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Cleric insists on care for the poor, less privileged at Christmas

By Lawrence Njoku, Enugu
27 December 2021   |   4:07 am
Bishop of Nike Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Reverend Christian Onyeka Onyia, has charged Christians to care for the poor and less-privileged in society, as they celebrate the Christmas and New Year season.

Bishop of Nike Diocese (Anglican Communion), Enugu State, Rt. Revd. (Dr.) Christian Onyeka Onyia

Archbishop Nwachukwu to leave Trinidad and Tobbago in March 2022
Bishop of Nike Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Reverend Christian Onyeka Onyia, has charged Christians to care for the poor and less-privileged in society, as they celebrate the Christmas and New Year season.

He stated this yesterday, while delivering a Christmas sermon in Enugu, saying that the birth of Jesus Christ is a time to show love to humanity, but lamented that people engage in drug abuse, sexual promiscuity and other forms of immorality in the guise of celebrating Christmas.

The cleric, who insisted that Christians should reflect the purpose of the celebrations in their daily lives, maintained that for Nigeria to have survived and continued to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy was an act of God’s mercy, stressing that Christians should use the period to show gratitude to God.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has recorded over 274 million confirmed cases and caused over 5.35 million deaths globally as of December 17, 2021. The pandemic had negative impact on the Nigerian economy and created so much hardship for Nigerians. The forces of darkness are getting stronger and more determined.

“Many families are struggling to make ends meet and too many young people among us are being led astray by drugs, alcohol and momentary pleasures capable of destroying them permanently,” he said.

He further admonished that Nigerians should not forget to place emphasis on the incredible meaning and gift of Christmas, despite the constant pressure of daily routines and the commercial appeal of secular activities.

“Just as Jesus was born in this world that night, so was hope born for a world in need as we are today. Christ was born so that we should not die, but have everlasting life. Christ came as light to the world, which lived and still lives in darkness.

“Christmas is about giving, not receiving. It is about the gift of self, presence, and presents. God the Father profoundly brings us His Presence through the birth of Jesus. He comes to us in the Spirit of the priceless love of God in order to offer us the Covenant and with the desire to make everyone part of His Body,” he added.

He also stressed the need to care for the less fortunate, those in need and share the warmth of the Christmas season with them in some tangible and meaningful way. “Show them the generosity, benevolence of heart, mercy, care and love, which are in conformity with Christ’s message. Invite the hungry to break bread with you. Visit the sick, whether at home or in the hospital, give them a little comfort, hope and above all, console them.

“Don’t forget the elderly. Help them not only to remember past Christmases, but also help them find joy in the Christmas we celebrate and when visiting, remember to comply with all COVID-19 protocols. Health is a resource,” he said.