General News of 2014-01-04

We must purge ourselves of social vices — Rev. Dr Frimpong-Manso

The General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God Church, Ghana, Rev. Dr Paul Frimpong-Manso, has urged Ghanaians to purge themselves of all social vices, such as corruption, greed and selfishness.

He also stressed the need for Ghanaians to bury their differences and prejudices and “love our neighbours as ourselves.”

“Let us live a new life of peace, love and harmony with one another,” he said in a Christmas and New Year message issued in Accra.

Rev. Dr Frimpong-Manso prayed that 2014 would bring Ghanaians new hope, opportunity and renewed vigour to serve God better than before.

He also invoked divine peace on Ghanaians and the entire nation in the New Year.

Rev. Dr Frimpong-Manso said Christmas was characteristically a season of great joy and jubilation celebrated all over the world to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.

He said during that period, people generally made extra efforts to cleanse their homes and offices of all filth, whitewash them and adorn the walls and doors with colourful decorations.

Rev. Dr Frimpong-Manso said commercial activities also reached their peak during the period, as many traders took advantage of the season to make more money.

“I personally have no qualms about these activities during Christmas, but I am concerned about the undue hikes in these activities and the shifting of people’s focus from the real reason for Christmas to these peripherals.

“Quite similar to the biblical account of Luke 2:7, where the people of Bethlehem had no room in the inn for Jesus and His parents, many people in our day and age tend to crowd out Jesus during Christmas with many activities which are only incidental to the occasion,” he said.

According to Rev. Dr Frimpong-Manso, “Christ, indeed, is the reason for the season, and without Him, there would be no Christmas in the first place.”

He said in order to make the occasion complete and meaningful, “we must make it a season of honest reflection on the cause for which Jesus was born and for which He sacrificed His life; and this remembrance should cause us to order our lives accordingly.”

Rev. Dr Frimpong-Manso said the amazing thing to remember during Christmas was that God entered the world of man by becoming a man capable of relating with man not only as creator, mighty God and saviour, but also as friend, brother and beloved.

“Our reflections should also help us to cherish the paradoxes of Christmas, the incarnation and our redemption,” he noted.

Rev. Dr Frimpong-Manso said Christmas was also a time for gift-giving in memory of the magi and the gifts they presented to Jesus Christ.

But he was quick to point out that God was the ultimate Gift-giver in the Christmas story by demonstrating how to give, not sparingly and selectively, but lavishly to all.

“God did not require that we first demonstrate our worthiness or earn His affection; He found us while we were yet sinful and brought us grace and forgiveness.

“God did not give objects and artefacts; He sacrificed Himself, restored us to a right relationship with Him, and bade us to reconcile with one another,” he remarked.