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Diasporian News of Sunday, 5 January 2014

Source: Ressurection Presbyterian

Presbyterian Church Of Ghana, Atlanta Georgia


December 29th 2013 was a very special day for the eight people who were baptized and the seventeen who were also confirmed into the folds of the above church.
Host Pastor Rev. Dr. John Azumah. Text: Matthew 16: 13-20 Theme: “Who Do You Say I Am?”

Rev. Dr. John Azumah started his sermon by a story saying……..

‘A plane traveling from Africa to America started losing altitude. Then the pilot announced, Ladies and gentlemen, we are losing altitude, we need to lighten the plane by throwing some luggage out. After about 15 min, he announced again, we are still losing guys and now some people have to go!!!
But to make it a fair play we going to use the Alphabets.

A- Any African on board please? No man move a nerve
B- Any black on board guys? No response too
C- Any colored people? No one moves
D- Any Darky please? This time the pilot is already losing his temper.

So, a small black boy moved closer to his dad and asked, Dad, “What are we?”
The man replied in a loud voice, “Tonight son, we are Zulus!!!!!”

Confirmation is a graduation ceremony, a rite of passage, into adulthood.’
“WHO DO PEOPLE SAY I AM?” ‘A very crucial question Jesus asked his disciples. He was a great teacher and wonderful story-teller! He performed numerous miracles, feed thousands, did many good deeds, reached out to the poor and marginalized. Jesus wanted to know what word on the street made of him. The question, “who do people say I am?” does not mean that Jesus was going through some identity crisis. Jesus knew exactly who he was and what his mission was. Nevertheless, he was interested in what people said about him, and so should we.
We are social beings. Who we are is not just about who our parents are and where we come from. Sure, the genes we inherit, the homes we are raised in, the schools we attend, the friends we hang out with, the YouTube videos we watch, the video games you play, the books we read all do contribute into making us who we are. What others in society think and say about us has a lot to contribute into shaping our identity. We live in a world where what matters is who you know and who knows you, the references you can garner, and not just qualifications and grades alone.
From now you have to start building your own social capital – your social savings accounts that you can draw from in times of need. Your parents name and reputation alone is no longer going to suffice. These may help you survive, but it will not make you thrive! As Christians, what society or the world thinks and says about us matters to God. Paul told the Romans (2:24) “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” And Jesus said in Mat. 5: 16 “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Not praise you, but praise your father in heaven! **parable about good child and bad child and the world’s attitude to both** you have to lead lives that your earthly parents and heavenly father would be proud of you.
Coming back to Jesus’ question, it was not difficult for the disciples to answer the first part, “who do people say I am?” “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” These views about Jesus were not terrible. At least, they didn’t say “some say you are liar, a crook or swindler”! The views all indicated that Jesus was not just another ordinary Jewish guy in town. The public saw something extra-ordinary in Jesus. But their views were still inadequate. So Jesus turns to the disciples: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” You have lived with me, eaten with me, walked with me, prayed with me. You have seen me weep, you have seen me get hungry and angry, you have seen me eat with sinners, healed the sick. No one knows me better than you. The people only know of my public image. You know me in private and in public. So “who do you say I am?”
‘As far as Jesus was concerned, the disciples’ answer was crucial. His time with them on earth was drawing near. Did they really understand who he was and what he stood for, or did they simply go by public opinion? Peter declared: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus must have breathed a sigh of relieve! My work has not being in vain. The disciples are indeed of age. I can now leave them on their own and they will cope well.
Until now, your being a Christian has been based on what your parents thought or believed about God. The step they took to baptize you was an act of their own faith. Your baptism was about who your parents say Jesus is. Today as you are going to be confirmed, you have to face and answer the question: “Who do YOU say Jesus is?” Like the disciples, your parents have been holding your hands in the journey of your faith, and sooner or later, they have to let you off on your own. YOUR answer to who Jesus is, is critical. Christianity never consists in knowing about Jesus; it always consists in knowing Jesus. Christianity is about a personal encounter and walk with Jesus. You may be able to memorize the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the 10 Commandments. And you may not know all the theological intricacies of Jesus and or God. What matters is that you know Jesus, and you believe that Jesus is real to you, not just some bygone past myth or tale.’
The Reverend Minister continues……**Story of the man born blind** John 9:25 “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
That should be your answer. That should be your faith. If it is not, today is the time to invite Jesus into your life. He says in Rev. 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and dine with me.”
After the baptism and the confirmants went through the old Presbyterian confirmation ceremony, they were all given a certificate.
The auditorium of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana – Resurrections congregation in Austell Georgia USA was filled with congregants and family and friends. After that, the church was treated with old Presbyterian Hymns by their Praises Team with dances and all to the adoration of the living God.

1. Celia Asabea Asinor
2. Emmanuel Ankomah
3. Belinda Boaduwaa
4. Elizabeth Malemma Azumah
5. Maxine Asumandu
6. Jennifer Duah
7. Prince Charles Asumadu
8. Mary Otoo
9. Filipo Opuni Adarkwa
10. Abigail Opuni Boateng
11. Laurencia Odameh
12. King Edward Odameh
13. Enoch Sarfo
14. Elizabeth Agyakwa
15. Bryant Baffour
16. Jeffery Oppong Asinor
17. Vladimira Offeibea Asinor
1. Belinda Buaduwaa
2. Jenifer Duah
3. Maxine Asumadu
4. Prince Asumadu
5. Enoch Sarfo
6. Samuel Sarfo
7. Perry Odameh
8. Bryant Baffour

Presbyterian Church Of Ghana Resurrection Congregation – 404-955-2094, 678-934-1255
Email – Facebook – Presbyterian Church of Ghana Resurrection Congregation