Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcoming Jesus in 2014

That was the title of my Watch Night sermon last night preached at 11.30pm. I spoke from Matthew 25,31ff about welcoming strangers, feeding the hungry and by the power of love do acts of charity to reach the needy. We need to welcome and accept migrant workers in our midst and I touched on the Little India riot on 8th Dec 2013. I am most familiar with Race Course road where the riot took place having preached in a couple of churches there 10 times or so in the past 4 years. I take bus 67 often to churches further east at Geylang and Changi.

I talked with Indians on the bus and somewhat knew how they felt about Singapore. We need to do cross culture ministry and broaden our minds enlarge our hearts and stretch our tents to embrace and include other races in the big family of God. I also read from Romans 15 and spoke about the social-economic background of the letter. Rome of the 1st century was a metropolitan and a melting pot of many races and nations not unlike Singapore of the 21st century. Paul the apostle did not advocate separate church services for various races and ethnicities, that could have simplified matters as many Singaporean churches are wont to do. But Paul exhorted the Roman Jews and gentiles made up of many races and ethnicities to come and sit together and with one voice glorify God the Father. Paul advised the Romans to accept one another despite racial and cultural differences. They are to come together as one church, one congregation living out the Gospel in a world that was often divided over racial and social economic lines. The early Church was one. It could embrace all rich and poor, Chinese, Indians, Malays, Vietnamese, Indonesians, Burmese, Bangladeshis and others into one family of God.

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