Are you like a determined salmon, or an aimlessly-drifting jellyfish?
Speaking at the 11th National Day Thanksgiving Service (NDTS), held at St. Andrew’s Cathedral on 18 Aug 2016, the Rt Rev Dr Steven Gan, Vice-President of the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS), drew the stark comparison between the two in challenging the congregation to reflect on whether they – and their church – were fulfilling God’s purpose in their lives.
Referring to the description of the men of Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12:32 as those who “understood the times and knew what Israel should do”, he called for Christians in Singapore to likewise understand the times – what God is doing in the world and what His will is for the nation, church, family and self – and to go and do likewise.
He warned however that this necessary action is impossible without reliance on and obedience to God: “We need God’s wisdom to see the needs in society; we also need courage and obedience to respond both within and outside the church.”
The Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, General Secretary of NCCS, concurred: “The annual NDTS is an important occasion when Christians gather to acknowledge the hand of God in our nation’s progress.”
The four items of prayer at the NDTS, led by leaders from different denominations and groups, were therefore especially meaningful and significant as they recognised Singapore’s need for God’s protection and favour for those appointed to lead our nation, our schools and institutions of learning, our Christian witness in society, and peace and goodwill in Singapore and the region.
The corporate prayer was a strong reminder of interdenominational unity in fulfilling God’s purpose. Eugel Yeo, from Holland Village Methodist Church, said: “I deeply appreciated and valued the time we spent united in prayer for our nation and its leaders.”
Photo by Vincent Nghai
Chye Shu Yi –
worships at Methodist Church of the Incarnation.