Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Christmas Message | Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller - Let us lift burden of sadness from those with little

Published:Monday | December 26, 2016 | 12:40 AM
Portia Simpson Miller

Christmas is a time of love, kindness and warmth. It is indeed, a time for reflection, introspection and celebration.

It is a time for giving and for sharing, even if our means are modest. After all, the Bible teaches us that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and in giving we also receive blessings in copious measures.

As we give and celebrate, let us remember the true meaning of Christmas.

In our Christian religion, at Christmas we reflect on the gift of Jesus Christ to the world, born in very humble surroundings: in a lowly manger.

What a great gift our Sovereign God gave to the world more than 2,000 years ago! It is a gift that lasts forever and which was given willingly and with love.

The gift of Christ Jesus to the world sends a powerful message of the importance of forgiveness, humility and kindness.

It reminds us of the sacredness of life and our responsibility to each other, in sharing a thought, a meal, and a gift.

The poor, the elderly, the sick: There are so many among us who are in need of a kind deed or even a word of special cheer at this time of the year. For this, my fellow Jamaicans, is the real reason for the season - spreading joy, love and kindness to the world.

Let us help to lift the burden of sadness from those who have very little to give.

For there are persons among us who have no money to spend in the shopping, the partying and the gift buying.

For them, Christmas is a stark reminder of their everyday reality of need and hardships.

For this, my fellow Jamaicans, is the real reason for the season - spreading joy, love and kindness to the world.

Let us help to lift the burden of sadness from those who have very little to give or to receive.

For there are persons among us who have no money to share in the shopping, the partying and the gift buying and giving.

For them, Christmas is a stark reminder of their everyday reality of need and hardships.

As we endeavour to do kind deeds this Christmas, let us also spare a thought and a comforting word to those who have experienced personal tragedy and loss over the past year.

Christmas can be a lonely time for persons who have lost loved ones with whom they celebrated the season in previous years.

Sadly, this year they will not come home for dinner or share in the exchange of gifts.

Sometimes it takes an encouraging word or a kind deed to rekindle the faith of bereaved persons in the story of Christmas and the coming of Christ into the world for our redemption.

Christmas is also a special time for children. For them, this time of the year is simply magical, filled with lots of lights, food, fun and yes, their gifts.

It is important that, as adults, we encourage our children to enjoy the merriment even while we teach them the true meaning of Christmas.

The Christmas story centres around the birth of Jesus. In the same way Christmas reminds us to take very good care of our children and the children of our neighbours, even the children of strangers. For children are gifts from God.

They are precious resources to be nurtured, cared for and protected.

This year, in our gift-giving let us also give ourselves and our country the gift of peace.

I wish for all Jamaicans a peaceful holiday season.

I make a special appeal for peace to reign in our land this Christmas and always.

I am saddened by the recent incidents of murders in our beloved country.

The gruesome attacks on our women is of grave concern.

It is my prayer that this Christmas will herald a period of reflection and that the lives of our nation's women and indeed all our people will be valued and protected.

Let our children play and build their dreams - free from fear and abuse.

Let our communities come together to sing carols and to reflect on the true meaning of the season.

As we pledge to give the gift of peace and love this Christmas, let us also use the roads and highways with caution and exercise due care and concern for other road users.

Be courteous. Do not drink alcohol and drive. My fellow Jamaicans, I implore you to walk, ride and drive with care.

As we celebrate, let us pause to remember, in a special way, those persons who are working during the holiday season in the interest of all of us.

I speak of our policemen and women, Members of the Jamaica Defence Force, our medical doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, fire fighters and others in the essential services.

Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

Your lives are testimonies of the continuing priceless contribution of so many Jamaicans to nation-building.

I know that right across our land there are a number of persons doing good deeds, establishing bonds of friendship and making communities stronger.

These are the positive vibrations that will make our nation stronger and more secure.

Merry Christmas, Jamaica.

I wish everyone God's richest blessings and may the joy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ remain in our hearts and in our lives forever.

May continue God bless you and bless Jamaica land we love.

- Portia Simpson Miller, Opposition Leader