Christmas is here again with us and we are grateful to God that in the midst of a global pandemic we are alive to see this season that is characterised by so many festivities.
Without doubt the message of peace can never be overemphasised because it is the pivot of the celebration.
Isaiah 9:6-7 speaks expressly about the Prince of Peace (Jesus Christ) who is born to give us peace.
The prevailing message is peace in our nation, homes and in all institutions because the absence of peace is chaos.
Let us deliberately embrace peace by loving and forgiving one another so that we can build a healthy society.
We have one Ghana, a beautiful country, wonderful traditions.
This year 2020 has been very challenging.
Let’s not waste the grace of god that has kept us alive to see this Christmas.
Remember to lend a helping hand to those who need your help during this period.
I wish every Ghanaian a Merry Christmas and a rewarding New Year.
Let’s be cautious on our roads as we travel to different places to celebrate this wonderful season.
By Rev Dr Christie Doh Tetteh, Founder of Solid Rock Chapel International
Bishop Emmanuel Louis Nterful, Convener of the United Denominations Originating from the Lighthouse Group of Churches (UD-OLGC)
We stand at the end of the year 2020, period marked by a pandemic — a year in which countless people have experienced death, bereavement, sorrow, loss, depression, frustration, and hopelessness.
Everyone, one way or the other, has been affected by the pandemic.
Families, organisations, and companies have been dealt the wicked blows of financial loss, insolvency and bankruptcy, and have had to take painful decisions to lay off employees.
It is in this year that we have seen airports, schools, and even churches closed. Fear gripped the world.
Lockdowns, social distancing, and nose masks also deepened our loneliness and created social barriers between us.
These have deprived us of the essential human closeness and intimacy that bring comfort.
It is with this background that we enter the Christmas season.
The Christmas season, as the angels sang, was the invasion of earth by God in the form of a human baby.
The announcement of the angels to the shepherds encapsulates the Christmas message.
Luke 2:14 puts it this way “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
As Christians, we believe that through the words of the Bible, God still speaks directly to us.
These words spoken by angels to a group of bewildered shepherds a couple of thousand years ago are relevant to us today.
What living messages can we glean from these words to build us up, comfort us and draw us near to God in this season?
1. We give glory to God in the highest.
The scriptures enjoin us in all circumstances to give thanks to God.
We recognise Him as being in sovereign control of the earth.
The Coronavirus is not an indication that He has abdicated His throne.
He is still in charge and in control of the affairs of this world.
Let us join our hearts together to give Him glory.
Giving Him glory also means ascribing all His mighty works to Him, and not to our own human ingenuity or cleverness.
Epidemiologists predicted catastrophic death rates from the Coronavirus in Africa due to insufficient healthcare facilities like ventilators and other medical equipment needed to combat the ravaging virus.
However, when the virus hit Ghana for instance, lower than expected death rates were seen, and God gave our leaders wisdom to manage the spread of the disease.
Prayers were said which like in the Old Testament stories of plagues, restrained the virus and prevented us from fulfilling the predictions.
As a people, we must ascribe the glory to God, who has power beyond what we can reason, or think.
The phrase “...in the highest” refers to the highest heaven from where God reigns and has control of all in the solar system and the universe which he has created. He holds all things together by the power of His word (Hebrews 1:3) and no one or nothing can destroy the earth and the heavens which He has created unless at His bidding.
He is strong, mighty and powerful.
In fact, He is Almighty, All-Powerful, and All-knowing. Nothing takes Him by surprise and the unexpected is not unexpected from His perspective.
2. On earth, peace toward men.
The word peace, means prosperity, quietness, and rest.
It means to set at one again.
For the world in its current state, it is a message of hope. It means bereaved families can be comforted, and there is hope that the turmoil which has engulfed the world can be assuaged.
It also means, we can have rest from the stress of hearing bad news all the time.
It also means that companies and businesses which have suffered devastating losses can rise from the ashes and thrive again.
It means a restoration of all that has been lost, like in the story of the patriarch Job, who lost all, and received restoration in a double measure.
3. On earth, goodwill toward men.
God’s goodwill toward men was to send men a Savior, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins. God desires our satisfaction.
According to 1 Timothy 6:17, He has given us all things richly to enjoy.
God wants to show kindness to us.
He wants His purpose to be fulfilled in our lives. He delights in us greatly.
Therefore, though we were sinners, He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for us.
