A Christmas message - Abp Peter Akinola

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” - John 3:16 Christmas is here again despite all covert and overt attempts to wish it away. The celebration in remembrance of the love of God in giving the Saviour to the world is so important, it cannot be wished away. Though few human beings rejoiced at the birth of the baby Jesus, the Gospels tell about multitudes rejoicing in the heavens, about a bright star leading wise men to worship the new born king, and they also tell about the trouble his birth brought to those unwilling to have him as their Lord and King. The incarnation is the divine condescension. The birth of Christ which we celebrate is the decisive divine intervention into human history. By it, history is measured and judged. Before the birth of Christ, all of history is categorized as era ‘Before Christ’ (B.C.) and since then, we have been in the era of ‘the year of Our Lord’ (anno domini, A.D.) Today, multitudes of human beings join the angels to rejoice. Christians shining as light lead many to Christ and there still exists, great trouble among those who would not have Jesus. Efforts to turn Christmas into a mere holiday season continue unabated all around us. ‘Christmas Greetings’ are replaced with ‘Season Greetings’ as if it possible to have a Christmas without Christ. ‘B.C.’ and ‘A.D’ are changed to ‘B.C.E.’ (Before Common Era), and ‘C.E’ (Common Era) all in an attempt to conceal the fact that Jesus came to save an erring world from sin and eternal condemnation. The cross of Christ which is the main reason we boast (Gal. 6:14) remains a stumbling block and a symbol of offense to those unwilling to receive God’s free gift of salvation. (Romans 9: 33) Under the guise of political correctness, symbols of Christianity in our daily lives and history are being challenged and subtly removed. All these subtle and calculated attempts of the non-believing world to mislead the unsuspecting believers and make them deny Christ should not deter us from celebrating for we are confident the efforts are bound to fail. As we celebrate Jesus’ birth this year, let us be mindful of the activities of the first celebrants; the joyous angels who while celebrating proclaimed the Good News to the shepherds. We should also be bold to proclaim to an increasingly secularized world, the good news of the Saviour-born. We call on all Christians in positions of authority and indeed all ministers of the Gospel to vigorously resist attempts to remove Christ from Christmas and His centrality and importance in human history. We should be vigilant and avoid being misguided and misled by their seemingly innocent and socially acceptable philosophy. In being politically correct, we should not join in denying Christ his rightful place. Let all of us unashamedly proclaim the news of the greatest gift of all, the love behind the gift and peace the gift brings to all. Jesus the Christ is our Saviour, Lord, King and the best gift ever given by God to humanity. (John 3:16) May God incarnate, give you true joy as you celebrate Him this Christmas and throughout the coming year. Every Blessing, Signed The Most Revd. Peter J Akinola, CON, Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria.

7 Responses. Comments closed for this entry.

  1. Barbara de Weever Says:

    Thank you Archbishop Akinola:

    Your message hit the spot in a world rife with materialism and continued attempts to displace Christ from the celebration on His birth. Of course traditionally Christians observe this in December, for whatever reason,since the actual month is unknown to us.

    It saddens me to see that even churches which call themselves Christian have fallen in line with the secular movement. A Methodist church in my town has an annual “holiday bazaar” so I phoned and asked if they were a Christian church. Indignantly, the woman answering informed me that it IS a Christian church. I suggested they changed the sign out front, but again this year (two years after my call) they announced their “holiday” fair. I bet the Jews wouldn’t want Hanukkah demoted and depersonalized to a mere nondescript “holiday” although for them it is no big deal like Christmas.

    On the bright side, the department store which fired an employee for saying “Merry Christmas” seems to have come to its senses and its catalog used the word “Christmas” as much as “holiday” this year. The adverse publicity must have cost them in sales. We’ll just have to keep trucking and keep focused on Christ and what He means to us, regardless.

  2. Alice C. Linsley Says:

    Thank you, Archbishop Akinola, for this word of truth. It is as the author of Hebrews tells us:  All things were made through HIM and yet when HE came into the world, the world knew HIM not.  There are many today who, like King Herod, slaughter the innocent to try to keep Christ from coming to HIS rightful glory. Their efforts are futile for HE is risen and will come again.  Thanks be to God!.

  3. Father Ron Smith Says:

    Thank you, LORD GOD,

    for sending your Son, Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners. Therein is our salvation: that THE WORD became FLESH, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His Glory - the Glory as of ‘The Only-Begotten Son of the Father’ full of GRACE and TRUTH.

    Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia! Come, Lord Jesus!

  4. Leonardo Ricardo Says:

    “There are many today who, like King Herod, slaughter the innocent to try to keep Christ from coming to HIS rightful glory.”  Alice Linley+

    Indeed, the criminals who slaughter or slander LGBT people in Nigeria and Uganda/beyond will NOT keep Christ from coming to his rightful glory…the fear and hatemongers will not succeed at The Body of Christ as they attempt to demoralize and demonize fellow Anglicans.

    Merry Christmas Alice, nice to read you.

  5. Barbara de Weever Says:

    When Christ comes into His glory with all the hosts of heaven with Him, including martyrs for the faith and the saints who were faithful, will He also call to His throne of righteousness all the perverted GLBTs who have committed “the filthiness of their abomination” and hold them as His own redeemed?

  6. Father Ron Smith Says:

    Christmas I (Feast of the Holy Family)

    Today’s Epistle Reading: Colossians 3:12-17

    “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience.

    “Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.

    “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

    “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.

    “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God.

    “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do every- thing in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”

    The words of Jesus:

    “They will know you’re my disciples by your love”

  7. Alice C. Linsley Says:

    Leonardo, We meet again. And you are still taking the “Woe is me, I’m a victim” approach. I recommend these books to you and to other readers of this site:

    The Marketing of Evil, by David Kupelian

    The Homosexual Agenda, by Alan Sears and Craig Osten

    No, Leonardo, your appraoch isn’t new or progressive. It was a marketing approach developed by very bright gay men in the 1960s.