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26.12.2006 General News

Christmas in the Regions

By Ghana News Agency
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Koforidua
The Anglican Bishop of the Koforidua Diocese, the Right Reverend Benjamin Francis Quashie, appealed to political leaders to eschew bitterness, hatred and retaliation and to cultivate the virtue of love to move the nation on the path of righteousness and peace in the spirit of the Christmas season.

Preaching at the St Peters Cathedral, he reminded Christians that Christmas was made possible through the demonstration of love and charged them to show love to each other.

"Anything short of this makes our profession to Christian faith meaningless and indeed false", Bishop Quashie stated.

He said it was an act of love that God decided to send his only son into the world to die to bring salvation to mankind. It was also out of love that Mary and Joseph decided to co-operate with God for the birth of Jesus Christ, he said.

The whole of Christmas celebration was born out of love, Bishop Quashie concluded.
Sunyani
Hundreds of worshippers in Sunyani thronged churches to mark the birth of Jesus Christ.

The message for Christians was to abide by the ideals of Christianity and to use the yuletide as a stocktaking period of their lives and to amend their ways to become acceptable to God, run through the sermons.

"There are many of us who are active church members but not good Christians because we have been swayed away from our faith by worldly attractions", the Very Reverend Samuel Adu Boateng, Superintendent Minister in charge of the Sunyani Methodist Church said. Preaching at the Wesley Cathedral, Rev Adu Boateng noted with regret that though Christmas Day was important to Christians, "We have allowed the world to dictate to us how to celebrate it". He stressed that the yuletide period should not be over shadowed by only merry-making and the exchange of gifts but had to be seen as an opportunity for Christians to free themselves from Satan's bondage of slavery.

"The freedom given to us by the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ has thus eluded us and our society is now beset with all sorts of social vices", Rev Adu Boateng said.

At the close of a four-day convention of the Sunyani Circuit of the Jehovah's Witnesses on Christmas Day, Christians were called upon to follow the tenets of Christianity to be able to achieve their aims and aspirations.

Brother Paul Crudass, member of the Bethel Headquarters in Accra, made the call in a sermon at the convention on the theme "Godly Obedience".

Speaking on the topic, "All Suffering Soon To End", Brother Crudass noted that in spite of the fact that Jesus Christ died to save, mankind had continued to suffer in one way or the other and blamed this on "mankind's intransigence".

"Until Christians realise the true practice of what really entails in Christendom, by way of following the teachings of Jesus Christ, no system of governance can bail us out of our woes as citizens," he said. Brother Crudass urged Christians not to be discouraged when confronted with "unfortunate happenings in their way" but to continue to pray and abide by what the Holy Bible tells us".

Brother Ronald Kupler of Circuit 32, in a keynote address said the convention was expected to strengthen the faith of the delegates to lead upright lives and to be strong in evangelism.

A total of 134 covenants were baptised.

Pastor John Sampson Manu of Sunyani Central of the Church of Pentecost, advised members of the Church not to be discouraged if their prayers were not answered as expected.

In a sermon at the close of a four-day convention, he stressed that any delay by God to answer one's prayer could not be termed as "rejection" of their prayer. More than 1,000 members attended the convention on the theme, "Arise and Shine".

Pastor Manu asked Christians to steer away from "misdeeds" and to pray unceasingly to receive God's forgiveness. The Reverend Joseph Awuni, Head Pastor of Glad Tidings Assemblies of God Church, advised Christians to share the spirit of Christianity with others.

Preaching on the "Significance of the name Christ", he stressed that Christians should celebrate Christmas in an atmosphere of peace by sharing gifts and assisting the needy rather than indulging in unnecessary merrymaking.

"Jesus Christ is a provider and a protector", he said, and urged mankind to follow His commandments to be able to face the challenges of life.

Rev. Awuni advised Christians to show love and compassion and to share the word of God with others. Rev. Mrs. Gladys Boakye-Yiadom, Assistant Minister of Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, called on Christians to adopt a holistic approach towards the celebration of Christmas and not to restrict it to only merry making.

She said the birth of Jesus Christ represented God's everlasting love for mankind, adding that, "It is the divine right of every Christian to use the occasion to soberly reflect on Christ's mission on earth".

Rev. Boakye-Yiadom appealed to believers to let the true values of Christianity reflect in their lives during the season by giving and showing compassion to the vulnerable. She urged Christians to lead morally upright lives by letting their character and attitudes reflect their faith.

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