The Oyo State chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged Christian faithful in the state to observe all COVID-19 protocols while celebrating Christmas.
Apostle Joshua Akinyemiju, the state CAN Chairman said this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Ibadan.
“We should all understand that facemask is far better than ventilator and prevention is better than cure.
“It is our individual responsibility to stay safe and alive even as we pray and celebrate, we have set a group of Church leaders to monitor compliance of Churches to the set guidelines.
“They also advise members where necessary and let them know that government can close any Church that fails to comply,” he said.
Akinyemiju urged the government to strive hard to tackle security challenges bedeviling the country.
“It has been a very challenging year; Christian faithful at this time should constantly appreciate God and be thankful to Him for His mercy, protection and preservation of our lives.
“Whatever individual can do to keep safe and be alive should be done without delay, life is precious and sweet, no one should die as a result of disobedience.
“Christmas is the celebration of the love of God to mankind; no other man or person has ever or would give out his only begotten Son for the sin of others.
“Christian faithful should celebrate Christmas in a way that will show that we appreciate the love of God for us, love and care for one another, we shouldn’t hate ourselves and say we love God,” he said.
Also, the Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Jesus Assembly, Ibadan, Pastor Vincent Ajiboye advised leaders in the country to rule with the fear of God and invite God to guide them in their endeavours.
Ajiboye urged Christian faithful not to lose focus but to use Christmas to show appreciation to God for the love of sending His only son to die for mankind.
“Christmas is a time to spread the gospel to the lost sheep, Jesus is a good shepherd who came for the lost sheep, He commissioned us to go after the lost sheep as well.
“His birth brought hope for humanity, His coming rubbished all the intentions of the devil, so it is a time of joy to us,” he said.
The pastor also urged Church leaders and faithful to strive to get divine ordination and not to make worldly ordination or title their priority.
“The Church leaders should not lose focus and be deceived, they should know that we are in the era of the Holy Spirit, hence should encourage the presence of Holy Spirit in the Church of God and in the lives of Christians.
“Christians must know that relating with love and with one accord like the day of Pentecost is of paramount importance.
“We should desire more at this time the indwelling of the Holy Spirit now so as not to miss the rapture.
“We praise God for this time because He remains the same, yesterday, today and forever,” he said. (NAN)