"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More Unrest in Jos, Nigeria

Christians, please pray. A friend forwarded this to me on Facebook, found on Anglican Mainstream... I'm not worthy to make commentary, I'll just repost Archbishop Kwashi's letter here for those who may not have seen it.

Dear Friends,

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

God’s gift to mankind in one huge precious, inestimable bundle, is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Through him we are adopted as children of God, by believing and trusting in his redeeming work and grace. This is worth celebrating and doing so joyfully, not in ostentation but as a sign of gratitude to God. At the same time the celebration is a mark of our reconciliation with one another and of our reconciliation with God. This calls for true joy and celebration. The Christmas period therefore carries with it the mark of who God is in our lives, and what he has done, so that through us others who may be less fortunate may get to know God and be grateful through our gifts, our sharing with one another in love, our celebration of reconciliation, and in practical ways demonstrating the mercy, kindness, and generosity of God to all humanity.

For us in Jos this joyful celebration was interrupted on the evening on 24th December by at least six bomb blasts in two different locations, in Gada Biyu and Unguwar Rukuba. In Gada Biyu the bombs went off, one near a church and the others in places where they caught people who were doing last minute shopping for Christmas in a local market. In Unguwar Rukuba the bombs brought down a beer parlour and a nearby building. Both locations suffered fatalities, and there were a number of other casualties who are now receiving treatment in hospital.

Again, the international media, with a reporter reporting from far-away Lagos, was very hasty to put religion into the bombings, whereas in fact we do not yet know the sources of the bombs nor what they intended to achieve. The media was quick to say that one bomb was in a Christian area and another in a Muslim area, thereby immediately making insinuations and pitching the two different communities against each other, and thus giving the opportunity for careless, opportunistic, unemployed people to engage in senseless destruction of lives and property. We now have a difficult situation on our hands. If only the media had left the bombings as neutral until the investigations are carried out; if only the security agencies were left to do their job in separating crime, criminality and mischief from religion . . . But we now have a sad situation on top of a very difficult set of circumstances. Our Christmas services were scantily attended, our celebrations interrupted and no-one is happy.

However -
Though the fig tree may not blossom,

Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labour of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

We are a community of hope, a product of hope, sustained by hope in the knowledge that he who saved us is exceedingly abundantly able to deliver from hell, from death, from darkness and from Satan.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy; to God our Saviour, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)

The Lord be with you
+Most Rev. Dr. Benjamin A. Kwashi
Archbishop of Jos

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