The Parable of the Yeast

The parable of the yeast (Matthew 13:33) is a household parable. From the proclamation of many preachers, yeast has been ‘baptized’ good. In fact, Christians have been and are still being called upon to be yeast in the world. But, is yeast as good as it has been proclaimed?
During the Passover feast, the Israelites were instructed to prepare the unleavened bread. In fact, William Barclay, in The Daily Bible Study Series asserts that before the Passover celebration, Jews were to remove every scrap of leavened bread and leaven from their houses and burn them (Exodus 12:15-20, 34:25). He adds that in the Jewish language, leaven signified evil influence. If leaven was as good as we have been made to believe, then why was this so noble a substance not to be used in so noble a feast like the Passover?
In the New Testament, yeast has always been used in reference to the corruption of the Christian community. Jesus cautioned his disciples against the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod (Mark 8:14-21, Matthew 16:6,11.12). Paul warns the Galatians to keep guard against even the little yeast that can corrupt their community (Galatians 5:7-10). Again, Paul calls upon the Corinthians to cleanse themselves out of the old leaven, that they may be new lump, one that is unleavened (1 Corinthians 5:7).
The position of the parable of the yeast rises eyebrows. If yeast is as good as supposed, why is the parable of the yeast bracketed between the parable of the weeds and the wheat? Can any connection be conceived between ‘good leaven’ and contamination of wheat with weeds? Should we equate the woman who puts the yeast into the dough to the sower or to the enemy in the parable of the wheat and the weed?
Lastly, I concur with the common interpretation that yeast is very influential. Besides affecting just dough, it even goes ahead to influence whoever consumes the leavened bread. To a greater degree, the yeast in alcohol affects whoever consumes the alcohol; such that whatever one does or says is at the mercy of the yeast. So noble ideas, words and actions do stream from those under the influence of yeast. What a good thing yeast is!

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Happy Easter

After witnessing the passion and death of Jesus Christ, the Apostles were hopeless and dejected. One upon whom they banged their hopes was no more; he had just suffered the most humiliating death within the Roman empire, one ‘fit’ for a thief, not a king. All they had labored for three years while with their master seemed to have crumbled.
The resurrection brings renewed hope to the disciples. All they had seen and heard Jesus do and teach now became more meaningful than before. The resurrection brought a better understanding of the mission they were to accomplish.
As a Christian too, let the resurrection bring forth renewed hope in your life. Just like the Apostles, we are faced with hopelessness in our lives; unemployment, struggling businesses, strained family relations, ailments, depression, rejection, addictions… amidst all these, we ask ourselves, ‘Why all these suffering if God ever is?’ We tend to not only loose hope but faith too, and this, of course, has never been and will never be a solution.
God created each one of us for a mission which we have to accomplish. No one is God’s specimen for which he intends to use and dispose of. The Apostles realized that their own life is meaningless, so should we also realize that all that we do is meaningless without allowing Christ’s resurrection in all our endeavors. Without Christ, all our efforts in studies, marriage, employment, business…are futile.
Jesus said ‘…you can do nothing without me…’ John 15:5.
Happy Easter

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Whence Cometh Evil?

War, hunger, diseases, drought, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, accidents, just to mention but a few, have been and are still afflicting humanity. Such human afflictions have occupied and affected humanity and its activities for generations. But where does such evil come from? The endeavour to answer or solve this puzzle has led humanity to discovery and innovation especially in technology in order to adapt and survive in the face of affliction. Today, human life is more enhanced and more dignified due to technological advancement which was born in time of crisis, as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. We have footwear today because someone’s foot somewhere was pierced by a sharp object. Some have found recourse in religion for those who found out that empirical and/or rational explanations were inadequate to address the mystery of human suffering. It is therefore undoubtedly right to assert that such afflictions have shaped human history. It is also important to consider the frame of reference in some cases of human suffering. For instance, for the case of Budalangi floods in Western Kenya, the people at Cherenganyi-source of river Nzoia-consider the rain a blessing for their maize, while the same water is a curse for the people in Budalangi where river Nzoia breaks banks. At the same time it’s an awesome time for fishing. Secondly, a pupil considers caning evil yet for the teacher it is beating the hell out of the pupil to shape her future. Should we consider the rain and the caning evil since it is coupled with human affliction? Two boys find ripe fruits on a mango tree. One hits his fruit with a stone and it drops down thanks to gravity. The other boy climbs but just before reaching his fruit he drops and breaks his arm, thanks to gravity! Is gravity good or evil? To some people, human suffering is their foundation for the refutation of the existence of God. That if there is a powerful, all knowing and loving Deity, why do humans suffer? Why doesn’t he use his omniscience and omnipotence to free humans-whom he loves- from suffering? Is God the cause of evil? Is evil a being? Absolutely not. Evil is a privation, the absence of goodness. God created being, not nonbeing. In fact creating a privation is self-defeating. He is therefore not responsible for evil. In Genesis 1:3 God created light and said it was good; he did not say that darkness was good, because it is a privation. In the same way sickness is a privation of health. Then we call God a healer; how could the limited human mind understand him as a healer is we don’t fall sick for him to heal us. How could we know Christ as a redeemer if we weren’t captives for him to free us? How could we grasp divine providence if we weren’t in need? Since God does not create privations, he only allows it, which then becomes instrumental in knowing him more. In fact when Jesus Christ is asked about the blind man he healed in John 9:1-17; that if the man had been blind since birth, who had sinned between him and his parents; Jesus responds that he had been born that way so that the glory of God may be manifested. Jesus’ response was not anticipated by his audience who expected him to say that the blindness was a punishment for some wrong done. This is not meant to imply negation of the fact that a number of human suffering is as a result of irresponsible human activities. God created us with the free will; that for whatever we do we must be accountable. For instance, whom should we blame for the climatic change when we are well aware that were have such a vehement appetite for forests and that we are generous when it comes to feeding the atmosphere with carbon emissions? And should we keep on lamenting about drought and new lifestyle diseases when we know that we can do something to avert the situation? Should a cancer patient complain as s/he continues to savour sugar and starch food when s/he is aware that cancer cells thrive on sugar and they starve in the absence of sugar? It does not that those who suffer are sinners as some people tend to think. Jesus himself denied this, ‘Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means!…Of those eighteen people who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them-do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!’(Luke 13:1-5). Take every tough situation as a stepping stone to a better goal. Was is not evil for Joseph to be sold to Egypt out of jealousy? But he later becomes the saviour of not only his family but the whole region. If gold that is perishable has to be purified in a furnace, what of the human soul that is imperishable? If death is that evil then how else could we have the hope of going to our heavenly home?

