Unto us, a child is born. Isaiah’s words proclaim the extent of God’s continuing care for his people. This year, as in years past, we make God’s promise our own, uniting with family and friends to renew the bonds that bind.
Kenya is a diverse democracy. Men and women of different faiths, different tongues, and different beliefs call it their home. Our reading this Christmas reminds us that that difference is part of God’s plan for us.
We read that wise men came from different nations to celebrate the birth of the child; and we are taught that strangers sheltered the child and his mother.
We ought to take that lesson to heart. In this year of political competition, we hold fast to the truth that difference need not mean division. We hold to the truth that we can do far more together than we can apart. And we remember that any Kenyan’s child is to be honoured as our own. Unity is at the heart of Christmas, as it is at the heart of being Kenyan.
This is also a time of renewal. God promised his people that they would be made anew. No matter what had happened in the past; no matter what had gone wrong in their relations with him, he would make us, and our communities, whole again.
We claim that promise for ourselves. If we look deep into our hearts, we know that we have not always lived up to our own expectations, or God’s. And yet we know that he is merciful, and that our brothers and sisters are too.
This is not the time to look back; this is not the time to nurse the grudges of the past; this is the time to forgive, and to look forward to the renewal that God promises in the birth of this child.
But renewal will not happen unless we resolve to build up our brothers and sisters. So instead of recrimination, let us join hands in common work: let us feed the hungry; let us house the homeless; let us give work to those who have none; and let us bring medicine to those who are ill.
These are the goals my Administration has set itself, and they are goals to which every Kenyan can contribute, this Christmas and in the year to come. There is work for willing hands. Let us rededicate ourselves to doing it, and to renewing this nation.
Friends, let us all be responsible this festive season, and more so, those of us who are driving.
Let me close by wishing you, and all you love, a very Merry Christmas. I ask you again, especially drivers, to take care of yourselves, and your fellow countrymen and women, in all your journeys this festive season.
Merry Christmas to all Kenyans!