“I hope that we will remember what He taught about the power of faith, the importance of hope, and the gift of peace, and that, whatever else may be going on around us, these three will be in all our hearts this Christmas,” said Prime Minister Douglas in his annual Christmas Message to the Nation.
Pointing out that the Season has stirred hearts in ways that are unique to this time of year, Prime Minister Douglas wished all life’s most precious blessings.
“Most of all, I wish us the wisdom to recognize and value those blessings which may, on the surface, seem simple, but which are really the most precious blessings of all – the blessings of sound minds, strong hearts, and love, one for another. For it is towards these states of grace that the Christ Child tried to lead us, once He became a man. And it is these blessings that make all things possible,” he told the Nation.
He pointed out that in Basseterre, in Charlestown and in the rural areas, Christmas programmess have been underway for weeks now, “as we go about our lives with the sounds of Christmas wafting through open windows, and flowing from cars as they pass by. Yet something this year is a little different.”
“The cool breezes have returned, yes, as they always have each Christmas, since the dawn of time. And the cane stalks, now in full bloom, signal that this glorious season is once again upon us. We rush from home to work to elsewhere, happy when we glimpse, in passing, faces from long-ago…..fellow-nationals who have returned home for Christmas – as Kittitians and Nevisians always have – for as long as we can remember. Peace on Earth – our choirs sing. Yet, there is great tumult in the world. Goodwill toward men. Yet there are certain tensions- right here at home. The Christmas Season, however, encourages reflection. And reflection can lead to clarity,” Dr. Douglas said in his radio and television address.
He suggested that nationals and residents look back, then, across the centuries, to Bethlehem, and see what lessons, if any, there might be for them today.
“Ever since we were children, two sets of people have always been key to the Christmas story apart from Mary, Joseph, and the Christ Child himself: the shepherds, and the wise men. This Christmas, may we be our nation’s shepherds. Because shepherds are protectors,” he said further suggesting:
“May we, like the shepherds of Bethlehem, therefore, feel within us protective stirrings – not toward a flock, as in their case – but for our nation, and for each other.”
“The shepherds of long ago watched over their flocks and surveyed the fields around them, yes. But they also lifted their eyes toward the Heavens, with its endless array of stars. And that is how they came to be stirred by that one bright shining star heralding the birth of the Child who, as a man, would teach of the power of faith, and hope, and love.
Let us, too, lift our eyes Heavenward throughout the Season, in the hope that our thoughts, our plans, and our dreams this Christmas will, as I’ve said, be so exalted that they serve as our very own shining star…..leading us to faith, hope, and peace, just as that one star over Bethlehem did, so many years ago,” said Prime Minister Douglas in his 18th Christmas Message.
“May we also, My Fellow Nationals, be our nation’s wise men. For wise men provide sound counsel. And sound counsel commands happiness. May we, therefore, like the bearers of frankincense, gold, and myrrh that long-ago night in Bethlehem, be a people of wisdom. For in this era of tumult and volatility, wisdom is more precious than gold, it is as rare as frankincense and has the healing powers of myrrh.
Whatever may actually be going on around us this Christmas Season, whether we are completely alone or constantly with others, whether our hearts are troubled or our souls are at peace, I hope that we will all take the time to pause and reflect on why, for thousands of years, people all over the world have celebrated Christmas. I hope that we will reflect on the ways in which the birth of Christ issued in a new and special era……an era in which the state of our souls became more important than the magnificence of our temples……and human compassion became the ultimate good.”