Civic responsibility is the duty we have to serve our country and its people in a way that will benefit all.
Meaning and purpose of authority
(Luke 22:24 - 27 )
- Authority is the power giving someone the right to set rules or give guidance to others.
- A good leader is a helper and willing to serve, does not steal, is not afraid to tell the truth and does not cheat.
- Jesus Christ is the perfect leader. We should follow His example.
Who are the people in authority?
- In our villages we have chiefs, sub-chiefs and councillors.
- In the country we have Members of Parliament, policemen, teachers, doctors and above all these is the president who has the overall authority. All these people have different responsibilities and we look to them for help and service.
- At home our parents have authority over us.
- People in authority usually guide and advice us on what to do. They provide for us, for instance, the government provides the citizens with security and our parents provide us with food, clothes and shelter.
- In (Luke 22:24-27,)the disciples wanted to know who among them was the greatest.
- Jesus said to them, “The kings of the pagans have power over their people and the rulers claim the title ‘Friends of the People’. But this is not the way it is with you; rather, the greatest one among you must be like the youngest, and the leader must be like the servant.”
- He said the one who sits at the table is greater than the one who serves according to earthly standards. Jesus told them that by heavenly standards, the one who serves is the greatest.
- This teaches us that those who are in power/authority should serve and we should respect them.
Respect for people in authority
(Titus 3:1, Romans 13:1 - 7 )
- In Titus 3:1, we are reminded that we should submit to the rulers and authorities and be ready to do good works everyday.
- We respect our teachers by doing our home-work, getting to the classroom on time, responding promptly when they call and standing up when they enter our classrooms.
- At home, we should listen to and obey our parents. We should help them with the house work and avoid arguing with them.
- We should also respect the old and regard them as our parents, for example we should give them our seats if a vehicle they enter is full.
- We should also respect our brothers and sisters by sharing our things with them and being friendly and helpful.
- As good citizens we can respect those in authority in our government by paying taxes. Romans 13:1-7 tells us that everyone must obey the state authorities.
- Every authority exists with God’s permission, so our leaders are God-given. Whoever opposes authority opposes what God has ordered. We should therefore obey the law.
- Rulers should not be feared by those who do good but by those who do evil.
Care for personal and public property
(Exodus 20:13, 15, 17)
What is personal property?
- This includes things that belong to us like our clothes, shoes, textbooks, exercise books, pens and so on. We should learn to keep our personal things well.
- Our schoolbooks should be well covered and we should always carry them in a bag or in a paper that will not let water in. Our shoes should be well polished and laced up nicely.
- As children of God we should take care of all that we have as a sign of appreciation to God.
What is public property?
- This is any property owned by the community at large.
- Examples are roads, public toilets, cattle dips and so on. We are supposed to take care of all public property.
- In towns, we should not throw garbage on the ground; instead, we should wait till we get to a dustbin then put it in. We should also use public toilets well. These are facilities used by many other people.
- We can keep our environment clean and tidy by slashing grass and collecting garbage. We need to live in a clean environment.
- We should respect ourselves by taking care of our private and public property.
- In Exodus 20:13, 15 and 17, we are told not to envy other people’s property.
- We should not desire another person’s house, spouse, cattle, donkeys or anything else that he or she owns.
The Harambee Youth Week
Ephesians 4:2, 15 - 16
This is the week when boys and girls (youth) from some denominations come together to do work for the benefit of the society. This week creates awareness in the youth about their responsibilities in the society. This week keeps the youth quite busy and they are able to come together to do something good for their society.
What are the activities carried out during this week?
- The youth help the needy such as the sick by visiting them and comforting them, sharing with them the word of God and giving them gifts such as clothes, shoes and books.
- They also engage in sports such as soccer, net-ball and so on.
- They clean the environment. They collect dirt and sweep the towns. They also clean playing grounds, parks, public toilets and market places.
- The youth also conduct some entertainment such as dramas, poetry readings and singing.
Helping in literacy work
(Proverbs 4:13 )
- Being literate means being able to read and write. People in our society who do not know how to read and write go through many problems.
- This is because if, for example, they get any written communication they have to look for somebody to read it for them. Sometimes those who read for them can change the message and give them wrong information.
- People who do not know how to read and write can be conned of their documents or made to sign for something they do not know.
- It is therefore important for children to be taken to school to learn. Adults can also attend adult classes to learn how to read and write.
- In Proverbs 4:13, God encourages us to remember all that we learn, which shows that God wants us to be literate. We should encourage those who know how to read and write to take part in literacy work.
What can we do for illiterate people?
- We can help them learn how to read and write.
- We can read for them before they become fully literate.
- We can advice them to join groups that help them learn how to read and write.
- We can give them materials to read, write on or write with like pens, books, and so on.
- We can also help parents know the importance of taking their children to school.
Our role in community work
(Philippians 2:1 - 5)
What is community work?
This is when people in the community come together to look into and solve a certain issue/problem by pooling together resources for the benefit of the society.
Why come together?
- Sometimes people may come together to contribute money to help a needy child, to offset a medical bill or to help a child go for further studies.
- People come together to build schools, churches, and dispensaries, construct bridges, repair roads and provide electricity connections and water systems.
- In some communities, soil erosion can be a major problem, therefore people can come together to plant trees and build terraces to prevent it.
- Christians in the community also come together to pray for the sick for example those infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS.
- In Philippians 2:1-5, Jesus tells us to work together and help those in need.
Love, peace and unity
(Romans 13:1 - 7, Colossians 3:12 - 15 )
- We live with others as neighbours. We need to love one another so that we can live in harmony and unity. Neighbours need to be at peace with each other.
- For example if one has a cow, he or she should not let it destroy another person’s shamba. This can bring enmity and there can be no peace.
- In Colossians 3:12-15, we see that we are people of God, that He loved us and chose us for His own.
- So we should show compassion, kindness, humility, patience and gentleness to one another.
- We should also co-operate with the government in implementing the policies adapted in the country. In so doing, we maintain peace in our community and country.
Celebrating national days and Christian festivals
(Leviticus 23:39 - 44)
These are the days that Kenyans remember important events that took place in the history of the country.
The national days are:
- Madaraka Day - 1st June
- Kenyatta Day - 20th October
- Jamhuri Day - 12th December
- Each of these days is considered very important.
- During these celebrations:
- Children do not go to school and adults do not go to work. Instead people are allowed to attend national celebrations to remember the great events that took place.
- People sing religious and patriotic songs.
- Prayers are said to thank God for what He has done for the country.
These days are celebrated to remind Christians about God’s love for His people.
The Christian festivals are:
- Easter - Christians are reminded of God’s love through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
- Christmas - We remember the birth of Jesus.
Jesus came to:
- Preach the good news to the poor.
- Proclaim liberty to the captives.
- Give sight to the blind.
- Set free the oppressed.
- Announce the time has come when God will free His people.
- Establish a kingdom of believers.
- Christians all over the world celebrate these two festivals by
- Helping those in need
- Praying together
- Reading the Bible.
- They also go to church to worship and give thanks to God for His love for humankind.
- In Leviticus 23:39-44, God told the Israelites to celebrate religious festivals.
- As Christians we too should celebrate both national and Christian festivals to thank and honour God.