“New Life and Life Abundantly”
This Easter, as we commemorate the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are called by faith to remember that suffering no matter how painful and difficult, can be redemptive.
The suffering and passion of Jesus Christ redeemed the world.
Suffering and “the way of the cross” can draw us closer to God and to one another, offering new life and life abundantly.
The suffering that our country and our world are enduring is deep and widespread and will last for some time.
Many have died and many are suffering from a deadly virus that knows no bounds of geography or human circumstance.
Let us continue to pray for the souls of those who have died.
Once again, I offer the profound condolences and prayers of the country to those who have lost loved ones.
We continue to pray for those who are in critical care and those who are unwell, and their families.
Let us pray for and reach out in concrete ways to those made financially vulnerable and who are afraid and worried.
I assure them that we will provide greater and ongoing relief and support in the days, weeks, and many months ahead.
We are one people, united in love and solidarity.
We must also pray for and remember those around the world who have died and who are suffering.
On the frontlines to arrest this virus are brave men and women who are giving their full measure of devotion around-the-clock to protect us.
Through their endurance, through their bravery, and through their endless sacrifice, we will conquer and we will recover.
We owe them our protection.
We owe them our unwavering support.
We owe them our prayers, our love and our gratitude.
In the midst of the great suffering of the moment, there is new life emerging in our country through solidarity and through generosity of spirit.
There are many stories of people offering monetary gifts and gifts of food to those who are struggling.
There is an outpouring of gratitude for health care professionals, members of the uniformed branches, public officers, sanitation workers, cleaners, and service workers in the private sector.
Many are renewing family life. Someone told me that he and his wife and children are having lunch together every day, the first time they have done so in years.
Friends and families are checking on each other on a daily basis.
Many are sending songs, inspirational messages, and passages from Scripture, to others.
More and more Bahamian families are gardening together.
I have heard the stories of children and parents planting seeds for vegetables fruits and herbs like tomato, lettuce, pumpkin okra and thyme.
They are planting seeds for new life in their yards and in their homes and in their hearts.
Many are playing games together, praying together, cooking together, and enjoying fellowship.
We are renewing friendships and connections at home and abroad.
We are all called to be more Christ-like at all times and especially in times of great need.
What can we all do, no matter our circumstances, to walk in the footsteps of the Lord who redeems us and who calls us to new life even in the midst of the current moment?
Let us all pray for courage and compassion, so that we can reach out to others in love, and in mercy, and in humility, as we each seek to live in the greater fullness of the commemoration of the Passion of Christ.
This Easter, let us celebrate and nurture new life within ourselves, within our families, and within our communities, and our Bahamas.
In the encouragement of Psalm 46 may we remember always that:
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
“Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;”
On my own behalf, and that of Patricia, and our family, I wish you a blessed Easter.
May the God of New Beginnings continue to draw us to rebirth, to renewal and to the restoration of our Bahamas.
And may He grant each of us new life and life abundantly!
May God continue to bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.