SVG Mission President share Independence Day message
Posted: 28 Oct 2018
Celebration stands at the core of human existence, and God gives us anniversaries so we can reflect, take stock of our lives, count our blessings, note our failures and take fresh guard as we individually and collectively consider whether or not we are fulfilling our purpose for living on this earth.
As we celebrate our Nation’s 39th year of political independence we have much to thank Almighty God for. Had it not been for His tender mercies and loving kindnesses we would have nothing that we can boast of. We still have the breath of life. Therefore, thanksgiving and celebration belong to our Heavenly Father. No matter what situations we have been through or circumstances that have confronted us, He has always been, and will ever be the God who is always on time, and who nourishes, sustains and provides for His children.
A FUTURE WHERE EVERY CITIZEN IS A NATION BUILDER
No doubt, legislators and politicians will use the occasion of attaining to thirty-nine years to highlight policies, programs, plans and promises (or lack of), which would have contributed to our national development, or stymied our growth. While this is good for our democracy, we must never lose sight of the fact that a society is made up of individuals and families and as such the task of nation building lies with single citizen - every one of us, irrespective of political persuasion, religious affiliation or social condition. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us all to become vital and valuable contributors to nation building. Consequently we can use the period of national celebration to reflect soberly and to meaningfully contemplate whether or not we have contributed in the most productive and positive manner.
A FUTURE WHERE SAFETY ISSUES ARE VITAL CONCERNS
The scourge of crime and violence continues to plague us. As it stands in the current situation, not one of us can be satisfied when we constantly witness the wanton loss of lives, coupled with the resultant trauma to surviving relatives and the fear that grips our people. The fatalities on our roads are also cause for concern.
God in His loving kindness may speak to us through the blessings He bestows. But sometimes, in our best interests, it becomes necessary for Him to speak to us through the blessings he withdraws. He wants to attract our attention. It is in the midst of tragedy, calamity and crisis that we understand our weakness, and appreciate our vulnerability. Then we draw strength from the Divine Source. To all who have suffered loss of loved ones from one form of accident or crime, Jesus is still the healing, compassionate, comforting Savior, who is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. He promised He will always walk with us through the valley of grief and death. Where we cannot trace His steps we can always trust that His heart still grieves with ours, for He always desires our best interests.
The future of our country is safe only as we inculcate moral values, practice the Christian life, maintain our spiritual moorings and live the principles of faith enunciated by the God of heaven and earth to whom we owe our very existence. Take it or leave it, the survival of our Nation and the perpetuity of our Independence rest in our unswerving obedience to the moral law of God. This law, The Ten Commandments, He thundered from Mt Sinai and wrote them with His own finger on two tables of stone, for all civilizations - past, present and future.
A FUTURE WHERE THE HOME FUNCTIONS AS AN AGENT OF SOCIALIZATION
We must confess that we have robbed our children of the sense that their Father is in Heaven and that they are His creation – that they are custom-made in His image to bring honor, praise and glory to His matchless name.
We have also launched the deadly experiment of raising children without earthly fathers. Having neither a Father in heaven nor a father in the home is an explosive time-bomb that leads to the shattering of lives, broken family structures, festering of lawlessness and the unwanted increase of crime, violence and abuse in our society. Our children are too precious and priceless to be left without Godly guidance and positive fatherly influence in their lives. It is incumbent on each father to shoulder his responsibility in providing for the needs of his family while leading them daily to the Heavenly Father for divine sustenance and supervision.
THE FUTURE MADE BRIGHT THROUGH BROTHERLY LOVE AND TOGETHERNESS
Faith in God, good character formation, the blessings of labor, supportive families, personal responsibility and freedom to choose transcend time, culture and ideology. These are universal, sacred values that must resonate in all of us – and these we must pass on to the next generation. That generation looks to us parents, guardians, leaders, statesmen, mentors, role models, Christians, citizens to see if we will drop the baton or if we will guardedly and faithfully pass it on so as to combat the rising tide of secularism and individualism that we have in our world today. We dare not drop the baton, for they will be disappointed in us; but most of all God will be disappointed if we fail to fulfill our divine destiny.
There are those who may consider it a virtue to parade the faults of others, scoff at religion, despise morality and disregard principles. It is important to remind ourselves that ridicule is a poor substitute for independent thinking and balanced judgement in just the same way that unrighteous living is a slippery slope that if not checked, can lead to ruined lives. These are unquestionable essentials that I consider to be the nuts and bolts of Freedom, Liberty and Independence. Where we have fallen short, today we can choose to make a difference for the better and don’t allow the past to define us.
As we celebrate our nation’s 39th Anniversary, I encourage you not to put your happiness in other people’s hands for they will certainly drop it. Happiness is to know the Savior for yourself and to develop a long and lasting relationship with Him. Therefore, seek first His Kingdom which is predicated on fairness, meekness and righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you.
My prayer for all of us as citizens of this beloved country is for eyes that see the best in others, hearts that forgive the worst of deeds, and souls that anchor our faith in the true and living God. On behalf of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I wish the Government, the Opposition and every citizen - those at home in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and those within the Diaspora - a Happy Independence and prosperity in the Year ahead.
Credits: Dermoth Baptiste