Time for stocktaking
November 5, 2004
Time for stocktaking

Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose work is blameless and who does what is righteous. Who speak the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbour no wrong and cast no slur on his fellowmen.

At this time when we celebrate our silver anniversary of independence and have just been spared the worst of Hurricane Ivan, let us give thanks to God and use this opportunity to do some soul-searching exercise as we move to put our house in order by doing some stocktaking.{{more}}

We in St. Vincent and the Grenadines must see ourselves truly blest of the Lord and thank him every day of our lives for his goodness. Our hearts and prayers are with all those who are still counting their losses after the passage of Hurricane Ivan and others. I must commend all those who prayerfully and charitably give to our Grenadian neighbour. The Spiritual Baptist fraternity of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been sending food supplies to our sister diocese in Grenada and will continue to do so as the Lord blesses our hearts. Once again, I salute all proud Vincentians for their Good Samaritan action.

Hurricane Ivan passed with mercy, but, the same cannot be said of crime and violence, at lease Ivan gave the islands a few hours beating, but over the last few months this wicked monster has not ceases to destroy our beautiful nation. One just has to revisit the local newspapers since the passage of hurricane Ivan and there will be no doubt in our mind that we need some stocktaking. At the time of writing this message we have already recorded 19 murders. It is sad.

Let us begin with the family. We need to restore good family values, respect, discipline and good Christian values. Our children must return to Sunday school/Sabbath school.

Parents need to bring up the children in the fear of the Lord. They must control the remote of the television, and not the children. Without any form of brutality, we must support in the homes and in the schools, “Spare not the rod to spoil the child” (flogging must not be abolished).

We must ensure that respect for all, especially our elderly. They must learn to respect those who are put over them, teachers, pastors, parents, just to name a few. Parents must be good disciplinarians.

The dress code of our young people must reflect a good family; they must not be encouraged to go for styles, as some of the styles leave them half-naked and disrespectful.

Finally, we must keep a strong grip on the word of God, “Train up a child in the way he should grow that when he is old he may not depart from it.”

The church must carry out its mandate without fear or favour. Too often the church falls asleep; sometimes we are too preoccupied with our doctrines and practices and forget we watch for the soul of men. Our mission must be to serve, but we give too much space for the enemies to come in and sow tares among the wheat; we must always look out for that unguarded hour; we must once again declare war on crime and violence for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and power, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places. Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

Our politicians must not be left out; they too need some serious stocktaking. They must at all times through their action bring this nation together and not divide it. Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

To all Vincentians at home and in the diaspora, you too must play your part. We must learn to be our brother’s keeper and help to restore the pride, peace and tranquility the nation is known for; immoral actions must not be condoned, for he that corrected a sinner from his error of his way will save a soul from death and hide a multitude of sin.

It is my prayer that God will grant unto our nation all things that are needful for its spiritual welfare and that he will protect and guide the children, visit and relieve the sick, turn and soften the wicked, rouse the careless, recover the fallen and remove all hindrances to the advancement of his truth that this nation will be blest and we all be of one heart and mine to the honour and glory of his name.

Let me extend on behalf of my family and the Spiritual Baptist fraternity to the Punnett family our deepest condolences on the passing of Phyliss Punnett, the author of our National Anthem. May God comfort you during this time of bereavement.

To the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Happy 25th Anniversary, accident and violence free.

May God bless us all.