Sun | Feb 18, 2018

We no longer pledge to serve fellow citizens

Published:Saturday | August 20, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Jamaica, how important is the national pledge to you? In school, we repeated it because it was required of us, but now, as adults, are we [government, judiciary and people] choosing to uphold and adhere to the pledge which our ancestors, by wisdom, love and leadership foresight pledged our nation to maintain before God? Take this phrase, for instance: "I pledge the love and loyalty of my heart, the wisdom and courage of my mind, the strength and vigour of my body in the service of my fellow citizens." This is no less than a call for self-denial and sacrifice.

It is the impression of this humble writer that Pastor Al Miller may have taken the pledge literally, standing up for his fellow citizens at a critical time in our nation while we remained in our homes watching the television reports about the rebellion of citizens against police, burning police stations, looting and carnage in our nation, as if it were a movie. The pledge calls our citizenry to live in service to each other.

For those who think the pastor should resign, those sentiments are understood, for Christ was crucified because He was perceived to be a counterfeit messiah, a misfit. His words were powerful and the miracles real, but he did not fit into the 'Pharisee country club'. The Jamaican pledge propels us to portray a more noble and self-sacrificing character than what is now normative in this postmodern society.

Hear Jesus' statement in Matthew 23:37: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers!" (NLT) Let us paraphrase this statement for Jamaica in terms better understood by our reggae icon Bob Marley, and it would read, "O Jamaica, Jamaica, how long shall they kill your prophets while [oonuh] stand aside and look?"

When are we going to wake up and realise that this is not just one man against the world, but the we are all in this together? Today fi yuh and tomorrow fi mi.

Jesus continues in verse 37: "How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let me.

Pastors, do not cower because of the cross that this pastor is bearing, for the latter part of the verse above infers that if there is unity, God will act for the good of all. So, like Paul said - Christians became more bold because of his chains. Be the good Samaritan and avail yourselves so that 'wanted men' can ask your assistance in mediating between them and the police, who allegedly [sotto voce] kill before asking questions.

Imagine with me, if you will, that in the month of July, three pastors each assisted a fugitive to surrender to the police; in August, another five; and September,

another 6. Then Jamaica would be increasing in beauty, fellowship, not to mention prosperity.

Christians, awake! We must begin to demonstrate what is preached from the pulpit, if indeed it is the Word of God.