CHRISTMAS MESSAGE DEVLIVERED BY HIS LORDSHIP, THE RT. REVD.CHAMBERLAIN CHINEDUM OGUNEDO JP, BISHOP, DIOCESE OF MBAISE AT THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ST. MICHAEL & ALL ANGELS IFE EZINIHITTE MBAISE ON DECEMBER 14,2019.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit-Amen
Dear people of God.
We are overwhelmed with joy and filled with thanksgiving to God, the Almighty, who has graciously led us to this day, amidst the changes and chances of life. Our God is Good; ever sure Helper in times of need and despair. He is consistent; unchangeable, dependable; faithful and just and above all, desires the best for us through His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We magnify the Name of the Lord, who has not left us without consolation. He is indeed a loving God.
The theme of our message “Do not be afraid” Luke 2:10-11, underscores a timely, apt and contemporary discourse that no doubt touches the affairs of our life; a panacea for our decaying world; a hope for the hopeless and healing for the sick. Life is engulfed in fear; an optical illusion that usually creates curiosity and tension. Fear is the feeling of despondence; wretchedness and hopelessness. It denotes a loss of focus and vision; an utter dismay that often embarrasses and throws humanity into a limbo.
Man is dangerously faced with insecurity; the menace of Boko-Haram and the atrocities of the Fulani Herdsmen; Kidnapping and Armed robbery; Political bickerings; Religious intolerance, Joblessness and devastating hunger; Ritual murder and other vicious crimes that endanger the well being and essence of life. There is great yawning for redemption and salvation of our Lord, to better the cause of mankind. This no doubt, brings despair or frustration; a state of being at the cross-road.
The appearance of the Angel of the Lord to the shepherds who kept watch over their sheep at night and the glory of the Lord that shone around them was significantly divine; a harbinger of good fortune; a new dawn that brings succour and confidence amidst the uncertainties of life; a reassurance of the eventual emancipation from bondages, of principalities and powers; and of sufferings and failures.
The declaration of the Angel of the Lord to the Shepherds “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Saviour who is Christ the Lord“ Luke 2:10-11, is a timely intervention that introduces the presence of God, the King of glory into all human situations; availing in Power and Prevalent above everything that negates the purpose of God. God is not separated from us; He is aware of all that we are passing through and cares above all, that He has given us His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour; the Good tiding that gives joy and hope to mankind.
At Christmas, we celebrate this joy and peace to the world; Jesus Christ, our Burden Carrier, the hope of eternity. He is our Healer; Restorer, king, Master and Friend. Christ is the ANSWER to every life’s challenges, impediments and weaknesses. He is the Redeemer of our souls.
Let us therefore eschew bitterness and rancour, avarice and greed, religious intolerance and banditry; ritual killings and unwanton destruction of lives and property and embrace this timeless gift of great joy that gives life in abundance and endless hope of enduring peace and longevity.
May we celebrate Christmas with love; sharing with one another the goodness of God’s benevolence; living the life of Christ and remembering that Christ has come and finished the work of redemption, died for the consequences of our transgressions and rose in glory; ascended and will surely come again. May this hope renew and restore our minds in the knowledge of Christ, the hope of glory.
We wish you a joyful Christmas season and a prosperous new year
REVD. CHAMBERLAIN C. OGUNEDO JP
Bishop, Diocese of Mbaise.