Reflecting on Christmas, Christ’s reign, and contemporary challenges in Nigeria


The celebration of Christmas, rooted in the historical birth of Jesus Christ and the advent of God in human history, has traversed cultures and territories since Emperor Constantine’s pivotal role in establishing Christianity within the Roman Empire. This celebration signifies divine intervention, transforming history and sanctifying space in an unprecedented manner.

Christ’s birth marked a definitive turning point in humanity’s salvation story, prompting reevaluation, reconciliation, and cultural renewal across diverse landscapes. The essence of Christianity embodies a sacred exchange, intertwining destinies and gifts.

The incarnation of Christ bestowed divinity upon humanity, gradually unfolding its impact as history progresses toward its culmination. The divine seed, present in every culture, renders them receptive to the Gospel, making Christ’s message resonate universally.

The Good News transcends cultures, being both an immanent presence and an irruption of God inherent to all peoples and traditions. Christ embodies a familiarity with the soil while remaining a guest in every land.

For centuries, the birth of Jesus Christ, commemorated by the West on December 25 and the East on January 6, has held profound significance across Nigerian cultures. Communities joyously welcomed the baby Jesus, striving to integrate Christ’s message into their lives and societies.

However, in contemporary Nigeria, there’s a concerning trend. The reign of Christ appears to be diminishing, especially among the youth. Despite earlier transitions from traditional beliefs to Christianity, a significant number are now returning to ancestral shrines. Christianity, once focused on existential queries and cultural dialogue, now grapples with survival as indifference and rebellion grow among the youth.

The misunderstanding of Christianity contributes to this challenge. Some view the Church as an intrusive force, failing to recognize its universal and indigenous nature. This disillusionment has birthed a counterfeit religion glorifying materialism and indulging in base values, leading to societal issues like the pursuit of instant wealth through illicit means.

The essence of Christmas, once symbolizing selflessness and sacrifice, now often symbolizes self-gratification and materialism, eclipsing the values of hard work and sacrifice.

Amidst this, Christmas invites Nigerians to become ambassadors of Christ’s reign through altruism, integrity, and peace. It beckons for a cultural renewal, inspiring a nation reborn through fair elections, prioritizing justice, competence, and compassion.

This season urges a rekindling of Christ’s message, prompting a state of emergency in re-engaging the youth with faith and values. Ultimately, Christmas’s true celebration occurs when Christ is born within each individual, guiding their lives and actions toward goodness and salvation.


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