- The issue: Faith festivities
Our view: As one tries to draw closer to their God, they should refrain from doing things that cause them to be impure before Him, including lying, cheating, being unkind to others, gossiping and more.
This week marks an important religious time for the faithful in Uganda and beyond. Yesterday, many celebrated the faith of the young martyrs for the 134th time. Pilgrims were seen walking throughout the previous week from different parts of the country and beyond such as Kenya, for hundreds of kilometres all the way to Namugongo.
Children and elderly people were not left out. Even as they walked slowly, tired and begging for rest, their faces showed a determination to reach the shrines, in a remarkable expression of their faith. It is amazing and very encouraging too, to note that year after year, Christians make their way to Namugongo to renew their faith, to hear from God and to meet with others and fellowship with them.
Apart from the celebration of the martyrs, those of the Muslim faith will also celebrate Idd-ul-Fitr this week, once the moon has been sighted and the day declared. Idd will make the end of Ramadan. During the last month, Muslims have also expressed their faith with daily fasting and prayer. The believers have refrained themselves from doing many things in order to keep themselves pure, and will soon end this period with celebration and festivities.
It is remarkable that these religious events have fallen on the same week. It is, therefore, a time for those of these faiths to think deeply, on what they have been through, during these last weeks. These periods of praying, fasting, walking long distances, and generally submitting the body to do more than it usually does, are meant to cause people to reflect on their lives and their relationship with God.
As one tries to draw closer to their God, they should refrain from doing things that cause them to be impure before Him, including things like lying, cheating, being unkind to others, gossiping and more. This kind of reflection should not end this week, but continue throughout the year.
Even as we demand that our leaders - political, religious, among others - do what they are required to do in guiding this country, let us also think of what we as individuals are meant to do in our different capacities, however small.
Let us not forget that as long as we submit to a certain faith, and as long as we live with people in our homes and communities, we too are expected to do the right things, even when it is hardest to, because that is actually what defines faith and what makes the individuals we so admire who they are. Let these religious festivities remind us to be who we should be.