The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Taking Note Of Episcopal Church Bishop’s Message Of Love, Peace & Others

By Atty Philip N. Wesseh (PNW)

Yesterday I was among worshippers at the Trinity Cathedral Episcopal Church on Broad Street because one of my sons, Arnold Nyenkan Wesseh was among several young persons who were to undergo confirmation after months of training and intensive practices.

This is one of the conditions in churches, including mine- The United Methodist Church- that would-be full fledge members of a church MUST undergo before even receiving communion. Yesterday’s service was dubbed: “The Third Sunday of Advent and confirmation.”

Even though I had a specific mission, as a journalist, there is no limit to information for the public of some important information or message for the consumption.

Especially so, in this kind of situation where the head of a denomination is expected to deliver a message, such journalist would not only be limited to the issue of the confirmation, but also the message of this highly respected religious leader.

Besides, he is also Archbishop of the Province of West Africa. As we say in the Liberian parlance, ”he is not a small potato.” Therefore, he is a major news source.

Yesterday, by focusing on only the confirmation of one’s child and leaving out the message would be likened to a scenario about a reporter who was sent to cover an indoor program. Interestingly, while on his way, there was a fatal accident.

He did not stop because he was not assigned. When he got back to the office, he informed his editor about the incident. When he was quizzed as to whether he covered it, he replied in the negative on grounds that he was not assigned. As a result, he was reprimanded.

Though in my case, today if I do not convey the message of LOVE and PEACE by Bishop Jonathan B.B. Hart to Liberians, I would not be reprimanded, my conscience would psychologically play on me that I have failed to do something as required by the profession, especially as it relates to “TIMELINESS,” which is one of the elements of news reporting.

As I sat and listened to the message, I said it was timely because it comes at a time of too much bitterness and acrimonious exchanges among some of our people. Sometimes some of them resort to profanities and invectives, thereby creating a situation of enmity.

I certainly agree with the learned Bishop that peace and love if exhibited by Liberians, especially at this time, would go a long way in terms of unity, economic growth and development. As the Bishop alluded, by love and peace, this country would move from backwaters to prosperity.

One book defined PEACE, as a state of tranquility or quiet; freedom from civil disturbance; a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom;. Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; harmony in personal relations; a state of mutual concord between governments.”

As for LOVE it said, “a strong affection for another arising from kinship or personal ties; affection based or admiration, benevolence, or common interests; warm attachment, devotion, or admiration; unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.

Considering the definitions of the two key words, if we, as Liberians, would pay heed to what the Bishop said that we should always show love to others, and that we should always speak peace and much would be achieved.

Hence, it is only by showing love that unity exists and equally so, it is only by sustaining peace after many years of fratricidal conflict, that we as a people and nation can co-exist with one destiny.

Whenever people say that “Liberia is a small country,” it is not about its size, but how the people are related or connected either by consanguinity or Affinity. This is why it is often said that “if you harm one person, you would be harming thousand others.” I believe with love, nothing would be done to undermine unity, oneness and peaceful co-existence.

Also with love, national leaders would ensure the equitable distribution of the resources of the country for the benefit of all, and not a few; equally, with love citizens would avoid acts that have the propensity to undermine national security and harmony.

Love is the antithesis of hate and misanthropic. Love is also selfless; it is about being concerned about others. This is why one of the definitions says it is “Unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.”

As for peace, All of us, whether the government or the people, should always ensure that nothing is done to undermine the peace the country enjoys today because without peace nothing can be achieved.

That is, “IF THINGS CHAKLA,” as we say in Liberia, all of us would be affected.

Indeed, if we are to succeed as a people and nation, let love and peace reign supreme.

I Rest My Case

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