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The hope of Christmas


Christmas could not have come at a better time.

The season has arrived only to find many of citizens displaced from their homes in the aftermath of weather systems; the Government of the country wondering where to turn to find funds to clean up and rehabilitate; dozens of workers destitute and at loggerheads with their employers because they have not been paid; communities and families torn apart because of the incursion of violent crime into their midst; and a country still embroiled in debilitating political warfare more than one year after general elections.{{more}}

Many people have lost hope. So now, more than ever, we need to remember the Christmas Message of peace, goodwill and hope for a better tomorrow.

The celebration of Christ’s birth offers a sacred moment of clarity in which we are reminded that our greatest achievements come through an embrace of our common humanity. This is the perfect time therefore, for us to reflect on what is happening around us and seeing what role we each can play in making this Christmas and the New Year more peaceful and hopeful for everyone.

The birth of the baby in a stable in Bethlehem symbolized heavenly intervention into a world that had lost its compass, and to a suffering people. Just as Christ intervened then, he can and will intervene now. That is the hope of Christmas.

So, here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, while we participate in the Nine Mornings activities, prepare our homes for the big day, feast on the salt ham and other foods of the season, imbibe beverages such as sorrel and ginger beer, attend church services and spend time with friends and loved ones, let us not forget those not so fortunate and may we allow Christ to use us as his instruments to sow seeds of goodwill among our brothers and sisters.

Our Christian leaders this week set the example when they made a most welcomed announcement that they intend to increase their outreach in an effort to address the worrying incidence of violent crime among the youths of the country. The hosts of talk radio can contribute to creating a peaceful atmosphere by putting a halt to their divisive rhetoric for the rest of the holiday season.

And the rest of us? What about reaching out beyond our comfort zone to embrace families who have been struck by misfortune? This, we believe is the Christian thing to do.