Celebrating Easter in Style

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Daily Independent (Lagos)

Sola Osipeju, Stella Odueme And Funmi Falobi

4 April 2010


analysis

Lagos — Two major celebrations are vital in Christendom; Christmas, a celebration of the birth of the saviour of the world, Jesus Christ; and Easter, a period when Christ gave His life for the sins of mankind.

However, the events marking the celebration of this year's Easter celebration would not be forgotten in a hurry, as Christians all over the world rejoiced over the new life they have in Him.

The Federal Government had declared April 2 and April 5 public holiday to enable Christians mark Easter.

In Nigeria in general and Lagos in particular, Christians converged in churches where messages of resurrection are preached. Various programmes were also organised to reflect the season. Many were gaily dressed while some even went to their churches with trumpets, whistles, tambourines and other instruments to appreciate God for giving His Begotten Son, Jesus Christ who died and rose after three days for mankind. Many others also celebrated Easter visiting friends, family members while others patronise fun places like beaches, eateries, parks.

Some of the churches that gave due attention to the celebration are: Ajayi Dahunsi Memorial Baptist Church, Ilasamaja, New Covenant Church, Ifako, Livingspring Chapel International, Ikeja, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and Deeper Life Bible Ministries among others. Children were not left out as churches also organised children camp where they are taught the message of Easter.

Penultimate Sunday, known as Palm Sunday, the Morning Star Choir of Ajayi Dahunsi Memorial Baptist Church organised a music concert. This, though an annual event, but that of this year was unique, as the choir celebrated its 25th year anniversary.

Aside the wining and dining, the choristers sang soul-lifting songs to praise, thank and honour God for preserving their lives. They also used their songs to warn human beings of the danger in living a life without Christ.

Another notable event in the church was the Easter Cantata, staged by another choir group of the church known as the sanctuary choir. This was held on Good Friday and for over three hours that the occasion lasted, the audience was spellbound with the sonorous songs sang by the choristers.

Earlier in the day during the Good Friday service, Reverend Emmanuel Oguntokun, said Christians should learn a lesson from the life of Peter, who though denied Jesus but took the right step to recovery.

He said after Peter had denied Christ three times the cock crowed and Jesus looked at him, adding: "Jesus still loves Peter and looked at him with a loving look. It was a beautiful look, not a look of condemnation. He didn't condemn him; it was as if saying Peter, why have you fallen like this? It was a directing look, instructing him to go and think again of his action. The look was significant and full of grace to his life that all has not failed yet; as if saying 'I still love you, you can still make a correction'."

Oguntokun admonished Christians to examine themselves and their lives, saying Jesus loves them.

He said: "Jesus loves us more than we know; He loves us so much that we cannot explain it. When we sin, He looks at us the way He did at Peter, with love, forgiveness and encouragement so that we can overcome. If we confess, he will forgive us totally."

Also the New Covenant Church held a three-day programme tagged: "Life Overflowing" which is expected to end today, Easter Monday.

While ministering, Pastor Femi Abiona enjoined Christians to hold on to the true meaning of resurrection which is more significant than mere celebrations.

Senior Pastor of the Church, Reverend Wole Owolabi was in the Eket branch of the church in Akwa Ibom In the same vein, RCCG put together a national event titled: "Let's Go A Fishing", a crusade programme where Jesus Christ is preached to the people.

According to the Presiding Pastor, Livingspring Chapel International, Femi Emmanuel,

Easter is the real reason for which Jesus came.

"The reason why Jesus came to the world was to die for human beings. It was at Easter that Jesus died and rose again to fulfill his mission to the world. Easter gave us hope. Easter was when God made the highest sacrifice to the world; if this world must find peace we must be ready to live a sacrificial life. The message of Easter is that of sacrifice, forbearance and love, these three attributes are germane to living a peaceful and purposeful life. We should be ready to live as Christ," he said.

He however lamented that in the lives of many Christians, the message of Easter is not demonstrated saying: "It is very unfortunate we must be ready to live for others and love one another."

He therefore urged Christians to move from materialism to godliness in order to make Nigeria a better nation.

!

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