Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh, has called on Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of gratitude, forgiveness and love for God, especially at the season of Christmas when the world marks the birth of Jesus Christ.
Delivering a keynote address at the official launch of the “2020 Light the World” programme of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint, in Lagos, yesterday, Ukeh said the world would be lighted when people emulate the virtues of Jesus Christ in relation to forgiveness, gratitude, compassion, charity, love for God and shunning of evil.
He commended the Church for putting together such an auspicious programme with the theme: ‘Light the world, one by one,’ saying it was a reminder on obedience to God’s commandment.
He advised that people should put God first in everything they do and to love God and their neighbour. He equally advised that people should show gratitude and give thanks to God for being alive and for whatever success recorded in life.
Stressing that man cannot thank God enough for the things He has done for him, he borrowed the words of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint, Russell M. Nelson, who said: “Counting our blessings is far better than recounting our problems. No matter our situation, showing gratitude for our privileges is a unique, fast-acting and long-lasting spiritual prescription.”
The Sun MD equally preached forgiveness, saying: “We should imbibe the spirit of forgiveness as we enter the season of Christmas. We should forgive those who offend us as God forgives us. Jesus in Matthew 18: 22 admonished that we forgive one another 70 x 7 times (490).”
He also advised that in this season of Christmas, people should shun evil and embrace righteousness, even as he said compassion and charity work should also be given top priority.
“It is a season of giving. We should be ready to give because no matter the situation, there is still somebody we are better than,” he added.
On compassion, he said: “Jesus was compassionate and he taught about that. Jesus had compassion on the multitude that was with him for long. And he fed them from five loaves of bread and two fish. It is important at this Christmas season that we show compassion especially to the less privileged.”
He said when people do the good things Jesus asks of us, “we will be lighting the world.”
Ukeh said the world needs light as spiritual darkness is manifest with strange and evil things happening around the world.
He lamented that people were now more interested in doing things that will attract praises from men instead of doing those things that please God.
He cited 2Timothy 3: 2-7 to describe how perilous the situation is, saying women and men have become lovers of themselves rather than lovers of God.
Underscoring the importance of light to humanity, he made reference to the book of Genesis 1:1-3 where God created light.
He also used the books of Romans, Matthew and John to explain the importance of light to humanity, advising that people should be true followers of Jesus, and emulate His ways so that the light will be in them.
Director of Public Affairs, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Ikpe Nkanang, said the church had mapped out 25 ways and 25 days during which the public is expected to light up the world by putting smiles on the faces of the less privileged, because the birth of Jesus Christ has restored hope to all.