By Richard Ho Lung
Jesus Christ is the foundation of our moral and civilised way of being, acting, living, working and thinking. In Jamaica, He is called the Messiah, the messenger, the revelation of God's truth from up above, for mankind on earth here below.
He is the absolute in humanity, and the reality God intends for us to be, in order to obtain happiness and bring about a rich and full humanity marked out by justice and peace. He is the light of God that leads us through the passageway of our daily life, a lamp for our feet, the voice of truth calling us all along the way.
Whether there be darkness or sorrow, or the joys and jubilation of life, Christ, the Messiah, shows us by His Word and works - the most meaningful way to be and act.
Rooted in Christ
Jamaica's roots and foundation are in Christ. It is just and right and proper that we acknowledge Him as the substrate of our national life in Jamaica 50. Jamaicans, at our best, are a lyric and poetic people. We are naturally aesthetic, because we are a refined moral people without being puritan, stiff and condemnatory.
Our Christianity is lilting, full of laughter and fun and ecstasy. We are a kind, Christian people, particularly the simple, the poor, the rural and the brave - formed by the powerful mountains, and the seas lashing on the shores, though at times coaxing and languid - so is our music, so are our manners, so is our humour. So full of respect and the wonder of God's grandeur and the miracle of human life among the hills and mountains, rivers and valleys.
The earth declares God, our foundational music in our revivals declare God, and our pastors, teachers and elders declare God. Our treetops and mountaintops and high-flying clouds declare God.
Our long-suffering people declare God, our storytelling declare God, our expectations of the heavenly King declare God, our lips, our hearts, our undying hope in the midst of struggle declare God.
Don't lose God
I remind my Jamaican people on the 50th anniversary of our Independence - if we lose God, we lose our soul. If we lose Christ, the Messiah, we lose our best friend and His divine grace as we continue from the past to the present to the future.
Come and join us as we celebrate 'The Messiah' - our production in late September and early October, which hopefully will galvanise us once again to the foundation of our spiritual history as Jamaicans!
As the Rev Ronald Thwaites, minister of education, agrees, "The Messiah centres on Jamaica's soul and on its true identity."
Richard Ho Lung is founder of the Missionaries of the Poor. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.