Christmas Message 2015 by Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, ON, MP

My fellow Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora, and those visiting with us at this time, as you spread your Christmas cheer with family and friends; as you reach deep into your memory bank for those treasured moments spent with loved ones; and as you renew the hope of the Christ event, I bring you my special Christmas greetings and cheer.

Christmas is, indeed, the most wonderful time of the year.

It is the time when our better selves are most manifest. It is a time when we reflect on the true meaning of life. It is a time when we are reminded that we are members of one glorious human family, destined by God for greatness.

Christmas is a time when we are reminded about what really matters in life—- family, friendship, fellowship, community, giving and receiving love.

My fellow Jamaicans, there are some timeless and indeed priceless lessons we learn from Christmas.

First, it does not matter how bleak your personal circumstances are or where you are coming from, those circumstances can change.

We must always cherish hope. Jesus was born in a lowly manager. There was no room at any of the inns for Him.  But the stable would prove good enough for the King of Kings!

Jesus became a refugee. His mother, Mary, had to flee with him to Egypt to save his life from Herod.  His life did not start easy.  But he endured to the end.

Never give in to feeling that you could not be the best.  The Christmas story is a story of hope. It is a story which says that neither your past nor your present is your potential.

You can be born in lowly circumstances; you can be an outcast and you might be rejected by your own but like Christ you can overcome.

Once you have that iron will, faith in the Almighty and steely determination, you can achieve your dreams.

My fellow Jamaicans, Christmas is also about giving.

We exchange gifts at this time as a symbol of the gift of life which Jesus gave to the world.

Christmas reminds us that in giving we receive and in so doing our lives and our communities are enriched.

There are people who have lost loved ones this year through various circumstances.  Remember them at this time. Visit with them. Call them. Pray for them. Let them know you care.

Let us remember the families of members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force who have died in the line of duty, and who face a very painful Christmas this year.  May the peace of Christ comfort and sustain you.

For unto to us a child is born….   Behold a great light has come to the world.  This was spoken of the Christ Child.  These words could also be spoken about our children.

They are our future.  As the Shepherds kept watch over their flocks I am entreating you to keep watch over our children. Honour the Christ in every child you meet.

Fellow Jamaicans, Christmas is a time of peace and reconciliation. Jesus came into the world to bring peace.

As the angelic host rang out on that first Christmas morning, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men”. I bring you the peace of Christmas.

We cannot celebrate the true spirit of Christmas if we do not honour the values of the Prince of Peace.

I encourage you to have peaceful thoughts toward your neighbours, your co-workers, and those with whom you differ politically and religiously.

Christmas is not just a time of merriment, partying, shopping and even fellowshipping with family and friends:

It is a time to embrace the less fortunate, the stranger, people who are different from us.

Let us pay attention to those who need our care and support: the victims of abuse, the infirm, the ailing, the shut-ins and those with special needs as well as our senior citizens.

The Christmas story tells us, God cares deeply about the poor and marginalized.

He favours the oppressed and dispossessed.  If we are His children we must follow His footsteps.

I salute all of our men and women of the security forces;   our fire workers, those working in our hospitals and nursing homes and all those in the essential services.

This being Christmas Day, I am sure that you would like to be with your families.  But you are out at work, serving us.

You exemplify the spirit of Christmas.  Accept my thanks from a grateful nation.

My fellow Jamaicans, I wish for you and your family a very warm and holy Christmas.

May God continue to bless you.

God bless Jamaica land we love.

By OPM Communications Unit