I was hurrying to Paya Lebar Methodist Church last Thursday to witness the installation of my friend and colleague as the new President of TRAC (Trinity Annual Conference) and also another friend who was ordained as elder with the title, "Reverend" on the same night. I was filled with a sense of pride for my colleague because he has been a good friend and one of the few who truly has encouraged me in my workplace with his humility, warmth and transparency. I was also joyful to witness a few of my former students announced as pastors of various churches. Finally, I could see fruits of my teaching ministry though I wished I had time to talk with them after the service.
My entrance into the church was an amazing experience in itself. My MTh research student ushered me to the lift and as I entered a church, another MDiv student called out and asked me whether I had marked his Greek paper. After the service, he went after me again but I refused to reveal trade secrets and told him to be patient and he would soon get his exam script back. But I was much encouraged because he had such enthusiasm for Greek and indeed he is one of the best in my class.
But when I was preparing my heart for worship and it was a long trip from TTC to PLMC (30 minutes by bus and then MRT on the Circle Line from Botanic Gardens to Serangoon) I was crying out to the Lord. I said to myself, "Lord, it's been a while I really sensed your presence" and I felt spiritually dry. "Lord, let me see Your glory tonight" I prayed quietly in my spirit. And true enough as I sat down the full orchestra played and choir sang (what a wonderful choir!!) I felt the Lord's presence near. Like Isaiah cried out - "my eyes have seen the Lord, the Lord of hosts". I reflected on what could have been - my friends and fellow pastors are now Bishops and Presidents. The Lord comforted me that night. "Do not judge by outward appearance. The lowly will be exalted and the proud will be abased." I felt most unworthy as the Lord bid me come and sit beside him. At that moment all the glory the world could offer fade away in the light of the eternal glory which God alone possesses and He will glorify those who love him and serve him. Lord, I don't wear a robe nor a collar, but You know Lord that I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid.