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Easter in a time like this

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“Last year, Christians celebrated Easter in grandeur, but that’s no more. This year, we are to celebrate it in a more quiete and solemn way due to the current situation. Who could have imagined such happening? Today, 2020 Easter is celebrated in empty churches and empty markets, and in some climes, empty cities.

  There are no treats but lamentations and complaints in all fronts.

Christians are in the greatest test of their faith ever with the coronavirus pandemic, replicating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ experience. The question is why should coronavirus be happening when Christians are celebrating Jesus Christ’s resurrection after crucifixion on the cross and death.  

  Shall Christians loose hope for this? Not at all! It’s a time to show that our faith is not wavering, because we must give thanks for the resurrection of Christ. I charge Christians to see this Easter as a time of renewal and awakening. Let me reiterate that this Easter brings us hope on the mercies of God. This Easter has renewed our hope for tomorrow. It is a time to remember that Jesus Christ died that we may live. And, I charge you as a Christian, whatever you do, remember that Jesus Christ died for you. Honour him always by your actions and inactions. Let the world bless His name through your life.

   I enjoin you to always rejoice and sing God’s praises whatever the situation and if you have erred, ask God for forgiveness. Let me pray to God to forgive us in accordance with His word on the cross as written in Luke 23:34 “Forgive them father, for they no not what they do.” We are your children, continue to bless us and give us another reason to be thankful and celebrate your love. Christians shall celebrate a Blessed Easter with social distancing and cleanliness as their watchwords, even if  Churches are empty, our Spirits are with Jesus Christ, our fortress. We shall overcome this deadly disease in Jesus name—–Amen.

  Let’s repent from our shortcomings and sins as well as prepare ourselves for the returning of Christ Jesus. Let’s not waver in spreading joy and happiness in our areas of residence and beyond, during this Easter amidst COVID-19 pandemic.

Brethren, I charge you to  “Love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Matt. 22:37). This is what we are expected to do. It’s our main love, and priority to bring glory to God in everything we do.

  Technology is becoming endearing to hitherto those who detest it for one reason or the other. During the Holy week, Christians commemorate a lot before Easter proper but look at how everyone was forced inside their houses to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

  Since Palm Sunday, Diocese of Awka worshipped via technology and on Easter , we shall still have our visual worship.  We had our Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday commemorating the Last Supper, when Jesus shared the passover meal with his disciples on the night before he was crucified.

  On Good Friday, Christians commemorate the passion, or suffering, and Christ’s death on the cross, whereas Holy Saturday is the last day of Holy Week and ends the season of Lent. The day commemorates Jesus’ body in the tomb after his death.

  But Christians rejoice on Easter Sunday, with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, believing that Jesus came back to life, or was raised from the dead, three days after his death. Without this, there is no Christianity. This why the old testament ended when Jesus said” it has finished” and the new testament began with Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death.

Yet, at a time like this, Churches were shut to control the spread of the coronavirus. Services look different with some embracing technology to get their messages out like we did in Awka diocese and so many others did too. However, the focus is on Christ Jesus! Though the methods of worship changed , messages remained the same which is that Jesus is Lord. Remember, God’s ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ is laying His life down for his people. That was the greatest expression of love ever.

Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection is a reminder of death to us as Christians that death doesn’t lead to despair, but leads to not only life, but abundant life, which leads to everlasting life.

  There is fear in the world but Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection is bringing us a better message of hope, life and a bright future. God has been faithful and good to us, and He won’t stop at a time like this.

  Shockingly, the world is becoming united even in fear. This pandemic is bringing the world together to fight its debilitating impact. It is as well bringing families together against what was obtainable before the pandemic, even though people were forced to be at home. Was science, technology and innovation able to predict this coronavirus and contain it without a devastating blow to the world economy? Brethren, God knows everything and He knows about Coronavirus. At the appointed time , God shall reveal His purpose for that.

 Now, government across the globe are helpless if not hopeless. But God is restoring hope after the celebration of His glory.

People are suffering, particularly, the vulnerable like children and women, refugees at Cross River State and other internally Displaced Camps, other parts of Nigeria as well as people in the rural areas. Therefore brethren, I charge you to take care of these people, particularly those around you , the elderly, the sick, the poor and unemployed, among others.

  I appeal passionately to our governments at all levels to ensure access to healthcare and social protection for everyone and most importantly ensure transparency in sharing the stimulus packages to the people by involving the religious leaders too.  This pandemic teaches us as leaders particularly our political leaders to rise to the challenge of promoting unity and a shared responsibility for a better life for humanity in all of our countries rather than this war mongering everywhere.

  Let me appreciate all those who put themselves at risk for the treatment of others, even victims at a time like this. They are the heroes and heroines of our time. I am pained that so many would be facing financial difficulties but I thank God for those who have and have continued to assist others in one way or the other. I enjoin the government to ensure transparency and accountability in sharing the donated funds meant for salvaging the situation.

  I enjoin Christians to have unmitigated faith and hope on God as He would never fail. I encourage families with sick ones whether related to coronavirus or not to look unto God as their hope. Those who are mourning, take consolation in Jesus Christ as our only Lord and Saviour. We pray survival. We pray the economy won’t continue getting worse but should rather be mitigated to give hope to people across the world because now the world economy is shut down. Happy Easter!”

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