Dear People of God,
I wish you all a New Year of peace, security, productivity, and prosperity.
Ghanaians have enteredthe year 2017 with very high expectations. God has seen the country safely through an electioneering campaign period which wascharacterized by tension, acrimony and apprehension. But we have bounced back as a people. The Ghanaian over the years has demonstrated the capacity for reconciliation and the love for peace. As Apostle Paul said …but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead..(Philippians 3:13).
Change in government is an inevitable part of the governance process. Just as years come and go, governments in a democracy also come and go.I wish to admonish all Ghanaians, especially, the over 98% that profess faith in God, to reorient our lives in the spirit of the change we have voted for. Change in leadership without corresponding change in the attitude and behavior of the citizenry is a meaningless trip to nowhere. Therefore as we enter a new year, I call on all Ghanaians, to seek to be more responsible citizens than we have so far been. Collectively, over many years, we have not demonstrated sufficient sense of responsibility as a people; and we have suffered for it. There are signs that unless we all launch out on a project of changing attitudes and behaviors, things can become worse in our country.
Our collective irresponsibility as citizens manifest in the endemic corruption that is eating up our public service at all levels; our misuse of power that tends to intimidate law abiding but powerless members of our society; the vitriols that pour out of our radio and television stations; the indiscipline and inconsiderate behaviors on our roads; blatant disrespect for the aged, unprofessional attitude towards work, unethical conduct at our work places and in our communities, the contempt with which we treat the environment and many other pool of vices in which most of us seem to be swimming with pleasure.
On the first day of the year 2017, we in Ghana have enough motivation to work toward change. A New Year’s Day offers us the opportunity to make resolutions to be better persons; and as we welcome a new government into office, we do not only expect change but we are motivated to work toward a constructive change.
This idea of change; of newness and renewal,with the opportunities to make fresh attempts at reaching our aspirations and achieving our goals in life, finds its most solid foundation in the call of God to us to receive new life in Jesus Christ. This is a call that goes out to all peoples everywhere, offering to them the hope that unfavorable circumstances and difficult conditions are surmountable and that change for a better life is always possible.
While it is good and potentially, productive for each of us to make resolutions to improve upon our lives and overcome self-destructive habits, it is important for us to realize that making resolutions to be better citizens, with adequate sense of responsibility toward our fellow citizens and our country is also a divine calling. Therefore, in addition to our own individual New Year resolutions, let each of us also resolve to commit ourselves to adopting attitudes and behaviors that will contribute towards achieving the greater aspirations of our country: eradication of poverty; improved and accessible health-care for all; accessible quality education for all; quality and sustainable jobs for all who desire to work; greater national unity and harmony; greater concern and care for the vulnerable, including people with disability.
We as Presbyterians, and indeed Christians must be guided by the core values of Christianity in all spheres of life. Furthermore, as citizens of Ghana we should model leadership in our place of work, and in our communities and this will inevitably support institutional efforts at civic education.
God’s blessed dealings with us in the past year, especially, answering our fervent prayers to take us through the elections peacefully, must give us the confidence to continue to hold together and press on as one people. We must continue to hope, pray and work toward better quality of life for each citizen and foreigners who find themselves living among us.
May we humbly seek God’s blessings;
May God protect each and every one of us;
May He guide our Leaders in the days to come;
May the beginning of a new year and a new era be a time of rectitude, righteousness, progress and prosperity of Ghana;
May each of us receivegrace and strength to achieve our New Year resolutions.
Happy and prosperous New Year.