By Chukwudi Ndubeze
The Archbishop, Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger and Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Alexander Chibuzo Ibezim PhD has said that Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season is a time to expand God’s kingdom calling on Christian faithful to submit their lives to the service of God.
Ibezim said this, Wednesday, during an Archepiscopal service of Ash Wednesday at the Cathedral Cathedral church of St. Faith, Awka adding that Christians must devote their time and resources to the expansion of God’s kingdom.
Delivering his message to Christians, Ibezim reminded that Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lenten season is a period lovers of Christ must imbibe spirit of pardon and absolution as well as the need to renew their repentance and faith with God.
“This Lenten season reminds us that we are miserable sinners. Many have toiled without getting anything, but if you have paid attention to what the spirit of God is saying, you will understand the need to follow God prayerfully.
“God has need of us to expand his kingdom. We won’t be intimidated by COVID-19 or the rawness of satanic attacks and arrows. We must expand the kingdom of God and that is what we are reflecting on this Lenten season.”
He said the season of lent is a time when sinners were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness and restored to the fellowship of the church.
Earlier in his sermon on the theme, “Expanding ministerial coasts” Rt Reverend Ralph Okafor asked ministers to be attentive to God’s word especially in the period of endtime encouraging them not to lose hope in God.
Okafor who is a retired bishop of Ihiala Diocese said expanding coast requires strong relationship with God and not pursuance of riches. He urged ministers not to relax in the service but increase their efforts at winning souls for Christ.
Speaking from Isaiah 54: 1-3, the retired bishop of Ihiala said ministers must enlarge their coast which could be achieved by living a life of purity and prayer. He added that ministers must be courageous in the service of God and abstain from fear. He urged them to go by the word of God and not by their wish or false doctrine.
He reminded them that anybody that wants to expand must not fear failure stating that there is a fortifications around a child of God to be able to move without being affected by destructive vices of the enemy.
Odogwublog.com reports that over 1000 priests had their faces decorated with ash at the service by the Bishop of Awka Diocese, His Grace, Chibuzor Ibezim and Rt. Rev Ralph Okafor, retired bishop of Ihiala.