The Seventh Divine Commonwealth Conference continued on Tuesday with an opening prayer, praise worship session and then bible studies. The Rt. Rev. Dr. James Odedeji, Bishop of Lagos West made references to Psalm 20, and John 5, verse 8 in expatiating on the conference theme: ` We have the man Jesus’. He took, in context, the story about the man by the pool of Bethesda who had been ill for 38 years before he met the lord.
He alluded to the fact that many had challenges with their marriages, academics, careers, conflicts in their families, health challenges, and financial challenges. Like the man in the bible, many would believe that they do not have anyone to assist. Rev Adedeji said ` No man no matter how rich can satisfy ALL the needs of another. But Jesus is adequate and has the capacity to satisfy ALL needs,” adding that no matter the length and intensity of the problems Jesus remains able and willing and capable to assist in all situations and circumstances.
Rev Odedeji said just like the man in the bible had been confused, saw no help, had lost all hopes, was operating under closed heavens and so provided the wrong answers to Jesus right question ` Do you want to be healed?’ Many were in similar situations, depending on man to assist, seeking help where there was none. Yet, just like the man in the bible had an encounter with Jesus which changed his situation, Jesus remains the same yesterday, today and forever and our encounter with Him immediately changes all situations. `Jesus can never be bankrupt to deliver; to move us from story to glory’. He said no protocol was needed, nor consultation to move us from where we are to where we should be. Jesus has done it before and can always do it again and again! Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.
He ended by reminding participants of Mark 10; Luke 1, verse 37… “With God, all things are possible. He has the final say in all things concerning our lives. If we are willing and invite Him in, our testimonies will be bigger and stronger!”
The day’s session had two sessions of praise and worship which had participants dancing and praising God for how far He has led them.,
Managing Disappointment and Failure.
Today’s seminar session came after praises worship by the Choir. DIVCON Coordinator, The Rt. Revd. Tunde Adeleye, guided participants into various groups with different facilitators as well as venues for the event.
The Rt. Revd. Justus Nnaemeka Mogekwu, anchored the discussion on how to manage disappointment and failure. The text was taken from – John 5:1-15.The resource person read the synopsis as the Introduction, he dealt well with the text read, making a comparison of the Children of Israel who were sick for 40 years and the man who was sick of the paralytic for 38 years. He went further to say that sin had caused the man to be in that form for so long a state and that he had been forsaken by his own family, relatives and friends. He was abandoned with no man to help him into the water when the angel came to stir the water.
He was actually looking for a deliverer to help him out just like children of Israel looked for a deliverer after spending so many years of oppression in Egypt. God raised Moses and later Joshua, who delivered them. There was no record in the Bible of healing through the water at the time of writing but the man at the beautiful gate changed all that.
He reiterated further that disappointments were bound to occur as far as we are human but priests who allow their ministries to be distracted by extraneous factors can be said to have failed. When we talk about disappointments and failure, it is only the Christians who are genuinely in the Lord that can really understood when they have passed through disappointments and failures who can really understand the mind and plan of God for their lives. Unbelievers however see God as untrusted entity and undependable.
The Bishop went on to share a testimony of a woman who was righteous, serving God faithfully but for many years had no children in her marriage but a harlot whom we would think does not deserved a fruit of the womb could go on to have children. To the righteous God may be unfaithful. There was an interactive session during which participants shared their experiences on disappointments and failure they must have had as they prayed to God. The conclusion was that God answers us at his own will and not our own will.
He went back to the man in John 5:1-11, that the man having been abandoned for 38 years by his family, relatives and friends, he was actually looking for a man who would be of great assistant to him and who would deliver him from the state of infirmity he had been in for 38 years. Jesus knew his problem, He came to him and asked him what he wanted him to do for him? No matter what you are passing through you need the man Jesus.
Disappointments and failures are with us as human and we experience both every day of our journey. We can manage disappoints and failure when we invite the man Jesus into our lives and every situations we are passing through.
In conclusion, he spoke about the story of Jesus and the death of Lazarus in John 11. He said that the sisters of Lazarus did not know Jesus as the Resurrection until the death of Lazarus. It is when we are disappointed and experience failures that Jesus will reveal Himself better than we have known him. The Bishop encourages all to wait upon the Lord and depend on Him in everything. (ends)
LAITY, A QUALITY TOOL FOR ADVANCEMENT OF THE CHURCH – BARRISTER ABRAHAM YISA
The roles of the laity in contemporary Anglican Church cannot be over emphasized. Speaking on the roles of laity in Contemporary Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Barrister Abraham Yisa, Registrar Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion said the laity are first and foremost evangelists who must stand by the principles of Jesus Christ and that of the Bible. The enormity of their roles is not limited to evangelism alone because according to him, funding of qualitative education is considered as the bedrock of life and they should not take the backseat.
Barrister Yisa said it behoves the laity to promote the doctrines of the Anglican Communion by speaking against other doctrines that are contrary to what is found in the scriptures; such as homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality and the likes.
The laity, he added should look into their lives and discover the potentials they have and make it their ministry.
Ultimately, Barrister Yisa said Lay people must be focused on what they can do to make the Church functional, because they hold prominent positions in the Church.