Christmas Message from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart
I am pleased to greet you once again at Christmas time and to join you as you reflect on the coming of our Lord to earth about 2,000 years ago.
This year’s Christmas comes at a time of great challenge for Barbados. Over the last few months in particular our economy has been facing increasing pressures, which have necessitated our putting in place a suite of measures to guarantee its stability. We could not hope for those measures to succeed without calling on the population to make sacrifices in the interest of the overall good of our country.
We do not need, however, to approach Christmas with any less excitement, any less enthusiasm or any less hope than is usually the case. The birth of Christ 2,000 years ago was, for certain, an occasion for the excitement, the enthusiasm and the hope which a despairing world so urgently needed.
Other parts of the world today face challenges we in Barbados are fortunate not to have to face in the same degree or to the same extent. Some face scarcity of basic necessities like food, water and electricity for an entire lifetime; some face painful displacement of millions of their people; some face the instability and violence that flow from civil war and terrorism.
Whatever the nature of the challenge and wherever that challenge is being faced, the message of Christmas is the same: Christ came to earth to redeem mankind and that is the basis for the hope which imbues us from day to day.
There is no valley so deep that the Christ of Christmas cannot exalt it; no mountain so high that He cannot bring it low; no path so rough that He cannot make it smooth; no way so crooked that He cannot make it straight.
This is not another way of saying that in the daily challenges of life we do not have our own responsibilities. But in doing our part we can feel sure that we partake of and are being inspired by that hope which the birth of the Christ child was intended to engender.
So, fellow country men and women, let Christmas 2013 be a time of joy in your households, but let it also be a time of thanksgiving for the many blessings which Barbados can count, present difficulties not withstanding.
As we celebrate our Christmas Day, let us not forget that there are always persons in our society for whom the fundamentals of a good Bajan Christmas continue to be a challenge; persons who need to benefit from both our caring and our sharing. Connect, therefore, your ability to enjoy your own Christmas, with the need to ensure that someone less fortunate than yourself is able to enjoy theirs.
In that way, you will impart a new freshness to the meaning of the event that took place in the manger at Bethlehem so many years ago. The true spirit of Christmas will reign!
On behalf of members of the Cabinet, of my own family and on my own behalf, I should like to extend to all Barbadians, residents and visitors a wish for a blessed Christmas and a Spirit-filled New Year.