(BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE)
“There’s stability in God and those who follow Him must not deceive themselves that through sophistry they can confuse Him; because there is nothing like ‘modern God’, it does not exist.”
These were the words of the Primate of all Nigeria Anglican Communion, and Bishop of the Diocese of Abuja, the Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh at the dedication of a new place of worship for the parishioners of All Saints’ Anglican Church, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, pending the building of a new ultra-modern church building to replace the old one.
The Primate, who described dedication as separateness, said that this is the call of every Christian, to be separate from the world through the way they live and do things. He opined that there was a time when there was a clear cut difference between what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, and what is Christian and what is unchristian. According to him, today, people have reasoned things so much that anything has become acceptable and people, including those who profess to be Christians, now talk of relativism, whereby there is no absolute truth. This, he said is the crux of the problem, the reason there is so much crises in the Church today.
Primate Okoh further explained that dedication is to make a place holy and set it apart from all forms of common uses. He stressed that the dedication of a church building makes it a colony of Jesus and a place where Christians can run to in times of need and when in trouble, to receive answers and solutions to their problems, as well as safety. The cleric said the church is not a place to brag or misbehave, but a place where all must be clothed with humility.
The Bishop of Abuja Anglican Diocese pointed out that in the relationship between God and man, the gap is very wide and man cannot challenge God; because He is the creator while man is the creature. He described God as the immortal one, who is not confined by space and time, as man; stating that God does not take permission from anyone to do anything and therefore believers must be humble whenever they come into His presence. He quoted the Bible verse that states that God resists the proud and exalts the humble to corroborate his point; adding that when a person is humble, he or she will receive answers to his or her prayers and also be able to fellowship peacefully with others.
The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh ended his sermon with a charge to all present to run to the house of God, to seek His face when they are joyful, sad, in need, in trouble or when they are being persecuted unjustly and God will answer their prayers, protect them and fight their battles. He however added that one must make sure that one is suffering for Christ’s sake and not for one’s sin. He said if suffering comes as a result of personal sin, one must first repent, before one’s prayers can be answered, because the spirit of God cannot cohabit with sin.
Highpoints of the dedication include the dedication of the Font, Lectern, Pulpit, Prayer desk, Choir stall, Chancel step, and the Holy table (Sacrarium). The alternative church building though modest is commodious, with modern gadgets and big enough to accommodate two services as if it were the old structure. It is a beauty to behold.