CHRISTMAS ADDRESS BY AFIOGA I LE AO MAMALU O LE MĀLŌ: TUIMALEALI’IFANO VA’ALETO’A SUĀLAUVĪ II.
Monday, 25th December 2023
On this Christmas Day, we exalt our Almighty God and return all the glory and honour to Him for His faithfulness and grace upon us all. For without his mercy and divine leadership that steadfastly steered our voyage through this long year, we would not have endured or overcome the tests and trials of our lives.
The true essence of Christmas remains unprecedented, and continues to define the testament of our faith in Jesus Christ. It is the reason why our forefathers accepted the gospel of Christ in Samoa close to two hundred years ago, and has become the anchor of their testimony that our Independent State is founded on God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Times and seasons seem to dictate global undertakings on socio-economic developments. The drive towards humanitarian and environmental efforts for a safer, prosperous, and peaceful world, continues in the midst of multi-faceted challenges we are facing as global citizens.
These will remain with us as declared by the Word of God. However the message of Christmas as revealed by an angel of the Lord to the shepherds on that cold winter’s night in Bethlehem, says: ‘fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day unto the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord’. We remain hopeful in this message of Christmas, through the incarnation of the Son of God, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords.
Our country has come a long way through every nuance of development, recognizing the contributions and support at every level of our society, working hand in hand with our development partners. Our Pathway for the Development of Samoa is fast becoming a beaten track to foster social harmony, cohesion, safety and security for all. I am certain that all undertakings and milestones accomplished throughout this year speak to our unity and solidarity, and our Christian faith, thereby empowering village communities, creating opportunities for growth, and building our resilience.
In this connection, I acknowledge the role of church leaders, the clergy, and prayer groups in Samoa. Thank you for committing our nation, leaders and our people in prayer and supplication before the Lord. Truly, it is our esteemed duty to bow before the Lord in humility and in faith to seek His will and direction for Samoa.
I thank the Honourable Prime Minister and Cabinet for their stewardship of government and their leadership to nurture good governance throughout this year. I acknowledge with appreciation our contribution towards a united Blue Pacific Continent, as custodians of the largest ocean resource in the world, and our commitment to solidarity among small islands developing states’ joint efforts, to elevate our response to the most critical challenge to date of the climate crisis.
I acknowledge and thank the Honourable Speaker of the House and Members of Parliament. As leaders, we will continue to contemplate challenges of democracy. Nevertheless, the principles of our ‘fa’amatai’ remain highly relevant to our call to remain peaceful and harmonious. It is my prayer that the love of God remains the shield and armor of your calling to serve our country.
I thank the Honourable Chief Justice and the Justices of the Courts for continuing to uphold the integrity of the Judiciary and the rule of law.
I acknowledge the contribution of the Councils of chiefs and orators, women’s committees, youth and all the people of Samoa, including our diaspora. Thank you for working together with the government in driving development initiatives for our communities, and creating opportunities for Samoans towards nation building.
I thank our development partners for continuing to support all our efforts to accomplish Samoa’s development aspirations. Likewise I thank the heads of government ministries and agencies and all their workers for giving their best in their service for the country despite the constraints.
I congratulate our flag bearers who represented Samoa in various fields and sports. You have done Samoa proud in your success and achievements this year.
I also congratulate all students for completing another year of studies. Remember, you are the future of Samoa, and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
My beloved Samoa, we must stand in unity to seek God’s favor and grace upon our country so that we will continue to receive His peace and special blessings.
Let us pray for the Lord’s healing upon us all and especially for the good health of our Honourable Prime Minister and our Leaders and people.
We uphold our testament of faith as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus by proclaiming on this Christmas day, ‘the Lord is our light, and our salvation’; who shall we fear, ‘the Lord is our stronghold, whom shall we be afraid’.
Samoa, may the Lord bless and keep you. May He cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May His peace be upon you and the whole world on this Christmas Day.