A CHRISTMAS TRUCE

admin
By admin December 22, 2011 12:40

A CHRISTMAS TRUCE

Anguillian Methodist Minister, the Rev. Dr. H. Clifton Niles, is quoted as having declared in one of his stirring sermons: “Don’t let anybody tell you ‘Happy Holidays’. It is Christmas for us.”

 

That, indeed, is both the religious and spiritual connotation surrounding the Christmas season for those of us who believe in the traditional, yet ever-enduring, message it brings during this period of the year and, in fact, always. It is true that, like everything else, in practice, belief and culture, the norm sometimes gives way to certain conflicting and materialistic pressures and concepts. But whatever anybody believes about Christmas the story of the Christ Child, encompassing the redemption of mankind, remains at the helm of the Christian faith.

There is no getting away from the fact that, throughout the world, the Christmas season is seen as a time of peace, unity, love and goodwill among men. It is for that reason, and more, that there are the attractive post cards and uplifting salutations, gift-giving, glittering decorations, parties and other forms of paraphernalia and celebration. While it may largely be an opportunity for commercial profit-making, the season is in fact a bedrock of positive influence, religious and spiritual fervour.

Christmas, in the broader application, is a time for sacrificial giving and reconciliation in this climatic time of the year. It affords an opportunity to glance back over the past twelve months to consider our shortcomings or successes as a people. The experiences we are able to conjure up will help us to prepare ourselves for the challenges of the New Year, to make important resolutions and to enhance our diverse state of affairs.

Like everywhere else in the world, life has not been easy for us in Anguilla.We are ending 2011 still caught in theunravelling folds of a stubborn recession, although some economists and other persons claim to see a glimmer of light peering through darkness. But we must not lose hope for, indeed, hope is an important part of the Christmas message. Our people have suffered job losses, salary reductions and various other setbacks. The plight of civil servants has not been an easy one, dating back to the pay cuts they had to endure in 2009 and 2010 with no hope it appears, even now, of ever being repaid.

Added to the difficulties created by the island’s slow and fragile economy, is the political situation (and leadership) of the island which still needs to settle down. Further, it is disappointing that there have been various incidents which give rise to fear that crime needs to be curtailed before it overwhelms our still tranquil island. Clearly, we cannot comfortably go into the New Year with the political conflicts, uncertainty and criminal activity that have bedeviled Anguilla throughout this year.

We trust that the war of words between conflicting parties, which give impressions of instability abroad, and the actions of those elements in the community, who resort to crime, would fade away just as quickly as this old year is disappearing.In the spirit of Christmas, we need a lasting truce and a windfall of prosperity, peace, love and unity on all fronts, going into 2012, and beyond, so that Anguilla can truly rise again.

 

admin
By admin December 22, 2011 12:40

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