Statement by Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris On the Occasion of Easter April 2019
My Fellow Citizens and Residents,
As we join millions of Christians around the world in celebrating Easter, which for many people is the most important Christian festival of the year, I take this time, on behalf of my family and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, to wish you a blessed and joyous holiday.
This Easter, as we commemorate Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, three days after he was crucified on the cross on Good Friday, I encourage us to remember his wondrous acts of sacrifice and service.
There are so many of them to think of, but we can readily call to mind the most altruistic act of him laying down his life so that we could be pardoned from sin and also when he washed his disciples’ feet at the Last Supper in order to demonstrate the importance of serving others.
Indeed, many Bible scholars feel that Jesus demonstrated his greatest act of servant leadership at the Last Supper, which we as Christians commemorate on the Thursday before Easter.
John Chapter 13 at verses 13 to 15 (New International Version) states that Jesus told his disciples: “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” Jesus then said in verse 17, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
By giving his disciples an example of how we must serve one another, Jesus taught the value of humility and self-sacrifice. He taught the same message in Mark 9:35 (NIV) when “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.’”
We must not forget that this same idea is invoked in our nation’s motto, Country Above Self. As we celebrate Easter, then, let us reflect not only on becoming better Christians, but also on being better citizens.
As for my administration, we have been reflecting on further opportunities for enhancing our servant leadership as we continue to make serving the whole society our top priority. Leading with a servant’s heart, my Cabinet is determined to always put the needs of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis first.
Moreover, enabling the people of St. Kitts and Nevis to be better citizens and to live their best lives will remain a major focus of my administration.
This focus on civic pride, citizenship and social partnership has been evidenced by the inception of an annual National Volunteer Day, held every third Saturday in February, and the establishment of a Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs, which seeks to strengthen the societal impact of the Church, for instance, by working with religious leaders and groups to coordinate an ecumenical response to crime and violence.
Through the Ministry of National Security, the Government has also formed community-based Explorers Youth Clubs that expose young children and teenagers to volunteering and other positive behaviours. It was just this Monday that the six Explorers Clubs from Cayon, Lodge, MolPhil, Shadwell, St. Paul’s and St. Peter’s held a march and rally through Basseterre. Their mission was to promote love instead of crime.
May we see these children and young people as an example of how we must encourage and uplift one another in order to move our country forward, steadied by responsibility and diligence and steeped in the Christian ethos of love and service.
After all, that’s one of the main messages of Easter: we must love each other just as Christ has loved us.
Have a happy and safe Easter!