The Second Session of the Fourteenth Synod of Egba Diocese (Anglican Communion) opened with the divine service of Holy Eucharist held at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Ilugun, Abeokuta, on Thursday 27th April 2017 at 4.00p.m prompt. The Diocesan Bishop and President of Synod, Rt. Revd E.O. Adekunle, M.Div, M.Ed (G&C), Dip.Th, led the service, assisted by the Provost and Archdeacons. The service was graced by His grace, Most Reverend Dr. M.O. Fape, Archbishop, Lagos Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop of Remo Diocese.
The Right Reverend N.O. Ogundipe, Bishop of Ifo Diocese celebrated the Ante Communion. The Chancellor, Hon. Justice Ayobode Lokulo Sodipe, JCA read the Old Testament from Genesis 13:1-18. Psalm 132 was read responsively, led by the Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. E.O. Adekunle. The Epistle was taken from Hebrews 8: 6-18 by Ven. G.O. Amoo, Vicar of the Host Church, St. Stephen’ s Church, Ilugun while the Holy Gospel was read from Luke 22: 14-20 by The Right Reverend J.A.F. Olusola, Bishop of Ijesa North Diocese. Deputy Superintendent of Police, The Venerable Omolaja Emmanuel Abiodun of Nigeria Police Chaplaincy, Ikeja, Lagos preached the Sermon. He extended due courtesies to the Diocesan Bishop and President of Synod, Rt. Rev. and Dr. Mrs E.O. Adekunle for the kind invitation extended to him to preach at this year’s Synod Opening Service. He recognised His grace, Most Reverend Dr. M.O. Fape, Archbishop, Lagos Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop of Remo Diocese, the Retired Archbishop of Lagos Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos Mainland, Most Rev. Professor A. D. Akinde, the Bishops of Ijebu South West, Rt. Rev. B.S.O. Ogunbamwo, Bishop of Ijesa North Diocese, Rt. Rev. J.A.F. Olusola, Bishop of Ifo Diocese, Rt. Rev. N.O. Ogundipe.
The Preacher, The Venerable Omolaja Abiodun, DSP opened with a praise song ‘Alleluai for the Lord God reigneth’ and rained blessings on the congregation. He preached on the theme ‘Covenant Keeping God’ and used the text Genesis 13: 15-16. He declared that we serve a covenant keeping God who is never late to keep His covenant but does His things at His own time. He referred to the covenants God made with Abraham, the terms of which are simply: (1) To obey God; (2) To circumcise all his males off springs and dependants (3) To walk before God for Perfection.
On God’s part, He fulfilled His covenant: Abraham also believed and walked in the way of God. He gave wealth to Abraham and remembered Sarah in her old age even though it seemed delayed. The preacher emphasised that God’s blessings are more than what we can give. If a mere man, like Herod, could fulfil his covenant and promise to Herodias’s daughter, to cut off John the Baptist’s head, how much more would God not keep His covenant with man. God will never let His people down concerning His covenant through His Son Jesus Christ whose blood was shed for the redemption of man.
He summarised the Covenants of God for man as long as he walks in God’s ways as:
(1) Covenant of Prosperity (2) Covenant of Divine Health (3) Covenant of Fruitfulness
(4) Covenant of Long Life.
Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s covenant as He gives us His peace.
In order to live within God’s covenant, we must:
(1) Circumcise into a new life in Christ, separating ourselves from the Evil One and worldly friends. Our goal must be heavenward.
(2) Have absolute faith in God as it was Abraham’s faith that aided him. He believed what God said and waited on Him, even though God used delay to test him.
(3) Live a life of Sacrifice. He urged all of us to sacrificially live for God by giving for is works
(4) Uprightness. We must be Faithful to God and man, be right and straight before God. God was able to vouch for Abraham for what he would do, even when He tested him. God would not deviate from his promises.
The preacher ended his homily with Eulogies to the Lord God, praising Him and glorifying His name in Yoruba praise poetry.
The Archbishop, Most Rev. Dr. M.O. Fape dedicated the Stained Glass East Window donated by His Grace, Most Rev. Professor & Dr. Mrs. A.D. Akinde in memory of their late parents Late Pa. Adeleke Akinde and Mama Adelaide Akinde.
The Opening service closed with Synod Hymn 10 (IOM 389): ‘Okan aare ile kan mbe’ and Synod Hymn 27 (IOM 370): ‘Emi ba f’iwa pele’ which were sung to process out.