Isaiah 9:6-7; 53. Philippians 2:5-8.
There is no gain saying the fact that Christmas comes with it’s own uniqueness: more money in circulation, more money to spend, increased demands, rise in cost of goods and services as well as travels, visits, more churching and other celebrative activities. Not ruling out significant rise in crime and criminalities by those who wish to celebrate without mush reasonable and positive labor. The season is indeed loaded with activities hence the need to reflect on it as we approach its celebration.
Meanwhile, it must be duly explained that Christmas is a Christian festival meant to remember the virgin birth of Jesus Christ by Mary, as recorded in the Bible through the power of the Holy Spirit Whereas the ceremony is not mentioned in the Scripture, the Christian World had come to accept Christmas as a season to remember the birth of their LORD and Savior, Jesus, the Christ, whose birth, death and resurrection (Easter) are prophetically expressed in the Bible way before they occurred. The celebration is also meant to remind us of His Second Coming as recorded in John 14.
As we celebrate, let’s be mindful that the reason for the celebration is Jesus Christ. He MUST not be left out of the season or, out of the celebration. And the only way to factor Him into the season and the celebration is to honor Him by acknowledging and receiving Him , making Him the Lord over our lives and abiding by those values, virtues and principles which he enunciated, stood for and lived by while He was here on earth , over two thousand years ago.
It’s on record, that Jesus lived and walked on the streets of Jerusalem in truth, in righteousness and in holiness. He taught forgiveness for sinner, and exemplified it by His death on Cross; love and care for the sick, the poor and those who are in disadvantage. He preached total salvation for the sinner, deliverance unto the oppressed and liberty to them that are imprisoned and under yoke of sin, Satan and self- inflicted bondage. As we celebrate, we must not lose sight of these concerns and considerations and cares which occupied His entire life for the period He spent on earth. If you love me keep my commandments, He taught His disciples, which we are today.
Here with us, as in the days of Jesus on the streets of Jerusalem, are still the poor, the sick and those oppressed by wicked and satanic forces… that have blinded men from the knowledge and fear of the only true God, and His acceptance to save them, thereby liberating them from their burden and yoke.
Jesus says, ‘ … ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free’ John 8:32.
The ancient wisdom is as fresh and powerful as it were when Jesus applied it to challenge the Pharisees who wanted to stone to death a woman caught in adultery in John 8. Let’s apply this principle to set the captives free, as we celebrate.
With over 133 million Nigerians thrown into poverty by a government that promised much, but delivered so little, let us strive to care for the needy around us. While everybody appears to have been impacted by the poverty bug, there are still people, families and individuals who are better than others. Paul in Galatians 6:9-10, enjoins us as believers to bear one another’s burden, and to do good to our brethren, knowing that we shall be rewarded accordingly. Don’t think that a small cup of salt is too small to give that widow, that orphan or that distressed family. Or that that visit to your friend or neighbor would be unnecessary. You may be acutely surprised that ‘ it was the miracle they needed’.
For those in business and public service, this shouldn’t be the time to exploit and despoil your customers and clienteles. Everybody knows that there is global inflation. Yet, there are instances wherein local entrepreneurs and traders and service providers whimsically push up prices because it’s Christmas. This is unacceptable and morally wrong. There’s no reason, for instance, while Customs at the borders will put ten thousand naira as tax? on every bag of rice from our neighboring countries into the country. This is especially wicked and unGodly, more so, when such monies do not go into government revenue collections. There are several instances of this perfidy across all sectors of the Nigerian Economy. Transporters, for instance who hike their fares to the roof top on the excuse that the roads are bad, and fuel shortages. We must learn not to oppress others, by making it difficult for them to celebrate with joyful ease. Paul reminds us in Galatians 6:7, that everybody will reap their sowings because’ God cannot be mocked, fooled or bamboozled’ to accept our false justifications for our ludicrous indiscretions.
Thankfully, there is spirited efforts by government to ease public safety by enhanced policing across the country; provision of petroleum products going by assurances by government agents, and the opening up of Second Niger bridge to ease Eastern traffic flow for the next one month. These efforts are commendable. We urge the federal ministry of works to raise the bar in the maintenance of failed portions of federal roads in parts of the country, as part of measures to ensure some level of comfort for motorists during this yuletide season.
For the bad ones amongst us: , terrorists, kidnappers and ritualists among other criminal agents, please be mindful that everyday is for the criminal. Just one day is for the law to catch up with you.
Whereas the steps to catching a criminal could be slow, yet, it will eventually come. If you doubt it, ask Evans Onwuamadike Chukwudumeme. He bestrode the Nigerian crime space like a collosus. Today, he will be spending the next 21 years in eternal shame and regret in prison, away from men and women of good will. Be warned.
I wish us all happy Christmas in advance. God bless.
ABOUT THE PREACHER
Pastor Okoro is a revivalist and marriage counselor. He can be reached on:
©All Bible references are from KJV, except otherwise stated.
December 11, 2022.