Summary: Sometimes we find ourselves focusing on our National Heroes when we talk about heritage. But our heritage encapsulates more than the heroes. Our heritage is the things that give us an awareness of who we are as Jamaicans. These are also some of the things
Date: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Place: Clifton New Testament Church of God
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Theme: Saluting Our Heritage, Building Our Nation
Text: Joshua 4:15-24
Come, see, live, love, laugh, capture the true spirit and flavor of Jamaica. Journey into the majestic mountains, the countryside, wild flowers, lazy rivers and discover true native living. This excerpt is from a flier advertising an adventure tour on the western side of the Island. In a sense it captures aspects of the Jamaican Heritage. This is a rich and dynamic heritage.
Dumisani Goba asserted, “It is very important for young people to learn and respect their tradition and culture, as they are the ones holding tomorrow’s future”. Young people we are called upon to salute this dynamic heritage as we seek to build our nation.
As we focus on saluting our heritage we must note:
•It is an act of honouring or giving courteous recognition of our heritage
•It is to show respect for our heritage
Sometimes we find ourselves focusing on our National Heroes when we talk about heritage. But our heritage encapsulates more than the heroes. Our heritage is the things that give us an awareness of who we are as Jamaicans. These are also some of the things that the world has come to know us by.
When we speak of heritage we are speaking of custom; tradition; inheritance; legacy. Thus our heritage is our customs/traditions that we grew up seeing as norms within the Jamaican society.
Before we can salute/respect our heritage we must first know what our heritage is. Many Jamaicans do not know their heritage. Therefore it becomes critical that we know what makes us Jamaican. Our heritage includes: Natural resources; Music; Craftwork; Sports; Places of scenic interest; Vegetation commodities; folklore and our heroes; Jamaica’s greatest resource being its people.
Tracing our roots
Long before Columbus got lost and stumbled on Jamaica it existed; Inhabited by the Arawaks. In 70-80 years after the Spanish took control of the Island most of the Arawaks were dead. Jamaica was used by the Spanish as a base for their bid to capture the Americas. The British, the Pirates all ravished the island for their own benefit. Amidst all this the island maintained its natural beauty and seemed destined to be a nation of impact on the world.
1. Responsibility v.21-22
The text before us presents Joshua crossing the Jordan River with the children of Israel. As they cross God commands him to get the men to carry twelve stones across with them. These twelve stones were to be a memorial for all the people in years to come.
Joshua makes it clear in verse 22 that each Israelite present at the Jordan was responsible for passing on the information re the meaning of the twelve stones to the next generation. This part of Israel’s history would always be remembered. This responsibility was upon young as it was the old. What have you passed on to the next generation about our history and culture?
Just as this responsibility was upon the Israelites so is this responsibility upon all Jamaicans. Our culture and history is dying as we have not taken the responsibility seriously. Some of our young people today do not care to hear what happened in the past or don’t think it has any significant meaning to them. As such the things that define us are no longer lifted up before the next generation.
Oh Jamaica is in trouble my brothers and sisters. As we remember the past it helps us to better chart a course for the future.
Where are we coming from?
•We were called a Christian nation
This statement once bore true of Jamaica. It was once a Christian minded nation. Today we have become very secular in our thinking and as such godly principles are no longer lifted up for the next generation.
Sunday school was once a highlight for children. Today parents and children lay in bed until noon. The cry I am tired; this is the only day I have for myself; I have to wash my work clothes. No longer is this great institution hailed among our people. My brothers and sisters I dare to say that this is a core reason why our young people seem to have no moral stance. Our country has come a long way since pre-Colombian Jamaica, but today our moral fibre is decaying.
Today we are in trouble as we seem to have forgotten the things that made us a strong nation. It was not money; it was the godly principles that governed our people. Today from the halls of our churches to the halls of parliament we are being led by men and women who are thieves and liars, hypocrites and destroyers of nation building. They are those who have forgotten the principles that guided us in the past.