Holding the baton of peace, Goodwill to men
Christmas Messages
December 22, 2011
Holding the baton of peace, Goodwill to men

Thu, Dec 22. 2011

by Rev. Phyllis Ralph-Browne, Vice President of the Human Rights Association

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise, when as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph before they came together she was found with child of the holy Ghost.” Matt. 1:18

Let me wish all Vincentians at home and abroad a Merry Christmas and encourage you to hold with confidence the baton of peace and goodwill to men.{{more}}

As we celebrate this joyous season, let us turn our thoughts to the divine man of the flesh, Christ Jesus, whose miraculous birth signifies a new beginning, a new life and hope for the future. He is the God-man who brings us to the remembrance of Christmas.

I will now turn to you my melodious audience to say that Christmas is not a concept as some perceived, but it is a pragmatic mechanism used by Christians all over the world not only to celebrate the strange supernatural happenings of the birth of Jesus Christ that lead to the romance of their redemption; but also to remind the people at large who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ of the single purpose of his birth; and that was to die in order to ‘save his people from their sins.

The word ‘espoused’ in the above quotation means that Mary although not yet legally married was already bound to the man Joseph by the betrothal vows and required a legal divorce to end the relationship. Here was a virgin woman who was ‘found with a child’, pregnant. She did not commit adultery as some critics believe, but the Holy Ghost came upon her and the power of God overshadowed her, miraculously placing the Son of God in her womb (Luke 1:35). The peace and good will that Joseph exercised, “not willing to make her a public example” (although naturally her circumstance was punishable by death), is the merciful attitude that God wants us to emulate this season and all other seasons. For those invested with some kind of authority are so quick to kill or disgrace those whom they perceived to be lesser than themselves, even in the absence of evidence.

Let us not forget the spate of violence and immorality that is destroying our families, our people, and our nation. Let us remember in prayer and by action those individuals and families who are deprived and hurting.

I am deeply distressed and saddened by the wide-spread violence and immorality that are plaguing us, and rightly so, because as a Human Right advocate my responsibility is to effect the protection of our people and to promote their wellbeing. As an association, that is what we are attempting to do. Can we do it alone? A resounding No! Our active strategies, no matter how good, still lack the capability of meeting our goals. They are completely useless without God’s guidance; they are dog meat without government support and they are breadcrumbs without you the individual and community support.

I am making a call to every stakeholder, “Come and join forces with us in the fight to stop the wheels of violence and immorality and disassemble its parts. Stop pointing fingers because you know the philosophy of finger pointing. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, and I quote, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”. If what lies within us is a God-given determination to exercise the prayer engine of perseverance to stop and dismantle the wheels of violence within our society, then come hell or Jordon high waters, it will be stopped.

I am certain that it pained us to see our people who may have been destined to achieve national and spiritual greatness wiped out overnight, like the flushing of body waste down the toilet. Yes it is shocking and frightening, and none of us are safe. Who is responsible? The answer is, all of us. We perpetrate evil everyday in our homes, schools, business places, on the streets, in social clubs, and even in the churches; My God! Let us stop it, and let us escape through the only corridor where violence and immorality have no place, that is through Jesus Christ. Have yourselves a blessed season.