Recently I had the privilege of visiting a Senior Activity Centre in Hougang Ave 1 where services are provided by Fei Yue Family Service Centre, a voluntary welfare organisation. The Senior Activity Centre serves seniors living in the surrounding 4 HDB (Housing Development Board) blocks of studio and rental apartments and is a place where seniors living in that 4 blocks can gather for a meal, play a game of table tennis on makeshift tables or a game of Rummy-O for a token fee. It is also where community health services (nursing and physiotherapy) provided by hospitals like Tan Tock Seng Hospital can be regularly scheduled.

Fei Yue also oversees 8 apartments within those rental blocks that serve as Senior Group Homes. These homes, retrofitted with elder-friendly features, provide assisted living to seniors with little or no family support to live independently for a token rental sum.

One problem of living in these homes is that 2 or 3 seniors, almost always strangers, live with each other, sharing a bathroom, simple cooking equipment and a television. The manager shared that it is common for the 2 or 3 seniors living together to not communicate much with each other.

In Psalm 133, David wrote in verse 1, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (ESV) or “How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!” (NLT).

Harmony in Psalm 133 is compared to the anointing oil that was poured over every high priest from the time of Aaron. This anointing of Aaron is contrasted with the anointing of the Tabernacle and the utensils by the sprinkling of the oil (Leviticus 8).

One problem of living in these homes is that 2 or 3 seniors, almost always strangers, live with each other, sharing a bathroom, simple cooking equipment and a television. The manager shared that it is common for the 2 or 3 seniors living together to not communicate much with each other.

In Psalm 133, David wrote in verse 1, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (ESV) or “How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!” (NLT).

Harmony in Psalm 133 is compared to the anointing oil that was poured over every high priest from the time of Aaron. This anointing of Aaron is contrasted with the anointing of the Tabernacle and the utensils by the sprinkling of the oil (Leviticus 8).

Harmony is also compared to the dew that falls on Mount Hermon which is a high point in Palestine. Dew symbolizes that which is refreshing and invigorating, that which promotes life. David envisages the refreshment and invigoration that the abundant dew from Mount Hermon would bring if it was to come upon the arid mountains of Israel. Harmony among brothers and sisters is likened to this image – harmony invigorates and refreshes the arid soul.

As “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17), let us pray for this harmony and unity within the church, within each family, within the small group and within each ministry. Even as harmony requires God’s grace and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, as His children, we too must do our part to “keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) This is Kingdom living, a foretaste of life in our future Heavenly Kingdom.

By Ong Kiat Hoe, Elder (YCKC Bulletin 24&25 November 2018)