BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE
The Rt. Rev’d Akinpelu Johnson, Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos Mainland, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion has described as unfortunate the fact that it took the occurrence of COVID-19 pandemic for people to realise that indeed life is transient.
He made this known while he preached his sermon at a church service on Rogation Sunday. The Bishop, who observed that over the years, people have continued to focus on things on earth rather than on things above, noted that even Christians who have been instructed to set their minds on things that are above have chosen earthly glory, which has no eternal value, over that which is to come. He said many believers have chosen to please man rather than God. He however added that what people have trusted in, have failed them now, especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that is plaguing the entire world.
The Bishop of Lagos Mainland remarked that the world is changing, and therefore Christians should hold fast to God, rid themselves of their sins and put on the new self that is continually being renewed in the image of the creator. He urged them to hold fast to what endures forever; adding that through the workings of the Holy Spirit and a daily walk with God, their lives would be restored.
He highlighted the meaning and significance of Rogation Sunday; explaining that it is a festival where the Church comes together to fast and pray for God’s blessings. According to him, rogation means to ask, and a person could only ask aright when he or she has made Christ’s will, his or her own. The cleric asserted that believers must be obedient to God and depend on Him, because without Him, they can do nothing.
Bishop Johnson pointed out that this Rogation Sunday, Christians are reminded of the Father’s love that is available to them, and the need to ask in His name, for deliverance from this pandemic.
He said, “From pestilence, from plague, good Lord deliver us.”
The Rt. Rev’d Johnson stressed that Nigeria needs God’s intervention and blessings. He therefore charged believers to ask God for His blessings upon the nation; and ask Him for restoration, healing, peace, and deliverance.
He quoted the Bible passage, “…Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”