PRESIDENT'S GALLERY: CHRIST IS COMING AGAIN
Photo taken by President at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, December 2020.
Christmas is an unexpected gift from God! Who would have ever thought that God Himself would come on earth in the form of a baby and be born in a manger? Our God is amazing and works in ways man can never fathom. The words from Isaiah 55:8-9 ring in my mind “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God’s providence in a time of pandemic
The pandemic uncovers the much neglected truth of the temporal nature of this world and the fragility of man-made securities. It is precisely for these reasons that the Church exists to be the light and salt of the world.
We thank God that all our churches have managed to cope with the drastic measures of the Circuit Breaker and during Phase 1 and 2. Presently, all local churches have both online and on-site Holy Communion worship services. Many of our churches have risen up to the challenge and transformed their ministries to reach out to their members, and those in need. I want to thank all members, church leaders and pastors for your hard work and for supporting one another in coping with the challenges.
Timeliness of our Wesleyan Heritage
Jesus chose twelve disciples to follow Him and spent lots of His time with them. John Wesley brought revival to the Church in UK not by rallies or magnificent church buildings, but by organising the people into Societies, Classes and Bands, in order to disciple them to be like Christ. To “Go and make disciples” is the call to all Christians and Churches.
John Wesley’s way of organising the movement (discipleship) and his theology of Sanctification can shed some light on our present circumstances. For the coming quadrennial, my prayer is that we will be able to develop a disciple-making model/structure that will be adopted by all our churches.
Prayer for Spiritual Revival
The Church is the Body of Christ and we are part of this Body. The Church is Christ-centred and is led by the Triune God. The Church is a faith community who responds and takes action upon receiving God’s commands. As John Wesley taught, the Church is a discerning community — a community in Christian conferencing, who listens to and obeys His commands.
We live in a country that boasts excellent governing capabilities, which I believe is good, but we must not forget the spiritual aspect of Church life which is at the core of who we are. We need to put more focus on and resources into saving souls and making disciples. We need to strengthen the spiritual foundation of our people, and practise what Wesley calls the Works of Piety – a life consisting of Devotion and Prayer, Bible studies, Christian fellowships, Fasting, and Holy Communion. If not, we will be a people with the form, but without the power.
Transformation of CAC
It is important for us to press on for transformation within CAC. The works of the Transformation Task Force over this Quadrennium will soon be integrated into various Boards (eg. BDN, BOFL, BOM, BOHR).
I hope to see a CAC that abides in Christ and remains faithful to Him through the means of grace He has established. This should manifest itself in the following four characteristics:
- Burden and zeal for evangelism;
- Strong Connectionism, expressed not only in the system of pastoral appointments, but also in the willingness to support one another with the gifts, resources and strategies of our ministries; and
- Innovative and engaging ministries in witnessing for God.
Christmas is not solely for the remembrance of Jesus who came over 2000 years ago, but also a time of looking forward to His second coming.
“The end of the world is near and Christ is coming again” — this is the faith we declare. Let us work together to shine for our Lord Jesus.
Wishing all a Merry Christmas, Joy and Peace!
Rev Dr Gregory Goh Nai Lat
President, Chinese Annual Conference