A time to release and to come back together

Apostle Clifford Smith encourages Bahamians to remember the words of scripture during national ecumenical church service

Bahamians have had fights and differences over the years, but in this 50th jubilee year, they were encouraged to let it go during the Road to 50 Ecumenical Church Service. Apostle Clifford Smith said this is a time of release, and to come back together.

“It’s time to let go of the past,” said Smith during the national call to prayer service on Sunday, May 21, at Evangelistic Temple, Collins Avenue and Fourth Terrace.

Smith, who was present to witness the lowering of the Union Jack and the first raising of the Bahamian flag on Clifford Park on July 10, 1973, recalled being seated next to the late H.G. Christie, and of remembering Christie squeezing his hand and telling him that he could not fall asleep, because he needed to witness the historic occasion.

Since that day, he said, “God has been good to us.”

With that memory, Smith, senior pastor at Southside Christian Center, said each time a nation, or any group of people, is considering the future, that it takes reflection upon the past and a realization of where they are in the present.

“It takes anticipation, and speaking to the future really is activated by declaration, and so there are some things that you must reflect upon and we must think about as a people. And then, there are things we must hope for and remember the words in scripture.”

He said Leviticus 25 talks about the year of jubilee, but also brought attention to the Book of Jeremiah, specifically the Lord’s declaration in chapter 17, where it reads, “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord and whose confidence is in him.” As well as Psalm 33 where it reads: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” And that the Bible declares in John 3, “For God so loved the world,” which he said includes The Bahamas, “that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And then Paul wrote in Galatians 3 that Christ came, and became a curse for mankind, so that the blessing that was on Abraham could come on the Bahamian.

“I have longed to preach a simple word to Bahamians and to let us know as a people – to remember in this 50th year as we look to the future, [to] reflect on these words [that] the nation that continues to worship God through Jesus Christ is worshipping the same God that told Abraham I will bless you and I will make you a blessing; I will empower you; I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you.”

Smith said when people stay with God, they are serving the same God who sent His son, Jesus Christ, and that through Christ, the blessing that was on Abraham – a blessing that continues to this day. He said it’s the blessing of prosperity. One where people understand that they are a part of the majority in the world. And that God said to Abraham that He would bless all the nations in the earth, including the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

“A lot of people wonder, why am I a Christian in The Bahamas, and why we celebrate the God of the Bible. It is because, as a people, through Christ, God has given us the power of majority. We may be a small country on the face of the planet, but we must understand that through Jesus Christ, we’ve got the same power that the nation of Israel has on the globe today.

“That might not be all that popular with a lot of people, but the reality of it is that when we serve God, we are a nation. Though we are small, we are unbeatable. Though we are small, we are great – and great in stature. You are a chosen generation. You’ve got to know who you are. And we’ve got to remain a people of community and civility and compassion – because when we walk out, the principles of the kingdom of God Almighty, the earth will always bow the knee to the name of Jesus that is reverenced in these shores.”

As The Bahamas celebrates 50 years, Smith said it is a special time of reflection.

“The Bible says in Leviticus and speaks it clearly in Exodus – it simply says in the year of the jubilee – sound the trumpet. The 50 year is the year of jubilee. It is the year of release. It is the year of reconciliation. It is the year of restoration. It is the year that God says I am going to begin a cycle. This is what God spoke to me prophetically,” said Smith. He said 2023 for the kingdom of God and the people in the kingdom in The Bahamas is going to be the first year of seven years of overflow. God said we are on our way to greatness.”

Smith said if God said that it is a time to celebrate, and the hour of restoration, that people ought to begin to anticipate that great will be the outcome.

“As we speak to the future, it’s a simple word from God. Remember the Lord your God, because it’s Him who gives you the power to get wealth,” said Smith. “God is standing with the people of The Bahamas. This is the hour to sound the trumpet now. This is the time also of forgiveness, of release. It’s a time to let go of the past. This is a time to come back together. The time of the golden jubilee is the time to sound the trumpet. The Bible declares lift up your voice like a trumpet. Make some noise because the Bible says make a joyful noise – sing a song of praise, sing a song of victory, until the road you trod leads unto your God. March on Bahamaland.”

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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