To mount the cross of courage
On this Good Friday, Jamaicans, in common with millions of Christians across the globe, will commemorate the crucifixion of Christ, arguably the most important event on the Christian calendar.
The uncanny thing about the crucifixion is that one does not have to be a Christian — and indeed many do not embrace the Easter story — to appreciate the concept of giving one’s life for another, the ultimate sacrifice that symbolises the love and value in which someone is held.
It is a concept that challenges us, particularly those directly engaged in nation-building. If the crucifixion offers us nothing else, it is the greatest story, perhaps, of courage on a cross. And that courage, somehow, needs to be summoned, not only in Jamaica, but the world over at this time.
We invite all, and especially those who will pack the churches as they do each year in this great tradition, to reflect and pray for our world, with particular reference to the Middle East and Asia where it could take just one foolish action of man to set off the smouldering tinderbox just waiting to be lit.
With Russia, Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah facing the United States and its western allies in Syria; and North Korea and the United States flexing muscles in the Korean peninsula, it will demand only the greatest of courage to ensure that it is the peacemakers who prevail in this uncertain situation.
Despite the many internecine warfare that has occurred in several parts of the globe, the world is enjoying its longest period of peace, since World War II ended in 1945. It is not far-fetched to say that we risk entering another cold war if the US and Russia do not find a diplomatic way to resolve their differences.
Back home in Jamaica, there is much that is necessary to be done to create the Jamaica in which we all want to live, work, raise families, play, do business, and prosper. There is no doubt that the most urgent items for fixing are crime, health and education, all of which are depending on an improved economy.
In this regard, we must commend the Andrew Holness Government and its Finance Minister Audley Shaw for finding the courage to listen to the cries of the people over the burdensome property tax issue, knowing that it will not be easy to replace the money being rolled back.
Equally, we commend the Dr Peter Phillips-led Opposition for its strenuous campaign to get the taxes rolled back and for not organising to defeat the Bill authorising the changes tabled in Parliament, despite saying they had not gone far enough.
So while the crucifixion was not about money and worldly affairs per se, we can draw lessons of sacrifice in which, as a country, we look out for one another and do what is best to achieve the progress and prosperity which we all need desperately.
We wish all our valuable readers, advertisers and sponsors a Happy and Holy Easter, hoping that we will all find it in us to mount the cross of courage.