We're Going


There was only one television station in the whole country, and it ran about six-eight hours a day. Over the years, it increased its daily coverage and now it runs 24/7. For many Ghanaians like myself, that was the only conventional form of entertainment and news, and exactly at 8:00 p.m. every Sunday, you'll find families and friends, neighbors and strangers gathered together to watch TV. In many homes, you really didn’t have to be a resident of that home ion order to be able to watch TV. My mum didn’t own a TV in our house, for example, and so I either visited my cousins about a mile away, or some other cousins about two or so miles away, to watch TV.


The reality was that every Ghanaian in any part of Ghana where there was electricity would find a place to watch Akan Drama at 8:00 p.m. on Sundays. There were two main drama groups, Osofo Dadzie and Obra, which were rotated each Sunday. They entertained Ghanaians on Sundays for a long, long time. I am not sure if they still perform and charm Ghanaians with their powerful, witty stories. 


One of the two groups, the Osofo Dadzie Group, had a jingle - "Woyaya" - a word from Ga, a Ghanaian dialect, which means "We are Going" and which appeared on Art Garfunkel’s album Angel Clare. In all honesty, I came to know the actual lyrics of the song only a few days ago. Throughout the many years of hearing this song as a jingle on Sunday evenings at 8:00 p.m., the only part of the lyrics that I was familiar with was "We are going." It wasn’t because the rest didn’t matter to me, but rather because I had barely heard the words - and even if I did, I didn’t know what they meant. Like many Ghanaian kids, we mumbled words of songs that we didn’t understand or couldn’t hear properly.


We are in uncharted territory, as we know, and as I have reflected this week about Holy Week and the unsettling period in which we find ourselves, I read a post by a friend of mine who grew up in Ghana and is a contemporary. In his post, he remarked, “I finally know the words of the song to Osofo Dadzie. Enjoy.” Like many other Ghanaians, he didn’t know the words to the song until a few days ago, as well. When I read his post, I decided to check out the lyrics of the song, and there within those lyrics were words of gold - comforting words that are meant to calm and soothe our fears. There were words that I never associated with the song.


Here they are:

We are going, heaven knows where we are going,

We'll know we're there.

We will get there, heaven knows how we will get there,

We know we will.


It will be hard we know

And the road will be muddy and rough,

But we'll get there, heaven knows how we will get there,

We know we will.


We are going, heaven knows where we are going,

We'll know we're there.

I wonder why the Ghanian drama group picked this particular song. I can only surmise that within every single story they acted, and which came on our television screens, was a much deeper reality about the human story - that we are always on the move, and that we are not static, but it is only heaven who knows where we going. Life may be rough because life’s highways are never smooth; there are potholes, and also some untarred dusty ones like our Savior walked, and there are challenges both great and small. But our wanderings are never meant to lead us astray, for heaven knows not only knows where we’re going but also how we will get there. Comforting!!


As I reflected on the lyrics, I couldn’t help but to interpret our present predicament through the lens of this song. We’ve heard so much about COVID-19 that we are very much aware of the devastation it has wrought upon us and our loved ones. One of the tragic stories is about a parishioner who lost her husband a couple of days ago. She couldn’t visit with him, hold his hands, or offer him some reassuring words of comfort and love Talk about the road being muddy and rough. It is heartbreaking!!


We’re going, but to where are we going? Where’s the destination? We’re in Holy Week, the most solemn week in the Church’s life and in the life of every Christian, but we cannot observe Holy Week like we’re all used to - talk about the road being muddy and rough. Holy Week creates for us the awareness of the darkness that surrounds our path and blurs our vision, and often renders us incapable of noticing little glimpses of God’s glory in the most difficult days of our lives.


I have been encouraged by the gift of each of you - your tremendous generosity and kindness has been overwhelming. Your faith and sense of purpose has been reassuring. It tells me that above all else, you understand that weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning; that is our Easter story.


As dreary as the times may be, we're going. Heaven knows where we’re going. Heaven knows how we’ll get there. And, in fact, Heaven knows that we shall, for there shall be no Easter sunlight without the darkness of the Friday prior.


I invite you to join us for all of our services which will be livestreamed. Join us in celebrating the Triduum and Easter. And after worship on Easter Sunday, stay awhile for Coffee Hour on Zoom.

I wish you all a blessed Triduum and a Happy Easter.

~Manny

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