udianglicandiocese



PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE BISHOP, RT. REV. A.C. ANEKE (JP) @LENT 5 29TH MARCH, 2020

PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE BISHOP, RT. REV. A.C. ANEKE (JP) @LENT 5 29TH MARCH, 2020

DIOCESE OF UDI
(Anglican Communion)

PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE BISHOP, RT. REV. A.C. ANEKE (JP)

 
ln the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the HOLY SPIRIT, AMEN.

CORONAVIRUS A TEST OF CHRISTIAN LOVE AND SINCERITY.
My dear people of God it is with a sense of grave responsibility that l address you this day. lt has become necessary to do so because the challenge we now face as Christians with the rest  of humanity is a world crises; and which must be seen as such by all and sundry, Christians and non-Christians alike.

The whole world is confronted today with an infection called Coronavirus. The origin of Coronavirus – COVID 19 we are told is from Wuhan in China, but the cause of it l strongly believe only the future will reveal, as the media is awash with conflicting stories of how the virus came about. Nevertheless one undeniable fact is that the Coronavirus Pandemic is REAL and it is actively ravaging our world presently.
ln retrospect, you will recall that at various times in history humanity had suffered setbacks due to universal health challenges/crises just as we face  today. Below are some of the universal pandemic we learnt from history:-
?	Antonia Plague – 165AD - 5 million
?	Plaque of Jerusalem – 541-542 – 25 Million people died
?	The Black Death – 1346 – 1353,  over 75 Million people died
?	Third Cholera Pandemic- 1852-1860, 1 Million people died
?	Flu Pandemic – 1889 – 1890, 1 Million people died
?	Sixth Cholera Pandemic – 1910 – 1911, over 800,000 people died
?	Flu Pandemic – 1918 – 1920, 20 -50 Million people died
?	Asian Flu – 1956 – 1958, 2 Million people died
?	Flu Pandemic of 1968, 1 Million people died
?	HIV/AIDS Pandemic – 2005 – 2012 (Peak Period) 36 Million people died, while b/w 31-35 Million are living with HIV today.
Analysts have assessed the coronavirus out break as the major world crises comparable to World war II
	
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, l am not drawing your attention to these crises to frighten you or to undermine our faith in Almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ. No, not at all. l am only trying to show how serious the present situation could be and restrain us from being naive. On March 15, 2020 at St. Peter’s Church Nachi, which was my first official outing since the outbreak of the pandemic, l admonished the congregants with Psalm 91. ln verse six of the Psalm God’s children are admonished not  to be afraid of the pestilence that walks in darkness; or of the destruction that wastes at noonday. The reason being that, there shall no evil befall the Child of God, neither shall any plague come near his or her dwelling place.

This is the confidence we have in our God and the just shall live by faith. l also encouraged the people of God on that day to adhere to the preventive measures introduced by experts- epidemiologists, Virologist and other health professionals, as authentic ways of avoiding being infected. We encourage them to pray to God to destroy the power of the virus.

Brethren, for us Coronavirus is a test of Christian love and sincerity. The Holy Bible enjoins us to love our neighbours as ourselves (Mtt 19:19b) and even to love our enemies (Matt 5:44a). lf the world we live in is in pain and people are sick and some have died because of Coronavirus, we cannot afford to be  indifferent. We must stand and be seen to be standing with the rest of the world at this crises moment. We are to mourn with those who mourn (Rom 12:15).

Moreover, we as Christians live in societies that a governed by civil authorities. The Holy Bible teaches that such authorities are instituted by God and fragrant disobedience to them amount to disobedience to God. My brothers and sisters, sin is lawlessness and lawlessness sin. Both the federal and state governments have given clear directives as safety measures, please comply with them. lt does not mean you do not have faith rather it  means that you are wise. The Holy Bible teaches that a prudent man sees danger and hides himself (Prov. 22:3; lsaiah 26:20). Furthermore, the Lord Jesus taught us not to put God to the test during His encounter with Satan at the temptation (Matt. 4:6 &7).  

Continue to live safe – wash your hand always with soap and water, use sanitizer, avoid crowded places etc. Always listen to your Priests and Pastors, they have been briefed about fellowships and Church services and they will guide you aright.

Pastor Tan Songhua, of Wuhan Fangjiaoshi Church called Corona virus outbreak “a test of faith”, in his prayer letter to Chinese Christians in Wuhan. Churches were closed down in Wuhan but Pastors continued to minister to their members by live-streaming their services. Another servant of God, Pastor Huang released an online Video (you can check it out) to encourage Christians in Wuhan. ln his words, “when all nations are panicking, we believe everything in this world will come to pass, but the power God has given to his children during the plague, will greatly glorify His name”.
So you see my brothers and sisters, Christians who live in the first epicentre of the pandemic are a good example and an encouragement of how Christians ought to respond to Coronavirus. They continued to exercise their faith in obedience to civil authority. We cannot do less.

People of God, l charge you to remain steadfast in faith, be strong and do not be afraid. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge”. (Psalm 46:1-2,7).

Finally, do not be afraid of those who can kill the body and do no more, but fear God who can destroy both the body and the soul in the lake of fire.
Dearly beloved, this Coronavirus you see today will so quickly be gone than anyone have anticipated. And my prayer for you is that at the end of it all you shall stand to be counted in the land of the living and non of your loved ones shall be missing because “He that dwells in the secret place of the Most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”. Continue to live in faith; continue to live safe. Most of all pray without ceasing for God to break the power of the pandemic. He will hear us and deliver us.

Shalom! Deus Refuguim!!


Your brother & Bishop
Rt. Rev. Chijioke Augustine Aneke
Lent 5 – 29th MARCH, 2020




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PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE BISHOP, RT. REV. A.C. ANEKE (JP) @LENT 5 29TH MARCH, 2020

PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE BISHOP, RT. REV. A.C. ANEKE (JP) @LENT 5 29TH MARCH, 2020

DIOCESE OF UDI
(Anglican Communion)

PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE BISHOP, RT. REV. A.C. ANEKE (J ...

Learn More