Some Christian leaders have called on Ghanaians to use the Christmas season to demonstrate and share love with all, especially the needy, poor and vulnerable in society.
They also asked Ghanaians to use the occasion to reconcile and be at peace with one another, while uniting for national development.
The Christian leaders who made the call include the Chairman of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Eric Nyamekye; the General Overseer of the Royalhouse Chapel, Rev. Sam Korankye Ankrah; the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt Rev. Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante; the President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC), the Most Rev. Philip Naameh; the Anglican Bishop of Kumasi and Archbishop of the Internal Province of Ghana, the Most Rev. Prof. Daniel Yinkah Sarfo, and the President and the General Secretary of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), Rev. Prof. Paul Frimpong-Manso and Rev. Emmanuel Barrigah, respectively.
The Christian leaders made the call in separate Christmas messages ahead of the celebration of Christmas.
Reconciliation and peace
The Chairman of the Church of Pentecost said Christmas was about the redemption of mankind and the gift of God to humanity — the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Christmas is, therefore, not a time to just eat, drink and make merry, as some people want us to believe, but a time to remember the story of Christ,” he said.
He said it was also a time for reconciliation and so if anyone bore any grudge against another, it was time to make peace.
Apostle Nyamekye urged Christians to pray for the peace of the land as it headed to the polls in 2020.
Need to be thankful
Rev. Korankye Ankrah, in his message said in spite of the challenges that the year brought, there was still the need to remain thankful and show gratitude to God for the preservation of the peace, security and unity of the nation.
He noted that the spirit of Christmas comprised two key principles — reconciliation and giving to others — and, therefore, even in the midst of personal challenges, the Christmas spirit should influence Ghanaians to reach out in fellowship to the poor and disadvantaged in the communities.
“We must make concerted efforts to pursue and preserve our peace, irrespective of our political, religious, social and economic divides,” he said.
Counting our blessings
The President of the GPCC said while the country and the people counted their blessings, there was the need for all to bear in mind the significance of Christmas, which is the demonstration of God’s greatest gift of love to humanity through the birth of Jesus Christ.
“Let us, as a nation emerging out of a rancorous period of political disagreements and extreme partisanship, allow this love of God permeate every aspect of our national life by demonstrating that spirit of love and reconciliation towards one another, just as God reconciled the world to Himself through Jesus Christ,” he said.
Rev. Prof. Frimpong-Manso called on all Ghanaians to join hands in prayer for the peace and prosperity of the country as 2020, an election year, approached.
He urged Ghanaians and especially the political parties to exhibit the greatest sense of tolerance in their political discourse, eschew extreme partisanship and seek consensus building in all engagements, with the ultimate aim of a peaceful and united Ghana before, during and after the December 2020 general election.
While urging the Electoral Commission (EC) to seek consensus building and transparency at all times in its deliberations with the political parties and other stakeholders in all the processes leading to the December 2020 elections, he also called on all stakeholders and the parties to be circumspect in the manner they critiqued the EC in order not to compromise its impartiality and constitutionally guaranteed independence.
Furthermore, he implored the Police Service and the other security agencies to rise to the occasion once again by ensuring strict enforcement of the law and dealing with all forms of political violence and criminality impartially to nip in the bud all forms of impunity in the name of politics.
For his part, Rev. Barrigah urged Ghanaians to show love, especially to the less-privileged and vulnerable in this Christmas season.
He also advised that Christians should use the occasion to unite with God and also give their lives to Christ to fulfil the true meaning of Christmas.
In his message, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana urged churches to make a special offering during this Christmas for the poor and needy, including those outside the church.
That, he said, would be a powerful expression of the spirit of Christmas and also a pleasing gesture to the Lord.
“I encourage you to spend time to visit your families, friends and neighbours; go and visit the sick, the poor, orphans, widows and others,” Rt Rev. Prof. Mante urged.
Live godly lives
The President of the GCBC, in his statement, said Christmas became meaningful when human beings, born in the image and likeness of God, strived to live godly lives.
He further noted that Christmas was about peace, since the event celebrated the feast of Christ, the Prince of Peace.
“Christ’s birth at Christmas marks the beginning of the process of restoration of the broken relationship between God and humanity. The celebration of Christmas, therefore, is a reminder of the peace that the Son of God has brought to us, as well as an invitation to us not only to pray for peace but, more importantly, desire and actively work for peace in our homes, families, schools, communities, towns and cities, in our country and the world at large,” he said.
Touching on the general election in 2020, the Most Rev. Naameh, who is also the Archbishop of the Tamale Archdiocese, called for peaceful elections.
In his message, the Most Rev. Prof. Sarfo said Christmas meant that God is interested in the affairs of people and “so let us prepare our souls and hearts to receive Jesus at Christmas”.
“As we enter next year, let us forget the past failures and disappointments and forge ahead with hope and faith. There is no need to cry over spilled milk,” he said.
He admonished Christians to be peacemakers who preached peace and unity.