How Kwarans Plan For Christmas

As Christians set to celebrate Christmas December 25th, some Kwara residents have expressed their thoughts on the significant of Christmas and how they intend to celebrate given the economic situation in the country. Taiwo Ogunniyi report.

Christians all over the world every year celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ December 25 but what are the significant of Christmas and how the citizens  plan the celebration in harsh economy, religious leaders and Kwara citizens gave their submission.

The Bishop Diocese of Kwara Anglican Communion who is also the  Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Kwara State Chapter, Right Reverend Sunday Adewole said  “Christmas is very significant, it is a turning point in the history of mankind, it’s a time when Jesus was born, that was the time when the announcement was made about our redemption and Jesus came, he lived, he died and resurrected for our justification.

Right Reverend Sunday Adewole

He, therefore advised Christians to celebrate Christmas moderately without incurring any debt or going out of their way to please others.

“We celebrate the day our Saviour was born because if He had not been born there wouldn’t be any celebration, there would be no man to reconcile us, there would be no man to remove the internal damnation, and there will be no man to remove our sin which was perfected on the cross of Calvary.

“Christmas is so important to us because it marks the beginning of liberty. It marks the beginning of reconciliation; it marks the beginning of a reunion between the creation and the creator. So it’s very important to us.

“The Biblical way of celebrating Christmas, the Christmas time, Christ was given to mankind. Bible teaching, biblical injunction enjoin

Christians to give and what do we give? We give our love, time, talent, your treasure, naked people you cloth them, hungry people you feed them, downcast people you bring joy, anybody crying, or weeping for not having anything, we should wipe away their tears with our action.”

He said Christmas is not a time that Christians should incur debt for the sake of celebrating the season, saying that if you don’t have money for new clothes, wear the old ones.

“If you don’t have anything to eat let us stretch hands of fellowship to those who are in want. People have bags of rice, and some people have trailers of rice in their homes to distribute it, let the masses, the needy, the poor, and the peasants let them have the opportunity to celebrate, this is what Christmas is centered on, giving.

“He gave the son, we need to give everything that we have to people and when we are doing that, we are doing it for God. As we celebrate Christmas, we must not lose sight of what we are going through in our country.

“The economy meltdown, the level of insecurity, the naira scarcity has resurfaced again; these are the challenges we have at this time, people should remain calm, it will come and it will go, COVID-19 came, it has gone, so many outbreaks that have come and they have gone, we should not kill ourselves because we want to celebrate.

“If you don’t have money to buy a goat to buy chicken if what you are eating is roasted yam, give thanks to God, if nobody says come and take this chicken give thanks to God, eat whatever you have, don’t go into indebtedness.

“People should remember that by January our children will be going back to school, they will pay school fees, they will buy new test books, and they should take this into cognizance by not spending the whole money for Christmas Celebration”.

The cleric advised Christians to always pray for the country, adding; “we should be praying for our leader, the bible says as man thinketh in his heart so it will be.

“If we say the country is bad, it can’t be good again. We are prophesying bad things we should hold on to God, have hope in Him, pray, and behave in a normal way that will make all these things come to fruition.”

Secretary Mother Union Kwara Diocese of Anglican Communion, Mrs Adetoba Olubunmi said “The first thing for me is not to think about how hard the economy is because that can be so depressing.

Mrs Adetoba Olubunmi

“With the heart of Thanksgiving to God Almighty for sparing our lives up to this moment, I would make do with whatever I have around me, if it’s garri I can offer my children on Christmas day, we would eat it and be thankful to God, knowing that the situation will not continue to be like this and looking up to God for a better time and be thankful to God for all he has done. I think that is the best thing to do at this time.

“If we keep thinking about how hard the economy is, how we will be able to buy chicken or turkey, one can be depressed and it can sadden one’s heart and lose the essence of Christmas entirely.

“Jesus Christ has come to give life, He has come to give it abundantly. So we should think about the essence of Christmas and be thankful to God for the gift of life.

“When there’s life there is hope and we should keep looking unto God for His Grace and mercy upon Nigeria to change our situation for the better.

Another cleric, Ven Zacheaus Ojo said it is good to celebrate Christmas; but advised Christians to work within their means, adding; “if you go outside of it you will find yourself in a mess, if you have two naira work with that two naira so that things will be okay with you.

