Christmas Message | Daryl Vaz - Start New Year on right footing
As we celebrate another holy Christmas, we must rejoice that God has blessed us to see the closing moments of yet another year.
For some, 2017 might have been their best year ever while for others, there were chapters they would easily prefer to forget.
It is the enduring spirit of Christmas however that makes us joyous at this time of the year and allows us to put those troubling moments behind us. Christmas channels peace, joy, friendship, love, kindness and compassion.
There is no other story of the birth of a baby boy that resonates around the world as the birth of Jesus Christ, the light and Saviour of the world to those of the Christian faith.
Carolling, lighting of Christmas trees, exchange of gifts, visiting family and friends or simply merry-making are some of the ways in which the season is commemorated.
It is however in our halls of worship that we reflect on the significance of this season as a holy and blessed one. The teachings of Jesus Christ thousands of years ago, are still valuable and applicable to our daily lives that we remain of good courage and faith and be charitable to those around us. The story of Christmas is indeed an uplifting one of hope.
As the season approaches each year, it is customary for most of us to create a special list of our Christmas “needs”, “wants” and “wishes”. I ask what is your Christmas wish for our beloved Jamaica as when the purchases have been made, the gift giving and the merriment of the holidays are long over, we are back to the reality of our existence.
Is your wish to see Jamaica a more peaceful, loving and prosperous nation? Is it your wish that we once again become our brother’s and sister’s keeper, where neighbours look out for neighbours and communities live peacefully with other communities; where it is not too much for us to forget, forgive and shake hands?
Is it your wish that Portland rises to the top in national achievements, particularly among our children? If these are among your Christmas wishes particularly going into the new year, let us all recommit to work together as one in the interest of our beloved country. It is only a matter of days that we will be welcoming a new year so let us start on a right footing.
Christmas instils in us a generosity of spirit to share a meal with those who do not have, to look out for the poor, the indigent and our very young ones to be gifted with toys.
Over the years, having arranged so many treats for our children, shut-in and indigent as Member of Parliament for West Portland, I know the joy and the difference which one act of kindness makes in their lives.
I therefore urge you to let this spirit of goodwill continue to thrive and flourish in us as a people so that those ills which have plagued our society will soon be of the past.
We welcome home our families and visitors from overseas who are here to indulge in the offerings of a true Jamaican Christmas.
Pray for, reach out to and comfort those who are in medical facilities or sad because they have lost family and friends during the year.
Whatever your plan is to celebrate Christmas, be of good cheer, spend precious time with family and friends and ensure that you take every precaution not to endanger your life and that of others. Moderation and prevention are key on the roads for a safe holiday season.
We are once again grateful for the members of the JCF and other essential services such the Jamaica Fire Brigade, nurses and doctors who are away from their homes and loved ones, just to be of service to us.
From my family to yours, have a safe, blessed, holy and peaceful Christmas!
- Daryl Vaz, minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister and member of parliament for West Portland