This is the message of Christmas — God wants us to respond to His love.
We must respond to the love of God by accepting Jesus into our hearts as Saviour.
It is His presence in our lives that will guarantee us all the needed hope for this season and those ahead of us!
Colossians 1:27 states that “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory…”
That is the only way through which the true meaning of Christmas can be fulfilled.
On behalf of the Founder Bishop Dag Heward-Mills, the Executive Council, the Bishops Conference, the Pastors, and entire membership of the UD-OLGC, I wish you a peaceful and happy Christmas.
Fr Francis Otuo Serebour, Founder of New Hope Universal Church
We must give thanks to God in all things, as the Bible admonishes us to do.
As Christians we take solace in the word of God in 2 Chronicles 15:5-7 “And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity…”
This is the year we were hit with a global pandemic, but God has been good to us all.
We have to take every opportunity that comes our way and try to make good use of every situation and unearth our talent.
As we celebrate the season, let’s not forget those who are in need.
As we go through this wonderful period, we need to be safety conscious by way of observing all the COVID-19 protocols.
Celebrate in moderation.
Founder and Senior Pastor of the Champion Faith Community Chapel, Rev. Dr Ebenezer Opare
It is important to put up a positive attitude in all things that you do.
2020 has had its fair share of challenges woven together with good things.
A lot of things had to be halted because of the global pandemic.
As a country, we have gone through all these and have come out successfully.
We’ve also had a successful election, despite the challenges.
We do not have a perfect economy, things did not really go as planned, but we came through it all.
The country still enjoys peace and freedom as compared to many nations around us.
Genesis 1:9,11,18,21, 25 and 31 indicate that God saw that everything He had created in the world was good.
In life, it is important to see the good in people and in every situation.
There are those who do not see any good in themselves and life’s situation — If you continue to see life that way, you can’t accomplish much.
Do not focus on only the mistakes you made or the bad things that happened to you this year and throw your hands in despair.
You have strength to change what you don’t like as we enter a new year.
As we enter the New Year, let’s focus our attention on the good areas of our country, though not perfect, and practice what is good.
Philippians 4:8 encourages us to think about things that are pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.
Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year to you all.
Most Reverend Sam Korankye Ankrah, Founder and Apostle General of Royalhouse Chapel International
The year is drawing to a close, and it is the season of joy, merriment and thanksgiving as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Without doubt, 2020 has been the most troubling year globally.
The world was hit by an unexpected pandemic, one from which we are yet to recover.
Many lives have been lost and economies have suffered greatly.
Locally, we have just came out of a season of political campaigning and national elections; the aftermath of which has seen pockets of violence and unrest in some constituencies.
In the midst of all these, however, we must be careful to show gratitude to God for His mercies.
As we enter the festive season, I am led by God to once again arouse our national conscience towards works that are pleasing to Him.
Against the background of our current challenges, I encourage us as a nation to remember the reason for the season – Jesus, and what He stood for – reconciliation, peace and unity.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14 (kjv).
As individuals, we must emulate these attributes by reaching out to one another, especially the underprivileged by showing them much love.
Look around you and see who you can touch and bless with the love of Christ.
As a nation, let us lay aside our political differences and pursue peace.
Peace does not come by chance, it is by concerted effort through prayer, lawful conduct and seasoned speech.
I pray for every individual and the nation, that as we do this, the Word of the Lord shall manifest in our lives; “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; “May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.” Psalm 122:6-7 (NKJV).
May the peace and favour of God rest upon our dear nation, Ghana always.
And may the joy of the season continually sustain us.
God bless us all. Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
Reverend Samuel Ebo Kwaitoo, Head Pastor of Destiny Altar Ministries
Everything about the birth of Jesus Christ is supernatural.
So he deserves to be celebrated across the world.
Isaiah 9:6-7 expressly puts it “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God…”
This is the period the saviour of the world was born.
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, let’s reflect on why he came to this world — this is the reason for the celebration.
Let’s move beyond the usual religious activities and focus more on the reason for his coming into this world to save mankind.
The season is more than singing carols and going to church.
In reflecting on this, there is the need to focus on the supernatural life God brought to the world.
As Christians, let us live the supernatural life that God brought to this world.
Christ was born to reconcile the world to Himself.
We must know that as He promised that He was going and will come back, the time is drawing closer and not live our lives anyhow.
This is the time we must pay attention to the Salvation message — the saving power of God.