Mummy’s First Inaugural Speech
    "The theme of our Conference is 'Depart from Evil, Seek Peace and Pursue it'. (Ps. 34 vs 14)".

    Before I go further I will like to define the meaning of Evil and Peace using the Bible Dictionary. This will help us to understand better.

    Preamble

    Evil: The Hebrew (O.T.) word comes from the root meaning "to spoil" "to break in pieces" and so make worthless. It builds together both the evil deed and its consequences.

    Peace: The O.T. word shalom means "completeness", "soundness" and "wellbeing". it may mean material prosperity (Ps. 122 v 6ff) or physical safety (Ps. 4 v 8) but it may also mean spiritual well-being associated with righteousness and truth (Ps. 85 v 10, Isaiah 57 v 9ff). It was seen as the gift of God, so the Messianic age would become of peace (Is. 11 v iff).

    The N.T. shows the fulfilment of this hope. Jesus brought peace (Lk. 1 v 79) and bestowed it on his disciples (Lk. 7 v 50). Christ's sacrifice for sin brings people peace with God (Romans 5 v 1) which followed by inner peace (Phil. 4 v 7) unhindered by the word's strife (Jn. 14 v 27). Jesus died partly to create peace between people (Eph. 2) but they must actively promote it (Eph. 4 v 3) as the spirit fills them with it (Gal. 5 v 22).

    Having given the Bible meaning of these words, I ask you to search yourself and answer the following questions. Christian mothers, which group do you belong to in this Diocese, Church, place of work, along your street and at home etc? What are your activities in the Church, place of work and at home? Are you an evil doer or planner, confusionist etc? Turn to your neighbour and ask her: who do you resemble in the Bible? You must resemble somebody. Do you resemble Satan the evil doer or Jesus the Prince of Peace? As good Christian mothers, we should strife to resemble Jesus the Prince of Peace and depart from evil doing.

    Peace-Makers Blessed are the peace-makers for they shall be called sons of God. We are expected as Christian mothers to strive for peace with all men and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God, that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble and by it many become defiled (Hebrew 12:14-15).

    The Bible describes Christ as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9 v 6). Those who are peace-makers partake of the divine nature of God and His Christ because they will have the Love of God for their fellow human beings and will therefore break down dividing walls of partition that are caused by men to separate man from man, tribe from tribe, race from race, nation from nation, church from church and society from society.

    Peace-makers hold people together. They settle quarrels or divisions among men, they heal wounds and bring together broken friendships, separated families. Christ said, the person who does this should be happy, because what he does is a manifestation that he is a true child of God.

    "Let us then pursue what makes for peace, enjoins the scriptures in Romans 14 v 19; "Let each of us please his neighbour from his good, to edify him" (Romans 15 v 2). A child of God must depart from evil and do good; he has to seek for peace and pursue it. This is the theme for this year's conference, (Ps. 34 v 14). If you depart from evil and do good, the word of God promises that you shall abide forever" (Psalm 37 v 27).

    Christian mothers, the scripture lays emphasis on "peace" within the church, diocese, among the Christians, at home, etc. And for Christians to be peace-makers because of what Christ is to us; "for Christ is our Peace, who has made us both one and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinance, that he might create in himself one new Man in place of the two, so making peace that he might reconcile us both to God in one body through the Cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through Him we both have access in one spirit to the Father" (Ephesians 2:14-18).

    Fellow Christian mothers, Christ came into the world to make peace by the blood of His Cross (Colossian 1 v 20). Since this Prince of Peace in person of Jesus Christ wants his peace to rule in our hearts, we are admonished to Seek Peace and Pursue It. "Cho udo gbasoya"(1 Peter 3 v 11). For this reason we are not expected to contend or fight with any man for no reason, when he has done us no harm (Proverbs 3 v 30). Even if he has, we are expected to forgive and forget, we are all human beings. Nobody is perfect. Here is a word of wisdom which every Christian woman/man in this Diocese should adhere to. "It is an honour for a man to keep aloof from strife; but every fool will be quarrelling" (Proverbs 20 v 3).

    Paul told us in 2 Timothy 2 v 24-28 that the children of God must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, an apt teacher, for bearing, correcting his opponents with gentleness. He should not be found among people who are inhuman, implaceable slanderers, profligates, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit and lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:3-4).

    Fellow Christian mothers, when there is jealousy and strife among Christians, they are still in the flesh and behaving like ordinary man (1 Corinthians 3 v 3). The Bible advises us that brothers and sisters should not go to law court against brother especially before unbelievers (Corinthians 6 v 6) who do not know Christ or have the fear of God and have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal Saviour.

