Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Diary of the Ghetto Priest | Jamaica: A nation of artists ‘Queen Esther’

Published:Friday | November 17, 2017 | 12:00 AMFather Richard Ho Lung
King Xerxes (Daniel Dailey) proposes to Esther
Mordecai (Rohan Jacques) and his wife Sasha (Sharna Grandison) convince Esther (Teri-lee Taylor) to marry the king
Father Ho Lung and Friends in Queen Esther

If you listen to the music in our people's voices, if you see the imagery in the language; if you hear the storytelling in the chatter and the gossips, and, finally the powerful and emotional preaching in the churches, you come to know that Jamaica is a nation of artists.

There are good artists and bad artists. There are those who see the incredible beauty in nature that surrounds us - trees, seas, rivers, hills and mountains. Then there is the whole wide world and all its configuration of heaven: clouds, sunlight, moonlight, starlight, and birds, bees that haven't made up their minds whether they belong to heaven or earth.

There are the artists who see the world through rose-coloured glasses, and those who see the world through dark glasses. There are those who are searching for meaning and sense that there is a God; there are those who hate God and the thought that there is a God. There are those who love people and those who hate people. There are those who belong to the culture of death and those who belong to the culture of life.




There are commercial artists with talent who sell it for money, and there are those who seek truth, beauty, goodness. There are artists who are bitter and negative, and there are those who believe in mercy, forgiveness, and the belief that we are made to be in the image and likeness of God.

In the depths of the true artists, there is a longing for meaning and for God. No good or great artist can be one who hates mankind and denies God, who refuses to confront the Lord of all creation, and, once he or she honestly confronts Jesus Christ in the Scriptures - not say, "I want to know this man" and asks "Who is He?"

I must say .I truly adore Christ, He is true Man and true God. I really worship Him from the depths of my heart. I long for Him and I want to be like Him, despite all my weaknesses and sins, and the distortions of Christ even while I seek to configure my life to Him.

Queen Esther! what a joy it has been to write the script, the music, and to work with that sacred man Wynton Williams; Gregory Thames, Paula Shaw, PJ Stewart, Clayton Giddens, Hugh Douse, Nadia Roxburgh and all the performers and technicians.

Together we became one artist, one body, one mind, and do our best to make that woman Queen Esther! a prefiguration of the Lord's self-sacrificing love for people.

I offer to you, my Jamaican people, a group of artists, young and old, a group of kind benefactors who made the production possible, and the work of the brothers who fashion out life each day for the poorest of people.

It is true! Art gives life! Music is the language of love, and God is love! Come to Queen Esther at the National Arena the last shows are Saturday, November 18 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, November 19 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The Honourable Portia Simpson will be coming with seven guests. Yohan Blake will race against me at the Olympics in the National Arena at 6:30 p.m. Sunday (November 19).

And, Queen Esther will be resurrected for all of you to celebrate in music and drama the power of self-sacrificing love over selfishness and greed.