Happy All Souls Day! 

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Tell Atheists Kenya is Godly

As a country, we are proud of the heroes who gave up all they had including even giving up their own lives to liberate our country from colonial government and preserve our culture as Africans. This was patriotism at its best, wasn’t it? Patriotism that we all still yearn for in an era where the learned fellows we expect to follow this course have turned out to be traitors of the African culture. Here, we have for instance the atheists driving the scraping of the name of God from the national anthem. Is there any African community that did not profess the existence of God even in its primitive stages? In the first place they refer to themselves as non-believers; do they even believe in the petition they have just drafted? Is life possible without faith? Even getting into a public service vehicle one has to have faith that the driver is qualified since I have never seen any passenger requesting for the drivers licence before getting into the vehicle. Neither have I seen a customer in any eatery carrying out a test on food whether it is safe for consumption or not before gobbling it. Faith is not only important but necessary. Life without faith is utter pessimism. The atheists are basing their argument on article 8 of the constitution, that there is no state religion. It is unfortunate that such a simple article has proved hard for some to understand. In a nutshell, the article states that Kenya is a religious state with a diversity of religions which are equally respected without giving preference to one over another by making it a state religion for instance. Did the draft include among its reasons of doing away with the name God from the national anthem for cultural significance? What is culture in the first place? Among the seven main elements of culture, we have religion. Without religion then we have no culture. The draft mentions shared ideals and values. Where can ideals and values be cultivated if not in a culture? In fact the term culture simply means cultivate (cultura in Greek). We should also be reminded that it’s in religion within a culture that we have a code of morals to guide a community. Is it not religion that forms the conscience of the people? And as non-believers, do they believe in the ideals and values and which ones are these? Let’s not forget that we are Africans. Which African culture cultivated atheism? Mbiti affirms categorically that Africans are notoriously religious. We should be cautious, maybe our culture has been put on auction by those who have already sold their souls to the devil. It may be awaiting the highest bidder especially in an era of widespread cases of Free Masonry, Illuminati and devil worship and negative secularism. It is a time that we should not not consider the possibility of having in our midst brokers of these sects. Today in our country we have the Inter-Religious Council which is tirelessly working towards unifying all Kenyans despite religious, tribal or social differences. These religions should not be viewed as foreign and should therefore be practised in the African context to be more meaningful and effective. Let us guard our culture and religion jealously just like the heroes we are celebrating guarded all that is African in our motherland. Tell atheists, Kenya is Godly.​

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Blessed Feast of the Assumption-15th August

To my dedicated readers, this is not my first article on this great feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As a result I will not go into much ado of explaining its meaning; this can be found in earlier articles. This article focuses on scriptural pointers to this dogma.
The feast of the Assumption can be understood best in relation to the Immaculate Conception. First, there is a difference between the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Virginal Conception. Immaculate Conception denotes that Mary was conceived in the normal way but without original sin, that is, without stain. The essence of original sin consists in the deprivation of sanctifying grace. Mary’s existence was in the state of sanctifying grace and was therefore free from the corrupt nature brought about by original sin. The angel Gabriel proclaims Mary to be full of grace. ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you’ (Lk 1:28). St. Augustine makes it even clear, that humanity seeks the ‘good’ through grace.
One of the consequences of sin is bodily corruption which Mary was not subjected to. Other humans have to wait for the resurrection of the body at the second coming of Christ. The question that emerges is why she had to die yet she had sanctifying grace? Mary died as a way of sharing in the lot of the passion of her son who too did not have original sin yet he died too (Rom. 8:17).
Secondly, Mary is the Ark of the Covenant of the New Testament. The Ark of the Covenant stays at the house of Obed Edom for three months (2 Samuel 6:11); in Luke 1:56, Mary stays at Elizabeth’s house for three months. King David rejoices before the Ark (2 Samuel 6:14); in Luke 1:41, John leaps with joy in his mother’s womb. While the Ark carried the ten words (Decalogue-Exodus 25:22), Mary carried the Word (Logos-John 1:1) in her womb. The Ark of the Covenant disappeared despite archaeological efforts to relocate it. It’s last mentioned in 2 Kings 23:21-23 and therefore not known whether it was destroyed during the Jerusalem siege or not. In Rev. 11:19, the Ark of the Covenant is seen in heaven. Mary’s bodily relics happens not to have been sort by anybody.
In Revelation we are presented with a lady in heaven who gives birth to a child destined to rule with God (Rev. 12). Who else could this lady be if not the Blessed Virgin Mary?
St Francis De Sales said that Jesus was the first to obey the fourth commandment; what son if he could, would not bring his mother back to life, and take her after death to paradise? So too Christians should love and care for their parents; not as is the care where some people lead flashy lives while their parents languish in poverty.
Blessed Assumption

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