We ought to be  concerned about our identity as a people
Independence Messages
October 26, 2023
We ought to be concerned about our identity as a people

St Vincent and the Grenadines Christian Council Independence Message 2023

Over the past 12 months we continued to experience the goodness of Almighty God and with praise and thanksgiving are now celebrating the 44th Anniversary of Independence.

Firstly, God has been good and faithful to us; let us give him the highest note of adoration during our celebration. Secondly, this significant 44th Anniversary milestone, provides us, citizens and residents of this nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with the opportunity for serious introspection on the theme: “Our Resilience! Our Fortitude! Our People! Our Identity! #Road to 45”.

Of importance, the theme highlights that we are on the Road to 45, and critically the circumstances of the past months will have an impact and must be reviewed.

Undoubtedly, our people are the greatest assets to this our beloved and blessed nation home, and the varied experiences in dealing with and overcoming past challenges have given us the characteristic of being resilient and fortified. We must always remember these precious qualities and that under God we have the ability to bounce back even stronger from any disaster.

The large number of academic scholarships currently being provided is worthy of applause, coupled with the effort to increase the housing stock, provision of several types of medical diagnostic equipment, efforts to achieve higher quality of agriculture, and improvement in the road network.

However, we ought to be concerned about our identity as a people.

On the Road to 45, the increase in violence and criminal activity, resulting in the significant number of homicides, cannot be allowed to continue, for they reflect a people whose identity is intolerance. Furthermore, the continuing abuse of our children and women is barbaric. While the national prayer focus must continue; in concert with this aspect, we must work hand in hand as Church, Private Sector, and Government to reverse the detrimental trends.

Beginning from the stage of infancy, and journeying by stages with our children through to their adulthood, we must focus on wholesomeness with Jesus Christ central in our lives. As such, the renewing of our minds and commitment to Christ will be required.

The attention being paid in relation to reparations, climate change, and renewed associations with our African brothers and sisters, is essential even as we seek to truly discover who we are as a people and aim to live out our full potential. At the same time, how we live in our home space of residences, villages, towns, and nation, will determine how valuable we regard ourselves. In essence, love, peace, justice, and fair play must become the hallmarks in our identity on the Road to 45. It is not enough to think of “us and them” for in essence “without them there will be no us.” We need each other, well and strong.

We celebrate amid the continuing war between Russia and Ukrainian; the unstable political environment and widespread suffering in our sister nation of Haiti; and to make matters worse, the recent conflict in the Middle East is of grave concern. We pray that Almighty God will enable us to pass through this season of potential setbacks, for indeed he is our anchor in the time of storm. While we observe those war situations, may our identity be such that our acceptance of each other despite differences in ideology and ideals will cause us to exercise forgiveness and unity for the good of all.

Celebrating 44 years of Independence brings us in company with similarly aged developing nations in the Caribbean and Africa, and as such we can mutually encourage one another and share things in common. At the same time, we believe that God in Christ Jesus is calling our nation to a re-centring to the lived reality of Christian principles and values propelled by love, joy, and peace. Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Matthew 22:37&39, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” The Road to 45 can be meaningful, exciting, and courageous for more than anything else; we journey in God through Jesus Christ. May we pledge to do all we can to be responsible, relevant, helpful, and uplifting in our actions, and may Almighty God richly bless us and enable us by the Holy Spirit.