By The Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu.
The Most Rev. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu

The Most Rev. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu

“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.” (Luke 1:31)
My Fellow Ugandans,
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
As we make our final preparations for Christmas, we want to extend our sympathies to those who have lost their loved ones. Their absence in our Christmas festivities will be felt very strongly and we are praying for the Lord to be your “Wonderful Counselor” and “Prince of Peace” this year.
We especially extend our condolences to the people of Kumi Diocese on the loss of their first bishop, Bishop Thomas Edison Irigei. We continue to appeal to all lay and clergy leaders for unity in the Diocese. 
We thank all Christians, churches, and dioceses for their support of the recently concluded Provincial Annual Youth and Students Conference (PAYSCO). I participated in the conference and it was a great time of fellowship and learning. I was so blessed to see the quality of youth leadership at the conference and appeal to all Christians to increase your support for youth ministry through their efforts. 
Likewise, the recently concluded annual conference for Heads of Educational Institutions in the Church of Uganda was an occasion for great hope for the ongoing development of our schools. I especially thank Rev. Canon Dr. Paul Kakooza, our Provincial Director of Education, the outgoing officers of COUHEIA and the incoming officers. I continue to appeal to all church leaders to invest in good governance of our schools and for parents to support the schools for the benefit of all our children.
This year we held the first ever Provincial Prayer Convention at Namugongo, and I thank all dioceses for participating and making prayer such a central part of the Church of Uganda’s life. Our provincial theme for 2023 has been “United for Service and Growth” from chapter 4 of Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. The Provincial Prayer Convention and the July Provincial All Clergy Conference have helped move us forward in unity for the sake of service and growth. I thank our Provincial Director of Mission, the Rev. Simon Peter Ddembe Lya Yesu, and his entire team for these successful events.
Our Provincial theme next year is taken from Romans 12:1-2 – “Conforming to the Truth of God’s Word and not the patterns of this world.” This is at the heart of the mindset changes we’ve all recognized that we need to make. 
In Matthew 1.21, the angel announces to Joseph, “[Mary] will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
In Luke 1:31, the angel says almost the same thing, but to Mary: “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.”
The point is that both Mary and Joseph are told what to name the child that Mary delivers. He shall be called Jesus. The name ‘Jesus’ is the Greek version of the Hebrew name ‘Joshua,’ which literally means “the Lord saves.” The meaning of Jesus’ name tells us who He is. He’s the only one who can save us.
As we come to the end of the year, we can see how many of us have tried to save ourselves from the challenges we face in our lives. We have tried to be our own saviours. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work. We can’t be our own saviour. 
That’s why God sent his Son, Jesus, to save the world. To save you and me.
My fellow Ugandans – We have allowed evil to prosper in Uganda at all levels, including our families. The transformation of our country begins when individuals and families recognize they can’t be their own saviour, when they invite Jesus to rescue them, and when they pursue righteousness and holiness in their families.
This Christmas, I urge you to stop trying to be your own saviour and to surrender your life to Jesus, who was born to save us.
This is not only true for our families where too many children suffer because of the bad decisions by their parents, but it is also true for the Church.
The Church has also suffered because of bad decisions by its leaders. I have lost count of the number of times I have been sued by a group of “Concerned Christians” because their candidate for Bishop was not elected. 
Spiritual leadership is different from secular or political leadership. Spiritual leaders follow in the footsteps of Jesus, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2.6-7)
There is too much “grasping” to be a Bishop or to have “your man” become a Bishop. Becoming a Bishop is not about seizing power, influence, and status. Instead, it is about empowering others to excel in the gifts of the Spirit for the building up of the Body of Christ and the extension of God’s Kingdom. Too many people think if they get “their man” elected as Bishop, he will save them. That’s just not true. Only Jesus can save us. Christmas reminds us of that.
It was a joy to see the peaceful election and creation of two new baby dioceses this year – West Ruwenzori and East Busoga. We congratulate the Bishops of their mother dioceses and the leaders of those new dioceses for working tirelessly to see this day come to pass. I remind you of Jesus’ words to his disciples, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” (Matthew 21.25-26)
My brothers and sisters, these are only a few of the spiritual issues facing Uganda today. We cannot save ourselves. Only the One who was born 2,000 years ago in the small town of Bethlehem – the One who was named “The Lord Saves” – only Jesus can rescue and save us from these problems. 
Will you turn to him today and make this Christmas the beginning of another revival we so desperately need.
I send warm Christmas greetings to His Excellency, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, Hon. Janet and their entire family and all our government leaders. All the Bishops and their wives, the Clergy, Lay Readers and Christians of the Church of Uganda. I also send my sincere greetings, along with prayers for a blessed Christmas for our Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Pentecostal brethren, and all those who have looked in hope for the coming of the One who will save people from their sins, Jesus the Christ. 
The Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu