Christmas Message From Bishop Etokudoh

Christmas Message From Bishop Etokudoh

As Christmas is a time of great rejoicing, set aside to commemorate the birth of Christ. I am sending my Christmas message and best wishes to all Christians as well as to all people of goodwill wherever they may be. The birth of Christ, which is celebrated at Christmas, has been the greatest event that ever happened in the history of humanity. At an appointed time God sent His son, born of a woman to redeem mankind. (Gal.4: 4). (Jn.3:36).

For every Christian, Christmas should be a time of great rejoicing and a season for sober reflection on the unconditional love of God made manifest in Christ’s incarnation. The mystery of the incarnation is the goodnews through which we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity. Christmas is a time of thanksgiving for the gift of the Son of God who came and died to save us from our sins.

This is a time of stocktaking and resolution to amend our ways. It is a time for spiritual renewal and rebirth. The Lord who came and died that we may have life is the same, yesterday, today and forever. (Hb.l3:8). He is ever present in all cheerful and sad events in our lives; in all that happens in today’s world and in the Church; in all those who preach and practice love and reconciliation, as well as in all those who strive to promote justice and peaceful co-existence among various families and groups and individuals.

The birth of the Child Jesus in the Manger among the poor people is the divine way to discard the human way of relying on the worldly power, authority and wealth.

How do we celebrate Christmas? The two groups of people we come across during Christmas and in our everyday life are defined at the birth of Christ. On one side are the poor, the despised and the ignorant. They are those who welcome Christ with joy.

On the other side are the rich, the powerful and the learned. They are those who are so attached to their wealth. They do not think they need a Saviour or Redeemer.

During this time, added to the wanton killings, political, economic, uncertainties, the place of insecurity we have noticed that prices of goods, basic commodities and transportation are on the increase. One of the reasons for this is greed as well as the culture and spirit of materialism and consumerism in our present day society. It is true that many people celebrate Christmas without Christ. For such people the season is nothing more than a leisure time for family reunions, picnics, fundraising end of year parties, merriments, festivities and carnivals. Nevertheless it is at Christmas time that many people express their goodwill through the exchange of gifts even among those who unfortunately do not know the true meaning of Christmas. For us Christians, since this is the season we thank God for the gift of His Son, let us then imitate the three wise men who presented their gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense to the new born king in the manger.

The birth of Christ was announced as goodnews by the angels. To celebrate Christmas with Christ is to be reconciled to God and with our neighbours. This is done by visiting and sharing our gifts with the less privileged brothers and sisters who are sick at home, in hospitals, destitute homes, orphanages, rehabilitation centres and prisons. These are the mangers of our days where we encounter the poor and the needy whose greatest need is to be needed. If you are able to put smiles on some gloomy faces during this time and thereafter, remember as the Lord says during His second coming , “whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers that you do unto me” (Mtt:25 :40). With reassurance that you shall be rewarded accordingly,

I wish you happy Christmas and blessed New Year!

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