Friday, May 21, 2021

In the Eye of the Storm

All Malaysians wait expectantly whether we will undergo another lockdown like the first last year in March. Cases have shot up to almost 7,000 cases daily and Sabah enjoying almost double digit for most days got a shock yesterday with 200 plus cases. So this morning before dawn at 4am I got up to pray and plead with the Lord that if possible Sabah would be spared from lockdown which means a cessation of face to face church services. If it is not possible at least it won’t be abrupt so that I could bid my church members goodbye on Pentecost Sunday. On all occasions I had preached the last message before the church closed down and as a shepherd I need to give some final words of  exhortation. I prayed and still pray for the authorities.

The latest spike came because two people came from Labuan and visited Tawau tested positive and a cluster or two broke out. Then in KK at one shopping complex that I visited 3 weeks ago and I told my friend that because of the crowds it was a recipe for disaster. How my words came true. People are ill disciplined to keep the distance and even in church I had to remind my leaders to remind the members to always keep a distance from one another and wear a face mask when they are not leading songs or preaching. I still can’t fathom how Singaporeans preach with their masks on. For me, it is theologically paradoxical. Can we speak for a God whose mouth is shut by a mask? No wonder not many preachers come in the name of the Lord or else they would know how incredulous they look when they pretend to speak God’s Word fully masked. Jeremiah was called to be the mouthpiece of God and God does not wear a mask neither should his servants when they speak in God’s Name sent by His Spirit. Further, the congregation is seated three or four meters away, even in my church the middle section is left empty not just for the camera shooting the live stream but so that the preacher’s voice is directed to an empty space and those who seat in front wear their masks at all time. On occasions it was difficult to keep 2 meters apart when tambourine dancers danced and beat their tambourines. During the first two MCOs singers and musicians were limited and we are just about to return to full strength but now we are right in the eye of the storm. 

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