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‘Be your brother’s keeper’



Archbishop G.I.N.Okpala’s 2018 Christmas Message

PEOPLE of God,  greetings of Peace to you in this great event of Christmas in the name of Jesus. Yuletide is a time we devote to the celebration of God’s Deed of Salvation – Immanuel. Christmas is a moment of jubilation resulting from the reality that, after all, we will make Heaven at the end of our sojourn here.
Our Saviour and Lord came to give peace to the world. His arrival was heralded by heavenly praises from the hosts of heaven.
If there is anything that is in short supply in our society today, it is peace, which is a glaring virtue for which Christ came. Peace is lacking from the precincts of our homes, communities, even in institutions of social, educational, medical, cultural, religious and political engagements.
Because of this ugly scenario, virtues of life, even the greatest gift of Christmas – Peace – eluides us. Signs and evidences of crises, disunity, criminality, cheating, anger, denial of rights, political brinkmanship, thuggery, corruption, murder, witchcraft, poverty, human sacrifice, child abuse etc, are written in our faces, and the real joys of Christmas grossly and phenomenally disappear from our midst.
In this 2018 Christmas, I exhort you all to celebrate the peace that Christ brought and not only eating, drinking, and engaging in other social attachments like pseudo – fun fares and masquerading.
At this Christmas, let us think of peace and endeavour to give peace to everyone, even those we see as our enemies/foes, like Jesus did, and still does. Let us at this Christmas try to rebuild our battered relationships. Let us piece together our communities and families, even our churches, clubs, parties and other organizations. Let us shun corruption and avoid hate-speech and gangerism.
Let us in this Christmas resolve to be our brother’s keepers, elect to explore all avenues of ,peace and mutual – trust fertilization, give hope to the hopeless, and make this celebration memorable in glorious outings, thus “reflecting forgiveness” in our lives which is the Synod theme for the year (Matt. 6:12-15).
As I welcome our brethren from the Diaspora, I pray that the Lord will be with, and bless you all through. By our humble disposition, we call on you all to embrace peace, progress and unity among your kith and kin. May God lead you back to your areas of domicility after the celebrations. Let love lead,  to enable you champion the cause of peace. We pray God to bless our governor and those who work with him, including our traditional rulers and all who work for the progress of our communities.
Finally, we call on all of us to pray seriously for our leaders at all levels. Pray especially for the upcoming general elections, that they will be free and fair. Pray for Nigeria as it wallows through security challenges, and for Christians in the northern parts of Nigeria. Commit our new Pentecost University to God, for a high developmental profile and may God bless those who give their money to accelerate the finishing of the project.
We wish you all a glorious future as we march into the New Year (2019) with hope.
God Bless You All with Peace!
  Happy celebrations!!
  To God be the glory!!!
Being Most Revd (Prof) G.I.N Okpala (JP, OON)
Archbishop/Bishop of Diocese of Nnewi

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