    It is very unfortunate that we Christians who are marked with the blood of Christ take ourselves to court. This happens in the Church, society, families. What a shame! May the Holy Spirit touch our lives and give us change of hearts. What is that problem that God cannot handle or solve? Tell it to God and he will show you the best way to follow it, which is through Peace and not Violence. God will make a way when there is no way. There is nothing so difficult that has no answer from God. He said, I will not give you a problem that is too much for you. And for every problem there is a way of escape. We should endeavour to love one another. Within Christians, they are not to be found things that disturb peace such as quarrelling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit and disorder (2 Corinthians 12 v 20). Christian mothers, I appeal to you, in the event of any contention or provocation, we should take it to the Lord and those who are spiritual must help bring about reconciliation (Philippians 4:2-3). It is only the wicked who stir up strife. As the Scripture reveals, true Christians are for peace while the wicked are for war (Psalm 120 v 7).

    Violent men plan evil things in their hearts and stir up wars continually (Psalm 140 v 2). Fellow mothers, the Beatitude promises us that peace-makers shall be sons of God. If we live the life of Christ, we are promised heirs of the kingdom. For us to be qualified for this post, we must be prepared to suffer with Christ so that we may be glorified with Him (Romans 8:16-17). As children of God, we must do right or righteous things and have love for one another (1 John 3 v 10). And we must love God and obey His commandments (1 John 5 V 2). Be found in love and well doing for it is God who has promised. But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself, the Lord hears when we call Him (Ps. 4 v 3).

    Who are the Peace Makers Those who go out of their way to settle quarrels, to act as mediators in disputes, to reconcile people who are alienated from each other in the church, families, etc.

    Peace is not just absence of fighting but the promotion of true wellbeing for everyone.

    Jesus did not advocate conflict. He taught his followers to offer no resistance or retaliation when they are attacked or ill-treated which means that God is the God of Peace so that those who seek peace and pursue it reflect his character. Jesus advises us that if pagans who do not know about Christ insist on force, fight or use legal action to settle matters, we Christians should not use the same methods because God has called us for Peace. (1 Cor. 7 v 15B). God has called us to live in peace. We should handle it with love since God is a God of love and peace. Peace makers are those who make peace and love their enemies. I know it is hard to love and pray for our enemies. But we are compelled to do so. The Holy Spirit will teach us.

    Peace must be Practical and Practised We must begin each new day with God, reading His word and praying. Then we can think back to the quiet time throughout the day to claim His peace when unrest and disorder are knocking at our doors. We must remind ourselves that any situation we find ourselves is not beyond the range of God's interest in us (Isaiah 26 v 3-4). My Christian mothers, I beseech you to have peace with one another. As the peace of God which passes all understanding floods one's whole being and one becomes a peace-maker, he becomes not only that, but also a child of God and becomes conformed to the character of Christ. In the midst of stress and strain, the spirit of God will enable one to control the mind, emotion and will be able to live at peace with others and be recognised uniquely as a child of God.

    Finally, Christian mothers, let us individually or collectively re-examine ourselves, to see what good things we have contributed to the progress of Enugu Diocese since its creation. Let us ask ourselves the following question: Am I a peace-maker, trouble shooter, builder, damaging director, destroyer of people's character, an enemy of progress, or an obstacle in the work of God? Whichever you have been in the past, I appeal to you to repent and change and let us come together, join hands and build our Diocese. Then you are a peace-maker and Christ will be happy with us. We are all one in Christ irrespective of our different home Dioceses.

    Let us rise, join hands and seek for peace, knowing that without peace, development or progress cannot take place. Christ is the only source of peace. Let us be like the good women in the Bible who sought for peace, women such as Abigail, Esther etc who fasted and prayed for peace for their people.

    Christian mothers, I challenge you all to rise up fast and pray regularly for the peace of God to dwell in Enugu Diocese and bruise the head of Satan, command Satan to flee away and Holy Spirit to have his way. I suggest that our motto for this Diocese from now should be "Seek for Peace and Pursue It".

    Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

    Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace Where there is hatred let me sow love Where there is injury, pardon Where there is doubt, faith Where there is despair, hope Where there is darkness, light Where there is sadness, joy. As we go through and mediate on St. Francis' Prayer, may the Lord minister to us and make us instruments of peace and we shall not go back the same in Jesus Name I pray. Amen.