There is nothing wrong with cleaning and decorating for Christmas “but if you think that in itself is fulfilling God’s promise then we have missed the mark”, said Rev Ancil Harry of the Methodist Church at the official opening of the Christian Council of Trinidad and Tobago crèche at the Brian Lara Promenade on December 21.
“Clean your house but more important clean your heart, get rid of the hatred, get rid of the jealousy, get rid of the bickering and fighting; adorn your heart with the fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience goodness, meekness and self-control. Allow the Kingdom of God to be established in you,” Rev Harry told the gathering.
The general theme of the programme, which ran December 21–28 was The Power and Purpose of Christmas. The evening’s sub-theme was ‘God Keeps His Promise–Prophesies Fulfilled: Jesus Came’.
Rev Harry cited the Old Testament–Genesis, Isaiah, Micah–to show that God kept his promises even if they were fulfilled centuries later. He said, “When we look at the Old Testament you will know there are at least 100 prophecies recorded in the Old Testament concerning God’s promise to send us a Messiah, a deliverer.”
Between the Old and New Testament there are “at least 27 centuries” before fulfilment of the promise. Rev Harry continued, “Christ came over 2,000 years ago. He came humble; he came meek, lying in a manger. He was what we would consider an outcast, marginalised; there was no room for him in the inn…yet through all the circumstances and through all the course of time God worked things out in such a way that his promise was fulfilled. Emmanuel–God is with us”.
Christians look forward to the day when they are in Heaven in God’s presence before this can happen though, “His Kingdom must be established in you on earth,” Harry said. If people were not working towards this then everything was “in vain”. “Is He ruling in your heart? Are your actions being prompted by the Holy Spirit working in you?” he asked.
Rev Harry questioned if Christians were working for truth, righteousness and justice in the land; standing in solidarity with the less fortunate in society, speaking out for the voiceless, advocating for the rights of unborn babies who are aborted; child abuse and domestic violence victims.
Another social issue was men abandoning their families. Rev Harry said there are men who stood up for truth and righteousness and were committed to their children despite the trails and hardship however, they were “dwindling”.
He called for individuals to allow Christ Jesus into their hearts and become the centre of their life. “Let him dictate the things you say, the things you do, the things you think,” Rev Harry said.
Bro Deon Samm, also of the Methodist faith led the programme. Welcome remarks were given by President of the CCTT Gail Meridin; Archbishop Joseph Harris blessed the crèche at the end; Deacon Michael Smith offered the intercessory prayers. Music for the evening was provided by the St Charles Borromeo RC Choir, Sacred Heart Boys’ Choir and the T&T Regiment Band. – LPG