On behalf of my family and the national executive of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), I greet fellow brothers and sisters and indeed all Nigerians and also felicitate with them with great joy, on the occasion of Christmas.
Once again we find ourselves at the end of another year that has seen all kinds of difficult situations, important questions and challenges, but also signs of hope, both in the Church and in our society.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
It has indeed been a year of mixed fortunes – for individuals, for the Christian family, other faithful and the entire society. We have seen the extremes of fundamentalism and terrorism, natural disasters, disease epidemics and other forms of societal challenges, all in the course of the year.
Importantly and typical of the dogged Nigerian spirit, we have sailed through these trying times to the very moment we have found ourselves in today.
The greatest news in the midst of these challenges is that of hope and the promise of better times ahead of us, which is the message of Christmas. The great joy with which families all over the world including Nigeria welcome the season of Christmas should be allowed to permeate through the fabrics of the society.
As we celebrate the solemnity of Christ’s birth, I urge all faithful to reflect on the happenings of the year especially those moments that threatened the foundation and existence of our nation and work towards inspiring a positive change in our world.
Christmas comes with peace, love, sacrifice and hope for a better future and these should be the preoccupation of all faithful during the celebrations. Faithful should never spare a moment to reflect on the these virtues even as they eat, drink and make merry.
Eating chicken, turkey and drinking wine often characterize this season but equally important at this time should be the virtues of Peace, Love, sacrifice and Hope which should be the fulcrum of Nigeria’s progression into the New Year. Our actions, attitudes and entire body language in the coming year must reflect these three virtues.
With love, the less privileged are cared for; with peace, key actors of conflict will be inspired to lay down their arms; and hope brings on the spirit of a new Nigeria; so ultimately these virtues could together make the difference in 2015.
Urge all faithful to use this auspicious occasion of Christmas to re-establish their relationship with God and mend broken ties with their fellow human beings, Christmas cannot be said to be truly celebrated if this commitment is not kept.
Nigerians must realize the fact that the true essence of this celebration lies in the sacrifices that we make in the interest of a better and more prosperous Nigeria. This season is one that inspires sacrifice which gives hope to the down trodden in our midst.
The joy that Christ brought to the world many years ago through his birth and still brings to our hearts today at Christmas should be shared to all.
I remain confident that good will prevail over evil, as we genuinely reflect on these issues and renew our vows to God through the celebration of Christ’s birth, at Christmas.
Once again, I congratulate all Christians on the occasion of Christmas and urge all Nigerians not to lose sight of the challenge of securing their environment even as they rejoice during the celebrations; we must all be security conscious and assist constituted authority in securing our property.
God bless, Nigeria and I wish all Nigerians a wonderful Christmas celebrations.
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor
President Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).