|Kenyan Archbishop Eliud Wabukala|
Easter Message from Archbishop Wabukala, 2013
from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya
and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 2:14
My dear Brothers and Sisters,
The resurrection of our Lord Jesus should never fail to move us to the deepest sense of awe and adoration. The empty tomb of Jesus is a great and glorious fact, not simply because of an absence, but also because of a presence. The astounding truth of the resurrection is that is a reality which changes the whole created order, yet at the same time is deeply personal. The risen Christ is the one who makes all things new (Rev 21:5) and he is also the one who makes me new.
In his resurrection from the dead there is the glorious ‘yes’ of the fulfilment, actual and yet to come, of the promises and purposes of God. Through repentance and faith we share in his risen life and at its heart, our calling is to simply say the ‘Amen’ and glorify the God who has triumphed over sin and death.
GAFCON exists as a mission movement to celebrate this great ‘yes’ to the glory of God. It is because of this ‘yes’ that we who say the ‘Amen’ are bound also to have to say ‘no’ to ungodly innovations in the Church which substitute human effort and speculation for divine grace and revealed truth. It is a profound contradiction to say this ‘Amen’ and then go on, as some do, to deny the real physical resurrection of Jesus. When we have to say ‘no’, it is for the sake of the ‘Amen’; there can be no more positive a movement than one which gives an unqualified ‘Amen’ to the fulfilment of all God promises in Jesus Christ.
As a movement we are focused on seeing that work of new creation which God achieved by the death and resurrection of Jesus become a living reality across the world. The proclamation of the gospel is the exposition of the ‘Amen’, a declaration that sin and death have indeed been defeated. The resurrection is not simply a display of superior spiritual power, but the vindication of God’s justice, that through the death of Christ, the guilty are acquitted and those alienated through sin are now reconciled by God himself.
We are delighted that one of the major achievements of the GAFCON movement has been to facilitate and recognise the formation of a new Province, the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). We give thanks for this new thing that God has done, a church which is unswerving in its ‘Amen’. It’s relief agency, the Anglican Relief and Development Fund (ARDF) works to change lives physically and spiritually and has competed projects in 34 countries, often working in some of the most difficult and needy areas of the world with current projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.
It also has a bold vision for church growth known as Anglican 1,000, originally set out by Archbishop Duncan in 2009 to plant 1000 new congregations within a five year period and 700 church planters were present at the Anglican 1,000 Summit held earlier this month. A basic element in this church growth strategy is teaching believers to have a straightforward and robust understanding of biblical faith through the use of a catechism, echoing a practice of the early church when people were being converted from pagan backgrounds. We are delighted that the ACNA is pioneering a way to say the ‘Amen’ in a culture which is increasingly alienated from its Christian roots.
It is of course not only in North America that faithful believers are under pressure and struggling with hostile ideologies and my vision is that as we prepare for ‘GAFCON 2’ here in Nairobi next October, our Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans will experience itself in a new and wonderful way as a truly global network in which we encourage one another in the work of mission to which we have been called, with one voice saying the ‘Amen’ and putting our whole trust in the great promises of God’s Word.