Sunday Sermon 14: Promoting National Harmony

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By Blamuel Njururi, Kenya Confidential Editor-in-Chief, Nairobi – September 17, 2017

Harmony is not every one singing the same note or being identical to the person next to them. Harmony is unity of thought and feeling not the loss of individualism

Our Sermon this Sunday is based on the desire for harmony among the communities of the Kenyan Nation.

Desirous of National Harmony, the people of Kenya established the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) as a social thread to weave together the different communities into one nation called Kenya.

NCIC exists to promote national unity in Kenya. In order that this is actualized, the Commission facilitates processes and policies that encourage elimination of all forms of ethnic discrimination irrespective of background, social circle, race and ideological belief(s), and by so doing, enhances the capacity for Kenyans to accept each other in appreciating the significance of diversity.

The Commission denotes the urgency that Kenyans be mobilized, sensitized, trained and educated about non-violent conflict resolution processes as well as peace building initiatives that appreciate human dignity. In this regard, the NCIC signifies the efforts to:

  • Foster a general understanding of the concepts of national cohesion and integration in reference to the Constitution of Kenya of 2010;
  • Address causes of ethnic discrimination, negative ethnicity, perceptions of discrimination, unequal distribution of resources and opportunities;
  • Unify and integrate Kenyans into a cohesive society guided by national values and the principles of governance contained in Article 10 of the Constitution;
  • Foster equity and social justice by building on, or complementing other on-going national processes aimed at addressing nationhood, national cohesion and integration;
  • Establish and promote principles, standards and best practices that should guide the process of national cohesion and integration, and reconciliation;
  • Provide a schedule of roles for various stakeholders in the operationalization of the national cohesion and integration process, and establish how these stakeholders can be mobilized to play their roles effectively;
  • Provide an organizational framework for the implementation of the policy’s strategic objectives; and
  • Provide a framework for mainstreaming national cohesion and integration into national development programmes, projects and activities including infusing cohesion principles into laws and policies as stipulated in the NCI Act.

NCIC Strategic Pillars

National Identity:

The Commission underpins the need to have a Kenyan culture that is founded on the tenets provided by the national values as stated in Article 10 of the Constitution.

Policy, Legal and Institutional Framework:

The need to improve the current policy and legal state in order to achieve ethical practices in county and national leadership structures.

Who are Kenyans in Kenya?

Investing in the Diversity of Kenyans:

The Commission appreciates the diversity of Kenyans, which provides this country with strengths of proportional magnitude and submits to put in place measures that enhance ethnic acceptance and accommodation of other emerging identities.

Reconciliation and Integration:

Conflicts are a part of humanity and the Commission underscores the need for importing and exporting capacities that promote conflict transformation in a sustained bid to define and redefine newer and meaningful tenets in inter-ethnic relationships.

Public Complaints and Enforcement:

The Commission emphasizes the significance of establishing structures and systems that increase access and capacity of the public to report cohesion threatening factors thus disallowing conditions for ethnic violence. Some of these include investigations and strong referrals to ensure successful litigation to the fairness of parties involved.

Institutional Capacity:

The Commission endeavours to uphold an organization that is endowed with financial resources, skills, expertise and technical know-how relevant to tackle factors that threaten tranquility and scale down cohesion. Collaboration with faith-based organisations would go a long way to enhance the NCIC institutional capacity.

Key Pursuit Areas

  • A Kenyan culture that embraces national values and upholds national identity.
  • A Kenyan society that appreciates diversity.
  • Inclusive public-private sector and civil society partnerships that effectively promote reconciliation and integration in respective sectors.
  • Laws, policies and practices that counter ethnic, racial and religious tensions developed and applied.
  • An established interactive space between the NCIC and the society on public complaints.
  • NCIC with structures and systems that enhance internal efficiency, while ensuring effective external reach and timely as well as quality service delivery.

Religious participation:

If the church is going to have an impact on national harmony, it must demonstrate to the Kenyans the reality of its faith. It can only do that when Christian virtues are lived out daily by the members of the Body of Christ. Religious leaders should never pay lip service to national harmony like many politicians do.

One of the most important and most observable is harmony. Galatians 5:15 states that “…if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!”

Harmony is critical to survival and outreach for Kenya citizens to create the desirable environment for National Unity, Cohesion and Patriotism.

What is Harmony?

Homophrone – of one mind, concordant (1 Peter 3:8).

Harmony is defined as follows:

  1. Agreement in feeling or opinion, accord,
  2. A pleasing combination of elements in a whole. Harmonious mutual understanding: accord, agreement, concord, concordance, concurrence, consonance, rapport, tune, unity.

In music, to understand harmony, you first need to understand melody.

Melody is a group of notes played one after the other. Melody is the tune. It’s often the easiest part of music to remember, the part that you hum. Harmony is also a group of notes, except these notes are played behind, beneath, and around the melody. Harmony supports the melody and gives the music texture or mood.

Harmony in the Church is when the Body of Christ supports the message and mission of the Church with unity and singleness of mind enhancing and deepening the beauty of life in Christ.

The purpose of the Church is to exalt Christ through disciplining men, women, boys and girls. When you are a member of a Church, this should be your purpose. If we’re in harmony, we will all be striving to fulfill that goal.

Harmony can never be achieved if only the melody is played like politicians harping on Peace, Love and Unity yet indulging in politics of poverty through which they loot public resources to enrich themselves. If we are to live in harmony every one of us will help work toward the main focus exalting Christ.

Harmony is not every one singing the same note or being identical to the person next to them. Harmony is unity of thought and feeling not the loss of individualism.

1 Corinthians 12:5-6 “There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.

2 Corinthians 13:11 “Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Rejoice. Change your ways. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. (NLT)

1 Peter 3:8  “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.”

“To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit.” (NASV)

What hinders Harmony?

Corruption, Ethnic Hate and Individual Greed for self aggrandizement.

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