|File: ILP Leader Jack Warner|
This must not just be a time for the gathering of friends, the sharing of beverages, the gluttony of food or the sharing of gifts.
This must not be just another opportunity for house cleaning and decoration. This must not be just another Christmas.
There is a deep meaning in the story of the Christ child and the purpose for which he came. Within Christianity the themes of redemption, hope, salvation and love permeate the narratives we read and yet nowhere is that represented in the way in which we celebrate.
Christmas 2013 must be different. It must be a time of caring. It must be a time when those without a home should feel the shelter of a gentle, thoughtful and compassionate one. It must the time when food for the hungry is made available when the naked are clothed. When respite is offered for those behind prison bars.
Christmas time ought to be really the celebration of the true emancipation of the earth for Jesus Christ’s birth signaled the coming of our emancipator who was born to set the captives free.
With 400 plus road deaths, there is no cause to celebrate. With hundreds homeless and children on the streets, there is no cause to celebrate. With many sick and cannot afford proper health care, there is no cause to celebrate. With our children under threat, there is no cause to celebrate. With gangs in control of and destroying our communities, there is no cause to celebrate. With corruption at its highest levels ever, there is no cause to celebrate. With racial and ethnic hatred rife in the land, there is no cause to celebrate and it is for these and many other reasons that Christmas 2013 cannot just be another Christmas.
This Christmas we can make a change. Regardless of the religious mooring to which we are tied let us as a people come together each in our own homes and spare one hour during Christmas Day praying for our beautiful nation. Let us fast for that one hour as the people of Nineveh fasted and prayed to save their country from utter destruction.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever and prayer and praise are still the media through which we can move God to restore peace, love and goodwill to our country.
My ILP wish for Trinidad & Tobago is not to experience a Merry Christmas but rather a Holy Christmas; one that will bring change to our beautiful country that is writhing in pain and is on the brink of despair.
Let us together say a prayer for each other this Christmas.
Jack Warner | Political Leader, Independent Liberal Party