“Peace Amid the Storms”
My Fellow Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora.
Today, millions of people around the world are celebrating Christmas Day with families and friends. This is the season of cheer, goodwill and peace. A time to reflect on the year that is coming to a close.
It is a time of love: of giving, sharing, caring, service and peace. As the timeless song written by Jill Jackson Miller and Syd Miller 66 years ago urges, ‘Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.’ Unfortunately, sometimes the peace that we want in our hearts, our homes and our nation eludes us. Instead, we experience or hear of crime and violence which have taken a toll on our lives, and threaten our peace and sanity.
However, even as we wonder where all this will end, we cannot lose sight of the fact that despite the perilous times we still have reasons for which to be thankful.
We give thanks to those working on the front-line, the Security Forces, the charitable organizations and helping hands that restore our faith in humanity. You serve and give with hearts that are committed to being your brother’s keeper and we cannot thank you enough. We also give thanks to our leaders in all spheres of society.
This year, we were once again spared the full effect of the ravages or other natural disasters. Despite the challenges of the current pandemic we are learning to cope and we pray that the worse is behind us. Once again, I encourage everyone to continue observing the established health protocols. I have no doubt that collectively, our experiences in this current reality will guide our actions appropriately as we enjoy the festivities.
The Christmas Season gives us an opportunity to share with others and show love. I thank you all for giving gifts, cards, care and food packages for friends, neighbours and the needy. Let us not forget the vulnerable, especially our children and the elderly. The goodwill we want to see must begin with love for others.
As a young school teacher, I recall that we would sing each day,
‘This is our school, let love reign here. Love one another, love mankind and love each other.’
As many hands build a school with love, so many hearts will build a home. This is our nation’s home, let us build it with hearts, minds and love.
Let us bring cheer to those who are struggling with grief, sickness and hunger. I believe in the goodness of all Jamaicans and encourage everyone to continue believing – in ourselves and our country.
It is good to have a centre in our lives to which we can return as often as possible to get our bearing. We, therefore, turn to the Lord who is our light when worldly darkness veils us. The One who gives peace even amid the turmoil and turbulence. Let us seek the peace that comes from the heart and be at peace with ourselves and remember that this too shall pass.
So as we celebrate God’s glory and sovereignty, let us reach out to each other and share the gifts of peace, joy and love. As the Wise Men saw the Star of Hope centuries ago, let us today continue to strive forward, look up with hope and peace in our hearts and experience true happiness.
Lady Allen and my Staff at King’s House join me in wishing you a happy, safe and peaceful Holiday Season.