Premier's Christmas message

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It is hard to believe that we have arrived at another season of Christmas, of love, giving, caring and fellowship. It seems this wonderful season comes more quickly each year as I get older.  

But I do enjoy the time to slow down a bit, reflect and give thanks.  

I also relish the opportunity to once again spend time and share with my fellow man. It was the great physician Luke in Acts 20, verse 35 who said “…remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.”  

Jesus lived those words and we would be wise to emulate Him and remember Him, especially at this time of year.  

Because really, that is what the Christmas season is about; celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus really is the reason for the season.  

Luke tells of the advent of the Son of Man in the Gospel of Luke in Chapter 2; a story that never grows old. 

“Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth…  

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the City of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem because he was of the house and family of David in order to register, along with Mary who was engaged to him and was with child. And it came about that while they were there; the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.  

“And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them and they were terribly frightened. And the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for behold I bring you good news of a great joy, which shall be for all the people; for today in the City of David there has been born for you a Saviour who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you; you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” 

It was that babe, that infant who ushered in God’s forgiveness of our sins and who showed us, through his short life, grace, humility, forgiveness, love, kindness and charity.  

I believe we have opportunities on a daily basis to be Christ-like and show through our words and deeds love and charity to our fellow man.  

It is easy to get caught up with the busyness of this time of year: The brightly coloured lights that adorn homes, shops, trees and places of business; the parties where we will all throw out whatever diet we are currently on; and the shopping for that just-so-perfect gift. But amidst the frantic activity of the season, we should also take time to experience the peace that is Christmas, seek out those who are less fortunate and help them share in some small way in the magic of this time of year.  

Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year. Not because of the glitz and the glitter and not because of the gifts that will be received. To me Christmas is a time of quiet reflection, a time to spend with my wife and two sons, my father, sisters and the rest of my family. I like to cook Christmas beef for my family, friends and others and meet up with old friends to re-tell favourite stories and just chill. 

I truly wish we could capture the enchantment of Christmas and sprinkle it throughout the year. It would mean feelings of goodwill and charity, not just at Christmas, but every day.  

On behalf of Government, my family and myself I wish each of you a very blessed Christmas season.  

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Premier McLaughlin

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