BISHOP ODEDEJI NEW YEAR MESSAGE
Greetings in the Precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Once again, the Christmas season is here; a time the whole world is agog with celebration. Many celebrate just because they are alive to witness another festival, while others celebrate because they know Him and the reason for the season.
It gives us great joy to address Christians and non-Christians at this point in our countryís history as we again mark the birth of the Prince of Peace. It is more than two millennia since the Saviour of mankind came and departed this world but His mission remains relevant. He came to reconcile man to God. He came to set Satanís captives free. He came to give life eternal and abundant to as many as receive him as the mediator between them and the creator of the world. We must be reminded that this is the reason for the season. Since that epoch-making event, the world has not been the same again.
God has, indeed, been good to us in this country. Before last yearís elections, there was apprehension that turmoil could ensue, but God took control. Our country, Nigeria, needs the message of repentance, salvation, unity and peace today more than any other. Factors such as ethnicity, religious diversity and class divide that could have been harnessed to propel the country in the collective quest to join the league of advanced countries keep impeding its development, despite the abundance of resources that the good Lord has endowed the most populous Black Country with. Rather than walk together to the glory of God, Nigerians pull in different directions, thereby leading to stunted growth and degeneration. We call on all Nigerians to draw closer to Him, remove the filthy garment of unrighteousness and get clothed with His righteousness because, as the Holy Bible says, righteousness exalts a nation.
Amidst the feasting that has come to characterize Christmas, we must not allow the core message to be lost on us. We must realize that, Christ who came in all humility the first time, He will return in His majesty and glory to judge the world. Then, only the righteous shall He take along and only they have a place in His Kingdom. We salute the doggedness of Nigerians in the face of economic downturn and congratulate all the living for another opportunity to receive the glad tidings. Despite the hard times in the country today, we call on all Nigerians to cooperate with the federal, state and local governments in a bid to pulling the country out of the doldrums.
All our churches in the Diocese of Lagos West have been directed to offer special prayers for this country during this season. Christmas must mean much more than feasting, dining and wining. It is a time to reflect on the state of the nation and resolve to cooperate with the government of the day to press forward.
James Olusola Odedeji, Ph.D
The Lord Bishop