“Easter celebrations will not be complete without the praises of God’s children rising to heaven.”
The Primate of all Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh made this statement during the 2016 Abuja Diocesan Easter Singspiration held at the Anglican Church of the Pentecost, Mabushi, Abuja. He explained that the event is not an occasion for merriment, but one where Christians join their voices with the heavenly hosts to praise the Almighty God. He congratulated and appreciated the choristers who participated, for their dedication and time spent in preparation. He also thanked choirmasters, organists and the Chaplain, Ven. Ifeanyi Akunna, praying that God will bless and reward them all. Special recognition was given to the Chapel of the Advent’s choir (Primate’s office) and that of the host Church, Anglican Church of the Pentecost for successfully making their first outing in a Diocesan event.
In his message, Primate Okoh spoke about the need for Christians and the Church alike to spread the moral demands of the gospel. He opined that many have heard the sound of the gospel message, but are yet to receive its principles as a part of their lifestyle. He explained that the total acceptance of Biblical principles is difficult for some, because it is different from the traditional culture. Hence, according to him, that is why there are so many Churches, where the moral imperatives of the gospel are still lacking.
Primate Okoh called on all present to spread the moral demands of the gospel and not just the sound, adding that Christianity is not something to be enjoyed alone or contained in the Church. He described Christianity as a movement, a flowing stream, living water that must be passed on to the unreached. The head of the Anglican Church pointed out that a person cannot remain the same after he or she has encountered the Lord, explaining that there must be a difference because those who receive Christ have been passed from death to life. Therefore, he urged believers to invite God to take care of them, especially when faced with the challenges of life.
Speaking on the encounter the two men on their way to Emmaus had with Jesus, Archbishop Okoh said that sometimes believers are tempted to a point where they begin to lose hope. He pointed out that at such times, Christians should look up to Jesus who has promised to give His children rest and lighten their burden. He said that the resurrection story reveals that what seems to be the end of the road may just be the beginning, adding that the resurrection led to the Church today. The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh concluded his sermon with a charge to Christians to allow the evidence of the living Lord to be seen in their lives, because the risen Lord is alive and alive forevermore.
The highpoints of the Singspiration Service include song ministrations by the choirs of Chapel of the Advent, Primate’s office, St. Matthew’s Church, Gwarimpa, All Saints Church, Wuse, St. Mathew’s Church, Maitama, Our Saviour’s Church, Durumi, Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp, St. James Church, Asokoro, Holy Trinity Church, Mpape, and Basilica of Grace Church, Gudu. Other featured choirs include the children’s choir of St. Matthew’s Church, Gwarimpa and the Diocesan mass choir. The Service of praise was rounded off with a thanksgiving offering to the Lord for the gift of Easter.