My fellow Jamaicans at home and abroad, at Christmas time we pause to reflect on the goodness of God in sending His only Son into the world to teach us to how to give the best of ourselves in the service of others. It was the Prophet Isaiah, who was among the first to declare the spirit of servant-hood as a central part of the Christmas Story in these time-honoured words:
“For to us a Child is born, to us a son is given,
And the Government will be on His shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Christmas is a time of peace, a time for us to come together to celebrate and share love with our families and friends, with neighbours, visitors, as well as with special guests.
As we give gifts, to those we love and care for, let us be always mindful of the poor and dispossessed among us. In the spirit of gift- giving and caring for others, let us be mindful of the poor as Christ taught us. Be a blessing to someone in need this Christmas; it could be the gift of a hot meal and well-needed clothing, a visit to someone sick, or simply a word of good cheer!
It is my prayer this Christmas Day that the example and teachings of Jesus Christ will restore love and service to the centre of our lives that will encourage everyone.
“to love our neighbours as we love ourselves”.
Let us remember the poor, the infirmed, the physically challenged. We must also remember the sick and shut-ins; and our senior citizens who have served us well. Let us honour our elders in tangible ways this Christmas.
Let us be vigilant in the protection of our children. Protect them. Spend time with them. Play with them. Hug them. Let them feel special during this time, so that their eyes will shine brightly.
My friends, Christmas is about making others feel special, affirming them, reassuring them of their worth, irrespective of their station in life.
The Christmas Story brings hope to our hearts and minds as Jamaicans, and reminds us that we are a people of purpose and destiny, who continue to inspire the world in so many spheres of human endeavor:-.
Unfortunately, even in the midst of this Season of light, it is difficult to ignore the shadows cast by disturbing levels of crime and violence and other challenges. Whilst our security forces tackle these criminals elements we draw on our abiding faith in God.
The good news is, however, that we can lighten our hearts by meditating on the Christmas message of peace, love and hope for humankind. This message is perhaps even more relevant now than ever before. If we let the seeds of its inspiration take root and bloom in our families and communities throughout the year, we will succeed in making our land calm, peaceful and bright.
We must never forget the unsung heroes and heroines among us for whom service comes first. Those who toil outside the glare of public recognition; like our uniformed forces, and those who work in our emergency services and in our hospitals, whose sense of commitment and duty takes them away from family and friends at this time.
Let us remember those who have lost loved ones, who may find Christmas a difficult time filled with special memories. This makes it even more important at this time of year that we reach out beyond our familiar relationships to think of those who are alone.
The message to us at Christmas is that a Great Light has come to the world.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill to all men!”
“Let the light of Christmas shine on you the love richly boom in your heart and the deep, sweet Peace blow everywhere with the fresh, cool Christmas breeze. Let your Joy rise high like sugar cane plumes waving Good will to all.”
I wish for you a peaceful and happy Christmas!