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Christmas Message - 2009

December 25, 2009       Government House, Suva

The prophesy that the Prophet Isaiah had earlier prophesied was fulfilled some two
thousand years ago when a child was born unto a virgin.  This child was a symbol of peace, love and hope.

His arrival was heralded in the Bible, thus “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord”.  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men”.

Today, Christians all over the world celebrate Christmas as a reminder of God’s love and grace toward us by sending us His only begotten Son Jesus Christ who is called Emmanuel.

The truth is that we live in a world that is not all perfect where there is suffering,
hopelessness and crisis of all sorts in which many people do not find peace and joy.

Some may be going through trying and difficult circumstances and hoping to make
ends meet.  Some may be overwhelmed with unforgiveness, bitterness, strife and
division and experiencing difficulty in restoring lost relationships while some may
be still coming to terms with the loss of their loved ones.

Indeed, as recently as last week, many of us suffered, and are still suffering from
the ravages of Cyclone Mick and are wondering why this had to happen just before
Christmas.  I have already visited some of you in Rewa, Namosi, Serua, Tailevu and Naitasiri and I fully understand your grief and how you feel.  What struck me and touched me, most of all during my visit was your fighting spirit and the spirit to

In the next few weeks, I intend to visit the rest of the ravaged areas.

The true meaning of Christmas is exemplified by none other than Christ himself
when he said “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have
peace.  In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”.

Some of us look upon the government for support, and rightfully too, and for
government to take us through these difficult days to a brighter future. Some depend on others for support hoping for the best in life.  Some look at their jobs,
wealth and social status as security.

Christmas is a crossroad in which many of us make important decisions and personal  commitments which in the final analysis determines our future destiny.

I put it to you our citizens that this is the opportunity to reflect on our lives and
make a personal commitment to live the message of Christmas.

As we are overwhelmed with the festivities and merry making, we tend to neglect
the true meaning and significance of Christmas. Christmas is a good opportunity for  us to focus on the true meaning of Christmas to light up our spirit and be joyful, to share and care for each other and to live life to the full.

The significance of Christmas will become manifest to us if we focus our attention
on Jesus Christ and his teachings regardless of our ethnicity, socio-economic
background, religious affiliations or social standings.

The peace and joy of Christmas signifies that God loves us, God is with us and God is for us.

Let us, therefore, remain hopeful regardless of the surrounding circumstances, that a better Fiji is not beyond our reach, that God has better plans for our nation, plans to prosper us and not to harm us and to give us a future and hope.

So, in whatever way we choose to reward ourselves this Christmas, I wish the
beloved citizens of Fiji and the expatriates alike, a safe and blessed Christmas and
a Meaningful and Prosperous New Year.