The Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung, President of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC)
We give thanks for the New Year because it is God’s gift of a brand new beginning for us. Let us sing the hymn ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’ and be reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness, as it will give us the confidence to face the New Year.
A pastor once encouraged his congregation through his sermon not to dwell only on their past experiences of grief, weakness, failure, setbacks and illnesses. These will not give them the courage to move on. By God’s grace, we Christians should instead be selective in
our memories. Let us choose to remember and give thanks for God’s goodness – His grace and blessing, and let go of past disappointments for they are already bygones. We shall give thanks for all blessings received, for the present, and for today.
Let us remember the best and forget the rest. We will trust and follow the example of Paul who said, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
(Philippians 4:13, ESV)
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13, ESV
The Rev R. Prabhu, President of Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference (ETAC)
Dear fellow brothers and sisters, It is my pleasure to wish you all a meaningful and a fruitful new year in 2016! May God bless and keep you all as His channels of blessings.
In God’s providence, with His grace, He has ushered us all into another year of our lives. One thing is sure: that the Lord wants to use us for another year for His purposes.
The normal expectation is that the New Year will bring everything new and pleasant, at the stroke of midnight between 31 Dec and 1 Jan. That is the prayer of many in our churches. But in reality, not very many things around us change. In fact, we may face new challenges in the same old circumstances. My prayer for all of us is that the Lord will change us for the better to meet the challenges of the New Year.
The world is drawing our attention in all directions to take away the joy of this season. Religious terrorism is threatening peace and goodwill among nations. Innocent lives are being taken. The common man is gripped with fear and anxiety. Natural disasters manifest their gory faces. As God’s people, we need to identify with our fellow beings in their pains and sorrows.
Let us sing with Isaiah,
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever,for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”
May God fill you with His peace and hope to live for His glory.
The Rev Dr Gordon Wong, President of Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC)
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ ” (James 4:13-15)
A new year has begun. We all have plans and hopes and dreams. But may our greatest plan, hope and dream be that the Lord’s will be done in our lives, here on earth as it is in heaven.
Whatever 2016 brings into our lives, may these greetings and prayers of the apostle Paul be our prayers for one another:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”
(2 Thessalonians 3:16) Amen.
I wish you a New Year filled with the Lord’s rich blessings!