Primate, Archbishop Opoko, Martins, enjoin Christians to emulate Christ
As Christians in Nigeria join their counterparts globally to celebrate this year’s Christmas today, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), The Most Rev. Dr. Henry Ndukuba, and other clerics have enjoined Christians to emulate the life of Christ as they celebrate Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The Clerics, who also advised the Christians to celebrate the Yuletide with moderation, admonished them not to engage in extravagant lifestyles that could lead them to borrowing, rather emulate Christ’s disciplined life.
The Primate, who cautioned against borrowing to celebrate the yuletide, said, “I want to encourage Nigerians to live within their means. We don’t need to plunder to celebrate God’s life and mercy on us. We have to bear in mind that responsibilities are waiting for us in 2022 such as fees, house rent and other bills and necessities,” he said.
Ndukuba, who spoke in Abuja, described Christmas as godliness, and as such, people should strive to be righteous, rather than cutting corners, stealing and killing.
According to him, “Godliness with contentment is a virtue. The Kingdom of God is not of eating and drinking, neither is the celebration for that. We are to be in a sober and self-reflection as we prepare ourselves to receive Christ and usher in the New Year.”
The Anglican head stated that Christmas is a celebration of God’s love, peace and gift, and, so, should be celebrated with love, peace, forgiveness and reconciliation with one another.
He encouraged people to share what they have and show love to those around them.
Speaking further, the Archbishop, Methodist Church Nigeria, Archdiocese of Umuahia, Abia State, His Grace, Most Rev’d Dr. Chibuzo Raphael Opoko called on political leaders to fear God and address the welfare of Nigerians.
He blamed lack of commitment to the welfare and wellbeing of the masses as reasons many families are suffering today.
He said Nigerians are not feeling the impact of dividends of democracy, especially in the areas of healthcare, education, housing as well as non-payment of gratuities and pensions to workers. Archbishop Opoko also urged Christian leaders to tell the truth with love to those in authority.
Reminding Christians the essence of Christmas, the cleric said: “Jesus Christ must remain the essence of Christmas. Christmas affords us as Christians the opportunity of re-echoing in great tones the birth of Jesus Christ, which ushers us into a season of light and hope. Christmas is solely all about the birth of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the light of the world. The life that gives mankind perfect illumination.
“Christmas is about the celebration of the beginning of our redemption and salvation in Jesus Christ. Have we deeply reflected upon the purpose for which God gave us the perfect gift in Christ?”
Also, the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale urged the Federal Government to address insecurity in the land and halt bandits from raping and kidnapping innocent Nigerians.
He wondered why the Federal Government has refused to declare the bandits, terrorists so that they could be met with the force required for the damage they cause Nigerians.
He, however, asked Nigerians to pray for those in authority so that they would have heavenly wisdom to resolve multiple issues facing Nigeria.
He said: “One can only ask that we continue to lift up our country in prayers and those in authority for heavenly wisdom to decipher the way to resolve our multiple issues.
“We pray that our rulers would be freed from their narrow personal and groups interests in order to work for the common good. If citizens can see that our rulers are working for common good, they will follow suit.
“Today, we see respectable people begging for help for such a basic thing as food and shelter for their families. Of course, the prices of foodstuffs are so high that having decent meals is beyond the reach of many.
“Activities of bandits compound the problem of food shortage and high cost. Living has simply become a nightmare for citizens.”