(BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE)
The Ven. Dr. Paul Gershinen Dajur, the General Secretary of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion has opined that it is impossible for man to mention or call to remembrance all the good that God has done for man in this life; hence according to him, the devil takes advantage of this limitation in man’s memory to cause believers to focus on that which is lacking in their lives but evident in the lives of others, and to forget that which God continually does for them. He made this known at the 2018 Harvest Thanksgiving Service of the Chapel of the Advent, Episcopal House, Abuja, which was held at the Chapel of the Resurrection, Wuye, in the new Bishops court of the Diocese of Abuja. Ven. Dajur said that Christians must praise God irrespective of their circumstances or what is going on around them and that they must do so, trusting that the God who created them has a good plan for their lives.
Speaking on the theme for this year’s harvest, “Celebrating the goodness of God,” the preacher explained that to celebrate in the Lord is to be boastful in what God alone can do. Quoting from the text for the day, which was culled from Psalm 103, Ven. Dajur pointed out that the Psalmist could not find comfort from any of those around him and so, he thought within himself and chose to bless the Lord. He stressed that the believer has no other option, but to bless the Lord, in good times and bad times. He however mentioned that Christians must ensure that their hearts are in tune with God and pray over every situation. He quoted profusely from the Scriptures encouraging the congregation to be anxious for nothing but with prayer, supplication and thanksgiving make their requests known to God.
The General Secretary, Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion charged the congregation to see the harvest thanksgiving service as an invitation to celebrate the goodness and mercies of the Lord in their lives. He also encouraged all to, like the psalmist, choose to praise God with the entirety of their being and not with their lips alone. He charged Christians to celebrate God’s goodness with their soul, celebrate His goodness personally and celebrate His goodness consciously. He observed that many times believers try to judge their successes based on the success of others, especially that of unbelievers around them; forgetting that their destination is not the same.
Using stories and analogies to drive home his point, Ven. Paul Dajur noted that somehow man has been conditioned to ignore when God is good, especially in difficult times; and so, he threw a question to the congregation, “What do you do when situations are tough?” The cleric said that Christians must learn to trust God even in dire circumstances, because He created them and therefore, they are not mistakes. He urged believers to focus on the God who made them and not on the situation; adding that one may struggle with finances and food, but it does not mean that God has abandoned such a person.
The Ven. Dr. Paul Dajur ended his message with a charge to Christians to recognize that access to God is better than assets acquired on earth. He said that a believer’s riches in God is greater than that of the richest people in the world and therefore, Christians should not follow the people of the world to chase after things, because the earth and everything in it belongs to God. He noted with dismay the negative news being heard and read about in the Nigerian nation today, but urged all to refuse to allow the situation to dictate how they live their lives or how they celebrate God.
The 2018 Harvest was chaired by the Sub Dean of the Cathedral of the Advent, Life Camp, Abuja, the Ven. Benjamin Idume. Highpoints of the harvest thanksgiving service include the session of praise worship, thanksgiving offerings, which was done according to Archdeaconries, the cutting of the cake for the harvest and the donations made in support of the work of God in the Chapel of the Advent, Episcopal House, Abuja.
Present at the service was the Primate of all Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh who was also the chief host of the event; the Most Rev. Friday Imaekhai, Archbishop of Bendel Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Esan; house of clergy and laity of the Diocese of Abuja, and other notable dignitaries.