St. Vincent and the Grenadines, greetings from the Association of Evangelical Churches on this the forty-first (41st) anniversary of our independence. We thank Almighty God for His abundant grace and mercy which He has extended to us over the past 41 years. We look around the world and see unemployment looming, economies collapsing and people dying under the grasp of the worst pandemic of our lifetime. As cities open up and lock down again, hopelessness grips the hearts of millions. We in SVG need to pause and say THANK YOU LORD. Our country is small, our economy open, small and fragile, yet we have no deaths attributed to COVID 19; we are still able to eat three and four meals a day; most of our labour force is still at work; Kingstown is open for business. THANK YOU LORD indeed.
This year, preparations for our independence celebration are being overshadowed by the pending general elections. We need to exercise our constitutional right: VOTE. But as we prepare to go to the polls, let us not lean only on our own understanding; let us not trust the lies and negativism on social media; let us not get into the street brawls but instead, ask God for his divine guidance in this very vital decision that we must make.
Remember “God is judge; He puts down one and sets up another (Ps. 75:7) God has kept us thus far, despite COVID 19, despite the global economic challenges, despite the changes in the global climate, God has kept us; He can more that take us through elections into what e’er the future brings”, so let’s ask for his help.
As we consider the decision we must make, let us remember that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.
Even the dull and ignorant have a story. Let us practise tolerance. Let us become colour blind if it’s only for a month. The colour of your clothes does not define you. You are more than the promises people make to you; you are more that the sum of your past mistakes; you are God’s masterpiece; you are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Value yourself, value each other. Let us select our government through prayerful consideration and not violence.
We look at the madness happening in the United States, racism on one side homosexuality and immorality on the other. It’s no wonder the two leaders are fighting on public television. We are better than that, let’s show the world. There is an election in Belize this November also, and it is marred by the desire of some persons to legalize homosexuality. One of our next door neighbours has expressed the desire to legally embrace homosexuality. The case in SVG is heating up again and the court is already doing some unorthodox things.
So, while we think of elections, let us pray for godly leaders who will stand for righteousness, that’s what will exult our nation.
Fellow Vincentians, we have a country that we can be proud of, but let us not take it for granted; we must guard against complacency, greed, selfishness, colour codes, bigotry and corruption in all of its forms. Let us pray, pray and pray again. I exhort (you) therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. For kings (leaders) and all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sigh of God our Saviour (1 Timothy 2: 1-3).
As we celebrate and vote, let us remember the less fortunate among us; let us remember those who have lost loved ones to dengue; let us remember those who have been and are being abused and who have no voice. The church is doing its part despite the occasional spots on its garment. Service to our fellowmen continues with some changes in format, but our mandate (Go carry the gospel) and our message (God so love (you) the world) remain unchangeable, unshakeable, unstoppable. Cognizant of these realities, let us celebrate – Happy independence St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Dr. Reynold Murray
Association of Evangelical Churches of SVG.