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Season of thanksgiving in churches

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THE months of November and December are used by churches to give thanksgiving.  The  essence is  to  thank  God  for the economic  activities  of  the  year  since He is the keeper of  life  and  custodian  of  agricultural resources  in the  world. 

People see the period as an opportunity to give generously to churches for the upliftment of facilities in the church.

The people  also  use  it as time  to  give assorted gifts to the ministers  for  efforts in  their  spiritual  lives.  In  some  denominations  like Catholic  and  Anglican churches,  there  is what is called Bazaar, where  the  material  things given  in the  church  are  auctioned  to the highest bidders.

This strategy earn the religious  organizations  substantial  amounts  of  revenue  to execute  facilities  needed  for  the  progress  of  the  organization.

Speaking to  the  National Light,  Mrs. Ngozi Okafor  expressed  joy  over  the  thanksgiving  and Bazaar period, saying that she  used  to save money monthly for  the  thanksgiving  to  appreciate  God  for  what  He  has  been doing  for  her  from January  to  the  end-of-the-year.   “I prefer  to  buy  a  bag  of  rice for the thanksgiving  but now  that the  cost  of  a  bag  of rice is high, I may  decide  to buy  tubers of yams”.

Michael Chibuike, a  civil servant,  believes that  the season of  thanksgiving service  is  a Christian  event  at  the end of  every  year.

“This  is an opportunity  to demonstrate gratitude to  God  for  preserving  one’s life and  well – being  for  the  year.  When  someone  is granted  gifts  of  any  kind, first   of all,  he  would make a prayer request  to God and  it is natural that such  beneficiary should  show  a sign of  gratitude and  may be moved. Thanksgiving  as a concept is an act of appreciating what one has merited or unmerited,  received in the period of November  and December months  yearly”.

Chibuike  still  maintained that  this last  quarter  of the  year is widely  known  as  strategic  months  which  individuals, families,  groups and so on set aside  for  showcasing  the  innumerable works  of  God  on  them  and  may  decide  to buy  materials,  gifts or money  to thank God. Chibuike observed that in some  countries, they  set-aside this  period  for  Christians  and  Non-Christians  to incline  to God  and  gather  what  they  have  as gifts  and bazaar  in  appreciation to  God.

Ugochukwu C  Okoye,  Administrative  Officer  to wife of the governor of Anambra State,  confirmed that  thanksgiving  has  religious  colouration  of  reverence  by  a Christian to have time to examine all the  good  works  God  has  done  to  his  life and  family.

“Many Christian denominations usually fix this occasion toward the-end-of-the-year through the series of thanksgiving, ranging from the first thanksgiving to general harvest and bazaar. During  thanksgiving,  every  devoted  Christian  normally  set-out  some  percentages  of their  wealth  or  produce  to  give  it  to   God Almighty  in  remembrance  of  His  kind protection for  the period  depending on   what  the person   has   in  mind or for  specific  act  he  wants  to  thank  God  for.   All  manner  of  wealth  are  presented  in  the  presence  of  God  in  the  Church  for  thanksgiving  by  all  the denominations   to  mark  the  event  of  thanksgiving.  The  Priest  and  other  lay  people  of  the  church  make  arrangements  how  to  collect  these  gifts and  sell  them  in  the  church  by  auction  to  raise  revenue  for  payment  of  church workers, maintenance  of the  church  building and  projects, charity,  as  the church may   requires.   It  is  through  this  process  that  most of  the magnificent  edifices  in  churches  are  built  in  cities  and  communities .

A  Catholic Priest, Fr.  Blaise Ejikeme, from St Thomas Aquinas, Awka, described Christmas as season of love, and that in the first instance, we celebrate the infinite love of God, fulfilling his promise of salvation.

He opined that, in any case, as we commemorate the incarnation during the   Christmas season, we should thank God for the great mystery of our salvation. “It is true that the greatest mystery of human salvation is the paschal mystery of Christ celebrated at Easter, yet the yuletide falls within the last month of the year. Hence it becomes equally a period of thanksgiving for leading his people safely to the end year. As such, individuals, families, associations, institutions, etc use this time to do special thanksgiving. We thank God for his guidance, mercies, graces , favours  and blessing, and that  is the way  we equally ask for his  continuous  blessings in the coming year.

In New Life Winners Church, Pastor Emmanuel Ezeike highly recommended this period as a season of celebration for God’s protective care and for gift of life through the cause of the year. “It is a time we party in the lord with our gifts and offer willingly and joyfully. It is a season that individuals, families of different parts of the churches are meant to be happy.

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