FATHERS Day Message

“Have no fear, for I am with you; do not be looking about in trouble, for I am your God; I will give you strength, yes. I will be your helper, yes, my true right hand will be your support” (Isaiah 41:10)

Dearly beloved people of God, I am delighted to address you in times like this. It is true that entire world is facing a very difficult time in history, and we know obviously that it has not been easy for many of us. But we know that God will surely show us mercy and deliver us from this great storm of Covid-19 Pandemic for He says “weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).

As we all know, Fathers’ Sunday celebration is an age long tradition of the church.  It is a celebration that is  not  observed as a  mere tradition,  but an opportunity to appraisal the fathers  for their  role both in the families as well as the  Church. It equally  provides time for  fathers  to evaluate themselves and seeking  God’s  grace in  remaining  faithful to  their  responsibilities.

On behalf of  the  entire  members of our  beloved Anglican diocese of Nsukka,  we congratulate all our fathers for this year’s fathers’  Sunday  and wish  them a glorious celebration.

Though  this year’s celebration is coming  in the midst of  the challenges of  Covid 19 Pandemic,  we still  rejoice  in the Lord,  who is both the God of  the mountain as well as  the  God of the valley.

This year, God has laid in our heart, the theme, “RESPONSIBLE  FATHERHOOD” as drawn from 1 Tim. 5:8 “But if any provide not for this own and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel”. This is the theme  that  will engage us this year and much time  will be devoted  to  discuss  it in our conference that will  be rescheduled as the challenge  of  Covid 19 will make it difficult  to  hold  as earlier  scheduled. But suffice it to  say that, Paul’s description and emphasis of Christian faith was not just a confession but a way of living.  Fathers have great responsibility in the home. A neglect of this duty is so far a denial of the faith. That is to say, if we profess faith in Christ while we refuse to care for those in need especially our own family and relatives, is to show a “dead” faith; essentially denying the faith and showing oneself to be less virtuous than an unbeliever. Fathers’ authority and responsibility in the home should not just be for self-indulgence or pleasure, but for the glory of God.

As we celebrate  our  dear  fathers,  we  appeal to them, to use this moment of celebration to be a source   of  encouragement in this  difficult time to all people starting from our homes. Fathers should intentionally strengthen  their relationship with  their  wives and  children through genuine love and care.  This  is  also an opportunity to  demonstrate  the  Christian love ur Christian love to our neighbours and relatives. We encourage  both individuals and groups to visit the aging fathers of faith who can no longer attend church programmes regularly.

As you are all aware, our churches  have  not been  what we they used to be since March. We have passed  through  challenging  times. And almost  every  facet of the society  including  the  Church  has been  affected. This period has challenged our ecclesiology in the light of the “new normal”. And by every indication there is need for  a  paradigm shift in ministry.

We are required to change our traditions our organizational ecology and ministry praxis. We are seeing the need for the ministry of the church should be decentralized. Where ministry should focus in the homes and lives of church members and in the community. This requires  that the  Church  programs should be organised for equipping members through sound teachings while edification, relationship, mission and multiplication are done in the homes and small groups.

As I conclude, I enjoin you to continue to encourage one another in the Lord and be steadfast, always abounding in the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.  May we stand as we sing from SS & S 561/Abu 188 stanzas 1 & 2

Give to the winds thy fears;

Hope, and be undismayed:

God hears thy sighs, and counts thy tears;

God shall lift up thy head

Through waves, and clouds, and storms,

He gently clears thy way;

Wait thou His time; so shall the night

Soon end in joyous day.

CMF Christ our Foundation

CMF Christ our Example

CMF Destined to Lead

Happy Celebration!

Your Brother, Friend and Bishop,

Rt. Rev. A. E. Agbo (JP)

 (Bishop of Nsukka)

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