Brethren, It’s the Christmas season! That wonderful moment of the year when love and spending time with family become native to our hearts. But this time around, with the presence of Covid-19, the yuletide season is with mixed feelings because of the various hardships that the covid-19 pandemic brought upon some families. It’s hard for families to share love with their loved ones on sick beds at hospitals, in isolation centers, or lost to the Coronavirus health crisis.
It’s hard to celebrate when you’ve lost loved ones and couldn’t even say goodbye before they were buried. It’s hard to celebrate as we used to when you’ve lost your source of income and couldn’t afford the things that make you proud in sharing with family and friends. I understand that feeling and sympathize with all those grieving loved ones, both near and far.
If I told you that 2020 wasn’t a difficult year, I would not be telling the truth. Is it the economy? The loss of human lives? The separation of families and the unity and love that we do take for granted? There’s no area of human existence that Coronavirus hasn’t changed somehow. It has affected us all, and we are all in this together.
Indubitably, there are many unanswered questions, some of which you would never have answers to. But Jesus Christ understands how you feel too and has the answer to every question. I urge you in the Lord to look to Jesus Christ the source of all hope.
Candidly speaking, Jesus Christ is Hope, Love and Peace personified (Colossians 1:27, John 3:16, Isaiah 9:6). These are the very true spiritual substances that we all need to keep us fighting together against the pandemic in order to overcome the crisis. We need love, we need peace from within and without, and we need to keep hoping for a better outcome as we stay focused on the fight against the virus. The season of Christmas reminds us that there’s hope for a better future and that the covid-19 pandemic is not a permanent crisis. It shall come to an end.
There are so many sad stories and narratives, so much pain and hatred precipitated by the pandemic that made people wish 2020 never existed. That too is understandable. I want to believe, however, that 2020 is an auspicious year of hope in the fight against the pandemic. A year, despite its complicated tale of woes launched upon nations, ends with a series of propitious vaccines that can help reduce the rate of infections and death counts and help eradicate the threat that Covid-19 poses.
I want to personally thank their Majesties, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, for their wisdom and leadership in keeping the Kingdom united at a crucial moment. Through their wisdom, the leaders and all in government saw the greater need for unity and came together to fight as one nation in the midst of their differences and divisive opinions.
I also thank the prime ministers, Alexander De Croo and Sophie Wilmès, and their team for showing courageous leadership in unity at the heat of the pandemic.
We cannot forget all the frontline workers in the medical profession and other auxiliary professions who risk their lives in order to save the lives of people and make our society safe for everyone. May God bless you all. Because of what you do, our hope keeps increasing that we must love again as we know how to and live again in a safe society as we used to.
Although the pandemic has taken countless lives, the one thing that it can’t take away from us is our Love for one another. Although the Coronavirus has depleted our strength and resources, the one thing that it can’t deplete is the level of love and solidarity we share with one another. The more the pandemic hits on us, the more we are reminded of our common humanity, and of our commitment to one another to keep our neighbors safe as we fight as one people. We used to say that we’re our brother’s keeper, but the pandemic has taught us practical lessons on being our brother’s keeper.
Please, let me ingeminate what has been mandated by several authorities at the local, national and international levels, which is the frequent washing of hands and the use of sanitizers and face masks, including social distancing. These acts should be constantly practiced to help slow the spread. These practices shouldn’t be downplayed for whatever reasons, whether personal, political, or religious. Even if your locality is less inundated with the sad news of the pandemic, you mustn’t throw out caution.
Covid-19 is a global health crisis that has no respect for persons. It’s not about your race or tribe nor your political or religious affiliations. It’s about your health, your life, and most importantly, the lives of the vulnerable, some of whom are with comorbidities within the family, workspaces, social facilities, and the community. If you don’t care about yourself, think of others; think of your neighbors who might be in danger of being infected because of your inaction, disobedience, and carelessness.
I want to heartily salute all the Pastors in Europe for being so stoic in faith-challenging circumstances, especially the men and women of God of the Pentecostal fellowship. They have stood the faith, complying with the regional covid-19 injunctions and adapting their services to reflect the covid-19 reality, still believing in their callings and maintaining their faith in the Lord.
Beloved Pastors, your stoic attitude and actions are your immense contributions to the fight against the pandemic, globally. It only accentuates your loved-felt hearts in protecting the people God has put under your leadership. And let me tell you, “that is the Gospel right there.” Thank you, Pastors, for keeping faith amidst the crisis.
I would like to lend my voice to a host of others calling for calm at the white house with respect to the 2020 presidential elections. We know that the American people love Donald Trump, even as he lost the election. To lose an election does not necessarily mean that people hate you. In fact, losing an election is a part of the electoral process that makes democracy truly democratic. When all contestants become winners in an election, there’s a problem. Both the winner and loser, accepting the outcome, make democracy enviable and the delight of the people.
The President, Donald Trump, is a child of God and a man of wisdom and faith. Children of God are children of peace who pursue the path of peace in conflict resolution (Matthew 5:9). In addition, the Bible says there’s a time for everything– a time to fight, and a time to make peace (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8). The time has come for you, beloved President Trump, to do the right thing and add to the history books the kind of narratives that you would want your grandchildren and the future generations of Americans to be proud of.
May God give you the wisdom to understand the times and sheath your sword in order to make the transition in January 2021 a smooth, peaceful, and memorable one. We love you and shall continue praying for you, Mr. President.
Yes, 2020 took nations unawares and governments unprepared but it never took God by surprise. God surprises people but He’s never taken by surprises. He’s always several steps ahead of any human crisis. God always has the last say, and for this, we are hopeful. We are hopeful that 2021 will be a year of relief. A year of multiple solutions to the current health crisis. A year of wisdom to live better, love our neighbors better and do things in ways that we hadn’t done before.
May the Lord in His infinite mercy bless you all with peace, good health, and favor the works of your hands. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
We love you all and wish you a Happy and Safe New Year.
Reverend PC Akubueze & Team