As an American who is doing community development work in Kenya (read about those efforts via this link), I published a provocative blog in September titled, “The Problem with Kenya – And My Hope” addressing the corruption and discrimination in that country. I received a large number of “Facebook Likes” on that blog as well as words of support, but also some criticism for speaking as an “outsider” instead as a native Kenyan. Therefore, I am reproducing this recent sermon with permission from a long time clergy leader (Rev. Michael Kimindu) who was born and has spent his entire life in Kenya. He expands on the themes of my recent blog.
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Text: Judges 9:1-57
A comparison can be drawn between Shechem of the Old Testament in Judges and Kenya today. Looking at the two, the following observation standout:
Gideon was the ruler of Shechem and all was well until his death. We are not sure if he had prepared an heir to the throne. He had seventy sons. One of his sons, Abimelech, murdered almost all his 70 brothers so he could take over power. He shed innocent blood and become king. Only one brother, Jotham, escaped to the city of Beer. Little is known of him in Beer
Shechem went down sinking in Corruption. It became a land of bloodshed. Kenya can easily pass for Shechem if the current situation is anything to go by:
The current leadership came to power to protect the two principals from the ICC (International Criminal Court) where they are accused of being the ones bearing the greatest responsibility for the 2007-08 Post-Election Violence.
Where are the Prophets of Old Testament, the John the Baptist’s of New Testament, and the Martin L. King’s, Nelson Mendela’s, Archbishop Gitari’s of today? Why has the World Council of Churches turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the cries of Kenyans under the watch of National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK)?
When will the UN speak against Corruption as loud as they speak about security? Developed countries in Europe and the USA have withdrawn funding to countries where human rights, i.e. those of the same sex orientation people are abused. Why can’t they do so to corrupt Countries?
With the coming in of China as a development partner, our wild life, especially elephants, rhinos and wild dogs have become more endangered than ever before. Sub-standard goods flood our markets.
Where is the voice of Jesus? Where is the servant leadership? Where is integrity?
Kenyans die in their numbers from poisoned brews, others have become cabbages and zombies due to drugs brought into the country by known barons who are untouchable.
Why Does the West – USA and EU continue to do business with Kenya and other corrupt countries? Are they allies to the oppressors or the oppressed? What is the church in those countries telling their leaders who are supporting corrupt governments?
Where are the whistle blowers? What stand do we take as followers of Jesus at home and abroad? Can we pass the test of omission and commission?
Yet Jesus is banking on our fruitful obedience to his commands of
2. Making obedient disciples
Where do we stand? Are we looking the other side to avoid the injured like the Levites and the Priest in the Good Samaritan story? What motivates us as follower of Jesus? Is the Spirit upon us as it was upon Jesus to free captives, to open the eyes of the blind and announce the acceptable year of the Lord?
Look at the corruption and killings at home and abroad and make up your mind. Take a stand for the poor.
May Jesus be with us as he promised, till the end of the age, Amen.