President Akufo-Addo being welcomed by Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye at this year’s nine lesson and carols
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, Ms. Abena Durowaa Mensah, was the star of the night at this year’s Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols organized by Parliament last Wednesday evening, during which she dazzled the audience with her rendition of a Christmas carol, ‘O Holy Night’.
So delightful was the performance of the MP, dressed in a long white dress, that she became the toast of the audience, including President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, who cheered and applauded her.
The event, which took place at the Forecourt of Parliament, was set in motion by the choir of Parliament, Voices of Democracy, with the song Jesu, joy of man’s desiring, after the Member of Parliament for Krachi West, Rev. Helen Adjoa Ntoso, had invoked the presence of God for a successful event.
Dr Zanetor Rawlings, who is the MP for Korle Klottey, prior to the reading of the first lesson, also brought some smiles to the faces of the guests, who included her mother and former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, with the rendition of Daa daa mebo me sanku daa.
That was followed with renditions from singing groups such as Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church Choir from Sowutuom, the Asempa Choir from Tema, the Gbawe-McCarthy Hills Methodist Church Choir and the Ga West Presbytery Choir, interspersed with Bible readings.
Other dignitaries who graced the event were the Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo; members of the Diplomatic Corps; the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Ghana, Rev. Dr Paul Boafo, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Professor Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante.
President Akufo-Addo read the ninth lesson from the Book of John 1: 1-14, while the Vice-President also read the eighth lesson from Mathew 2: 1-12.
The Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, and the Chief Justice, read the sixth and seventh lessons from Luke 2: 1-7 and Luke 2: 8-20, respectively.
Prof. Oquaye, said the meeting was an opportunity for the house to read the scriptures and to sing songs of praise to the glory of God.
He described the presence of President Akufo-Addo and Dr Bawumia as symbolic of the religious freedom and tolerance within the country, adding that their presence was not only a bulwark of national unity but a spiritual beacon of hope for the future of the country.
Prof. Oquaye said one of the unique traits of Christmas was the reunion of families and friends and that, regardless of political affiliation, “we have gathered to share the love, joy, peace and comfort accompanying the season.”
He, therefore, called on all to be gracious and revel in the birth of Christ, while extending kindness to others.
“We must renew our pledge to resolve our differences peacefully and progress as one nation, one people with one common destiny,” Prof. Oquaye added.
The MP for Ho West and President of the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship, Mr Emmanuel Bedzrah, expressed the hope that the Bible lessons and songs would uplift and encourage the MPs and guests to thank God for His mercies throughout the year.
The MP for Offinso South and Chairman of the Parliamentary Muslim Caucus, Mr Ben Abdallah Banda, said with next year being an election year, Ghanaians must be circumspect in their deliberations, adding “We may agree to disagree but we need not tear ourselves apart.”
In an exhortation, the Senior Pastor of the Christianborg Baptist Church, Osu, Bishop Aaron Abeiku Apem Aryee, said Christmas brought the grace of God onto mankind and therefore, no one was beyond salvation.
He said the period of Christmas came with a strong message that everyone could be saved and, therefore, expressed the hope that the period of Christmas would affect the hearts of people and also reflect in their lives.
Bishop Aryee also prayed for the nation, the President and his Vice, as well as the three arms of government, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Jean Mensa, and Election 2020.