. . . As Bishop Ekpenisi Says Life Is Short
By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
Mr. John Matthias Nwaoge Okoh, the younger brother of the Primate of all Nigeria, the Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh, is dead.
Owa Alero, the country home of the Primate of all Nigeria, was agog with Archbishops, Bishops, array of the Clergy from dioceses and the laity, all in honour of the late John Matthias Nwaoge Okoh.
In his sermon during the burial the Rt. Rev. Godfrey Ekpenisi, the newly elected Bishop of Diocese of Ika at St. Michael's Anglican Church Owa Alero, Delta State said, “Life is short, we do not know what will happen tomorrow. The way we mourn others, we should mourn ourselves, death will surely come; there is no gauge for death.”
According to the Bishop of Ika Diocese, there was nothing like dying by seniority, as according to him, the junior could die before the older one, for man brought nothing to this world, and certainly taking nothing back.
The cleric who drew his text from James 4:14, said in spite of all one had acquired, including luxurious fleet of cars, uncountable houses and property, death was for all, and one should be prepared for the journey home. He said the deceased could have refused to die if possible, but despite all care, and being given the adequate best of treatment when he was indisposed, this did not stop death as he eventually breathed his last.
Bishop Ekpenisi said the message that was being sent was that no matter how old one lived, no matter the overtime spent on earth, after death there was a destination; either hell or heaven. He posited that the impact made on one's neighbour and immediate neighbourhood was paramount and if no impact was made, one was just a waste to the community.
He admonished the congregation of well-wishers to have a rethink, do a thorough self-examination by not joining the multitude to commit evil, noting that they would be remembered by the evil they perpetrated.
The ebullient preacher asked how much they were contributing to the Church and immediate family as born again Christians, adding that they must have impact in the house of God and must not go empty handed. He said some people would be remembered for the evil they did to themselves- like having multiple sex partners, drug addiction, alcoholism, etc., that amounted to doing harm to themselves.
He passed a message across to the children of the deceased to examine themselves and watch their contributions; adding that if they served less than their father served they would be among men the most miserable.
He urged them to find their way to the Church and serve God diligently, adding that the Church was watching.
Life, according to the Bishop, was like vapour and the only thing that could save man was to be truly born again. He said the dead was gone, and it was those that were alive that must give their lives to Christ.
He later made an altar call and many people gave their lives with many, putting their hands on their chest, rededicating their lives. He prayed for the children of the deceased, Williams and his siblings, for the zeal of the Lord to be on them, for peace and unity in the families, nuclear and extended.