- Letter from the Publisher -
The Head of State, His Highness, Tuimaleali’ifano Sualauvi II,
Members of the Council of Deputies,
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi,
Members of Cabinet,
Fofoga o le Fono, Honorable Leaupepe Toleafoa Fa’afisi,
Members of Parliament,
His Honour, Chief Justice, Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu,
President of the Land and Titles Court, Fepulea’I Attila Ropati,
Justices and Judges of the the Court,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Heads of Government Bodies,
Leaders of the Business Community,
Leaders of Village Communities,
All the people of Samoa.
Once again it’s Christmas; it is that day of the year when Christians everywhere come together with their families and friends, and in solemn humility they will perform the sacred ritual of remembering the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus Christ had made, in atonement of their shortcomings, their iniquities.
Here in Samoa today, it is easy to see that churches all over the country are well attended, which is the visible sign that the Spirit of Christmas is indeed, alive and well everywhere.
And as we’re contemplating today the life of Jesus, the man whose teachings of love and kindness were without a doubt equal to none other during his lifetime, we are reminded of him saying to his disciples:
“Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say, “My friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him;” and the man answers from inside his house,
“Do not bother me. The door is bolted down, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up to give it to you.”
I tell you, if the man cannot get up and give it to him for friendship’s sake, persistence will make him get up and give his friend all he wants.
‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; knock, and the door will be opened to you.
What father among you, if his son asked for a fish, would hand him a snake? Or if he asked for an egg, hand him a scorpion?
If you then, evil as you are, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Sprit to those who asked him?”
Indeed, it is also the time to remember that God so loved the world He gave his begotten son who was without sin, so that all who believed in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.
And to ensure the plan would not falter, let’s remind about what we said last year when we quoted from the Book of Ephesians, saying:
”It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ, he had his eye on us, has designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything, and everyone.”
And so today, as the Publisher of your newspaper, the Samoa Observer, let me say it is my privilege and pleasure to extend to you all the Season’s Greetings, as it has been my duty this time every year.
Let me also say: “Thank you Samoa for your unwavering support, for your patience and understanding that you’ve been showing consistently, over the years."
Today, as we’re looking back over the year just behind us, we are grateful that despite the many challenges we’d faced along the way that threatened to derail our journey, the Spirit of Christmas has not failed us.
Instead, it remained resolute in its support so that we remained strong as we kept on with the job of helping to make our small, vulnerable country peaceful and safe for everyone to continue to call home, as it is today.
Up ahead, there are bound to be new challenges that are capable of causing us harm but then once again, with the Spirit of Christmas to guide us we know there is no reason to despair.
And so today, as we’re celebrating the Spirit of Christmas, we gather around with our families and friends and together we give thanks to Almighty God, for His loving guidance over the years.
We do this knowing that even without our asking, He is extending His blessing to us all so that we have nothing to fear as we’re embarking on our journey, into the New Year that is waiting just up ahead.
Let us think then of Jesus Christ’s teachings of humility and forgiving one another, as well as of the ultimate sacrifice he’d made in atonement of man’s wrongs which is the unbreakable bond, that is continuing to hold the Christian world together up to this day.
Let us pray then for the Spirit of Christmas to comfort those who are in pain, heal those who are in ill-heath, and give strength and hope to the poor and the needy among us.
Let us work together this year to ensure that poverty is eliminated completely from our country. Indeed, let us convince ourselves that poverty does not have a place in Samoa, so that by thinking that way we are able to work together to make this dream of ours come true.
And as we’re stepping on the threshold of the New Year up ahead, let us also put our differences aside and work together to build our country up, so that we can be in a position to help those among us who are in need of our helping hand, and feel brand new inside for having achieved such a wonderful task.
Let us trust in the Spirit of Christmas to help us achieve the goals we’ve set for ourselves during the Year 2018, and having said all that let me now wish you all a blessed Christmas, and a very prosperous New Year Samoa.
Muliaga Jean Malifa