1st Session of the 14th Synod
The Opening service on Thursday 21st April, 2016 was preceded by the opening courtesies of the Diocesan at 9.25a.m. The Diocesan, Rt. Rev. (Dr.) E. Ayo Awosoga welcomed the Rt. Revd. Dr. S.O. Sowale whom he referred to as a teacher to many of the priests and the Bishop of Ilesha Diocese. He also acknowledged the presence of the Rt.Rev. Dr. S.G. Ku pond of Ijebu North Diocese and the Rt.Rev. Dr. Samuel Ogunde of Egba West Diocese. He appreciated the Chancellor, the Registrar and all the Synod delegates.
The processional hymn CH 498 “All hail the power of Jesus Name” was followed by hymn CH351 “Crown Him with many Crowns”. This was followed by the Boys Brigade’s Colour Party advance enter to the altar.
The first part of the Holy Communion was led by the Rt. Revd. Dr. S.O. Ogunde who after welcoming all called for the Introit, “Worship His Majesty”.
The lessons for the service are as follows: O.T. – Isaiah 11:1-16, Psalm 16, Epistle – Colossians 1:24-29, and the Gospel – John 1:14-18.
In his about 40 minutes sermon, Rt.Rev. Dr. S.O. Sowale started by leading the congregation to sing the introit again “Worship His Majesty” after he had prayed. On the theme of the Synod, “CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY” – Colossians 1:27, he stressed that the theme is most appropriate for our nation at this time when the economy is not only in recession but in depression. There is an atmosphere of uncertainty pervading the entire nation; youth unemployment, Book Horam and various insurgencies, the crash in the oil prices and capital securities market and very recently the cattle rustling of the Fulani herdsmen, there is no better time for the entire nation than to put our hope in Christ.
Paul wrote to the Colossians to give them the clear picture of Jesus Christ and why they should hope in Him. Though Paul never visited the town of Co loss, he knew that the Church at Co loss was a ready besieged by syncretism (the combination of more than one religion) and this later transformed to gnosticicm with some people claiming to have special knowledge and trusting in their own wisdom above the wisdom of God. Paul wrote to encourage the Colossians that they should not rest on the knowledge of this world but on Christ. The preacher quoted from Colossians 2:9-10 to emphasise the supremacy of Christ. He went on to say that the Synod Theme relates to Colossians 1:15-16. This is one of the strongest statements of Jesus Christ found everywhere in the scriptures, the glorious riches of Christ hidden for years now disclosed to all saints i.e. Christians. The economic crunch not withstanding “Christ in you, the hope of glory” since all were created by Him and for Him. The preacher expounded the divine nature of Christ:
1) Jesus is not only equal with God, He is God – Phil.2:6; John 10:38, 12:45, 14:1-11.
2) As the exact image of the invisible God, He revealed God to us, John 1:18, 14:9.
3) As the first born of God’s creation, He has all the authority of the first born – 1 Cor. 15:20,47.
4) He came from heaven and not from the earth – 1 Cor. 15:47.
5) He is completely Holy – Heb. 7:26-28, 1 Pet. 1:19, 1 John 3:5.
6) He is given authority to judge the world – Rom. 2:16, 2 Cor.5:10, 2 Tim. 4:11. This we affirm when we read the creed.
Therefore Christ is supreme over all creation. As a result, you hand I have a heritage of supremacy and so we can sing “Omo Baba le mi se”. One thing about Jesus is that as the Son of God, He has access to all creation. And because of this heritage, we become heir apparent to the whole world. So stop seeing yourself as a stranger outside your domain. Once a Christian you are heir apparent to His heritage.
The preacher also said ‘ for everyone that is still alive, God has plans for you even if it is to proclaim Jesus.
WHO IS JESUS?
1) He is Immanuel (God with us), Isa. 7:14
2) He is the Mighty God Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – Isa. 9:6.
3) The Bread of Life. Jesus Himself said “I am the Bread of Life”.
4) I am the gate to the sheep – John 10:7.
5) A good shepherd – John 10:9.
6) The Way, the Truth and the Life – John 14:6.
7) The True Vine – John15:1-5.
8) The Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the end – Rev.1:8,9; 22:13.