Easter: Be Courageous, Bishop Ibezim tells Christians, Nigerians
Most Rev. Alexander Ibezim, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Awka has admonished Christian to find courage in the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the midst of challenges posed by Coronavirus disease ravaging the world.
Ibezim gave the charge in his 2020 Easter message.
He expressed regrets that grandeur and fanfare that accompanied the celebration were missing because of the precautionary measures put in place by health authorities and governments against the spread of COVID-19.
He however pointed out that essence of the season was not in anyway diminished and called on the Christians by extension Nigerians to remain unshaken in the faith in Christ Jesus.
Ibezim called for repentance from since and love for one another in order to continue to attract God’s mercy.
“Christians are in the greatest test of their fate ever with the coronavirus pandemic as it’s happening during the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The question is why should coronavirus be happening when Christians are celebrating Jesus Christ’s resurrection after crucifixion on the cross and death.
“Shall Christians loose hope for this? Not at all! It’s a time to show that our faith is not wavering, because we must give thanks for the resurrection of Christ.
“I charge Christians to see this Easter as a time of renewal and awakening, let me reiterate that this Easter brings us hope on the mercies of God.
“This Easter has renewed our hope for tomorrow, it is a time to remember that Jesus Christ died that we may live. And, I charge you as a Christian, whatever you do, remember that Jesus Christ died for you.
“I pray to God to forgive us in accordance with His word on the cross as written in Luke 23:34 “Forgive them father, for they no not what they do.” We are your children, continue to bless us and give us another reason to be thankful and celebrate your love.
“Let’s repent from our shortcomings and sins as well as prepare ourselves for the returning of Christ Jesus. Let’s not waver in spreading joy and happiness in our areas of residence and beyond, during this Easter amidst COVID-19 pandemic.
Brethren, I charge you to “Love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Matt. 22:37). This is what we are expected to do” he said.
The Bishop said the Church would continue to adhere to containment restrictions and encouraging its members to observe the safety principles of regular hand wash, use of hand sanitiser and face masks as well as physical distance.
He expressed confidence that the difficulties would some be over while commending the place of technology in the dissemination of the gospel and keeping the church together amidst the pandemic.
“Church services look different with some embracing technology to get their messages out like we did in Awka diocese and so many others did too, however, the focus is on Christ Jesus.
“Though the methods of worship changed , messages remained the same which is that Jesus is Lord. Remember, God’s ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ is laying His life down for his people. That was the greatest expression of love ever.
Easter service will be broadcast on radio and television stations as well as social media channels including the Church’s Facebook page.
“Technology is becoming endearing to hitherto those who detest it for one reason or the other, it was used during the Holy week unlike before but look at how everyone was forced inside their houses to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“People are suffering particularly the vulnerable like children and women, I charge you to take care of these people, particularly those around you , the elderly, the sick, the poor and unemployed, among others,” he said