By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
The Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lagos State, Rt Rev Stephen Adegbite, has called on Christians to celebrate Christmas by helping the less fortunate to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Adegbite said this in a statement on Saturday entitled “2021 Christmas Goodwill Message of the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Lagos State, His Lordship, Rt. Rev. (Dr.) Stephen Tunde Victor Adegbite, GPJ.”
The statement read:
‘The message of Christmas is a reminder, that love is an essential ingredient and a key tool for peaceful communal coexistence and relationship with one another not minding creed, race, tribe, religious beliefs and other factors that are today promoting hatred, discord, disunity and self-centeredness.
‘The coming of Jesus Christ which we mark at this season is God’s way of reminding humankind of our pride of place which many of us seem to take for granted daily.
‘The essence of His coming is that we may be able to treat one another with love and compassion, care for those on society’s margins: the sick and the hungry, the poor and the persecuted, the stranger in need of shelter – or simply for us to show an act of kindness. This is the spirit that should bind us together – not just as Christians, but as people of all faiths.
‘That is what this special season should be about: coming together as one family to celebrate our blessings and the values we hold dear.
‘What however seems to be pervading our dear land is something that has left many devastated.
‘Today, many are under the weight of hunger and quite a number of homes are in despair.
‘We must then use this Christmas to locate and identify many who are heavily burdened and depressed and put smiles on their faces.
‘We must wipe away their tears and ensure they are fed and their thirsts are quenched. That is what we are commanded and mandated to do.’
The CAN chairman also urged Christians to maintain COVID-19 prevention guidelines by the government and also implored those who were yet to be vaccinated not to hesitate to get the vaccination.
‘I sincerely use this period that we celebrate the birth of Christ to urge all those who are yet to take their vaccinations to please do so without any further delay.
‘It is a principle of “love your neighbour as yourself”. In loving your neighbour, protecting yourself from being a potential spreader of the virus is a responsible thing to do. Do not hesitate or delay in going for the vaccination so that we can reduce and gradually eradicate the spread and keep our world safe.’
Adegbite also urged Christians to pray for Nigerian soldiers who are on the battlefield facing terrorists, bandits and other criminals.
‘As we celebrate at this season, let us remember our brave soldiers who on a daily basis lay down their lives in their enormous task of defending us from terrorists, bandits and evil men and women in different parts of the country.
‘Every day, the brave men and women of our military serve to keep us safe – and so do their families.’
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