Easter is widely regarded as the central event in the life of the Christian church. The event calls attention to the work and accomplishments of one man, Jesus Christ. In chapter two of the first letter of the apostle Paul to the Phillipians, he writes, “Though he was divine, he did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking on the nature of a servant, made in human likeness, and in his appearance found as a man. He humbled himself by being obedient to death, death on the cross.”
The beauty of the Easter story, is that Christ did not remain in the tomb in which he was buried, but that he rose from death in glory. The resurrection of Christ was the defining event confirming His victory over death and Satan. The Christian world draws purpose and energy from this mysterious event, for Christians believe that this victory over death, this rising to new life, is theirs to share if they live their lives in obedience to the teachings of Jesus.
My friends, as the Easter season envelopes us, I want to thank you for giving me the privilege to be leader of your government. My personal reflections capture the image of Jesus who rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey to the shouts of praise and the waving of palms of an excited and spirited people. In a few days, these same people would be found shouting, “crucify him.”
It appears to be the lot of all those who assume leadership positions, whether it be at the level of the village council, the sports association, the voluntary organization, or government, to be subject to moments of crucifixion, especially to crucifixion of the tongue.
However, the psalmist reminds and reassures us that “joy cometh in the morning”. It is the hope and eagerness of the joy, the resurrection, that provides the energy, the fuel, to hold on to the vision, to stay the course in carrying out the work God has placed us on this earth to accomplish. Had Christ not remained committed to His mission, there would have been no Easter to celebrate.
Following the example of Christ, I want to tell you this Easter, that I remain as committed as ever, to the mission you have given me. Government will continue to work so that those who are buried in the tomb of homelessness will be assisted in rising to be owners of their own homes; we will continue to make provision for those who think that an education is an indispensable requirement for opening doors of opportunity to them, and for lifting them out of the tomb of joblessness.
The Easter promise of a renewed and better life has also been finding expression in the delivery of health care. The many new pieces of diagnostic and other equipment recently acquired and installed at the Princess Margaret Hospital, have gone a long way in making it less costly, less stressful and considerably more convenient to patients seeking medical services.
We all continue to confront the challenge of rebuilding and deepening the diversification of the agricultural sector, once the principal earner of foreign exchange. The tasks involved in achieving this are formidable when face with the reality of ageing farmers, whose zeal for the sector have been undermined by external forces, that have caused the introduction of rules in the market that guarantee survival of only the fittest. But with the necessary resources in our hands, I can say with confidence, that our ongoing efforts to renew the sector will not only succeed, but will surpass its former days of glory.
My dear friends, Easter is all about the resurrection and rising from the tomb. While we all join in the joy that rightly characterizes the season, we cannot help but allow our thoughts and concerns, if only for a moment, to rest on those who appear to keep themselves entombed. Whether it is an abusive relationship, a tendancy to self-pity, an attitude of irresponsibility and indifference, or intolerance toward those who do not hold the same views as ourselves, we are being called to a greater effort in rolling the stones away from that which entombs us and thus limits the joy offered to those who live resurrected lives.
I wish you all a happy Easter. My prayer for you and your family, is that the sunlight of the resurrected Christ, is ever present in your home.