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Let us remember the one born in Bethlehem this Christmas

Let us remember the one born in Bethlehem this Christmas

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Thu, Dec 22. 2011

by REV. AMOS A. DENNIE, BISHOP of the EVANGELICAL CHURCHES Of The West Indies SVG District.

Once again as we celebrate the most mysterious birth in the history of the world, a birth that brought hope to a world that is hopeless and peace to a world that is torn apart by war crime and violence.

Fellow Vincentians, amidst all the activities, as we pause to think about the events of the birth of the Saviour, we will do well to reflect on his earthly ministry, sacrificial death, resurrection, ascension and promised return. Our redemption will be incomplete if any element was missing.{{more}}

Permit me to quote from L.W. Berkley’s poem entitled “The Rest of the story”. He wrote, and I quote, “We ought to sing of the shepherds and the heavenly glory bright, of angels and their message, on that peaceful Holy night. But so oft we end the story, where it only just began, for we fail to give the message, that this Child is God the Son.”

My fellow Vincentians, as we celebrate Christmas 2011, let us remember the one born in Bethlehem was none other than God in human flesh, having lived a peaceful life, He died an awful death to pay the price for the sins of mankind. Now He is in Heaven, and any day He can return. How wonderful to know the complete story. The birth of Christ brought God to man, and the cross of Christ brings man to God.

The glitter of bright decorations, the sound of joyous Christmas carols, and the happy children to merry Christmas greetings sometimes give the impression that everyone is glad that Jesus came to our planet. But that isn’t true today, and never was. The news of Jesus’ birth evokes mixed reaction. The wise men joyfully welcomed and worshipped the Saviour. Matt. 2: 10 – 11. But King Herod was so troubled when he heard about it, that he tried to find and kill the baby Jesus.

Most persons, however, were unaware of the significance of what had happened. Still today some rejoice in His salvation, but many others hate Him. They grumbled about the singing of Christmas carols in shopping malls and displays of nativity scenes in public places. Others are pathetic, they go along with the celebration of the savior, they may even join in singing of carols, but they never ask themselves who Jesus is and why He came. They don’t think of the need to believe on Him and receive Him as their Savior and Lord.

May all the readers of this Christmas message ask the pertinent question; am I among the indifferent, to ignore Him and His claim? Christmas demands a decision about Christ – the choice is yours!

At this point of my message, it will be remiss of me not to make a special appeal to my Christian brothers and sisters – do not forget amid all our Christmas celebration to remember the forgotten man. No, I don’t mean the person whose birthday we are celebrating, although we often fail to give Jesus first place in our lives as he deserves, but I speak of Joseph the man God trusted so much that he placed his Son in his home, to love and nurture. What an awesome responsibility. Joseph truly is the forgotten man in the Christmas story. Yet his task was an important component of God’s incredible plan.

As we read the story of the birth of Christ, we find that Joseph was not just righteous, merciful, protective, and courageous, but most of all he was obedient. When the angel told him to take Mary as his wife, he obeyed – Matt. 1: 24, and when the angel told him to flee to Egypt with Mary and Jesus, he did, Matt. 2: 13- 14.

Just as Mary was carefully chosen to bear the Son of God, Joseph was deliberately chosen to provide for his young wife and the Christ child. Trusting God, Joseph followed through on everything God asked him to do. As Christians, we must take a page out of Joseph’s book and be willing to commit ourselves to do whatever God wants us to do. We can learn a lot from Joseph’s obedience – the forgotten man of Christmas.

I regret that I have to close on this note in conclusion of this Christmas message, but I feel a sense of duty to voice on behalf of the above organization I currently lead, our condemnation in the strongest possible term, the sudden upsurge in crime and violence in this blessed land of ours, especially against our women and children.

These senseless and vicious crimes against innocent and defenseless members of our society will get us nowhere, since crime begat crime, and as the word of God declares that they that live by the sword will die by the sword.

Let me also make a special appeal to the members of the society with violent tendencies to desist from pursuing a part of crime and violence. At this Christmas time, stop and reflect on your life, and give God a chance to make a difference. DON’T BE LEFT BEHIND. IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO TURN AROUND AND GET ON THE ROAD TO TRUE HAPPINESS. That’s what the Christmas message is all about.

I want to appeal to persons in our society who have access to the airwaves, who on a consistent daily basis make statements that only fuel the fire, please be more responsible with what you say.

Let me close with a word of commendation for the Government, the Crime Prevention Unit and our Police service. For all you are doing to make SVG a safer place for us all, our prayers are with you.

And to my Vincentian brothers and sisters at home and abroad, do all that you can to make St. Vincent and the Grenadines once again the Land of the Blessed, SAINT VINCENT not SIN VINCENT. A blessed Christmas and a peaceful 2012 to the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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