“Don’t be like the hireling, still trying to steal the vine from the owner (Mt. 21:33-41). Celebrate because Christ is born, not because father Christmas, gifts or picnics have come,” the Nigerian Bishop says in his Christmas Message titled, “AT CHRISTMAS, LESS TALK: MORE ACTION.”
He goes on to emphasize the need to engage in positive action at Christmas saying, “We really have had more than enough talk about Christmas. How come our world is still so wounded? So much talk about love, peace, joy, justice, sharing. We sing and party so well. Yet we miss justice, love, sharing joy, forgiveness among us.”
“At Christmas God showed his love to the world, took action and sent Jesus Christ to save (Jn 3:16). The angel took action by announcing his birth and helped the shepherds to find the baby (Lk 2: 9-12). The shepherds acted and went in a hurry to see him (Lk 2:15-18),” Bishop Badejo says.
He appeals for good deeds saying, “Christmas is time now for positive action. More action, less talk!”
“I call on everybody from top to bottom, politicians and businessmen, civil servants and traders, artisans and professionals, priests and people, young and old to do more good acts than ‘talk good talk’ at this Christmas, the Local Ordinary of Oyo Diocese who doubles as the President of the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) says.
The media too needs to “focus more on positive actors than on sweet speakers,” he says, and adds, “Jesus said ‘It is not anyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ who will enter the kingdom of heaven but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.’”
Christmas is about making sacrifices for the sake of others, Bishop Badejo says, and urges Christians to make sacrifices of self, time, resources, and love.
“God took the love initiative and gave up his only son. Without that, there can be no Christmas. Mary gave up her time and status and went to visit Elizabeth (Lk. 1: 39ff). Joseph, because of Jesus, took positive action, gave up all his livelihood and took him to Egypt to protect the child from evil (Matt 2:13ff),” he says.
The Catholic Bishop who has been at the helm of Oyo Diocese since November 2009 further says, “Jesus himself gave up his life for our salvation. All who have the spirit of Christmas must get right up and give up something for the sake of others, a better life, a better family, a better church, society and a better world.”
“Yes, we need less Christmas messages and more Christmas action,” he reiterates and illustrates, “Call Davido, the Nigerian pop singer, ‘a Christmas ambassador’ and I would agree with you. He raised 251 million naira (over 500,000 US dollars) from his admirers and gave it all away to orphanages all over Nigeria. What a Christmas gesture! All such spirit mirrors the Christmas spirit.”