By Emma Onumah
Christians have been warned against taking the sacrament of Holy Communion without first settling scores which they have with their brethren in the Lord or any one else, in order not to bring condemnation unto themselves. And so it is also with offering thanksgiving to God.
The Anglican Bishop of Owerri, Rt Rev. Cyril C. Okorocha Ph.D, who reminded the congregation of the Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (CATOL) Owerri of this age-long Biblical injunction last sunday’ while celebrating a special Eucharist service to commemorate this year’s CMS Anniversary, further warned that failure to comply with this injunction, would merely be fattening himself/herself for the Day of Judgement.
Bishop Okorocha also condemned a situation whereby, a member of a church cheats or steals money belonging to the church, with the intention of going to give it to his home church or wherever, describing such an action as evil, worthy of prayer to God for forgiveness and imminent restitution, so as to receive the joy of liberation.
Speaking on the annual CMS Anniversary, the prelate prayed God, to allow Jesus the Light of the world, to shine on Nigeria as a nation, and on the citizenry, to remove greed and avarice from us, and to enable us always tell a story that God is Light, and no darkness in Him.
He also used the opportunity to advise parents to ensure that they educate their children properly, as they prepare to get into marriage, stressing the need for proper marriage counseling to be given to them by the clergy, irrespective of where the marriage is taking place. This, he said, would save them from future embarrassment and snares inherent in marriages.
In a sermon at the service, the Bishop’s Senior Chaplain, Rev Canon Ogechi Ofurum, who spoke on the theme: “A CHOSEN PEOPLE”, recalled how the gospel came to Igbo land 158 years ago, through the early Missionaries like Bishop Crowther, Archdeacons Dennis, Onyeabor, Nwaeje, Anyaegbunam etc, that helped to check idolatrous practices and works of darkness such as human sacrifices, killing of twins, killing of albinos, as well as children whose mothers died at child birth.
Canon Ofurum noted that, if we see ourselves as part of the chosen people, we should let the light of the gospel shine in our hearts and home, and to exhibit the kingdom life-style wherever we are.
He posited that, being part of the royal priesthood and a holy nation, means that those concerned should set themselves apart to belong to God and to make sacrifice unto Him, be exemplary, make a difference, and to be mad for things of God, so that people will see their good works and glorify God in Heaven.
The preacher lauded all those in the CATOL congregation, who teach in the ACM class, EFAC, Victory Hour, as well as those who are constant in the Midweek Fellowship and Sunday Bible Classes, and stressed the importance of introducing Jesus to the children in every family, colleagues, and co-workers.
According to him: “we must keep shinning for Jesus before He comes”.
While Barr & Mrs Ugochukwu Onyema read the Bible lessons at 7.00am service, Sir and Lady Sam Ojukwu read same lessons drawn from Deut 10:12-22 and 1 Peter 21-10, at the 10.00am service.