19 Dec : A pre-Christmas celebration under the theme ‘Peace on Earth’ was held at the Raj Bhavan on the evening of 18th December 2008. The service was marked by sharing of Christmas tidings, thanksgiving, Christmas carols and special musical presentations.
Nagaland Governor, K. Sankaranarayanan in his speech said that Christmas is not for Christians alone but for all humanity. He said that Christ in His lifetime worked only for peace and lamented that in the present context peace is not much in the mindset of the people. Christmas is celebrated all over the world without distinguishing between caste or community and the Governor termed the occasion as unique where people from all over come together for merrymaking with love and affection. The Governor said that 2008 has been a good year and expressed his hope that the coming New Year will also be bright for the state.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio delivering greetings said that Christmas is a time of joy and thanksgiving. He called upon everyone to think why and how we are celebrating Christmas. He said that while Christmas may have different meanings to different persons, we should keep in mind that Christ was born to save the human race from their sins and how fortunate we are to be Christians and in a Christian state. He called upon everyone to rededicate ourselves and give ourselves to God, while also forgiving one another and reconciling with God. He urged the people to uphold Christmas spirit in the real sense of Christmas and expressed his hope that good sense would prevail in the state with no killing or fighting.
Christmas Tidings was delivered by Associate Pastor, Ao Baptist Church, Kohima, Toshi Langu while Associate Pastor, Sumi Baptist Church, Kohima led the congregation in Christmas Thanksgiving prayer. The Scripture was read out by Dr. (Mrs.) Lulu Aonok. Conductor Vesato Theluo and organist Vizotuo Zumvü led the congregational singing. Highlights of the programme included Christmas carols by children of Orphanage Home, Kohima, solos by Toshinaro Imchen and Keneilezonuo Chale, Christmas medley by Chief Secretary’s band, carol singing by Legislators and their lady wives led by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, a fusion arrangement by the Ebenezer Band and quartet presentation by youth of Rengma Baptist Church, Kohima. Lighting of Christmas candles and cutting of Christmas cake by the Governor and the Chief Minister were the other highlights of the service.