To many, Christmas represents a time of merry-making; parties, food, vacations, gift-sharing, family reunions and so on. And to others struggling in life, it is a time of anguish. However, what is the true meaning of Christmas? Shepherd James Kwapong shared his thoughts as he led the Christmas Day divine service at the Osu Congregation.
The service was based on the text word Luke 2:10-12, ‘Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”’
Our ever praise and thanks to God. The Lord always spoke a word of hope, encouragement, comfort and strength that delivered the Israelites of their distress. God never forsakes man in His dark moments, if only we have faith in God and heed His words. “We shall always give God our praise and thanks today. Not that we are neither sick, poor nor troubled, but because we have heard His words and have hope in them”, began the Osu Rector.
The birth of a Saviour, God’s word of man’s redemption. For 400 years, the people of Israel were in captivity. However, they had been told of the birth of a Saviour, who was to deliver them from their bondage. Truly, the Saviour, Jesus, was born hence Christmas. But this Saviour came for a higher purpose, one that begins in this world and transcends into a heavenly kingdom of eternal life.
Christmas, a sign of God’s love. He explained: “Through the birth of Jesus, God shows His sign of love to man. And in the same way, the Lord revealed His love to man in many other ways.” Through the victory at the Crucifixion, the establishment of the Church and the commission of the Apostles to prepare and guide us towards the return of the Saviour, God shows His love and desire for the redemption and eternal salvation of man.
Love received, love shared. The Shepherd continued: “Let us share this godly love with each other. The Lord, through His birth and grace on the Cross has shown us His love. The world must also see and experience this love within the Church, so they can also be a part of the body of Christ.”
He concluded: “Just as the shepherds received the word of good news joyfully, and carried it out without a care for their present state, let us also receive this word of salvation with joy regardless of our situation. Let us not revel in temporal happiness. What matters is our eternal life; let our joy in Christ and of Christmas remain forever. And on the day of His return, let us sing with joyful hearts to receive our Saviour.”
The Shepherd was assisted by Community Evangelists Mingle, Boakye and Priest Jonas Sah.