On this our 43rd anniversary of Independence, Vincentians are invited to reflect on the theme: ‘Our Resilience Our fortitude, Our People’. What do we hear as we put our ears to the ground? What does this theme evoke? In what ways are we challenged? Among others our theme speaks to a certain ability to bounce back, especially in times of great stress.
Likewise, it calls us to draw on our inner strength especially in moments of adversity and when the time demands it.
We are called to stand together as one people. For our forbearers, there was always the colonist to contend with or resist, thus calling forth our Chatoyer (ness) and Duvalier (ness).
This resilience if emulated enables us to broker the present and face the future. What challenges do we face today, which call on our resilience, fortitude and oneness as a people?
So globally/universally, we have faced with the rest of the world the global pandemic, COVID 19.
‘We have held our own’ in the midst of this, also we took on the challenge of ‘La Soufriere’ (April 2021) and as if this is not enough, global warming and climate change continue to impact us as it is doing the rest of the world.
Should all of this prevent us from taking responsibility for this ‘Island in the sun’? Of course not! Forty-three years after the fact, we can still sing with great confidence, the refrain of our National Anthem: ‘What e’r the future brings, our faith will see us through’.
This affirms that our project of nation-building is rooted and grounded in our faith in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is through Him, with Him and in Him, that we are able to proceed into the future, as what is happening in the world impacts us.
We also have our domestic challenges, an increase in crime, especially homicides, hints of drug trafficking and its attendant ills, and the impact of the global economy on our small Island State economy.
Before the war in Ukraine, many of us did not conceive of a world in which we too would be affected by Russian oil and Ukrainian grain, but isn’t this also what e’r the future brings?
These challenges have called forth from us a resilience that is rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ, the ‘Solid Rock’ – Jesus Christ whom we acclaim as the one Lord and Saviour of the world.
As a nation, we believe that if we hold on to our Christian and Gospel values in Christ we will overcome, ‘Our faith will see us through’.
The evangelist Matthew reflects ‘So do not worry, saying, what shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or what shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them; but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these thing will be given to you as well. (Mat. 6: 31-33)
So our struggles and issues then, how are we to face them? Through Prayer. If we go to God in prayer, if we tune in to God’s word, if we seek His intervention and wait upon His spirit, we will overcome.
St. Paul says in first Corinthians Ch. 15: v 58 ‘ therefore my brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain’. Our faith will see us through, so confident that our faith will see us through we are never a defeated people. (2Corinthians Ch. 6)
We continue to work steadfastly, mending whatever needs to be mended and repairing whatever needs to be repaired, with the knowledge that if God is for us, who can be against us. (Rom. 8: 31)
No task, therefore, will be too difficult, our faith in God will make us resilient, will make us strong, will make us one.
In celebrating 43 years of Independence, we acknowledge that we are not alone, we are members of a global community in which human solidarity is a primary virtue.
We believe that we are all responsible for all. God created us as social beings, (Gen. 1: 26, 2: 18)and will always have to account for our brother Abel (and our sister Bela).
Of course, we may respond, Am I my sibling’s guardian? Whether or not we accept it, we are all responsible for all.
As we forge ahead as a nation, the ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES CHRISTIAN COUNCIL believes that our resilience, our fortitude and our oneness as a people, will depend on our willingness to take responsibility for each other, especially the ‘least’. (Mat. 25: 45)
HAPPY 43RD ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE!