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The spirit of goodwill must prevail all the time

The spirit of goodwill must prevail all the time

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19.DEC.08

Christmas Greetings from Hon. Rene Baptiste – Minister of Culture

Season’s Greetings to all in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to my fellow Vincentians in the Diaspora in the Caribbean region, the Americas, Europe, the U.K., the Near East and in the Far East.

The Christmas Season is my favourite time of the year. The sun has a very special glow to me; the breeze seems a bit cooler, and the evening sky beams back to me, while I search the heavens for the guiding star of old. On the ground, the streets are filled with bustling people, and I still wonder about that look of great expectation on the faces of the children. Whenever I gaze out of my bedroom window, I see the pick-up trucks loaded with barrels, or with cement and steel, or stove, fridges and furniture.{{more}} I guess that is the magic of Christmas and it is so different from any other time of the year.

Spiritually, Christmas is the time to deeply reflect on the beauty of that message from the angel to the shepherds in the fields outside of the birthplace city; a place today under an uneasy quiet. My heart and soul feel more at peace and I seek the touch for inner peace and find it in the many scriptures, from the prophesy of Isaiah to the Gospels.

The year has been one with mixed blessings and challenges, but I believe we have met most of them. To end the year, the international invitation for Vincy Mas to feature in the historic U.S. Presidential Inauguration parade of Barack Obama means world-wide audience and promotion for Vincy Mas; here at home the celebration of 10 years of the revival of nine mornings, especially in the last 6 years the development of a full festival month dedicated as the national Christmas festival, spread across 7 zones.

We have succeeded in drawing out the best talents within the several communities. The light of christmas is more than the road-side displays and the buildings and houses blazing with coloured light. It is the spirit that counts.

The cultural practitioners have stayed the course well. The songs and music created for the season ask us to care, to share, and to give; raising our outlook beyond the needs of the flesh, and yes, the joy. We will miss our premier lite-up supporter, Mr. Kenneth Ashe of Lowmans Hill this year. He is sitting this year out, and we wish him and his family well for the season. We all remember his labour of love that always brought such wonderment and joy in all of us.

We all know that God is watching us all the time, day and night, so we cannot hide from him behind the veil of Christmas. The spirit of goodwill must prevail all the time. We must show humility all the time; we must care all the time; we must put away the spite, the anger of envy and hate all the time, and dispell the need for jealousy, that is, we must strive to be good, and kind and bury the hardness of heart and the recklessness of behaviour.

I offer a prayer for peace in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, within families and communities, and villages and ask us all to listen again to the message of the archangel over two millenium ago…. “Don’t be afraid. I bring you glad tidings of great joy to you and all mankind….” The Saviour has come. He has come … let us use all our talents to his glory and honour, to edify all God’s people.

Peace on earth, goodwill to all men.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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