Eric K. Amoh, GNA
Bolgatanga, March 12, GNA - An Anglican Priest at the Saint Cyprian Anglican Church, Reverend Father Camilos Baba Ababagre, has called on Christians to re-examine and avoid recurring sins to enable them have a better relationship with God.
He said even though God is just and ready to pardon Christians of the sins they commit, recurring sins are hurtful both to God and the sinner.
In a sermon to precede lent, Rev. Ababagre explained that lent is a season on the Catholic Calendar that is dedicated to 40 days of fasting and prayer.
According to the Priest, Lent is a solemn religious rite that enables Christians to purge themselves from all forms of sin and also in preparation for the celebration of Easter which is in adoration of Christ as saviour of humankind.
He said by the end of the lent season, Christians would have strengthened their faith in Christ. “The Church wants every moment of Christian life to be associated with Christ. Lent is liturgical season of advent, which could mean spring season or Quadragesima”, he explained.
He further explained that the 40 days of fasting is symbolic and always related to preparation, indicating that in Gen:7:17 the flood that displaced Noah lasted 40 days, while in Exodus 34:28 Moses was called by God, and stayed for 40 days and 40 nights preparing and waiting to receive God’s instruction for the people of Israel.
He said the purpose of lent is for Christians to fast, meditate in preparation for the coming of Christ, adding that prior to the commencement of lent is Ash Wednesday, which “reminds us of our time on earth, that, ashes we came from and into ashes we shall go”.
The preacher urged Christians, especially those of the Catholic origin to exercise their faith. “It is opportunity for us to contemplate on Christ’s death for humanity”.
He tasked the congregation to fast by abstaining from meat on every Friday of the lent season and on Good Friday. “Have personal prayer with God, attend prayer retreats for some number of days for meditation during this period and before Christ who is present in this current sacrament”, the Priest admonished.
According to the Priest, fasting could take different forms and be accepted by God and said it could be done by intermittently taking sips of water, avoiding food completely during the day, cutting down meals by half, avoiding alcohol and reducing any other things which are habitual in one’s life “all in readiness to soberly reflect and repent for salvation”.
He urged members of the congregation to meditate on Christ’s sacrifice for human kind. “Meditate on the New Testament, on the passion story of Christ, from the books of Luke, Matthew, and Marks, increase giving to those in need, examine areas of recurring sin and increase communion with God”.
Rev. Ababagre told members of the congregation some benefits from fasting, and said it included blessings from God, answered prayer requests, abundant grace from God and the power to resist evil through the grace of God. “it brings about newness of life by encouraging us to turn away from sin and enable us to forgive those who commit sins against us and forget about them. It also has health benefit for chronic disease careers”.
The Priest however cautioned the congregation saying “children, people with recognized health problems, Pregnant and breast-feeding women are exempted from fasting due to health reasons”.