Delta state Governor Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, on Thursday evening, called on Christians to see Christmas celebration as a unique opportunity for sober reflection on the birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world.
Governor Okowa who made the call during the festival of nine lessons and carols organised by the state government at the cenotaph, Asaba, to usher in the Christmas, said Christmas should be a time to accept Jesus as Lord and personal saviour rather than partying.
According to him, the Christmas season should be used to reflect on the mission of Jesus whom, he said, brought redemption to mankind from eternal damnation, adding that no gift can be offered to God more than accepting Jesus as the Saviour of mankind.
“I thank God that despite the very difficult time, we are able to host this festival of nine lessons and carols 2020. To God be the glory. I want to thank those who have put the ceremony together and I hope and pray that in the year 2021, we should be able to have something much more massive than this.
“Many times, people are more concern of the things of the flesh rather than the real message of the season. Christmas is about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were it not for that birth (Jesus’s birth), there wouldn’t have been a time for His death and resurrection which brought reconciliation of man to God.
“Yes, Christmas is a season to be happy and to be joyful but it is not a season where we think that it is time to party, time to satisfy the flesh rather than think about our lives and think about what Jesus Christ came to do for each and everyone of us. It is time to accept Him into our lives and to let Him rule and reign in ourselves,” the governor said.
He appealed to residents of the state and Nigerians in general to obey all COVID-19 protocols to ward off second phase of the pandemic, stressing that the second wave of the virus has claimed several lives in Europe and other continents of the world.
While wishing Deltans a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year in advance, he sued for more prayers in order to realise set goals.
In a sermon at the event, Reverend Gideon Oyibo said the birth of Jesus brought peace to mankind and advised Christians to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal saviour so that they could enjoy permanent peace.
He said the only solution to all challenges bedevilling the world was for all nations to turn to God for Him (God) to turn things around for the better.
During the ceremony, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa read the first lesson from Genesis chapter three verses eight to 19 while the second lesson was read by the State Deputy Governor, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro from Genesis chapter 22 verses 15 to 18.
The third lesson was read by the Chief Whip of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Pat Ajudua on behalf of the Speaker, Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori; the fourth lesson was read by the State Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro, the fifth lesson was read by Mrs. Kevwe Agas .
The sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth lessons were read by the state Head of Service, Sir Reginald Bayoko; the Obi of Owa Kingdom, Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II; Hon. Bashorun Askia Ogieh and the state Secretary of CAN respectively.
The event which was attended by the wife of the state governor, Dame Edith Okowa, featured different choir ministrations.