…Preaches love for God, mankind at Christmas
There was an almost perfect tranquility when Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State turned into an adhoc pastor, and preached to Christians all over the world to see the love for God and mankind as the core reason for the celebration of Christmas.
He preached that the perception by some persons that Christmas is a period of wild celebration should be done away with, noting that the salient but significant message of the season is God’s immeasurable love for mankind.
“It is because of this unique love that he sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be born by a woman so that He can die for us for our sins and guarantee our salvation. No love can be greater than this”, Governor Hope Uzodinma preached.
He gave the Christmas message at the 2023 Christmas carol with the theme: “Unto us a son is given”, which was held at the Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu Square New Owerri .
He used the occasion to urge returning Imo people from other places and in Diaspora to use the Christmas period to savour the beauty of the state that is now peaceful and serene due to God’s gracious intervention and immeasurable love for Imo people.
Accompanied by his wife, Chioma, Placid Njoku, deputy governor, Lady Chinyere Ekomaru and other key personalities across the three arms of government, Governor Uzodimma further admonished Christians to show love to one another as the greatest commandment to mankind is to humanity.
He stated that the recourse to criminality by persons who claimed to be Christians but are enmeshed in killings, kidnapping, armed robbery, sponsorship of insecurity among other vices, either for political reasons or other considerations, cast a slur on the love God showed to mankind by sending His son, Jesus Christ, to be born for all and for our salvation.
According to him, “Christmas season holds immense importance in the lives of Christians, for it signifies the birth of Christ as the fulfillment of prophesies and divine promises, without his birth, there would be no redemption, no resurrection and ultimately, no Christianity”.
The governor noted, “Another season of joy is here, the season of Christmas, the season of advent, our season of boundless joy and salvation. For Christians all over the world, the advent season is when we gather as Christians in joyous anticipation of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the saviour of mankind.
“The advent is a very significant and important period in the life of all Christians because it heralds the birth of Christ as a fulfillment of the prophecies and God’s promise to the world. Without the birth, there would have been no death, and there would have been no resurrection. And without resurrection, there would have been no Christianity.
“This is why I am very happy that this year’s Christmas Carol Service has been planned to include a lot of praise songs. As you are aware, nothing pleases God more than praises. Praise worship is another form of showing our gratitude to God for continuously showering us with unmerited favours and mercy.
“So, let the praise songs reverberate across the length and breadth of Imo State for all to know that we are happy and that we are grateful to God for the gift of life, for his countless graces on us as individuals and on Imo State in general. Yes, God has been merciful and faithful to our state in many ways than one, and we need to thank and praise Him with all our might.
“However, often times, we wittingly or unwittingly allow our wild perception and accompanying celebration of Christmas to drown the salient but significant message, which is God’s immeasurable love for mankind. It is because of this unique love that he sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be born by a woman so that He can die for us for our sins and guarantee our salvation. No love can be greater than this.
“Therefore, we should make love the theme for this year’s Christmas celebrations. We should show love to God who loved us first, even while we were still sinners and also show love to our fellow human beings. The Gospel tells us that the greatest of all commandments is love.
“In truth, if we have love, we can overcome almost all of life’s challenges. Nobody with love will go to rob his neighbour or kidnap people just to get money to celebrate Christmas. Nobody will engage in the mindless murder of others if he has love. No politician will engage in thuggery and bloodletting just to score a cheap political point if the person has love. If we have love, there will be no politically contrived insecurity”.
The governor also urged Imo people to embrace Christmas with the renewed hope it offers, especially in the state which is transiting to a new term that is solidly committed to the welfare of the people.
“Indeed, as we emerge from the ashes of avoidable insecurity and the attendant misery, we should look forward, in the coming years, to a new lease of life that offers love and prosperity to all. We must make love our new banner in the coming years”.
He assured of security and peace across the state during the festive period.