Beloved children of God, it is another Christmas season, commemorating the first coming or advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. This spectacular and great event which occurred over two thousand years ago brought hope and succour to human race. This event occurred at a time when the world was in great darkness and was trapped in both religious and social- political problems. It was in the midst of hopelessness and uncertainties; people then were probably expecting a sudden end and judgment but instead God visited man to give him hope and redemption. “Unto us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulders and will be called the Prince of peace, wonderful counsellor” Isaiah 9: 6.
In today’s world, especially our nation Nigeria, the myriad of problems and challenges are evident everywhere, ranging from neglect, suffering, poverty, diseases, robbery, kidnapping, communal clashes, religious war, political fracas, insurgency, violence and natural disasters are fast becoming part of our everyday lives.
A careful look into the purpose of the birth of Christ shall reveal the importance of peaceful government. This should be a challenge to our government and those in power, those seeking powers and our political institutions to pursue peace.
It is clear that, globally the world needs peace. In our various communities, states and at national levels, we need peace. It is only in the atmosphere of peace that, meaningful development can strive and spread across our nation Nigeria.
Provision of adequate security arrangement by the federal and state governments must not be compromised at any time. The legislative arms of government should apply their constitutional powers of making laws to ensure adequate provision are being made in the budget for the security institutions and agencies. Our government should work with the government of the neighbouring countries like chad, Niger, Cameroun and the international community to stamp out insurgency.
The message and the lessons of Christmas must therefore be appropriated to the salvation in our land, we must see hope that Christ brought to the world and must rise together to overcome our challenges as we first set our priorities right. Christ is the reason for Christmas.
Our God is still very much with us if we would draw close to Him especially at this time, as we celebrate and commemorate His birth. He alone knows those things that make for our peace. As we celebrate Christmas, there is urgent need for all of us to go back to God, the author of peace, we should confess our sins, repent and pray to God to return our Nation back to the era of peace and progress. May the peace of the prince of peace be with us individually and saturate every sphere of our national lives.
I wish you all, a merry Christmas, a prosperous and peaceful new year.
The Most Revd. Dr E. Adebola Ademowo,
Diocesan Bishop of Lagos and Dean Emeritus,
Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)