My dear friends, the Christmas Season is upon us once again—thankfully. I always look forward to Christmas. I hope you do too.
As Christians, we celebrate the momentous occasion of the birth of Christ whose coming into the world brought hope of salvation and offered us the chance to do better in our lives.
Many times we have heard it said that ‘Christ is the reason for the season’. Yet, far too often, we fail to truly appreciate the beauty and sacred nature of this time of year, as we get carried away with the shopping, the fixing up, the lighting up and the food preparations. All good things no doubt, but better in proper measure.
Let us always make time to celebrate and appreciate the wonderful gift of salvation that the birth of Christ offers to each of us, and let us spread the goodwill that comes with the season.
While we enjoy the customary things of Christmas and the coming New Year, we must also remember the sacrifices made throughout this most unusual and difficult year – 2020.
We are thankful for God’s mercy and grace that have brought us through this year—a time scarred indelibly by the pain and loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues unabated. While we have been spared the worst of the health problems, we continue to suffer severe economic and social disruption. Let us continue to do all we can to keep one another safe.
Normally, this time of year is filled with joyous activities and much mingling and sharing. For many of us, it is a time to travel and visit family and friends; a time to share old stories and create new experiences with loved ones that over time, would also become treasured memories. However, the coronavirus has made such things very risky. We must treasure our loved ones by being careful and safe until this unprecedented threat to life and happiness is finally vanquished. Thank God, relief is on the way in the form of effective vaccines to protect us from the virus. We hope that we will soon put this pandemic behind us and get back to rebuilding our lives and economy! Let us continue to look forward with great anticipation to a new year with renewed hope and determination to overcome all obstacles.
We also just came through a difficult and divisive general election. A majority of our people voted for the New Democratic Party. However, the ULP was declared to have won more seats and, therefore, formed the government. This has resulted in a crisis of governance, for in a democracy the choice of the majority of the people always matters and is, indeed, paramount. We must, therefore, continue to work for change to ensure that the choice of the majority of the people is honoured, and peace, harmony and good governance are promoted.
Together, we must work to bring to reality the vision of economic prosperity, job creation, improved healthcare, and good governance characterized by transparency and accountability. Also, we must overcome our divisions and foster togetherness as One People and One Nation.
Thank you, my dear people, from the bottom of my heart, for your support throughout the year. I am profoundly grateful for the privilege to serve you and look forward to your continued support in 2021.
I know that the New Year will bring its challenges, but it will also bring new opportunities for all of us. Let us find those opportunities, embrace them, and use them to make things better for all of us.
I wish you a blessed Christmas and I pray that the future will bring good health, prosperity, and happiness.
From my family to yours, may God bless you always.
by Dr the Honourable Godwin Friday | Leader of the Opposition and President of the New Democratic Party