Merry Christmas To our Readers and Christendom
As we join the rest of mankind to celebrate Christmas, a very significant anniversary in Christendom, it is very easy to be distracted by events around us to the extent that we could forget Jesus Christ, the reason for this epochal event. Without Christ, there would be no Christmas.
We need to recall that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, in a place where animals were kept, more than 2,000 years ago. However, His place of birth did not retard His greatness. Although He is divine, God gave Him to mankind in human form through the Blessed Virgin Mary. He lived a simple life and taught the mysteries of God in a manner that no man or woman has ever taught.
His lifestyle exemplified love and self-denial. Jesus Christ died on the cross, as a price for the sins of mankind. His death opened heaven’s gate and welcomes any and all who repose faith in Him.
Therefore, beyond the merriment and grandeur of this Christmas, it is important for us to sincerely accept Jesus Christ as our role model, just as we have accepted this day as a special day. This is necessary everywhere, especially in places like Nigeria where role models seem few.
Although most of us profess Christianity as our faith, our lifestyles are not necessarily Christ-like. Corruption seems to be our watchword in this country. Everyday, we hear or read reports of graft and looting perpetrated by public servants entrusted with keys to our welfare.
We also hear and read reports of kidnapping, armed robbery, deliberate destruction of public property, examination malpractice, violence and all sorts of vice and anomaly.
Whereas God blessed Nigeria with rich human and material resources, there is acute poverty and unemployment in our land. While people in most countries are observing today as a day of rest and fun, some of our country men and women are restless today, on long rowdy queues at petrol stations. Petrol is being sold above the officially approved pump price of N145.00 (one hundred and forty five naira), where it is available. This has led to increase in transport fares. Prices of foodstuff have also skyrocketed, as a result of this.
While government is blaming saboteurs for this, the rest of us blame government for allowing saboteurs to operate with so much boldness and impunity. Saboteurs should not be more powerful than all tiers of government.
The birth of Jesus Christ brought light to overthrow darkness. Although that light is spiritual, we wish it could overthrow those who make it impossible for electricity to be constantly available in most Nigerian homes. In most parts of Calabar South in Cross River State for instance, there has been no supply of electrical power for several days from the power distribution company that is saddled with this responsibility.
Certainly, such anomalous developments are caused by man-made factors. We decry this situation and call for positive change.
Thankfully, Jesus Christ is merciful. He forgives those who embrace Him. Let us all embrace Him today and always. As we embrace Him, let us learn from His selfless qualities.
Jesus Christ was a servant-leader. He was a Shepherd that served the needs of His flock, before His personal needs. His needs were sparse. He was not materialistic. Our leaders are obliged to emulate Him in that regard.
Jesus Christ was humble. We are all obliged to shun arrogance. He was kind and charitable. We should always give more than we receive. Let us always remember to give to the poor. Jesus Christ was diligent and hard working. We need to be diligent and selfless in our respective assignments and undertakings, for the good of our country and mankind.
He was tolerant. We need to shun all forms of intolerance and discrimination. Just as Jesus Christ considered all human beings as equal, let us always embrace people of other religions and tribes.
When we step out today, let us remember that Jesus Christ was a Prince of peace. He had dignity and integrity. Let us all compose ourselves and shun acts that could attract ignominy and disrepute to us. Let us shun drunkenness and reckless conducts.
We enjoin security agencies and emergency services to be proactive and vigilant today and throughout this festive season, especially in places where threats of violence have been reported. We all need to be alive to celebrate next year, as well.
In addition, let us all remember that Jesus Christ was righteous, throughout His stay on earth. As humans, it may not be possible for us to completely live without sin. But we must keep trying to be like Christ, our desired role model. Like the Bible tells us, righteousness exalts a nation. Let us live righteous lives so that our nation would be exalted.
Linda and I wish you all, good times. Merry Christmas!
Facebook: Cornelius Ellah