Change your fighting mentality to favour mentality, Bishop tells Christians
• Catholics Urged To Think Deeply On God’s Universal Love
Last Sunday, The Guardian monitored some churches’ level of compliance to NCDC, Federal and state governments’ directives on COVID-19. August 16, 2020 marked the second Sunday since Lagos State government allowed worship centres to reopen.
The Church of God Mission Int’l on Oludegun Avenue, Mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos, held three services and by 11:04am, the third service was over. Church members strictly observed all COVID-19 protocols, such as wearing of face masks, social distancing, washing of hands and taking worshippers’ temperature to ascertain their health condition before they were allowed to go in.
In his message, themed, “Working in Favour,” Bishop Egwowa Matthew highlighted how Mephibosheth was favoured by King David, due to the friendship with his father, Jonathan. He also listed Jesus Christ, Daniel, Joseph and Abraham, among others, in the Bible that secured favour in one way or another.
He noted that Mephibosheth never did anything to merit the favour he received from David. Similarly, the favour Christians receive from Jesus is never based on merit, but on mercy. He told his congregation that God is always looking for who to favour and those that God would favour are those who have received Jesus as their Lord and personal Saviour.
Quoting Dan 6:3 and 2 Samuel 9:1-10, the cleric called on the worshippers to change their fighting mentality to favour mentality, emulate all those mentioned above and what they did to secure God’s favour.
“Jesus is God’s beloved, and when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you become God’s beloved. You are God’s friend, if you do what He commands you to do and that automatically qualifies you to enter the realm of friendship with God. The lives and ways of those that break the scriptures are hard. How many of you are like Abraham or David? What I see these days is that there are many servants of God, but very few friends of God,” he said.
At St. Jude’s Catholic Church, Mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos, the parishioners were so elated, as they came to offer thanksgiving to God for reopening churches and for being alive to witness the day.
Rev. Father Patrick Morrison (OP) said nursing mothers should stay at home and take care of their children, and if they must come to church, then the fathers should stay at home and see that the children are taken care of. Only three worshippers were allowed to occupy one pew.
Delivering his homily on the theme, “All nations rejoicing in the salvation by God,” Father Morrison urged the parishioners to reflect deeply on God’s unconditional love made available to all nations, including Nigeria.
“It was inconceivable to most of Abraham’s descendants that God could extend His divine love to any other nation,” he said, noting that the word ‘Catholic’ means universal. So, in their dealings, they should not look down on people that do not practise the same religious tradition.
He said: “We are not being faithful to the Lord Jesus, Who has come that all might have life and live to the full. We do a disservice to our Master and Teacher, when we refuse to love and serve those for whom He died.
Our faith should lead us to being universal in our concern for others. We must have the mind of St. Paul, who worked for the spread of the good news. We must work together with all individuals, no matter their faith. Yes, we must be authentic in what we believe and must be willing to share our view of who God is, but we must not dislike those that disagree with us. We should show them the same compassion and mercy that Jesus shows to them, as is evident in the Gospel today.”
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