CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — The following is the full text of the 2018 Christmas address by Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Luke 1: 30-32
Fellow citizens, residents and visitors,
On this Christmas Day, I bring you warm greetings of peace, joy and goodwill. Christmas fills an innate desire in the human spirit that brings together families, friends and communities to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
During this yuletide season, we remember Jesus’ birth to the Virgin Mary, His love compassion and mercy that changed the world. The simple and inspiring story of Jesus’ birth fills our hearts with gratitude for the many blessings in our lives. It reminds us that, at times, the greatest of God’s gifts and purposes can be found in the humblest of places. It also reminds us that service to others should be central in our lives and that, regardless of our place or station of birth, we can succeed and achieve.
Christmas is a time when we help those in need and bring hope to those who despair. It is also a time when we take stock of ourselves and focus on what really matters in life – family, friends, fellowship, peace and goodwill.
Christmas is also about giving. As we exchange gifts, we are reminded of the gifts given to Baby Jesus by the three wise men and the gift of His life that He willingly gave for all humanity.
For many of us, Christmas is the season of perpetual hope. The hope of many who welcomed God’s Son with great happiness. The hope and patience of believers who worship God with great expectation. The hope of those who, despite living in a troubled and often harsh world, are convinced of a better and much brighter future.
Like the shepherds who kept watch over their flocks at night, I entreat each and every one of you to keep a watchful eye on our children. Let us love and care for them.
Like the three wise men who persevered on their journey to Bethlehem, I urge you to persevere in life regardless of your circumstances. Like the angelic host who proclaimed “peace on earth and goodwill to all men”, I encourage you to be at peace with each other for this Christmas and beyond.
For this very special season, let us give thanks to God for the blessings He has granted us as a people and as a nation. Let us sing together the praises of our unsung heroes who selflessly and tirelessly give yeoman service in their duty to our nation. I here speak of our essential workers, our security forces and those who keep our nation clean. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their sacrifice and selfless service.
Let us bring the Christmas cheer to our elderly, our infirm, our sick, those who are hospitalised; those who are disabled and those who have suffered the loss of loved ones over the past year. Let us comfort and encourage them and in so doing, show them the true meaning of Christmas. At this holy time let us remember to share what we have with our neighbours and those who are less fortunate.
In this season of glad tidings, I pray that you may be surrounded by family, by friends and loved ones. May you be blessed by Almighty God during this joyous and festive season, and may the joy of the holidays renew our commitment in making ourselves and our nation better.
From Sharon, Brianna, Gabriella and I – from my family to yours, and from my Government to you Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and an abundance of joy and good will be yours today, tomorrow and forever more.
Thank you and God bless you.