I grew up in a conventional christian home where christian landmark events weren’t taken lightly. It was just impossible to turn a blind eye to these events. Christmas, easter and the new year eve’s famous 31st watchnight service were events my parents made sure i fully participated. It took my mum a great time, if not the whole year, to plan my costume for these events. One morning as a I was preparing for work, the Lord revealed to me something about one of these Christian events we have come to so adore and find sacred, The 31st Night service. In the past 15 years, Ghanaian churches have attached so much flamboyancy to the new year’s eve service. Names like CrossOver, PassOver, JumpOver, LeapOver amongst others have flooded the billboards and most church communication with a picture of the headpastor grossly displayed on the artwork. I would like to boldly state that the 31st watch night service with all its preparation and advertisement is just one of those ordinary days in the sight of the Lord! The service has no biblical reference.
First of all let me educate you on the genesis of the 31st watch night service. Following the lead of a small Christian denomination called the Moravians in what is now the Czech Republic that began having “watch” services in 1733, the founder of the Methodist Church, John Wesley, originated watch night services in 1740, sometimes calling them Covenant Renewal Services. The services provided Methodist Christians with a godly alternative to times of drunken revelry, such as Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Today, a Methodist watchnight service includes singing, spontaneous prayers and testimonials, as well as scripture readings. Also Watchnight service has added significance and history in the African-American community in the United States, since many slaves were said to have gathered in churches on New Year’s Eve, in 1862, to await news and confirmation of the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln, on January 1, 1863.
You will notice that its commencement was primarily to create a godly alternative for believers away from worldy celebrations of the coming year. It was also a time for the believers to meet and give thanks to God for all the good, bad and ugly that occurred through out the year because all things work together for the good of them that love the lord and are called according to the will and purpose. Today what do we see? We see a large number of unbelievers trooping into the church on the new year’s eve believing that their short time of insincere surrender to God will usher them into a good year filled with His blessings. Brethren, God is not a momentary God. He’s a God looking forward to a lasting and daily intimate relationship with Man. He cannot be mocked! Many make numerous resolutions and what seems to be like covenants with God. Unfortunately for them God only approves, makes comvenants and blesses and directs those He knows! God is not moved by our huge offerings and seeds, emotional and fake moments we express at the 31st night servce. God is moved by a sincere and a genuine heart, a truly broken and contrite spirit.
31st night services has become a time for pastors to raise huge sums of monies for their personal projects with less channelled into evangelism and missions! The leaders of the church has failed! Failed to teach the truth because they don’t even know the truth. It has become a night of gimmicks with intense prayer sessions minutes before we get into the new year. Many go back home and after a few days they are back into the world! Many souls come to the alter to give their lives to God but the church is so busy taking offerings and often forget about the souls once the service is over. God have mercy!!!
To conclude, i want you to know that 31st night service as aggressively patronised by the world today is just any other day in God’s sight. What he wants from you is your heart, your will and He will be with you forever as you lay down your life as a living sacrifice for Him. The next time you go into a 31st night service, think about these things and let the Lord speak to you!