“Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by.”
This was the scripture Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley shared with the nation yesterday before proceeding to read the requisite lesson from the Lectionary for the Fifth Sunday of Lent for the Roman Catholic church.
“Permit me before I read the lesson to share with you a constant thought of mine for the last how many hours, how many days,” Rowley said.
Rowley said the prophetic scripture came from Isaiah 26:20 in the Holy Bible.
He made the statements during the National Day of Prayer held at the Prime Minister’s official residence at La Fantasie Road in St Anns, yesterday.
Roman Catholic Archbishop Jason Gordon said the nation should use this time when we are called to stay at home to mend family bonds.
“Let us allow this moment where we are put in our chambers, let us allow this moment to be a moment of rebuilding, of restoration first of the family and if we do that whenever this COVID-19 is over we will also see the restoration of our nation,” Gordon said.
“The prime minister had a word from Isaiah that word was get into your chambers and lock your doors, and beginning of this restoration begins by obedience this is not a time when the ramshackle democracy that we have been taking license and freedom and carrying it everywhere can continue, and the beginning of the restoration it begins with obedience. Get into your house, lock your doors, safeguard yourself until this fury passes,” Gordon said.
“But while you are there in your chambers and locking your doors pray as a family, reach out to each other and rebuild the quality of your relationships and then we will see that God will take us out of graves and this nation will be a stranger nation under God, he said.
Yesterday’s lesson according to the lectionary was Ezekiel 37: 12-14.
In that scripture Ezekiel, an exiled prophet, preaches the Word of God to dry bones and they come to life.
Gordon said the lesson tells of new life and hope in the face of death.
He said this was applicable in the “unusual day”, that T&T is now facing.
“There is a death that has happened but God would not allow that death to be the final word, death will give way to life,” he said.
“If there are people in your family you need to forgive, now is a wonderful time to do it because that house too small to hold unforgiveness on top of everything else,” he said.
He said the COVID-19 situation has been a humbling one
“This experience we are having reminds us that we are not in control we are not as big and bad and wonderful as we think we are in fact we are being humbled in fact we have recognised that we are not in control at all,” he said.
“Let us humble ourselves let us really humble ourselves and use these two weeks to reflect on the person that God wants you to be,” Gordon said.
He called on people to pray and read their holy texts every day.
The National Day of Prayer started around 8.30 a.m. and was chaired by Anglican Bishop Claude Berkley.
Pundit Dr Rampersad Parasram the spiritual head of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha said he knows T&T will overcome this challenge.
“We have been challenged before and we have overcome every challenge with which we have been faced so I am confident that with our collective prayers and with our collective wisdom by uniting together for right and proper action we will be able to overcome this challenge as we have overcome every challenge in the past,” Parasram said.
Leaders from the many religious persuasions operating in T&T prayed during the ceremony.
Because of social distancing to help battle the spread of COVID-19 the leaders entered the chapel to perform their part in the ceremony and left afterward.
Only Rowley, his wife Sharon, Gordon, Berkley and couple media personnel from the Office of the Prime Minister remained in the room.