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Let there be peace on earth

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21.DEC.07

From the Heads of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Christian Council:
Major Henry King – President
Rev. Victor Job – V. President
Bishop Leopold Friday
Fr. Pio Atonio.

Fellow Vincentians,

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Christian Council greets you in the name of Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

As we reflect at this time on the birth of Jesus, our hearts are thrilled by the message of the Angelic Host who heralded his coming into the world: “Glory be to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will among people.” (Luke 2:14). {{more}}This message was announced to the world of the 1st century but it is equally relevant to the world of the 21st century. If there is a time when we need to hear this message of peace and good will, then that time is now. The need for man to have a peaceful relationship with God and with his fellow man remains the same.

This two-part proclamation of the Angels emphasises two aspects of man’s relationships: “Glory to God…and peace and goodwill among people.” Is there peace among people on earth? Is there goodwill among men and nations? Is there peace and goodwill among us as Vincentians?

We live in a world that is torn apart by all forms of ill-will. There is division and alienation between the rich countries and poor countries of the world because of unfair competition in trade on the world market. Nations are at war because of the suppression and exploitation of the weak by the powerful. Families are torn apart because of selfishness and greed.

There are other social and economic factors that contribute to the ill will among the peoples of the world and in our own country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines: the drug trade, crime and violence, political affiliations and various forms of abuse. All these things adversely affect man’s relationship with man (our relationship with one another). Therefore, there is no genuine peace and goodwill among men and among us as Vincentians.

The fact is that no true and lasting peace and goodwill can be found in this world. The good news of Christmas is that Jesus Christ is the source of this true and lasting peace. He can heal our brokenness and bring reconciliation and peace among people and people, nation and nation. Peace and goodwill among men is still man’s great hope for the world and our relationships, but it cannot be achieved by human efforts only. It comes when we acknowledge the supremacy of God over our lives and over the earth. It has to do with man’s relationship with God. The beginning of peace and goodwill is the adoration of God himself. In other words, there can be no peace on earth until we begin to give glory to God.

That is why the message from the Angels begins: “Glory to God in the highest.” We do not have peace on earth and goodwill among people because we do not give God the glory. We give the glory to man on earth, to technology, to power, to wealth and to material things. We can only experience peace and goodwill when we begin to worship and adore God. That’s what the Wise Men did when they found the Christ Child. They worshipped and adored him with their wealth and their wisdom. The Christ Child became the object of their worship and praise, not their wealth and wisdom.

Like the Wise Men, we, too, must open our minds and hearts in adoration and thankfulness to God for what he has given in Jesus Christ before we can receive the peace that heals our lives and the brokenness in our nation. We must first be at peace with God before we can be at peace with ourselves and with our neighbour. This peace is not just the absence of war or conflict; it is wholeness of being – mind, body and soul. It cannot be negotiated around a conference table. It is the gift of God.

For Nations to be at peace with one another, and for us to be at peace with each other, then this peace must begin with each of us. When we are at peace with God, he bids us go and make peace in the world – to spread the message of goodwill among people. Jesus is still the hope of the world. He has the power to transform human lives and to unite human beings. “Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the children of God.”

Let us during this season of Christmas and always be the channels of God’s peace and goodwill to others. Let our prayer at this Christmas time be: Lord, “let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”

The Christian Council takes pleasure in wishing each and every Vincentian a merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

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