My beloved fellow Citizens and Residents of St. Kitts and Nevis, I wish you Season’s Greetings. May blessings be upon you at this very special time. Whatever your belief, this is a time that invites us to step back from our busy, daily activities to reflect upon the meaning of life, our purpose, and our relationship with each other. For us Christians, we take greater cognizance of our relationship with God and his mercy, love and grace extended to us.
As we do so, I reflect upon the singular important message of Christmas as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The message that he brought was that love triumphs over hate and light illuminates the darkness. He brought life eternal and the hope for a better future, the hope that through a better way of living we could find greater happiness both in this life and the life thereafter.
This hope has been a true inspiration for my Government. It has instilled in us a steadfast determination to bring optimism and a better quality of life for all. For us, every single person counts. Whatever our path in life, whatever our choices, whatever has been thrown at us, our aim has always been about making things better, about elevating our standard of living and improving the circumstances and opportunities for everyone.
Titus Chapter 3 in verses 3 to 7 elaborates on the meaning of Jesus’ birth. The scripture states:
3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,
5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
As this beautiful nation of St. Kitts and Nevis celebrates the Christmas Season, my Government is focused squarely on the positive themes expressed in Titus, mainly kindness, love, mercy, generosity and grace, and on ensuring that they are bestowed upon all of our people.
As we provide the right environment and circumstances for St. Kitts and Nevis to thrive, I want to use this opportunity to invite all of us to share some of that hope and optimism in all that we do, particularly during this special time.
Christmas is a time for showing love and appreciation, a time for bringing families together, healing and reconciliation, and most importantly peace and goodwill on earth for all: for families and friends, for our neighbours, visitors and guests, and also for strangers. As we open up our hearts and our homes, let us also open our minds to the optimism of the future and allow that positive frame of mind to influence the choices that we make.
It would be all too easy when things are not going according to plan to succumb to a mood of negativity and even to blame others for our misfortune. However, with the coming of Christ, He gave us the best present anyone could wish for at Christmas and for every day of our lives.
It is a challenge indeed for all of us to rise above the petty things in life that can at times derail us from a positive purpose in life. We can all too easily yield to the impulses of ego, which persuade us to make poor choices. I invite you therefore to live the message of Christmas, to spread love and goodwill to those in your immediate circle and beyond, to rise above any discontent you may feel and live a life of love, patience, care and kindness.
When you do this, you have a better chance of collectively improving our lot. Let us together take joy in bringing happiness to others. Just as we enjoy watching the delight on our children’s faces as they open their presents this Christmas, let us enjoy making others happy. As a parent, it gives me great joy, knowing that in such a short time we have improved the well-being of our people. We shall pay particular attention to our young people. In this regard, St. Kitts and Nevis is the smallest nation in the world and we can be incredibly proud that we have eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV, a feat yet to be attained by economic and scientific powerhouses in the world. For this fine accomplishment on behalf of our children and indeed on behalf of all of humanity, we give thanks to Almighty God.
By being good guardians of the nation, we have been able to do what no other Country has done. Prudent fiscal management allowed my Government to give our public service workers their own Christmas present by paying a double salary two years in a row. New businesses are being established, jobs are being created, and our economy is strong. These, in my view, are our gifts from God.
Wise choices reap rewards for our people, and it is our intention as a Government going forward to continue to make sound and prudent decisions for the benefit of our beloved Federation. Taking Christ as our example, noting his ubiquitous itinerary of doing good and being of excellent service to the people, your Government will continue to focus on making a remarkable positive difference in the quality of life of our citizens, stimulating more jobs and better wages, delivering affordable quality healthcare and education, supporting enterprise and entrepreneurship, and of course ensuring good governance, peace, democracy, stability, and prosperity for all.
This Christmas Day and into the New Year, I encourage you to adopt the positive themes expressed in Titus into your lives so that they may emanate onto the streets in our communities and bless each and every one of our households.
In the book of Matthew, Chapter 2 verse 11, we learned that wise men came to pay homage and presented unto him gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Christmas is about giving and, on behalf of my Government, I wish you a peaceful and joyous season filled with abundant love and good cheer. May you, during the Christmas Season and beyond, experience the pleasure of giving: giving of your service, giving of your love, your help, your ingenuity and industry, compassion and empathy in the task of nation building. I shall continue to count on you, the loyal and patriotic citizens and well-wishers of St. Kitts and Nevis. I shall count on your support, your wise counsel, your prayers and wisdom. Most importantly, I shall count on my God to lead the wonderful people of St. Kitts and Nevis to a better place and a better life, and I pray that my leadership will continue to be favoured by God who sent his only begotten son into the world to save human kind.
May God bless the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and may God bless the Country.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to All. God bless you again. I thank you.