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A time for giving, sharing, caring and love

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Thu, Dec 22. 2011

by His Grace, the Most Rev. Frank Simon, Archbishop & Primate, Spiritual Baptist Archdiocese of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

My fellow citizens, visitors and the Christian Community, St. Matthew’s Gospel reminds us that over 2000 years ago, a Bright Star shone resplendently in the eastern sky, heralding the birth of Jesus, the Christ-child. This also heralded the beginning of his Hallowed Mission as a Teacher, Healer, Servant and Savior of mankind.{{more}}

Truly, this auspicious occasion of Christmas, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is even more significant to us since more than any other festival, it reflects the diversity and unity of our multi-cultural land; as it is celebrated by citizens of all religions.

Though it is a Christian holiday, the entire country engages in preparations and festivities that exhibit the true meanings of this beautiful, holy holiday – giving, sharing, caring and love.

As we indulge in the traditions of gift exchange and feasting, I strongly admonish us not to forget that this is a day for “holy reflections and observances” as well. This is especially important at a time when our beloved Hairouna, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is facing so many challenges, especially in the category of crime and violence.

It is in times like these that as a nation, as a people, we recognize that the true meaning of Christmas must be cited as an inspiration and promise of our betterment of self, community or country.

The birth of Christ the Savior is one of the most inspiring events in all of history. The fact that God gave his own Son to be the Ultimate Sacrifice to man is indeed a cause of rejoicing and celebration.

Jesus’ birth in poverty proclaimed the intrinsic dignity, sisterhood and brotherhood of all humanity; and his luminous teachings have brought hope and joy to generations of believers. But, more than that, Jesus Christ was given to this world at a time of darkness and despair to resurrect hope and joy.

The light of Christmas must, therefore, never be forgotten. And I urge us all to emulate God’s beautiful, tremendous, sacrifice of his Son for the sake of salvation to the world, which ought to inspire all of us to similarly sacrifice ourselves for the sake of ensuring our nation’s continued progress and development.

The way to do this is to preserve our health and safety, and resolve to be as caring and as giving like God, and make sacrifices that would tax our emotions and social comfort. In this vein, I beseech us not to indulge in excess or waste as we celebrate over this festive season.

Please do not drink and drive; let’s keep the carnage off the roads; put away all illegal weapons; have responsible behaviours that will reflect compassion and courtesy towards all life.

After this period of merriment, and indeed during the holiday season, let us recognize that the country needs our support to ensure that we continue to build, develop and progress as a nation and a people.

During this Blessed Season, and the New Year it inaugurates, let us share the gift of God’s love by giving of ourselves, by sharing generously with those in need.

Let us reach out to those who are different from us, knowing that they are one in the human family, by living the profound and universal lesson Christ taught us: that we are to love our neighbour as ourselves.

Let us, like Jesus, become true peacemakers, bringing the gift of peace to our homes, our churches, our schools, our workplaces, our communities and our nation; reaching out when and where we can to give new hope to the most impoverished and to help resolve conflicts, in all aspects of our society.

Love, peace, joy, hope – so many beautiful words are woven through our Christmas songs, prayers and traditions. As we celebrate this beautiful Christmas Season, let us determine to build a future where all people learn to love one another and to live together in harmony, where our children know true joy; and where our hopes for peace, freedom and prosperity for all are finally realized.

With these words, I wish to extend, on behalf of the Patriarch, the Diocesan Council and the Spiritual Baptist Archdiocese and Community of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, our very best wishes to all on this joyous holiday season, and may your wishes come true!

Merry Christmas and a bountiful new year to one and all! Shalom! Bismillah!

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