threatened to derail the project in the 11th hour. But by God’s faithfulness, TEN THOUSAND people now have clean and safe water for the first time, in the lowest most distant populations centers where we used to get most of our cholera outbreaks.
Tomorrow’s dedication will also serve the poor and sick, more visible but less important really in the public health sense than the water line. But even that has been threatened with last-minute conflict as various politicians yesterday squabbled over the order of honor and put Scott in the middle of their jockeying for position. The last thing we want to do is make enemies. We have a truce of sorts and everyone is supposed to come, but you can keep praying the day will be one of joy and celebration and glory to God, not an opportunity to settle political scores.
Bukama Bwawe Bwise: Thy Kingdom Come.