By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
HEKAN Church President, Rev. Amos G. Kiri, has given a recap on what Christmas means to Christendom.
In a Christmas sermon on Monday, Kiri said “The meaning of Christmas – as announced by the Angel – is the celebration of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world.
“Today, we are celebrating our salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ; the most wonderful and indescribable gift from the Almighty Father. This gift came as a result of the sin of man that separated him from his Creator.
“Out of love for mankind, God the Father gave his only begotten Son to come to this sinful world to save the world. Jesus Christ is embodied with all kinds of gifts that we can ever think of: love, peace, reconciliation, eternal life, among many others (John 3:16; 10:28-29; 15:9; Eph.1:7; 1Jh.3:8b). We therefore have every reason to celebrate this day,” Kiri said.
Rev Kiri also stressed on the need for peaceful coexistence, adding that “Christ’s birth also signifies peace, which is why he is called the “Prince of peace.”
“For our celebration to be complete, we must live in peace with our neighbours. Let us, therefore, use this period of his birth to preach peace to all mankind. I wish to call on all HEKAN members and all Christians the world over to exhibit the character of our Lord, Jesus Christ, by living peacefully with our neighbours.
“What the world needs today is peace, but you will agree with me that peace has eluded many countries and peoples of the world. However, the Bible says, “Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the sons of God” (Mat. 5:9). Therefore, as children of God, let us try at all times to eschew bitterness and give peace a chance,” he stressed.
While he described the situation in the country as challenging times, Rev Kiri said “There is no doubt that most Nigerians are facing various challenges as a result of the ongoing economic crisis that has led to untold hardship on families. As Christians, Christmas is not a period of showing-off, buying expensive clothes, eating and drinking of alcohol, getting drunk and engaging in immoral activities. NO! We must learn to be contented with what we have,” he advised.
“I urge all families, especially our women and children, to bear with the husbands/fathers, who might not have been able to provide the usual goodies during this Christmas. I believe every husband/father will like to provide the best for his family, but in the event that this is not possible, I urge you families to bear and appreciate the efforts. There is no need going to borrow money, in other to celebrate Christmas, knowing that in few weeks’ time, children will be going back to school, house rents/bills will have to be paid. So, let us be wise in celebrating Christmas,” he added.
On the part of government and the people, the clergy man, saying “Let me use this medium to extend my Christmas greetings to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and the good people of Nigeria. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas.
“Christmas is a period of exchanging gifts and visits to neighbours and friends. Let us all, therefore, put behind our religious differences and celebrate Christmas together as a people. Christ was not born only for the Christians; he is a gift to the whole world. I urge all Christians in Nigeria to extend a hand of fellowship to our Muslim brothers by inviting them to celebrate and dine with us. This will demonstrate practically that we really know the meaning of Christmas.”