The Christmas and the New Year Season is a moment of celebration and reflection. The reflections must take place both at the individual and collective levels. One of such dimensions that ought to occupy our reflections is paying attention to the Next Good. The Next Good is the ability to discern the future of a people, identify the challenges and make the needed commitments to move into the future ready to make the sacrifices.
In the Bible God initiated the creation of the universe and has remained its sustainer. However, the sinfulness of humanity and disconnection from God demand divine redemption efforts. In Isaiah 9:6 the redemption of the universe became the Next Good of God.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
God pursued the Next Good through the Birth of Christ in Love, Grace and Mercy. The birth of Christ and the whole Christmas celebration is God’s plan to move creation to the Next Good of redemption, salvation and peace.
We will do ourselves a lot of disservice to come out of the Christmas and the New Year Season without paying serious attention to the Next Good both at the individual and societal levels. Issues about public discipline, good governance, peace and national cohesion, citizens’ responsibilities, sustainability of the environment, generational hope etc. must be given attention in our national conversations towards the Next Good.
Churches must consider their Spiritual, Moral and Social witnesses beyond having high numbers in congregations, building cathedrals etc. Families must consider quality relationships avoiding the challenges that contemporary technologies are presenting to families, pay attention to saving and investments culture and aging realities.
Above all responding to the redemption and salvation blessings offer by God through the Birth of Jesus Christ and the gift of a New Year is the best attention that an individual can consider during the Season. Let us enter the future with hope paying attention to the Next Good.
Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the tight and to the left and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited. Isaiah 54:2-3
I wish you all Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.
Rev Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong
Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies