‘Use reggae for good’ - Al Miller urges entertainers to raise their voices to bring about change

January 30, 2023
Rev Al Miller
Rev Al Miller

Outlining the story of the biblical Samson who used what he had in his hands -- the jawbone of an ass -- as a deadly weapon against an army of Philistines, clergyman Dr Al Miller challenged the reggae music fraternity to use their tools of trade wisely.

The entrepreneur, leadership and transformational coach and pastor had a powerful message for those in attendance at the Reggae Month church service at Fellowship Tabernacle in St Andrew last Sunday.

"The jawbone of a donkey is here ... it is called reggae music. That's what is in our hands. I am inviting you in the fraternity to pick up the jawbone of the donkey, like Samson, and use it, and let us defeat the enemies of our nation," Miller said.

The popular pastor dramatised his presentation by holding in his hand a wooden carving of a donkey jawbone, which was painted in Jamaican colours. He challenged entertainers to use their tools of trade to bring about change in the society.

Emphasising the power of words in the transformation process and dismissing those who defend the use of violent lyrics, Miller asked the fraternity to use their music "to change the heart and thinking of our own people".

"Let us recognise what was given to us ... what the divine Father allowed us to have. The jawbone of an ass was laid on the ground and the flesh came off of it, so some of us who think seh reggae dun because di flesh come off a it, the bone still deh deh. And so somebody need to pick up dat. It's the head of the ass, it speaks of the mind, the brain, the faculties .... the teeth that can grip. Let's take a hold of what we have.

"Let us say 'With this jawbone of reggae music I will use it to defeat the enemies of my nation social ills.' Every man, woman, songwriter, musician take this jawbone of the donkey and say yes the hour has come. This is a tool in our hand," the charismatic Miller appealed.

He reasoned that those who think that the music is only there to dance to and have a good time, arguing that it can be used as a weapon against the enemy tomorrow.

"Let us use it to turn this nation; reignite this nation to greatness and let it become the message and messenger in the skilful hands of one who is anointed. The donkey dead but when it came in the hands of the anointed it was the weapon of victory. Let's pick up this ting... it is a gift."

Declaring time and again that "the greatest days for reggae are ahead", Miller, the pastor and founder of the church, gave the welcome, preached the sermon and was also summoned by Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange to amp up the vibe at she took centrestage.

Reggae music was on blast inside the tabernacle as the "number one reggae gospel choir" from Fellowship Tabernacle performed throughout the programme. Gospel singers the Foster Triplets, the Reggae Month band and reggae singer Abijah, who was specially asked by Grange to sing his version of I Surrender, were special performers.

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