More than any other time, how we respond as Christians today will leave people with the answer to this question.
Have we allowed fear to overrun us? Did we rush to the supermarkets when Singapore’s DORSCON level changed to Orange? Or did we judge those who crowded the aisles with a “better-than-thou” mentality?
It isn’t that we have the answers, or that we must always have it together—far from it. Rather, it is that no matter what the situation, we choose this:
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. [Hebrews 10:23-25, ESV]
Hold unswervingly to the Hope we profess
In the aftermath of the wipe out of supermarket groceries, a particular conversation struck me. “People behave irrationally because they are overwhelmed by fear. And it’s easy to judge because perhaps we are not in that same state of mind. But our posture as believers is not to be critical, but to extend grace because we have a Hope that sustains us, which others may not be experiencing.”
It is especially in these trying times that this Hope, or the lack of, is made more evident. Max Jeganathan, RZIM Asia-Pacific Regional Director, stated, “Jesus is not just the answer to the broken human condition. He is not just the solution to all of the desires or fears of the human heart.”
“Jesus is the most perfect expression of God that you could possibly get in a person. He is the most perfect embodiment of love, justice, mercy, and compassion.”
Since we have access to this Hope—instead of judgment, let’s respond in kindness; instead of criticism, let’s encourage and speak words that bring life.
Spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together
Difficult times often make it easier to default into a mode of self-preservation. Yet from the beginning of our Christian walk, we have been taught ‘love your neighbor as yourself’.
What that means in this time has been captured on various platforms from stories in the media, web publications (Salt and Light, Thir.st) and ground up initiatives precisely to spur us on towards good deeds.
As believers, we are the Church. It’s now a personal choice that each of us has to make—to decide in daily living what it looks like to love and do good deeds to your neighbor. Be it not reacting in fear to a cough on the bus, changing the way you speak about the situation, or just reaching out to someone you know on Leave of Absence (LOA) or serving Quarantine Order.
Let’s “meet together" online or face-to-face in smaller groups, to encourage the Body of Christ “toward love and good works.” Let’s “meet together” to support and strengthen the community-at-large. Let’s “meet together” as the Church in concerted prayer wherever we are—to intercede for our heats and the world to experience the saving grace of God.
“The local church in Singapore is united. Our strength is in this united network of churches that we have, with cross-organisational, cross-churches, cross-denominational collaborations,” shared David Mak, head of Cru Singapore’s Communications.
This strength is what we need—for the body of Christ to meet the needs where there is lack, to intentionally choose to spread messages of peace instead of negativity. It is to stand behind your Senior Pastor and Church leaders as they make the tough call to continue or call off church services. It is to affirm the hidden heroes that are making it possible for Singapore to manage this well.
Even with much being done corporately, the ball lies in our courts each day. As a believer, what will we be known for? In our spheres of influence, what will our response be today?
Do you have a positive response story or ideas on how we cancontinue to show love during this time? Feel free to share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Come join in the conversation about the relevance of Jesus, the Church and how we can better love each other and disciple our youths in Collab2Reach! Our first conversation will be over live-stream on 11 March, Wed at 10am.
Tune in to Cru Singapore Social Media (@Crusingapore) to engage with Rev Raymond Fong (Faith Methodist Church), Ang Hern Shung (Trinity Methodist Church) and Isaac Ong (FOPx).
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