We have the testimony to pass unto our children as Psalms 78:5 says for He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed the law in Israel which He commended Our Fathers that they should make them known to their children.
I think that it will be very important if we take seriously all these papers presented because this is what makes us who we are and also pass it on to the clergy to the young people to the women to the men and always keep it before us. On December 17th, 2022 we celebrated 180years of the coming of Christianity in Nigeria and actually the beginning of CMS missionary Enterprise in Nigeria led by Rev’d Henry Thompson in Badagry and today we are celebrating 45 years of the inauguration of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion we thank God for the labours of our founding fathers the Missionaries even the unsung heroes of the gospel who paid dearly with their lives who sacrifice their time and Resources I remember being part of those who buried one of the Missionaries that died in wusasa Pa Richard Edward who went out to witness to the Fulanis in their camp only to be found dead among the rocks and his small paper locked in his safe he wished that he should be buried at the foot of the Rock inside the Wusasa mission compound not to be taken to England. These are some of those who inspired us, if they had laid down their lives so that we will know this God, and hold to this word, it is too late for us to turn back.
A lot has been paid and not to talk of other Missionaries who have paid so dearly that this church will stand.
Do we talk of our church fathers? The Bishops and Archbishops who have laid from 1951 to 1955 Archbishop L. G. Vining, serving in Nigeria also served as the bishop of West Africa and from 1961 to 1969 even within the tick of Nigerian Civil War, C. J. Paterson served as the Archbishop of west Africa and we thank God for our church fathers who have led this church, the assistant Bishops, the Johnson whose grave is still in St. Stephen’s Church Cathedral in Bonny who made a will that when he died, let him be buried at the edge of the sea and he said by doing that, the sea will not overwhelm the church or wash away the church. James said that Elijah was a man of likely passion as him. These men were men of likely passion like me. They so depended upon him and His Word. In fact, it was said of Johnson when he was consecrated assistant Bishop, in the evening song as he was leading the service fire came down. There was a manifestation of the power of God. Speaking in tongue started in bredfrut church in the Anglican church. There is nothing the Lord has not given us, but when we put self instead of God, when we do not allow him to be the God of his church, we will derail.
Let us not bask in the past. The future Starts Now! And the future that is staring at us is not a very pleasant one it is one of Reversal of what we have rejected. It is one of persecution, it is one of falling away, it is one of trial it is one of contending for this faith that was once for all delivered to the tents.
Brothers and sisters if we refuse to stand for today it may be too late for tomorrow. So that all these gigantic buildings that we are putting up will not be empty.
The future starts now and it must be in faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, it must be rooted in His word, it must be working in obedience with him, and it must be proclaiming him faithfully and living out this faith. And because of this, the mission and ministry of the church of Nigeria will remain Bible rooted, Christ centered and family focused because we have seen that the enemies out to wreck the family, the church and the society.
We will continue to look up to God as he leads us in the mission and ministry of the church in evangelism and Church planting and witnessing and more importantly, in nurturing this faith in every member and raising disciples who in themselves, every Anglican becoming a discipled Christian who will in turn Disciple others or lead others to Christ and help them to Conform to the image of the son of God.
Nurturing this faith desires that we hold on tenaciously to the word of God to the true worship and witness of God and stand in him and his word and because of this, we are encouraging all our members to open up to the word to take seriously the Teachings of the word of God and to share their faith wherever they are as the ACADI had already spoken to us, it says, we are the light, let us shine it wherever we may be. And I believe that Church of Nigeria has a great future to impacting this nation and our African continent and our world unto the end time mission and the move of God.
May the Lord go ahead of us and as we celebrate our 45th anniversary will look forward into the future with great inspectation that God will once again, stir our hearts unto faith and raise men and women young and old especially our young people the Next Generation who will take this land at lead this Church into the challenges of the future may that be our portion as we ourselves to prayer, to the word of God and to worship and witnessing, may the Lord be glorified in His church, Amen.
February 6, 2024