The Bishop, Ibadan North Anglican Diocese, Rt Reverend Williams Aladekugbe has called on Nigerians to celebrate the season in moderation.
The cleric who challenged the citizens to keep their hopes and dreams alive said the people need not punish themselves due to their inability to achieve certain dreams or desires between the last celebration and today’s.
Bishop Aladekugbe spoke in his Christmas day message entitled “Significance of Christmas” where he also urged the people not to because of the current hardship dabble into crime and evil but show gratitude to God and love towards one another in the spirit of the season.
Bishop Aladekugbe said “Christians celebrate Christmas each year to show their gratitude to God for what He did, to remember the birth of Jesus Christ by giving gifts, worshipping Him and thinking of the poor and less fortunate.
“Christmas reminds us of the Saviour who gives us salvation (Matt. 1: 23). Christmas should be celebrated to reflect the reason(s) Jesus came into our world. To erase the curse of sin, to bring salvation to man and to restore us back to God. We should reflect on our relationship with God and our neighbours.
“My advice for Nigerians at this season is that we should do things moderately. If there is anything we cannot achieve before Christmas this year, there will always be another Christmas. We should not be involved in evil or dabbling into crimes. We should adopt cost cutting measures as a way of addressing the current economic challenges in the Country.”
He also seized the opportunity to appeal to the government at all levels to walk their talk in making life more beautiful for the citizens.
“We equally appeal to the Federal government to make good its electioneering campaign promises of making life more better for the people.
“The Government must be sincere with us. The government must be considerate in their politics, actions and decisions by walking the talks. Frivolous spending should be avoided.
“Our appeal to Mr. President is that he should fulfil his campaign promises to us. He told us to put our mind to rest that everything will be fine”, he added.
Speaking on why the season is celebrated, the Bishop noted that “Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the word.
“Christmas is celebrated to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. The name ‘Christmas’ comes from the Mass of Christ (or Jesus). A Mass service (which is sometimes called Communion or Eucharist) is where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then came back to life.
“Because Christmas is about the birth of God’s Son – Jesus. It is about how He came to give us love, hope, and joy. That message doesn’t change from year to year. When there is so much bad news and devastation in the world, this is good news worth celebrating.
“Christmas reminds us of the importance of giving and sharing with friends and family. Through Christmas, we know that the birth of the Lord Jesus is symbolic of new beginnings. It is an opportunity to think about nature and the reason for our existence.
He identified certain reasons why Christmas is being celebrated saying: “We celebrate Christmas because of the following: birth of Jesus Christ, spreading love and goodwill, cultural traditions, festive decorations and lights, family bonding, joy of giving, holiday feasts and treats, magical atmosphere, season of reflection and renewal as well as global celebration.”