The Second Session of the Eleventh Synod of the Metropolitan Diocese of Abuja ended with a Thanksgiving Service last Sunday at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp, Abuja.
The Synod, which was presided over by the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, The Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, who is also the Bishop of the Diocese, was themed: “Planted by the Waters: The Beauty of Walking with God (Psalm 1:2-3).” In his 88-page Presidential Address (a.k.a Bishop’s Charge) delivered on the Ceremonial Opening Day of the Synod, Primate Ndukuba called on the people to walk with God as God requires it and also blesses and punishes people based on how they walk with him. He said: “God demands from every servant of God, a close walk with Him. Every person whoever that pleased God had walked closely with God. To walk with God is to obey God in total surrender and submission to His Word, His Will and Instructions. God commands blessing and punishment based on the extent of our walk with God. He says ‘Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins’ (Lev. 26:21). Faithful men of old who pleased God walked with God.”
Ndukuba said, walking with God, entails at least 7 things, namely, metaphorically being a tree planted by the source of water, delighting in the Law of the Lord, meditating on the Word of God, obedience to God’s instruction, being led by the Holy Spirit, mission and evangelism and the righteousness of God. The Primate cautioned the people of the factors that can distract them from walking with God, which included the enemies of God, the prosperity of the wicked, flesh, sin, suffering, affliction and persecution.
Earlier in the Synod’s Opening Service, the Bishop of Kaduna, the Rt Rev. Timothy Yahaya, told the synod that it is only in following the Lord that joy can be found. Yahaya enjoined them to adhere to instruction of upholding and obeying the Word of God as given in Joshua 1:8 for prosperity and good success. “Success outside obedience to God is not good success and engenders dissatisfaction and frustration”, the Bishop said.
Also, at the Synod’s Closing/Thanksgiving Service, the Bishop of Lokoja, The Most Rev. Emmanuel Egbunu highlighted the blessing awaiting those who walk with God. He noted that the idea of blessing pervades the entire Bible and that Psalm 1 is like the gateway to the sanctuary and uses literary device of contrast to communicate the message of blessedness. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked” shows the great roles counsel has over our lives. He regretted that special advisers and counsellors in our country lead us into destruction even when they are paid huge amounts of money.
Egbunu called on the people to return to the Lord and to his word. “When we speak about the beauty of walking with God, it comes from delighting, meditating day and night on the word of the Lord”, he said.
Archbishop Blessing Enyindah, who led the Synod Bible Study also joined in the call to walk with God as the sure way of entering blessedness.
The Synod featured presentation of seminar papers and Choir cantata and attended by Chief Osita Chidoka who chaired the Synod’s Opening Ceremony/Launching of Bishop’s Charge. Other dignitaries that attended the Synod included the Dean of the Church of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Dr Buba Lamido, the former Primate, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh and over 30 archbishops and bishops. Others were SGF Boss Mustapha, Sen. Andy Uba, Sir Chikwe Udensi,Prof. Jerry Gana, Sir Olusegun Adekunle, High Chief S.N. Ukachukwu and Prince Sunny Ukachukwu.
By Princewill Ireoba