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“Christmas message 2019 Fromthe rt. Reverend james allen yaw odicobishop of the anglican diocese of gambia

Dec 24, 2019, 12:11 PM

Dear People of God,

Whenever the expression “Breaking News” pops up on our Radio or Television Screen, these days, every listener or viewer becomes alert, and in great anxiety awaits disastrous news.

Over two thousand years ago, group of shepherds who were watching over their flock had a similar experience, one night, when suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared to them; but unlike the breaking news of today theirs  transformed fears and anxiety to great joy, first to the Jews and then to the people of the whole world.

The angel announced, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:11 NIV).

Apostle Paul, in his bid to further the faith of the elect, expounds this good news to mean “the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people”. Jesus Christ the great God and Saviour redeems us from ungodliness and worldly passion, to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we await His second coming  (Tit 2:11-14 NIV)

The Jews were expecting a saviour, but some erroneously thought that the saviour has come to restore the political kingdom back to Israel from the Romans (Act 1:6).  His wish was not to meddle with the secular arrangement that existed. He saw the state separate from religion, as alluded in his response to the Pharisees: “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:21 NIV). “Secularization has to do with the splitting apart of religion and state, which has occurred since medieval times”.

God’s will is for Christ to reign in the believers’ heart, until the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, (Tit 2:13 NIV)

Friends, Indeed God’s plan for His people has been far greater than addressing the symptoms of their problem but digs deeper to the roots. His plan is to restore the love and quality of life that man enjoyed before the disobedience of Adam and Eve.

As confirmed by the heavenly host, His will is to bring the highest glory to Himself, while bringing peace and good will to all men on earth on whom his favor rests. (Luke 2:14 NIV)

The Christmas message should bring hope to us irrespective of our current situation. The peace God offers cannot be compared with what the world is trying to offer. For Jesus said to his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”. (John 14:27 NIV)

As we celebrate Christmas, let us share the love of God with others in a practical way. Let us dig deeper into the areas of our intervention. Let us first examine our relationship with others. Are there wrongs we need to correct? It does not matter whether you are right or wrong; take the first step to reconcile with a repentant heart. Seek the face of Christ as you take the decision. It is not an easy task but it is obviously possible. Christians believe in prayer, and are a praying and worshipping community at all times.

Friends, remember that as we celebrate His birth we must focus on our level of preparation for His second coming; and love is the answer. His command to His disciples applies to us particularly at this point: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)

Let us remember those in underserved communities, the vulnerable orphans and widows, those with health challenges, those deprived of their rights.

Beloved Gambians and friends of The Gambia, as we press on with our political, economic and social reforms, love must take precedence over all our actions.

Without compromising our political, social and religious responsibilities, let us act professionally and in due diligence make Government accountable to the citizenry. Let everyone carryout his/her duty in love.

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:11 NIV).

Beloved viewers, listeners and readers: As I conclude this Christmas message, I implore you to take advantage of the Good News; accept Jesus Christ today if you have not yet done so. Facilitate your relatives, friends and others, you relate with, to have access to Him. He is the Saviour, The Messiah, The LORD.

On behalf of Anglican family in the Diocese of Gambia, I wish the President, HE Adama Barrow, the Government and people of our beloved nation, The Gambia; our brothers and sisters in the Muslim fraternity, people of other faiths, and all well-wishers, a Merry Christmas. 

May God bless you as you critically act on this message.