Christmas message of His Grace, Most Reverend Alexander Chibuzo Ibezim PhD, JP, the Archbishop, Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger and Bishop, Diocese of Awka, Anglican Communion.
Good morning dear people of God, we are so greatful to Almighty God that we are witnessing and participating in the Christmas of 2020 by the grace of God. The year 2020 has been most challenging. The challenges here have been so enormous. For us to be celebrating this Christmas is a miracle. At times people look for miracles here and there, but the Christmas of this year is a Christmas of miracle because nobody believed that all of us will be alive to witness a day like this. And this also showed that our Gid is in charge.
So, what do we do during Christmas?
We are celebrating the birth of our lord Jesus Christ. You know, God turned Himself into human and came into the world. If God had come into the world as a lion, people will start running away. If God had come into the world as an elephant, all of us will start running away , but he came down in form of a man. Emmanuel, God is with us. And what did he do? He came down to give us salvation. And we really thank God that more than 2,000 years ago when Christ came into the world physically, up till today, the world is still celebrating Christmas no matter the challenges around the world.
So you find out that it is impossible to fight the Almighty God. So, Christmas of this year reminds us that nobody can fight God and go free because God is God and each time you realize the importance of incarnation or that Christ has come to dwell among us. It gives us hope. My dear brothers and sisters, have you not received hope? Especially all that happened this year, 2020. Has it not assured you that God is alive; that God is able to do all things .
Christmas of this year is a good pointer and a reminder that our God can never fail. Emmanuel, God with us. He is there with us and to defend us. He is there with us to protect us, Provide for us, to comfort us in the midst of suffering. He is there with us in order to encourage us to keep moving on.
Remember, when the COVID-19 pandemic started in late February, nobody knew that what we witnessed this year will ever come to be. A lot of people all over the world died in their thousands and everything was shutdown but Christmas reminds us that in spite of all this difficulties, God is still in charge in a broken world.
You can imagine Christ in that manger as little as he was and yet nurtured by Mary, the mother. So we need to nurture ourselves. Somebody needs to be nurtured . this Christmas is reminding us that we need to nurture some people. We need to nurture the poor, the helpless and even the unemployed. It is a thing that has opened the eyes of the Church. It has even made governments that think they are so strong to know that they are very weak.
At a point in time there was no flight all over the world. Everything came at standstill. So, God is using the Christmas of this year to tell us that however rich you are, you make your resources available to help somebody somewhere and to address an issue somewhere. To help somebody somewhere and to encourage somebody.
This year was the most challenging year in my life and in my ministry. It opened my eyes to so many things. As so we are celebrating Christmas, I'm celebrating the Christmas as somebody that God has opened his eyes in order to see the need that are there in the ministry; how poor people are there in the Church and they are looking for people to take care of them. How people are there in the Church but nobody is asking of them. So it reminds us that Christ has come in order to bring salvation.
What is that salvation? Salvation is not just to save you spiritually but to save you physically. The world needs to be saved from hunger, destruction and sickness even from all manner of harms. It shows us how the world we were created into have become. No wonder the bible made it clear, ' all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
All that we are seeing today are evidences of the sinfulness of the world in a fallen nation. So the Christmas of this year is very important. It reminds us that how dirty the world is and how great God can be. How wretched our situations can be and how great our God can be.
Thank God that Christmas is always celebrated in the weeks of past Romania if there was no Roman peace, there wouldn't have been any evangelism that will be preaching the gospel all over the world. So, we are thanking Almighty God that there would be peace and one of the things I am calling upon, especially the government is that all the people that I'm calling upon to try as much as possible to make sure that there is peace in the environment.
Christ was born in an atmosphere of peace and an arena where census was taking place. If there is no peace, there would be no census and there will be no statistical analysis in order to bring out data.
Do we have the statistical data of Nigeria's unemployed, let us read the bible properly so that what we can practice will be what the scripture wants us to practice.
Remember, Christmas is not all about ourselves but about what God is doing in the life of others.
So, be an agent of peace, an agent of salvation. May God use you to reach out to other people. May God use you to bless somebody. May God use you to meet the needs of somebody.
I use this opportunity to plead with governments at various levels to wake up and do more than they do before. Governance without relevance is not governance. if you tell me you are in government and people are suffering while you are adamant to their suffering, then you need not be there.
It is a reminder to those of us in the Church that Church without salvation of souls of men and women shows that it is not a complete Church. Church has to do with complete deliverance and healing. So the Church should come as deliverance and healing to the society that is wounded and lives that are crying in pains. If the Church at this time cannot provide that healing nature of Christ, then we are incomplete.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, we will be celebrating this Christmas with hope that God cannot tell a lie. Whatever God says is what he will do in our lives.
I wish you a wonderful Christmas and I pray that year 2021 will be far better than 2020 because if we continue like this, we need to survive in order to live the life and so, I stand on the word of God in the book of Joshua chapter 1-3 which said; after the death of moses, the Lord spoke to Joshua a servant of the lord and said, 'Moses my servant is dead, arise and go over. So, I speak to my people, arise and go over to 2021. God has a purpose for us in the year 2021. God knows that if he does not preserve us, then there will be no Church here because we all are part of the Church.
2021 will be far better than 2020. With all that we suffered this year, I don't pray we see such suffering again in 2021. Again, it will be very unfair if I fail to remember that our people who are Christians in the North have suffered and were dislocated from where they were living. Some were killed, some were terrorized. The Church is one and we pray that such situation will seize in the country so that the country will be a peaceful place.
Christ was born during the period of Roman Peace, so God is expecting us to make peace.
Government should take security very serious so that 2021 will be a better year.
May I remind those of you that are wealthy to use the boxing day as a day to remember the poor people around you; the widows that need your assistance no matter how little . If you can give a cup of water, it can make a difference.
The bible Said in Luke 1 verse 37 that with God all things are possible. So, I want you to be a person of possibility. Don't complain negative for the society will be good because we are serving God who created us to be good. God did not create us to be wasted. So, I call on all Christians and Nigerians, let us go out with positive confession. If you complain positively and I complain positively, then the lord will hear our prayers.
But if we wake up every morning with negative complain, you will find out that nobody is safe. I believe that collective prayer, collective edification, collective surrendering to the will of the Lord, we are going to make it and all of us will be happy because God did not want any of us to perish. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that who so ever believes in Him shall not die but have an everlasting life.
May the lord bless all of you. May the lord give you a Peaceful home. May 2021/be a year of great testimony to your life through Jesus Christ our Lord...Amen!
On Igbo Presidency in 2023?
Well, there is no need of talking too much about it. Anybody that is a good Nigerian knows that an Igbo man is marginalised. We have been marginalized for long and so anything that comes to an Igbo man is like a gift and that is why some people are talking about restructuring Nigeria today. It is not an individual affair but a collective pursuit. It is not about being an Igbo man or not, the main thing is to maintain equity and justice so that people in the land will be happy.
On Anambra state election in 2021
Of course in Anambra state, we have been praying for a competent leader to emerge. We also want equity in the election . Anambra state is our state, so everything about this must be done holistically so that no group of people will feel marginalised either religiously, politically or otherwise. What we are praying for is for equity to be in our state. Competency should be the climax of the election. Competent leaders should be elected to govern the state. Thank you.