DATE: 20TH – 22ND April, 2017
VENUE: Christ Anglican Church, Porogun, Ijebu – Ode
THEME: JESUS AND MOHAMMED
OPENING SERVICE: Thursday 20th April 2017 at 10.00am
PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS/ BISHOP CHARGE: Friday 21st April, 2017 – The Diocesan,
Rt. Rev. Dr. E.Ayo Awosoga. DD;M.A, B.Pharm, Dip. Th.
CLOSING/THANKSGIVING SERVICE: Saturday 22nd April, 2017.
ORDER OF HOLY COMMUNION SERVICE
FOR THE OPENING OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE FOURTEENTH SYNOD HELD AT CHRIST ANGLICAN CHURCH POROGUN, IJEBU-ODE.
CELEBRANT: THE DIOCESAN
THEME: JESUS CHRIST AND MOHAMMED’ MATT. 24:24; JOHN 14:15-18, 26
ORDER OF SERVICE
- Processional Hymns – CH 498, 351
1b. Introit – Worship His Magesty
- HOLY COMMUNION PART 1
- Reading from the Old Testament -Joshua 24:1-16 –(Canon (Prof Mrs.) ‘Bisi Sowunmi)
- Psalm – 96 (To be chanted)
- The Epistle – 4:8-31 – (Canon Abraham Ekundayo)
- Gradual Hymn – CH 339
- The Gospel – John 14:15-31 – (Ven. J. S. Adekoya)
- Hymn – CH 496
- The Sermon – The Ven. Dr. J. S. Adekoya
- Anthem – Diocesan Choir
- Creed to Intercession
- HOLY COMMUNION PART II
- The Peace
- Offertory Hymn – Choir Anthem
(b) CH 500
(iii) Consecration of Elements
- Hymns During Communion – CH 455, 387, 497, 336, 369
- The Ablution – CH 210
- Post Communion Prayer
- Notices – Clerical Secretary
- Diocesan Anthem
- Prayer & Benediction – The Diocesan
- Withdrawal Hymns: – CH 101, 177
The Synod Theme, JESUS CHRIST AND MOHAMMED, he admitted is very appropriate at this time. He recalled that it was in 1960 that the then Diocese of Lagos made it a Theme and since then no other Diocese has dared because of the controversy that trailed it. At best they allowed sleeping dog to lie as long as it was not lying dangerously.
He agreed that it is appropriate now for two reasons. In December 2009, he visited St. Marks Cathedral in Cairo Egypt and he went to see the Pope. While there, there was a bomb blast, about 30 people died and he saw blood flowing freely. Since then he had been wondering what to make of these two personalities, Jesus Christ and Mohammed.
He made reference to the text, Mathew 24:24. He said this is a small part of a long treatise Jesus had with His disciples. And to understand this we need to go back two chapters. For better understanding of the text, the parallel in Mark 13 and Luke 21 will be important.
In Mathew 17, we read about the transfiguration. This was followed by His allusion to the seat on the throne in Heaven in chapter 20:20-21, and the triumphant entry to Jerusalem in chapter 21. In chapters 22-23. Jesus talked with the Pharisees accusing them of killing Prophets. Thereafter while praying for Jerusalem, He talked about His house being desolate. At a point the disciples started wondering if He was going to snatch the kingdom at that point but He got them more confused with chapter 24:2 where He said one stone would not be on another that would not be thrown down. Jesus took time to teach them not to associate the fall of Jerusalem with His 2nd coming, they are only signs to prepare us for the time of the end of the Age.
More importantly, they should worry about their relationship with God rather than dwelling on His second coming.
After several pointers to the supremacy of Christ as expressed in the scriptures, the preacher concluded with John 14 that the King of this world is here.
The question we need to address is “who is Jesus? From the Old Testament to the New Testament there are facts about Him that express His supremacy over any other person.
(1) About 1000 years before His coming, there had been prophesies about Him. Psalm 22, & Ps. 24:20 spoke about his death and resurrection respectively. Isaiah 7:14 talks about His mission, while Isaiah 52 spoke about His rejection; That He was going to die with criminals was predicted by Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 53:7). Micah 5:2 spoke about His birth and that it was going to be from Bethlehem. Zachariah 11:8 spoke about His betrayal. In Mathew 1:18-25, He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and He was born of Virgin Mary in (Matt. 1:28). That He will fulfill His ministry was predicted (Lk. 1:29-40), Matt. 11:25) Everything Jesus did has the record in the Old and the New Testaments.
Jesus was also accurately recorded in the Quran. His miraculous birth by Mary daughter of Abraham is recorded in Q 19:19-35. Quran 2:53-54 talked about His mission and Q19:30-31 pointed to the fact that anyone who rejects Jesus Christ will be rejected by God. So all in all, the Quran acknowledges Jesus Christ, however, everything they tell you from the Quran should be taken with a pinch of salt. They pick only passages to discredit Christianity. For example, the Muslims want us to believe that Mohammed came as the Holy Spirit mentioned in John 14:14
The Preacher emphasized that there was no basis to compare these two persons. Mohammed is to Muslims what Jesus Christ is to Christians. Also he warned us to be careful as when they ask questions they just want to provoke. He enjoined us to respect their Mohammed but honour Jesus.
At a time, Christianity was flourishing outwardly but decaying inside.
Islam exploited the situation. They declared that the Bible was falsified. They tell us Mohammed was born 570 years after the death of Christ, that he was the Holy Spirit that was talked about and that he is what Christ is to us. They have difficulty in accepting God and son being the same.
There is no reason to dwell on this. The challenge for us is to prepare for witnessing, be Christians indeed, and obey His words for Him to live with us. We should aim to win the person not the discussion or debate. Conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit. Use everyday language to present Christ, not doctrine, and always emphasise the uniqueness of Christ on earth and in heaven. Ask them if they need Him. Let them know He will come again; that God is Holy but we are so un-holy. Say it with gentleness but be emphatic not forceful and leave the rest to God. Always remember to ask about their assurance of Salvation & life after death. Always remember the Christian virtues and dwell on them; faith, courage, kindness, love, patience, Self-control and remember Paul in I Cor. 9:16 ff. Be all things to all people.
He asked rhetorically, can people see the Jesus you preach in you? Enough of arguments live Christ-like life.
He rounded off his sermon with the story of the many people in Egypt who were long ago living as Christians, but today they are Muslims and when asked, they said when they were being persecuted, they cried and cried but no Christian came to their aid/ Therefore, they decided it might be more appropriate to change religion. We are again passing through that dispensation. We should all rise to the challenge of the time; as we rise up for the oppressed.