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Happy Easter

Christians in Nigeria joined their counterparts across the world yesterday to celebrate Easter, also known as Resurrection Sunday. According to the scriptures, it is the…

Christians in Nigeria joined their counterparts across the world yesterday to celebrate Easter, also known as Resurrection Sunday. According to the scriptures, it is the day on which Jesus Christ rose from the dead. The festivity marks the end of the Season of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayers, penance, abstinence and alms-giving. Services were held in churches throughout the country to celebrate the risen Christ. The Federal Government declared last Friday and today as public holidays so that Nigerians can fully take part in the festivities.
Easter is a period when religious and political leaders remind citizens generally of the lessons of Lent. Such messages of exhortation and goodwill are particularly important at this time of Nigeria’s national reawakening. They are also very timely because kidnapping, armed robbery, hired assassins and Boko Haram insurgents are on the loose, killing and maiming innocent persons. The Easter season is indeed a time for deep reflection and prayers for the continuation of the peace that has descended on the nation, despite several doomsday predictions.
Christians should take the celebration beyond the confines of the church so that its impact can be felt by Nigerians, Christians and non-Christians alike. In doing so however, they should avoid waste by reaching out to the less privileged among them and in the society, especially people going through certain challenges, including those displaced by upheavals in some parts of the country. This is important so that they too may have a sense of belonging in line with Christ’s teachings.
Christians should fully practice these teachings and also imbibe the lessons of the season in such a way that they translate into positive change in the society. The virtues of forgiveness and prayers that communal leaders harped upon during the Lenten season must be sustained, especially at this time in the nation’s history. Forgiveness, penance and sacrifice can play huge roles in tackling most of the problems bedeviling the country, especially the present insecurity situation, just as prayers can enable leaders to take the right decisions that will lead to the wellbeing of the general populace.
The lesson of total submission to the will of God, which was manifested in Christ’s dying on the cross, also has a role to play in the society today. Politicians should take this lesson to heart by eschewing politics of bitterness and divide. Politics should be a rallying point in defence of the nation and the ideals that the people strive to attain, not the other way round. Politicians should be guided by the teachings and significance of this period by cautioning their supporters against violence and urging them to comport themselves in a manner that will engender peace in the country. Politicians, religious and traditional leaders should be also be mindful of their utterances, so that just as it is preached at Easter that Christ came to unite everyone, their word should not be directed at polarizing the country into pockets of warring factions. The unity of the nation, and the cooperation of all the component parts, should be paramount.
The sacrifices that the gallant men and women in uniform have made in keeping the nation united should not be in vain; they must be recognised and appropriately rewarded. Easter is also a time to start afresh and reconnect with God. It is a time to let go of everything that was worrying us and holding us back. Things like anger, unforgiveness ýand sins. Especially in this Year of Mercy, Christian faithful should exploit the opportunity to leave all these worries at the Cross of Calvary and renew themselves in Christ no matter what the circumstances are. We wish all our readers and all our countrymen and women happy Easter.
 

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