Ven Zacheaus Ojo

“Christmas is just one day, the aim and objective of Christmas is that Jesus Christ came for us to do things well but the way Christians are doing it today, they are not doing it the way He asked us to do it.

“Christmas is not only for merriment, we have to go outside to tell some people that this is what He intends to do to some people. The widows are there, orphans are there, go there and embrace them, but today the reverse is the case.

“What we are facing in our country today, is what you have your work within but any moment that you work outside, the person is digging his or her grave because next year is around the corner.

“When you go outside what you have, automatically there will be pandemonium, the family can’t move forward, that is my submission for Christmas”.

Mr Kayode Olasehinde, Area Pastor at Redeem Christian Church of God in Ilorin noted that Christmas is celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ who has come to die and to rise again for our sins.

“We are celebrating His birthday because he is our Saviour, He is all in all to us, we are celebrating Him because He has delivered us from so many things, we are celebrating Him because He is our protector, He has protected us from so many evil things.

Mr Kayode Olasehinde

“We are celebrating Him because He is our deliverer, He has delivered us from so many sicknesses, He is our healer, we are celebrating Him because He is the only one that can heal because in the bible it is written by His stripe we are healed.

“We are celebrating Him because He is our shepherd, He is the only one that can guide us at times like this, through him, God is guaranteeing our divine security. He is our supplier, He said in His word, that He can supply all our needs according to His riches and He is supplying our riches, that is why we can stand on our own, that is why we can talk, that is why we can bend, that is why we can raise our hands, that is why we can do so many things.

“He is the only one who can do all things for us at the same time, which is why we are celebrating Him. You are asking that at a time like this. The Bible says in all things we should give thanks

“We should thank Him for what He has done in our lives from January to December, and the year we are going to live ahead, we should celebrate Him and leave other things behind us.

“Jesus said in all things, appreciate Him and He said through appreciation we can enter into His courtyard. We should center our celebration on Thanksgiving. We should give Him thanks, we should appreciate Him, we should adore Him; that is why we are alive, we are not just being alive we are hale and hearty, and we can think emotionally, physically, and psychologically we are okay. We should give thanks to Him for that.

“We should give thanks to Him because we can be on our own, eat on our own, we can talk, and we can hear, we can see, all these things we need to glorify His holy name. There may be scarcity today, if you believe in Him, tomorrow may be plenteous.

“I have great belief that Nigeria will be OK. Nigeria will be alright again. The lost glory of God almighty will redeem Nigeria if we can exercise patience. God will honour us. We should celebrate all things with merriment, with joy, with Thanksgiving.

“The Bible says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Let’s give thanks to Almighty God, let’s appreciate Him. There is no money today, money will come tomorrow. Christians should move closer to God.

“What we are facing this time is temporary, it can never be permanent, and it will fade away at any time. If we believe in Christ, Christ will do all for us in His own time. Christians should exercise patience and cultivate the habit of appreciating Him in whatever situation they find themselves. They should have the belief that difficult times will go and plenteous time will come and it will surely come in Jesus name”.

Mr Godwin Banji said “I’m preparing for the Christmas, I’m praying for the children of this country and I’m praying for the President, God Almighty will give him wisdom.

“I am appealing to the government to repair our refineries, let them work so that Nigerian masses will not suffer. I pray that next year will be a good year for every individual, I pray for everybody in this country that we will not weep in Jesus’ name.

Mrs Funmilayo  Oluwayemi expressed optimism that despite all odds families would modestly celebrate Christmas and New Year within their available resources.

She appealed to the government and wealthy individuals to assist those in need to enable them to enjoy the festive season

Meanwhile, in some major markets visited such as Oja Tutun, Ipata, Oja Oba, and Mandate, among others, it was observed that while the prices of grains have gone up, that of perishable goods has reduced.

Speaking with a trader, Halimat Saliu attributed the increase in the price of some food items to the high demand associated with the festive seasons.

She said a 50 Kilograms bag of rice that sold at N45,000 last week is now N50,000, while a Jerry Can of 25liters of vegetable oil that cost N34,000 is now N39,000 and a big basket of tomatoes that costN32, 000 is now N25,000.

She said the prices of other items such as Onions, Beans, and packaged flour meals have reduced.

Saliu said the reduction in the price of perishable items was due to the season, adding that most of the items grew well during this period.

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