For many holiday revellers, Easter is a period to wind down and make merry. In fact, for the five days of the period beginning from Holy Thursday to Easter Monday, a cocktail of activities take place across the country, especially at Kwahu in the Eastern Region and many parts of the Volta Region.
With activities ranging from church services, paragliding, hiking, carnivals and street jams, Ghanaians celebrate Easter with passion.The reason being the atonement of our sins with the blood of Christ as a result of the crucifixion. It is the celebration of the gift God gave us through the death, burial and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ.
It is also the ultimate sacrifice God made, as a father, by sending his one and only begotten son to take on the atonement for our sins.
Essence of Easter
But come to think of it, are we really losing the essence of Easter as another day on the calender filled with candy baskets and bunnies?
As the holiest period on the Christian calendar — the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ, His victory over death and for the believer, eternal hope and redemption, must be the focus of our thinking.
It is for this reason we need to constantly remind ourselves of the real import of Easter and its relevance to our individual lives and mankind as a whole.
Season of sacrifice
As a season of alms giving, sacrifice, reconciliation, selflessness and development, the just ended Easter festivities must rekindle in us a renewed mind which is prepared to reconcile and work together for the good of mankind and the larger society.
As a nation, we are yet to overcome the acrimony, sometimes insults, name-calling and wild allegations that characterised the run-up to the 2020 elections. Unfortunately, this negative characterisation is now defining our contemporary political dispensation.
Time to build
That is why it will be of utmost importance to use the Easter period and beyond as a time to build a new mindset which is focused on the development of the country, entrenching the rule of law, as well as deepen the country’s democratic credentials.
In the spirit of good faith, we must get back to the basics to protect our cherished values hinged on responsible behaviour.
As a nation, we are desirous of freedom but not ready to exercise the responsibility that goes with such freedoms to ensure a higher standard of living.
We are also failing to show commitment and responsibility to the things that sustain our environment and add to our quality of life such as keeping our surroundings clean all the time and managing our waste effectively.
So soon, we are approaching another rainy season and all indications point to a nation not ready for it through and by our actions and inactions. We are not acting responsibly in the management of our ecosystem.
It is time to debate on national issues of concern and proffer solutions to the myriad of challenges plaguing our nation.
Resorting to insults and vitriolic attacks on opponents is surely not the way to go after Easter. After Easter, we must all work towards deepening the peace of the country.
Indeed, I wish to reiterate what the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, the Most Rev. Dr Paul K. Boafo stated in his Easter message that as Christians believe that Jesus Christ died and arose on the third day, “ May a new life be breathed into all spheres of the country’s development.”
In the face of the current challenges confronting our nation, President Akufo-Addo also admonished all of us to be inspired and guided by the promise of salvation. “I ask, respectfully, all of you to continue to have hope of great times soon for our country.The government is working hard to restore our nation back onto the path of progress and prosperity — a path which our nation was charting before the onset of COVID-19, whose negative consequences have been further exacerbated by the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. All these difficulties, notwithstanding, I am confident that, with creativity, enterprise, hard work, perseverance and unity, we, the Ghanaian people, shall overcome, for our future is bright.”
Relatedly, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban S.K Bagbin, has equally implored Ghanaians to use the death of Christ as an avenue to open a new chapter in life.
In an Easter message, the Speaker prayed the season would bring an end to past grievances and retrogression in our politics.
Without any doubt, we need a new mindset that will positively influence our governance systems, as well as address the needs of the citizenry.
Equally, the citizenry must overcome the challenges of indiscipline, pollution of our river bodies, environmental degradation among others.
Notwithstanding, we all need to have a new mindset to build a disciplined and responsible society that cares for one another. Happy Easter to all.