Tuesday, August 4, 2020

One Year & One Week: Covid-19 Musings

I caught the full moon last night on my way to buy pizza take-away. By August's full moon, I had turned another year and another week. Now I am past mid-50s and soon I will turn 60, the magical number for Chinese as 60 is a complete cycle (12 animals in the Zodiac) multiplied by 5. I had preached three Sundays in a row, all 6 full sermons. For record, on 19th July I preached on the Fulness of Times in Ephesians 1:10 in the morning and the Day of Christ in Philippians 1:1-6 in the afternoon. Then, on 26th July in Ranau, I preached on "Redeeming the Time for the Days are evil" in Eph 5:1-17 and in the second service, "Numbering our Days, O Lord" where I expound on the Psalm 90 in 30 minutes. I made several points. First, the Lord is our refuge in these times of health crisis caused by the Covid-19. Second, man is a shadow, glorious one moment and gone the next. Third, counting our days which means recognizing the times which God gives us to serve Him until we are 80 years old. I made the point that many will wake up one day and realize that they are already 75 or 80 by which time they are too old or too weak to do anything effective for God. Now is the time. And I am counting since I turned 56 in Ranau that Sunday and I still have 24 years less a week now. Fourth, in Psalm 90, the Psalmist sensed that God's anger hovered His people and that they have to atone for their sins.
So I asked the question why this health pandemic came about - have we as a Church sinned against the Lord and arouse His anger? We do our activities year in and year out without seeing much fruits or significant impact. Is God saying that He is fed up with our church activities, major Conferences and fund-raising dinners that He put an end to all these? Amazing that one church leader when I told him that fund-raising dinner is not the godly way to raise money, his reply was that "every church is doing it". How convenient! If everyone is falling away, are we to follow? I find the argument that everyone or every church is doing it as a valid excuse or reason in doing something totally ridiculous. Now the Covid19 has put an end to endless Conferences and fund-raising dinners! As Amos says, "Thus saith the Lord, I hate your festivals and the noise of your songs...let justice run down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream... (Amos 5:24).

Then, on 26th July night I was back in KK to conduct a class on the 7 titles of Jesus in John 1. I reached to title 4 and I realized I had to do it over two sessions. On 2nd August the last day before the full moon, I preached twice more on "For what were you born" (John 18:37) and I spoke about justice and righteousness for the nation, for the State of Sabah and that the righteous King rule by law (Psalm 72:2). One deacon says that "pastor next Sunday you will rest". Yes, someone else is preaching but on 9th August evening I shall conduct another class for the teenagers, hoping to complete my series on the titles of Jesus in John 1. When I see the lack of biblical literary around, I am amazed. No church or people will ever get strong by just listening to Sunday sermon without a self-discipline Bible study. This teenage class is only once a fortnight. I can't do much more. But it is the least that I can do since outside many religions, fashions, and trends to beset the youths and draw their souls away from the Lord - "I write to you, young men for you are strong in the Word of God". It is my dream to see the youths in my church to be strong in God's Word and the rest will take care of itself.

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