Yuletide : God Has Not Abandoned Us, CAN Tells Nigerians

Despite the current economic situation, the Christian Association of Nigeria( CAN) has urged Nigerians not to lose hope, saying God has not abandoned the country.

CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh in his Yuletide message on Saturday said the story of Christmas tells us of God’s loving intervention in human situation of helplessness and hopelessness.

According to him, “Jesus is the promised Messiah, who fulfils God’s promise of eternal salvation and deliverance for His people at a time when they were neglected, exploited and oppressed by selfish and corrupt leaders (Isaiah 11:6-10). It is in this context that the significance and importance of the birth of Christ radiates brilliantly for us, as a people and a nation, because we are expecting the coming of a new leadership ordained by God to restore the fortunes of our country and ensure peace, justice and righteousness in the land.

“This year, we are celebrating Christmas in Nigeria amidst uncertainty, fear, untold suffering, hardship and pain in the face of a harsh economy, record inflation figures, worsening poverty situation and a weakened security system due to bad governance.

“This precarious situation in our national life can be likened to the sufferings, helplessness and hopelessness of the Israelites as a result of the decisions of their leaders to forsake God and pursue after their bellies which they have made into gods through greed, selfishness and blatant corruption.

“ Nevertheless, the message of Christmas informs us that God will not abandon us, rather, He will continue to intervene in the affairs of mankind through Jesus Christ, the Messiah He sent to save the world.

“We should resist the temptation to speak the language of despair and division over our lives and our nation. Let the story of Christmas provide us with inspiration to speak the language of peace to our neighbours regardless of differences in religion, ethnicity or political leanings.

“Our political leaders, especially those jostling for the opportunity to lead our country out of the woods in 2023, should use this Christmas season to reflect on the words of the new-born Messiah who, when it was time to inaugurate His rescue mission in the world, expressed the consciousness that He was anointed to preach the good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, let the oppressed go free, and proclaim the year of the Lords favour (Lk 4:18-19).

“They should be prepared to ensure justice by insisting that the resources and positions in governance are shared equitably among people of all regions and tribes. Equitable distribution of positions will help us to harness the abundance of potentials in our dear country for national development.

“As we gear up to elect new sets of leaders at both the federal and state levels in the first quarter of 2023, Christmas is a reminder that God has not forsaken us. Therefore, we should pray to God to open our eyes to be able to discern and vote for those who will govern the nation with godly fear and devotion.

“ Let those contesting for elective positions realize that the forthcoming election is not a do-or-die affair; rather, it is God who gives power to whoever he pleases. They should eschew violent conduct and toe the path of honour and peace as they campaign for votes.

“We should not allow fear of insecurity and violence cause us to stay away from voting during the 2023 general election. Let us remember that the spirit we have received from God through the coming of Christ into the world is not of fear but of power, and of love, and of sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). Religious and political leaders as well as the media should use this Christmas season to reinforce the hope of the masses in a better, more peaceful and secure Nigeria come 2023.

“Let the Yuletide season be a period of strengthening ourselves and others; reminding one another that there is no difficult situation that the presence of Jesus cannot address; giving hope to the hopeless; comforting the oppressed and being the voice of the voiceless.

“The prophecies of the birth of our Lord assures us His enduring presence which delivers from all troubles and will surely restore the dignity and joy of our dear country, Nigeria,” he said.

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