In the spirit of Christmas and New Year celebrations, the Bishop, Diocese of Nike, Anglican Communion, The Rt. Rev. Dr Christian Onyeka Onyia urged Christians to be thoughtful for the poor and less privileged in society by celebrating with them.
Speaking Sunday in Enugu, Rt. Rev. Onyia said the birth of Jesus Christ, which is celebrated every December 25, is a time to show love to humanity, but regretted that drug addiction, promiscuity and different forms of immorality are generally practiced under the guise of the celebration of Christmas.
He said, âMy dear brethren, I beseech you to receive greetings from this Calvary in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Savior and Lord. As we approach the end of another exciting and rewarding year, I wish you a Merry Christmas full of joy, hope, wonder and peace. I am sure that your Advent journey has prepared you for the coming of Christ into your life once again.
âFor to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace ‘- Isaiah 9: 6
âAs Christians, we are blessed to witness and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, His divine intimacy, and His endless exaltation. Therefore, during this season we celebrate that God knows and meets all of our needs.
âThe 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic has more than 274 million confirmed cases and has caused more than 5.35 million deaths worldwide as of December 17, 2021. In addition to the pandemic, the Nigerian economy has created so much hardship for Nigerians. Likewise, the forces of darkness become stronger and more determined. “
He added: âMany families are struggling to make ends meet and too many young people among us are led astray by the false gods of drugs, alcohol and momentary pleasures. Momentary pleasures that definitely destroy.
âAs predicted in the scriptures, there is an increase in travel and knowledge, wickedness, war and unrest. The love of men grows cold, while iniquity abounds. Unfortunately, many are looking in the wrong place for answers that hurt rather than help.
âGod has provided us with the answer and the solution. A response that triumphs over all tragedies and all its temptations. Each of us needs Christmas and Jesus Christ. God’s answer to our cries is His Son, which is very evident and unequivocal. Yes: Jesus Christ, his Son! He is God’s answer to our cries and the solution to our problems.
âHe is the gift of God to all of us. He breaks down barriers, for the name of peace is Jesus Christ. He is our Peace! He alone can allay our fears, renew our strength, lift our hearts and bring joy to our lives! This Christmas, go and meet him; lift up your hearts; sing for joy. For all mankind has witnessed the salvation of our God!
âWe must never forget to immediately focus on the incredible meaning and gift of Christmas, despite the constant pressure of daily routines and the commercial appeal of secular activity. Just as Jesus was born into this world that night, so too was hope. Hope was born for a world in need as we are today. Christ was born so that we would not die, but have eternal life. Christ came as light into the world which has lived and lives in darkness.
âChristmas is giving, not receiving. It is about giving of oneself, presence and gifts. God the Father brings His Presence to us deeply through the birth of Jesus. He comes to us in the Spirit of the inestimable love of God to offer us the Covenant and with the desire to make each one a part of His Body.
âHe has not only come to us in our misery, but he gives us the bread of God. He is always ready to support, console, forgive, prepare us for his peace. His presence is wide open from heaven to earth and there is room through, with and in Him.
âIn the spirit of Christmas, I urge you this holiday season not only to have a thought for those less fortunate, most in need, but to share with them in a tangible and meaningful way the warmth of the Christmas season. Show them the generosity, kindness of heart, mercy, care, and love that are consistent with Christ’s message.
âInvite the hungry to break bread with you. Visit the sick, whether at home or in the hospital, bring them a little comfort, hope, but above all, console them. Don’t forget the old people, help them remember the Christmases of old, but also help them to find joy in the Christmas we celebrate. During your visit, remember to comply with all COVID-19 protocols. Health is a resource!
âAs we move into 2022, Christ asks us to live creatively in the context of all the new opportunities that only a true gift from Christ can bring. I pray that you can make this Christmas one that you will never forget, deepening your commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and joyful in the warmth of his presence. He is glorified and will be revealed to all as Lord, Savior and Judge at the end of human history; for he is before all things, and in him everything is held.
âMay the blessing of God be upon you and may you experience unspeakable joy as you walk in obedience to God’s divine instructions. Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! â
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