April 21, 2011
Joy at Easter despite the challenges


Increasingly, we are hearing talk among some religious persons that we are in the End Times. In Christianity, the End Times are described as a period of great tribulation which precedes the second coming of Jesus Christ.{{more}}

Proponents of this view point to what they see as signs, including what seems to be an increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters worldwide; uprisings and wars around the world and a general godlessness among some of our people.

Right here at home, we are seeing so many changes in nature and in the way we as members of a society interact with each other, even the sceptics among us pause. The seasons as we knew them, seem to have changed. Last year, we had a prolonged drought; the worse we had seen in years, now this year, we have not yet had a discernable dry season. After years of escaping direct hits from hurricanes, and with La Soufriere remaining dormant for the last 30 years, in the last six months, we have had two back-to-back natural disasters which have brought tremendous suffering on many of our people and have strained the purse strings of a nation already experiencing serious financial challenges. There have been increasing reports here in our blessed country of attacks on our precious children, often at the hands of persons who should be their protectors.

Despite all this, we should not despair. We are now in Holy Week, a time which reminds us that whether we are in the End Times or not; no matter how bad our individual situations, there is light at the end of the tunnel. We are taught that Jesus Christ died for us and despite what may seem like chaos around us, God is still in control. He sees the bigger picture and knows what is best for us.

Easter reminds us that this life that we are living is not the end of it all. Because of this, we can still find joy, no matter our situation. The joy and triumph of Easter gives a lie to those who believe that there is nothing beyond the grave and that the suffering we experience now is meaningless and futile.

Joy is the Christian approach to life. It is the hope and faith that sustains us even when things go wrong. When we are frustrated by what appears to be our powerlessness in the face of difficult situations, difficult people, failing relationships and ill health, joy can change things. We have the assurance that God is forever in our corner.

Joy brings peace and unity to our hearts, our homes, our communities and our nation. May we all experience the joy of Easter no matter what challenges we face as individuals.

Have a Joyous Easter, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.