Sunday, 9 December, 2012: The Psalmist says this:
Alleluia! Praise God in his holy place, praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his powerful deeds, praise his surpassing greatness.
O praise him with sound of trumpet, praise him with lute and harp.
Praise him with tymbrel and dance, praise him with strings and pipes.
O praise him with resounding cymbals, praise him with clashing cymbals.
Let everything that lives and that breathes give praise to the Lord. Allelulia!
And so, brothers and sisters, tonight we gather to praise him in song at this Advent time. For he comes to our hearts and to our minds, and to our souls and bodies.
He comes to our homes and to our lands, and to our hills and valleys. He comes to bring joy and peace, and hope and courage. And to him, we accord many a title, many a name: Prince of Peace, Key of David, Rod of Jesse, Emmanuel, Messiah, Saviour, the Christ, Jésu.
And so, on this night of beauteous song, of hymn and carol, as also on the nights of pain and anguish, and loneliness and folorn figure, may we still remember that unending, untiring, unwavering message that he brings forth from the crib and even unto the cross: of hope and salvation.
Sweet saviour haste, come, come to earth
Dispel the night and show thy face
And bid us hail the dawn of grace.
May our Christmas story not be shaded by undertones of greed and glut, or of price gouging and prideful glamour.
No my friends. May it instead be in sincere memorial of the events of thousands of years past, of the stories told toward, and the stories told onward: that a child was born, and his birth symbolised a new hope for this world.
May this time be a time of celebrating moreso the gifts of childbirth, the gifts of family, the gifts of friends and less so the gifts of material. For his majesty was not diminished in his vulnerable state, in his swaddling clothes, in a nativity of poverty.
And so tonight, we sing not for want of wealth, or praise. Rather, we celebrate sharing and giving freely, without care of returns.
As we look back on 2012, may we leave behind the violence, the vexation, the vindictiveness.
May we look to 2013, with new hope in Saint Lucia, a hope of peace and renewal in the land, a hope of love and cooperation, of respect and consideration, of compassion and responsibility.
May this be our Christmas wish.
May God continue to bless and may his staff guide our nation, Saint Lucia.