We have come to the end of a year of mixed blessings but let us give thanks to the Almighty for life and health.
This year has been characterised by a determination of our Government to lower the crime rate, stimulate economic growth, improve social services, particularly housing in our inner-cities and continue to improve the infrastructure by opening up the country through road networks.
Our success at the Olympic Games in Athens gave the country a tremendous boost in morale; while the new crime initiatives have helped to lift the spirits of our countrymen and women.
Hurricane Ivan has interrupted our economic progress through its devastation of homes and property, particularly in Manchester and St. Elizabeth.
Reconstruction is ongoing and the nation has united in its effort to help those whose livelihoods have been most seriously affected.
Throughout this past year we have demonstrated to the world that despite our diversity of origins we are united as a people.
Christians all over the world are today celebrating the Christmas miracle – the gift of a loving God to all mankind.
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to all men,” – the angels proclaimed on that first Christmas morning and the wise men and shepherds, in realising the significance, hastened to see the Son of God in our midst.
The birth of the Christ-child gave the world hope. Jesus came so that we could live more abundantly.
Jesus showed by example, how He wants us to live – in fellowship with one another.
And so at this Christmastime, as we rejoice in God’s goodness, let us seek additional ways of letting our brothers and sisters know that we care when they hurt and that we desire only the best for them.
We must always let the love of Christ shine through us to others. We need to be caring, helpful, friendly and thoughtful to those who are feeling neglected, lonely, hungry and helpless.
There is a proverb which states -“Shared joy is double joy. Shared sorrow is half a sorrow”. How true! Our God wants us to be personally and deeply involved in each other’s life.
Christmas is really the most beautiful time of the year as nature and man celebrate the coming of our Saviour. The gardens and houses are resplendent with decorations.
Despite the difficulties we have faced this past year, we are drawn by the special power that Christmas heralds in, which fills us with peace, love and hope.
Let us spread the Christmas cheer. Let us come together as a nation and rejoice in what the birth of the Christ-child has meant to our world.
From my family to yours – it is our wish that throughout the New Year you will have the gladness of Christmas which is hope; the spirit of Christmas which is peace and the heart of Christmas which is love.