Yesterday I had a wonderful time of worship and fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ. It was in a small church that I had preached 3 times this year, more than in any other church this year. When we sang the worship song before the sermon, "Kusiapkan hatiku untuk mendengar FirmanMu" my tears flowed and I had to bow my head and wipe my eyes dry several times. This song was one of my favourite some 30 years ago especially when I first started my ministry 25 years ago. The line in Malay means, "I prepare my heart to listen to Your Word". It encapsulates my life and ministry, often times waiting to hear God's Word either as preacher or worshipper before the sermon is preached. Speaking of milestones and landmarks, I had the privilege of sitting beside a senior leader of our denomination who had served as Vice President and Secretary General in the 1980s. He told me that he had been in full-time for 50 years having begun in 1969!
I whispered back into his ears and said, "Mine is 25 years" and I added, "I feel proud to reach this quarter of the century milestone" while acknowledging him for his Golden Jubilee in the Lord's service. And I am going to celebrate beginning this year, my natural age and my time in the Lord's service. So I will have two celebrations this year when I reach these milestones. I plan to celebrate every five years and count how many times I could celebrate before the Lord calls me home or His return to earth. Maranatha, Lord Jesus come! If I can celebrate 5 times (another 25 years) I would have reached another landmark like my fellow pastor who sat beside me yesterday.
I value this second part of my life. Deducting my time of post-graduate study and time of waiting for appointment, in this 25-period I have served for 20 years in active ministry. Wow from 30 years old and for 20 years in non-stop ministry for the Lord. It is like a priest of old, commencing service in the holy place at 30 years old (Numbers 4) and then retiring from active work at 50 years old after a 20-year long service. There are three positions or ministries that are anointed in the OT. It is combined into one person of our Lord Jesus Christ - priest, prophet and King. I have been a priest for 20 full years, perhaps now I serve in a different capacity. With freedom and not bound by human employment I can go where the Lord sends, and speaks as He directs. May His name be glorified in the church and in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.