New Year Message: Christians urged to help each other, uphold perseveranceLeave a comment / By: manifel / 02 January, 2021 08:24:49AM
As the world ushers in the New Year, preachers in the Catholic Church and Anglican Church have urged Christians to uphold the spirit of helping one another and perseverance amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Imbereheza visited Saint-Michel Cathedral of Catholic Church and Saint-Etienne Cathedral of Anglican Church in Kigali for the New Year services and found Christians holding services in compliance with COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
Father Victor Karamira who led the service at Saint Michel Cathedral called on Rwandans to uphold the spirit of helping one another.
“There are some neighbors and relatives who do not help each other anymore. We have to follow the example of the Lord. While Christians may have problems and difficulties, they have to always help one another,” he preached.
As we begin the New Year, we must work as brothers and sisters, we have to trust each other, we have to avoid vengeance, we have to embrace the spirit of God, he added.
Father Karamira reminded Christians to strive for peace and avoid divisionism.
Message about difficult times
Bishop Nathan Rusengo Amooti who led the service at Saint Etienne Cathedral of Anglican Church said that with the previous year full of challenges it calls for Christians to stand together.
“The challenges affected Rwanda and the world in general. The pandemic disrupted schools, churches, Christians, business and everyone. However as Christians, the word of God shows that we are not the first people to face difficulties. In Rwandan history, different famines and diseases. Therefore Christians should find strength through the word of God,” he preached.
Using the word of God in the Book of Judges in the Bible, Bishop Rusengo explained persevering in difficult times by citing a man called Gideon.
“God told him to remain firm despite his challenges. Therefore we tell Christians, that despite starting with new challenges in these difficult times, to persevere. Through perseverance, God will increase their strength,” he preached.
What Christians say
Emeline Akimana from Catholic Church said she got inspired to mobilize her colleagues to help those in struggles.
“Sometimes, in the neighborhoods, people can be indifferent. They enjoy themselves regardless of others’ troubles. The liturgy has reminded me of the need to mobilize colleagues to join our efforts in helping another. But this is possible when people pray to God and avoid selfishness,” she said.
Jean-Pierre Gatabazi from Anglican Church reiterated that while difficult times may come up often, the culture of helping each other should be rooted.
Also In his New Year’s message during a New Year's Eve mass celebrated virtually, Cardinal Antoine Kambanda urged ``the culture of looking out for one another."
“The culture of taking care of others builds peace. Christians should avoid selfish culture,” he said.
The culture of looking out for one another, he explained, is based on the fact that many people lost their relatives and friends while many others’ economies were affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pope sends New Year’s message of hope amid crisis
Though he was not physically present for his New Year’s Eve liturgy due to what the Vatican has described as a “painful sciatica,” Pope Francis offered a message of hope for those searching for meaning at the end of a trying year marked by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
In a prepared text read aloud by Italian Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, Dean of the College of Cardinals, the pope said, “It might seem forced, almost jarring, to thank God at the end of a year like this, marked by the pandemic.”
At the close of the year 2020, Francis said his thoughts were of families “who have lost one or more members, of those who have been sick, of those who have suffered from loneliness, of those who have lost their jobs.”
He also pointed to the work carried out by doctors, nurses, volunteers, and healthcare workers throughout the pandemic, adding that “they are always in our prayers and deserve our gratitude.”
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