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25.12.2005 General News

Christians celebrate Christmas

By GNA
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Accra, Dec. 25, GNA - Ghanaian Christians are today joining their counterparts all over the world to celebrate Christmas to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ more than 2,000 years ago. Churches were filled to capacity with both regular and occasional worshippers. Preaching the sermon at the Ghana Police Church in Accra, the Most Reverend Dr Robert Aboagye-Mensah, the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, urged Ghanaians to preserve the environment. He warned that unless adequate measures were instituted to ensure environmental integrity to preserve water bodies the country would soon run out of water, citing instances where people built houses in waterways. Most Rev Aboagye-Mensah asked Christians to be humble to see the darkness in their lives and to seek the light, which God through Jesus Christ brought to mankind adding that, while the rich and powerful rejected Christ the poor accepted him. He urged Christians to reach out to the poor. Turning to the political situation in the West Africa Sub-Region Most Rev. Aboagye-Mensah attributed the peace the country was enjoying while neighbouring countries were in turmoil to the Grace of God. He asked Ghanaians to enjoy the newly found freedom to the maximum but must remember that freedom went with responsibility and that it had limits. Most Rev Aboagye-Mensah compared Ghana to ancient Israel when it was under the bondage of Assyria saying that the country having been under oppression occasioned by military adventurisms was now approaching its jubilee and stressed the need for good governance by ensuring freedom and justice. Prayers were said for the nation. Tema Leaders were on Sunday called upon to make it their responsibility to promote peace during this Christmas season. Right Reverend Samuel Mensah, President of Full Gospel Church International in Tema said the best gift people in leadership could give to their followers was to promote peace among them and to show love as well as putting a smile on the face of others. He said the story of Christmas was that of peace and unity, therefore they should emulate it rather than being divisive, as all were remembering the birth of Christ. Speaking on the theme "Don't Let Anyone Steal Your Dream", he said when Mary was given a dream of becoming a mother, she immediately saw herself as one, by saying that every body would call her blessed and for that cause, everybody was celebrating the birth of Jesus. He said as the Christmas celebrations goes on; individuals as well as the nation should not allow their dreams to die, adding that, the nation's objective of becoming a middle-income country by the year 2020 should not be forgotten.
The Rt. Rev. admonished Ghanaians to hold on to this objective even if they would not leave to see it; they should do it for their children's sake.
Rt. Rev. Mensah said every dream attracts all kinds of people such as those who would encourage and those, who would kill the dream; he however appealed to the older folks to learn to encourage the younger generation to achieve their dreams.
He said "Elizabeth did not compete with Mary, but she decided to help her, therefore, we must help people when we spot good dreams in them for them to achieve something meaningful in life" He called on the general public to go an extra mile to show love and kindness to one another in order to put a smile on a neighbour's face during this Christmas. Dec. 25, 05 Tema Ghanaians were on Sunday urged to be mindful of the environment, as they celebrate the birth of Christ so that they do not litter the towns with unwanted materials. Preaching the sermon to mark this year's Christmas, Reverend Samuel Boadi-Dankwah, Senior Pastor of the Action Chapel at Tema said the society needs mental revolution and this must start from the environment, since its pollution or degradation was likely to impact negatively on us. "As we celebrate the yuletide, we should be each other's keeper and muster the courage to correct a neighbour, when he or she goes wrong by littering the environment". He said as Ghana was aiming at becoming a middle-income country by 2020, negative practices like these needed to be looked at else the objective could be a mirage. Talking on the upbringing of a child, he said though they should not be maltreated, he also advised against excess freedom, else they would get up one day and revolt against parents. On politics, he asked those with political ambitions to cease agitations and rather seek Christ's direction for success. At the Anadeya Diocese of the Light House Church at Tema, Rev. Ishmael Sam called on Christians to look up to Christ Jesus in the face of difficulties because with him all things are possible. He said to be in leadership position is a very difficult task and therefore prayed for those in the helm of affairs for God's guidance and direction to lead the nation to prosperity. Accra The Reverend Dr Mensah Otabil, General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church in a Christmas sermon said the day signified the fulfilment of a promise God made to mankind to send a sacrificial lamb for the propitiation of the sins of the world. He said though man could do a lot for himself, he could not save himself from the sins that separated him from God. The birth of Jesus Christ more than 2000 years ago, marked the redemption of mankind as promised by God and it is an event that reminds Christians of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to judge the living and the dead and it is one of the most important beliefs of Christians that whosoever believes in Him will be saved.
The saviour born of the Virgin Mary in a stable signifying humility, which teaches Christians to do Good and to return good for bad. Basing his sermon on the theme, "It Is Christmas" Dr Otabil said, "The greatest gift to give during Christmas is to help somebody, who did not know Christ to accept Him as his Lord and Saviour." He said the power of Christmas was the power of salvation and urged all Christians to share the goodwill of the gospel to win more souls for Christ.
The service, attended by thousands of regular and occasional worshippers, all dressed in their best and glittering new clothes, sang songs of praise to their saviour. Dr. Otabil said though Jesus Christ was born somewhere in March or April, December 25 was chosen for the celebration of the birth of Christ the saviour. Upper West Police deploy more men to ensure incident free yuletide Wa, Dec 25, GNA- The Upper West Regional police command has deployed about 100 policemen in the Wa Municipality to ensure that no nasty incident is recorded during the Christmas festivities. Apart from that, the police mobile vans would also periodically be deployed in the peripheries of the region to check people who would misconduct themselves during the celebrations.
Mr. George Ankobil, Regional Police Command told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview on Sunday that they took that position because of previous experiences during the Christmas celebrations.
He said unlike in the previous years when assault cases were reported during the Christmas festivities, they were yet to record any this year, pledging that they would do everything possible to ensure that the yuletide was peacefully spent. death recorded.
The hospital Authorities also told the GNA that no Christmas related accident was reported to them.
Meanwhile, most of the people in the Wa Municipality danced and enjoyed themselves deep into the early hours of Sunday, while many others spent the night giving praises to God at various church services.
Kumasi At a Christmas service held at the Adum Ramseyer Presbyterian Church in Kumasi, the Reverend Otuo Acheampong, Chairman of the Asante Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG), admonished Christians to uphold truth and honesty in all their endeavours. He called on Christians to lead exemplary lives worthy of emulation by unbelievers and refrain from vices that bedevil the church's physical and spiritual growth.

