Pastor Dermoth Baptiste
President, Seventh-day Adventist Church
When 2019 eclipses into eternity we would come to the end of the decade of the 10s and step into the decade of the 20s. We will also end the second decade of the 21st Century and begin the third decade. I believe at this crossroad of time there will be a lot to recount and to forecast.
It is often said that life is lived by the number of breaths that we take and time is counted by the number of heart throbs. Life is also measured by segments or blocks of time that Almighty God has allowed us so that we can reflect on the past, determine where we are today and align the future with our God given purpose for our existence.
God has not given us breath, space and time to do whatever we want and live anyhow we desire, rather, He has stamped His divine image in us so that we can reflect His character, glorify His name and help to make society a sweeter, better and more loving place to coexist.
For us to live peacefully and lovingly, it is essential that we consider the quality of our relationship with God and with our fellowmen. No man exists unto himself, for we cannot sustain ourselves. Our sufficiency is in Christ and so it is only in Him our lives can derive meaning, fulfillment and satisfaction. Unless that vertical relationship with our Creator is intact the horizontal relationship with our neighbour will be virtually non-existent or woefully fragile.
Our fundamental problem is that of sin, which like an aggressive cancer eats away our soul and by extension the soul of the nation. It is for that essential reason why we see miscreants who overtly live contemptible lives of defiance, rebellion and violence, as well as those who covertly live selfishly, uncaring, unconcerned and unkindly to one another. Is there any wonder why there are continuous episodes of crime, violence, abuse, neglect, malice and other unsavory behaviours in our homes, communities and the nation?
Without the establishment and fostering of quality relationship with God, which fundamentally leads to better relationship with our fellowmen, our lives will always be in turmoil, lacking, missing the mark and falling apart. To satisfy this lack, some people turn to drugs, sexual promiscuity, alternative lifestyle, partying, gluttony and the likes.
Jesus states very succinctly that the greatest need of mankind today is to seek the Lord and His righteousness with all earnestness and to live for Him with eternity in mind. Matthew 6:33.
Relationships are established upon trust and sustained by love. It is reassuring and heart-warming to know that God has proven to be trust worthy over the years and so today we can trust Him fully and completely with our lives as we approach the decade of the 20s.
Wherever we might have failed in the past, whoever we might have disappointed, whatever dreams might have been unfulfilled, the Good News is that we can begin afresh, we can take stock of our lives, we can turn a new page, we can take a fresh guard as we make wrongs right and like the prodigal son, return to a loving Father.
As we come to the ending of the decade of the tens and teens, let us be ever grateful to Almighty God for His manifold blessings upon us. Certainly, it is not the alarm clock that wakes us up every morning, but our Creator God whose mercies are new every moment. Every morsel of bread that we eat is from Heaven’s pantry, every breath we breathe is His oxygen that we don’t have to pay for and every space that we inhabit belongs to Him. Whatever successes we have achieved individually, corporately or nationally are all because of His loving kindness and gracious favour.
Even the set-backs and misfortunes that we have to endure, He allows, because He wants to get our attention. Sometimes when He speaks to us in blessings bestowed and we fail to listen, He speaks to us in blessings withdrawn, because His ultimate aim is to seek our salvation. This is the story of Christmas. It is the story of the infinite love of the Saviour who invades human space to reconcile fallen man back to the Father.
My prayer is that nationally we’ll have a healthy, happy holiday season as we renew or restore our relationships with our compassionate Saviour and with one another. As we step into the decade of the 20s and into another New Year we can do so confidently knowing that God is in control and has our back.
On behalf of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I wish the Government and people of our blessed Hairouna unsurpassed happiness, unending success and unbridled prosperity. Blessings and good will to you and to your household!