ONCE, WHEN I WAS OVERSEAS, I saw a T-shirt which I liked very much. It was white with blue stripes, and it had a crocodile symbol.
As it was not expensive, I bought it. My friends pointed out to me later that it jaws of the crocodile in the symbol were was not a genuine Lacoste T-shirt as the clamped shut.
We are greeted by a myriad of symbols and signs daily, with each presenting a message or depicting the actual substance it represents.
There are counterfeits and imitation symbols that try to pass oﬀ as genuine. While these are no substitutes for the real stuﬀ, their imitations indicate that the authentic items, as represented by their respective symbols, have true worth and value in the market.
When Jesus told His disciples that they were the salt of the world (Matt 5:13a), He was referring to the distinctive symbol that we display before the world, and which should characterise Christian lives. While it may become a little indistinct at times, the symbol will not lose the message it presents or the substance it points to. No matter what, it must never be a fake or imitation.
“Fake” salt does not have the qualities out and trampled by men”. (Matt of genuine salt and it will be “thrown 5:13b).
The church symbolises our resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. It depicts to the world the presence of our Risen Lord among us.
Let us continue to do the Lord’s ministry on earth – loving people, preaching the Gospel, be righteous and faithful, gentle and humble, loving one another.
The church comprises you and me. Hence, each of us and every Christian community symbolise the Risen Lord, and all men will know that we are His disciples (John 13:35).
The Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung is the President of the Chinese Annual Conference.
WORD FROM THE EDITOR
WHILE THE RESILIENCE OF THE JAPANESE NATION is to be admired as its people tackled the multi-faceted problems caused by the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor, their tenacity to win the battle does not come as a surprise.
The Japanese are a homogenous society imbibed with a culture to bond and work together for the common good of the community. They are taught from a very young age to “think community” and not to be selfish or self-centred. From the time they enter kindergarten, they are taught to live with nature, to respect and love the elderly and to help one another in class, at home and in the community.
Society to the Japanese is home, and therein lies their special bonding and care for one another, and for their nation – in peacetime or during calamities. There are valuable lessons to be learnt here. But aren’t these the traits of a Christian? Yes, they are. But do we Christians care for the needy and those in trouble or in pain as much as the Japanese?
We have not experienced earthquakes and natural disasters of a magnitude such as those in Japan and other countries.
When we do encounter such crises, will Singaporeans respond as quickly and resolutely as the Japanese? More specifically, will Singapore Christians “stand up for Singapore” and “Stand up, stand up for Jesus”?
We are not just talking about donating money here. That is the easy part. Of late Singaporeans are generally known to be generous with parting their money for a worthy cause. We are also talking about rolling up our sleeves and getting down to Ground Zero to literally reach out to our fellow citizens deep in trouble. In times like this, will we be a brother or sister to our neighbours? Will we bring the love of Christ to them?