"We should desist from power struggle, hatred for one another and self-aggrandizement, since the church is not a secular society", he said.

Rev. Acheampong reminded Christians to use the Christmas festivities to renew their spiritual strength and also demonstrate their commitment to spreading the gospel.

In a sermon to mark the birth of Jesus Christ on Sunday at the Wesley Methodist Church, Adum, Right Reverend, Nuh Ben Abubekr, Methodist Bishop of Kumasi, said Jesus exhibited peace and therefore stressed the need for Ghanaians to be instruments of peace in their homes, workplaces and everywhere they find themselves. He urged Ghanaians to use the occasion to change their attitude to life and work relentlessly towards the socio-economic and political development of the country.

Rt. Rev. Abubekr advised Christians to eschew negative tendencies like hatred, tribalism, nepotism, bribery and corruption and others that have impeded the growth of the country.

He called on Christians to exhibit love, and forgiveness and also cultivate the habit of assisting the needy in society at all times. Delivering the Christmas sermon at the Old Tafo Gospel Centre of the Assemblies of God Church, Reverend John Kwabena Boakye said, Jesus Christ, the prince of peace brought peace to mankind and appealed to Ghanaians to reconcile with one another to ensure peace and harmony. He stated that the birth of Christ symbolized how he came to serve mankind and asked Christians to exhibit that quality and render selfless services to their neighbours.

Rev. Boakye, whose theme for the occasion was "the word became fresh" stressed the need for Ghanaians to let their hearts be healed from hypocrisy and sexual promiscuity. Dec. 25, 05

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