By Elizabeth Ameh and Abdulkareem Haruna
Christians in Borno state have been enjoined to use the period of Christmas as a time for spiritual bonding with God.
They are also urged to explore the season for healthy celebration, sharing gifts, and reconciling with God and one another.
This was embedded in the maiden yuletide message of the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN) Borno State chapter, Most Reverend Dr. John Bogna Bakeni, the Auxiliary Bishop of Maiduguri Bishop Bakeni said yuletide season should always be a joyous moment, where Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Joy and happiness don’t come from how much you have, but how much gratitude you have even for the small. So it depends on what they mean by celebration.Bishop Bakeni
“The 25th of December is always a joyous moment, this is always a moment of celebration when we remember and commemorate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and so, as Christians, it is a very important feast for us, not just in Borno or Nigeria and the world,” he said.
The new CAN chairman called on Christians “not to allow the present hardship affect their celebration of Christmas but should use the little they have to celebrate, and focusing on the spiritual benefits of the season.”
“I think despite the little you think you have, you can still celebrate. What is even more important is the spiritual preparations and the disposition of the heart. Joy and happiness don’t come from how much you have, but how much gratitude you have even for the small. So it depends on what they mean by celebration. The entire feast itself is a celebration of hope, fulfillment of prophecy, and hope of God for us as human beings. That should be the focus and that should be the bedrock of our joy. Our celebrations, eating of rice, meat, and other good things, yeah, they are good, they give color to the whole thing; wearing new clothing, new shoes, especially for the kids and children are good; but know that I you cannot do more than what you have or your strength.
So as leaders – our religious leaders, need to emphasize this in our homilies and sermons, we need to emphasize this aspect; that the material preparations are as important, but it should not supersede the spiritual one.”
Bishop Bogna thanked God as peace is gradually returning to Borno State and commended the efforts of the gallant men and women of the military who are working round the clock to restore permanent peace to the State.
“And we thank God in this part of the Country, especially Borno State giving our antecedents of the challenges that we ‘ve been through, we have also seen gradual improvement and restoration of peace in the state and the region.”