The things that remain!
Your Monday morning
Meditation with Rev. J. E. Weir
Our scripture reading this monumental Monday morning comes to us from the first epistle of St. John. It reads thusly:
"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God's love is revealed among us in this way: God sent his only son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God: if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us."
John 4:7 - 12, New Revised Standard
Well, the general election has come and gone. The people of The Bahamas have exercised their democratic right (in accord with our Constitution) and elected a new Government to serve us for the next five years. The time then has come for us to forget the divisions and hurt of the campaigns and to work together to continue the process of nation building.
In this regard, let us bear in mind that whatever party may be in power, there are certain things which remain, basic principles which must remain, which may govern our behavior if we are to build a Christian nation.
First and foremost, it is important to bear in mind that we are still one people. The process of preparing for the general election proved very divisive. Over the past weeks, there were sharp debates in the "talk shows," much contention during the political rallies and in many cases our concentration was on character assassination rather than on discussion of the great issues facing us.
Let us remember that now that it is all over, the votes have been counted and the results declared, we have to live together as one people day by day. We still have to carry out our regular duties, still live together in families, still work with the same people we have worked with and still seek to help those we can.
As someone has perceptively put it, "we are still all Bahamians or at least still residents of The Bahamas." This means that we must forget the things which have divided us during the election campaigns and seek to live together in harmony.
Secondly, and indeed, quite logically, we must remember that there are principles which remain the same whatever party or group may be "in power."
They remain forever the same and must govern our behaviour as citizens of a nation which claims to adhere to Christian principles. For, it is dearly and unequivocally stated in the preamble to our Constitution that ours will be a nation established upon the "principles of democracy, Christianity and the rule of law.
This means, therefore, that whatever party may be in power (whether FNM, PLP, DNA, etc.). There remain principles that we should adhere to in our daily living.
These include the cardinal virtues of reverence for God, respect for the rights of others, honesty, integrity, sincerity, diligence, fidelity and most of all compassion. These are expounded in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20), The Sermon On The Mount (Matthew 5-7), and summed up in the law of love by Jesus - loving God with all our heart, mind and soul, and loving our neighbours as we love ourselves (Mark 12:28-32).
Yes, these cardinal virtues are the things that remain. They are permanent and relevant to living as we should, always.
Thirdly, since we are one people, and since we are called to contend for the things that remain, to strive to live in accord with the principles of democracy, Christianity and the rule of law, then it behooves us to work together to make ours a truly Christian nation. You see, ours is too small a nation for us to engage in divisive activity as is evident in "campaigning."
(After all, our entire voting population of less than 200,000 is smaller than that of one constituency in large nations with populations in the millions).
This means that we need the skills and talents of all our citizens as we engage in Christian nation building.
Yes, we all have to pool our talents and abilities, our material wealth and resources as we work together to make ours a nation established upon Christian principles where we show love one for another.
We have all been concerned about the many murders committed over the years. We must deal with this situation by applying Christian principles and seeking to maintain law and order.
The same applies to home family life and to our schools and the workplace and most of all the Church. Here our scripture reading is most relevant. It is a clarion call to us to demonstrate love in all our relationships.
"Beloved let us love one another: for love is from God!" As a child growing up in Nassau, I recall that every week at Sunday School we were given a memory verse. We were expected to remember and apply it every day throughout the week and to remember it so that we could repeat it at Sunday School "next Sunday."
My dear readers, let this be our "memory verse" today and throughout the challenging days ahead: "Beloved let us love one another, because love is from God!"
Continue "to walk in the light!"
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Creator of all things, judge of all people, we pray for your guidance, protection and blessing that we may act in a responsible manner. May we do so in the Spirit of love and concern for the welfare of all our fellow human beings. May we participate in building a nation established upon Christian principles, in which all share in its resources.
© 2012 The Freeport News