ON-BEHALF of the Methodist community in Saint Lucia, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas. May Christmas be more than a holiday for you; we pray it will be a celebration of Jesus, who is the reason for the season. Be reminded that in the midst of this uncertainty in which we find ourselves as a society and as individuals, Christmas is a time of peace, goodwill, love, fellowship and happiness.
During the course of the year, we are not only aware of the many troubles, conflicts, fighting, fears and deaths, but we are also conscious of the love, joy, peace, comfort and warm fellowship we have shared with our Lord and with each other as people.
There are some of us who no doubt will be thinking about the loved ones we have lost during the year, whether by natural or violent causes.
Many of us, due to various reasons, will be unable to spend Christmas with families. It could be that you are working; providing sensitive public or emergency services; or because your family is abroad. I encourage you to create a family setting to include those around you.
Let us remember that families form the basis of society and if our families are healthy, the society will also be healthy. As we approach a new year, I encourage all of us to focus on the re-building of our family structures in order to have strong families to help to minimize some of the ills in society that confront us.
Let me pay special tribute to our security personnel for their hard work and dedication to service during the course of the year, even in the midst of challenges associated with their work.
Let me also thank our national leaders, from both parties, for how far they have led us in a peaceful atmosphere and we encourage them to continue to work together as a team to shape the destiny of our nation in a right way.
So as we look forward to the New Year, let us resolve to recommit ourselves to the values we share as people. Let us avoid negative and unproductive practices that would prevent our nation from growing. We must let our light shine as workers, traders, businessmen and women or as professionals. The future of our nation is in our own destiny, let us all strive to eliminate the canker of indiscipline and anti-social acts. This will lend support to the national development efforts of our country.
As people, let us resolve to put our trust in God and not in mortals. The idea that we are our brother’s and sister’s keeper should encourage us to treat others as we would want to be treated. Let us care for the sick, feed the hungry, and welcome the stranger, no matter where they come from, or how they differ from us.
The message of Christmas must encourage all of us to put an end to all moral ills; it is time to turn our backs to dishonesty, indecency, bribery and corruption, indiscipline, disrespect for our elders, intemperate language, violence and vengeance.
Christmas must help us to channel our efforts towards healing the wounds of division in our communities, reconciling broken families, reuniting communities, settling disputes among people of different political persuasions and religious faiths. Next year, as we get closer to our national elections the political “temperature will be high”, so we appeal to both our political parties to be circumspect in their dealings with each other in order not to inflame passions. We also appeal to the government to continue assiduously to make sure that the health situation in the country be fixed to provide quality health care for the people in Saint Lucia.
May we also take out violence from our roads through careful driving and give every user of the road a right to travel safely.
Remember, with God as our Leader, may we be prepared to live another year under His guidance. Make it a point to start each day of the New Year we are about to enter with a prayer and God’s Word. Do not be afraid to face life. I encourage you not to take with you the memories of the past, but let them serve as your guide to keep moving on in your journey.