“The God Who Created You Without You Cannot Save You Without You”
2014 Christmas Message To Emerging Nigerian Leaders
Godswill, Rev. Agbagwa
Today, Christians all over the world celebrate once again, the birth of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus came to save humanity from sin and suffering. Two thousand and fourteen years after: children still go to bed hungry; youths roam the streets without jobs; men and women are still plagued by ill health, ravaged by war and slaughtered at the slightest provocation. That many still suffer, in spite of the universal salvific work of Christ, has led some of us to wonder whether Christ actually succeeded or failed in his salvific mission. I want to address this concern in this short Christmas message.
I think that the continued existence of suffering in this world has more to do with us than with Christ. What many fail to understand is that there are two parts to Christ’s salvific mission: the part Christ himself must play and the part the rest of us must play. I think Christ has played and continued to play his part while many of us are yet to play ours. By His birth, death and resurrection, He has given humanity the power to deal with and conquer suffering. He has blessed us with vast farmlands, good weather and vigor so we can till and feed. But many have chosen to be lazy, while a few lord it over others. He has blessed us with upright and selfless citizens to lead us to prosperity. But many of us have chosen to stay home while the wicked mislead and oppress us. He has blessed us with smart and creative minds to battle threats to humanity. But many of us have rather become threats to humanity.
Emerging Nigerian Leaders must understand that “the God who created you without you cannot save you without you” (St. Augustine). There is no need to wait for God to take over Aso Rock or Douglas Road and turn Nigeria into a paradise. He has given us the power to do so through the ballots. Go out and vote in February and be sure to defend your votes. There is no need to wait for God to turn the corrupt police officer into Saint Matthew, the apostle. He has given us the courage to say no to bribe and insist on it. There is no need to wait for God to remove the corrupt professor from the classroom. He has given us the power to say no to “sorting” and insist on it.
When God delivered the Israelites from Pharaoh, Moses still had to confront Pharaoh and “talk the talk”; the Israelites still had to “walk the walk” for forty years. Naaman the Syrian still had to bathe in the River Jordan to be healed of his leprosy. Mary and Martha still had to persuade Christ to raise Lazarus from the dead. Yet, we want jobs without applications, food without labor, good governance without voting, bribery-free Nigeria without saying “no” to bribes, etc.
After the drinking and eating of today, shall we wake-up tomorrow to continue living with poverty, corruption, sickness, joblessness, kidnapping, terrorism and all sorts of avoidable sufferings in Nigeria and elsewhere in the world? Is there nothing you can do to help? If you can’t feed a million, can’t you feed one? If you can’t change Nigeria, can’t you change yourself? If you can’t run, can’t you walk?
Have a Blessed Christmas!