YEAR 2022 CHRISTMAS AND LAST SUNDAY IN THE YEAR THANKSGIVING IN LIVING CHRIST MISSION INC.
Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and saviour of mankind, is marked annually by Christendom on the 25th of December. In view of the spiritual significance of this great and hallowed event, it is taken very seriously by Christians all over the world, and Living Christ Mission celebrates this great event with every sense of commitment and seriousness. To the glory of God, this year's Christmas coincided with the Last Sunday of the year thanksgiving in Living Christ Mission.
In his brief remarks upon his arrival at the ultra modern 75,000 capacity temple in Onitsha, Anambra State, the Founder, Leader and Archbishop of the church, His Grace, the Most Rev. Professor Daddy Hezekiah OON, appreciated the Almighty God greatly for the gift of life, love and divine protections on the members of the church, including visitors, which enabled them gather for the celebration of Christmas and Last Sunday of the year's thanksgiving service.
Further in his comments, he reteriated his belief in the celebration of Christmas, pointing out that without the birth of Christ, there would be nothing like Easter, as one would naturally be born before dying. He dismissed the debate and argument of some concerning 25th December as the real birth date of Jesus Christ, stating that the most important thing is that Christ was born and that any day chosen by Christendom to celebrate his birth symbolised by Christmas, is acceptable. He wondered how people accept Children's Day and other Dates appointed by the United Nations but argue about Christmas. He therefore urged Christians to take Christmas very seriously. Going further, he stated that though temptations come to those who worship and believe in God, notwithstanding, it is better, easier and more rewarding to worship God than the devil. He further assured Christians that as long as one does not worship God in pretence and hypocrisy, irrespective of the temptations, victory shall surely be theirs.
He observed that the Almighty God is unpredictable, pointing out that it is wrong for us to judge Him with our human knowledge and reasoning. This he said against the backdrop of God allowing His only son, Jesus Christ, to be born in a manger instead of the best hotel or hospital, stating that God could make the proprietors of the already booked hotels remove one customer to accommodate Joseph and his pregnant wife, Mary, but He did not do so.
Speaking further, he drew the attention of the congregation to the greatness of God, in that not minding the nature of the environment of the place where Christ was born, God did not allow Him to be infested with any disease, as would be the case this today.
Citing the book of Matthew chapter 2, he observed that it was not all the people who were in the hotels at the time, knew about the birth of such a great Being. Secondly, it was not all the people in Jerusalem at that time who knew about the birth of the Saviour of mankind. More so, even when the star of his birth appeared to the three wise men, it was not all the people in Jerusalem that noticed it. So, we should understand that God is His own interpreter, He does things His own way and reveals things and Himself to only those He chooses to.
He observed that the wise men did not take the appearing of the star for granted. Rather, they took it very seriously, abandoned all they were doing and followed the star to Jerusalem, and God observing their seriousness did not misled them. Similarly, the moment one gives one's heart to God, He does not mislead one. According to him, one can not explain the mystery behind the wise men worshipping and giving costly gifts to a new born baby. He likened it to some members of the church who followed and believed in him during the early years of the church, when he was still a teacher at the Inland Girls' Secondary School, Onitsha, with no prospects. He frowned at the attitude of some people in this contemporary world, who notwithstanding all they have heard about Christ and the great miracles He did as recorded in the Bible, still find it difficult to believe in Him and/or worship Him. Daddy Hezekiah stated that unlike some would do today, the wise men did not argue among themselves on whether the son of God could be born in such a place, rather, they believed the star. Accordingly, Daddy stated that God does not like people who argue too much or ask too much questions. He advised the congregation to strive to be born again in relation to the birth of Christ being celebrated.
Daddy observed that some people today misinterpret, misrepresent and misquote God. In his sermon from the book of *Proverbs chapter 1: 10 and 22 to 33*, he cautioned against enticement, a very dangerous thing, observing that such was the weapon used by Delilah to deceive and destroy Samson. He further stated that the devil knows how great and powerful we, as children of God, would be if we maintained a strong and cordial relationship with God and hence, he uses enticement to distract, deceive and draw us away from God. He also read *Proverbs chapter 8:13, 17 and 36*, stating that a child of God should hate sin, and if they sinned against God, they would be restless and disturbed until they confess and ask for forgiveness. He made it clear that it is only those who seek God diligently that finds Him. He added further that hating God is dangerous, as such brings only death. He also advised children of God using *Proverbs chapter 10: 2, 22, 24 and 25*, wherein he warned sternly against making money by all means, assuring that God has promised never to allow the righteous go hungry, even as His blessings makes one rich and adds no sorrow with it.
Concluding his sermon still on the evils and dangers of enticement, he read *Judges chapter 14:1,15 to 18 and chapter 16 : 4 to 6, 13 to 17, 19 to 21*, in which he advised the youths not to rush into marriage. He observed that marriage is one of the most fundamental decisions one makes in life and any mistake would spell doom for such individual. He pointed out that sin is very deadly, as it separates one from God without one's knowledge. This was the case of Samson who, unaware that God had left him, got up as usual to challenge his enemies but was disgraced, humiliated, and had his eyes plucked out!
The service also featured other activities like presentation of flower, cutting of cake and thanksgiving.
To God be the glory in Jesus name, Amen.