Owen Arthur, Leader of the Opposition
The celebration of the birth of Christ remains one of the most glorious and inspiring events in the lives of our people.
It is indeed a wonderful time of the year for the Christmas season brings out the best in us.
Today, we think about what that birth has meant to human beings down through the ages, and what it means or can mean in our own lives.
One of the aspects of Christmas story that merits our reflection concerns the part that was played by very ordinary people in this event that has helped to shaped the destiny of mankind.
I think about the shepherds who helped to spread the wonderful news of the coming of a bright and shining future.
I think also of the kindly inn keeper who offered what little space he could in order to respond to a pressing human need.
I think also of the generosity of the wise men, who travelled great distance to confer their gifts on a complete stranger.
And I think of the example of care of the parents of the child Jesus, who went to extraordinary lengths to protect the life of their child for the benefit of all mankind.
In the Christmas narrative, then, we have an example of the remarkable capacity that resides in human beings to do that which is good and noble; and that which is generous and meaningful in the lives of others.
The Christmas story should therefore have a special significance for the people of Barbados this year.
For it teaches us that although our problems might seem large and even at times insurmountable, we can draw from the example of ordinary people, over the ages, who have had to tap into the resource of the human spirit to find solutions to their problems.
The Christmas story also teaches us that the light of hope in the human spirit can never be dimmed, once we reach out to God in humility, and outward to each other in brotherhood and community.
Barbados needs now, more than ever, to tap into this spirit of Christmas.
This has been a year of unprecedented and extraordinary challenge for most of our citizens.
For many, this Christmas will not be the brightest they have known.
We however all hope for a better and brighter future in the days ahead.
Let us nonetheless resolve to count our blessings, great or small, and give thanks to the Prince of Peace who has left us a legacy of Christian Charity worthy of our emulation.
It is in this spirit that, on behalf of my family and the members of the Barbados Labour Party, I extend to our citizens and to the visitors to our shores, the best wishes for a blessed Christmas, and for happiness and success in the New Year.