Clerics inspire hope at indoor Easter
After a turbulent weekend, which saw hoodlums go on rampage across some locations in Ogun and Lagos State, there was calm yesterday as the unusual Easter celebration came on full stream.
Just as it was a week earlier during the observance of Palm Sunday, Most Christian faithful returned to their various gadgets: phones, television, laptops and radios to observe a service once never envisaged but now the norm in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
The Lagos State first family, Governor Babajide Sanwoolu and his wife, Ibijoke, was not left out in the virtual worship session as both observed an Easter church service online to celebrate the resurrection of Christ by hooking on to the online service of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), from their homes through Dove TV.
The first Lagos family was obeying the government’s directive on banning large gatherings, even in places of worship to curb the spread of coronavirus. The governor and his wife were pictured in his sitting room reading the Bible and praying while they watched Pastor Adeboye via online broadcast.
The Assistant General Overseer, (Admin. & Personnel), of RCCG, Pastor Funsho Odesola, said though he was not comfortable spending Easter without the congregation, it was worth the sacrifice to contain the spread of the pandemic.
“I am not able to rejoice with the people and we are not able to eat together as usual because of social distancing. My family cannot visit and have the Easter feast we used, but with the message of hope and sacrifice which Easter represents, citizens can lookout for their neighbours and loved ones at this crucial period through their giving to the poor and vulnerable around them.”
The chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lagos chapter, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, in his Easter message asked Nigerians to be grateful to God because God has not made the country the epicenter of the pandemic despite all the forecasts, our population and fragile health infrastructure.
Bishop Olusola Odedeji of the Anglican Diocese of Lagos West has called on Nigerians to be of good courage even as they confront the COVID-19 pandemic. In his Easter message delivered online yesterday, he assured members of the church, and indeed all Nigerians, that the storm would soon blow over.
He said: “Easter is about the Lord’s resurrection. It is a message of hope, life, grace and victory. It is particularly appropriate for a time like this when the coronavirus is sweeping through the entire world; when death us literally walking on all four in the world; when able bodied men and women are being locked in their homes in many countries, including hours.”
Meanwhile, the senior pastor and founder of Harvesters International Christian Centre (HICC), Bolaji Idowu, has joined other religious leaders in donating to the needy to help cushion the effect of the lockdown. In the donation tagged, “No One Deserves To Be Hungry, the church donated 5,400 bag of rice (5kg), 18,600 noodles, 800 bags of garri (3kg), 9700 tissue paper, 96700 diaper, 700 bags of beans, among others.
“Our donation contains a pack of raw food that will last a family of four, for a week, it comes with toilet rolls and if a family have a baby, we include additional diapers,” Idowu said, adding that the church must meet the needs of the people, while allaying the fear of COVID-19.
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