Hebrews 2:14-15 (The Living Bible)
14 Since we, God’s children, are human beings—made of flesh and blood—he became flesh and blood too by being born in human form; for only as a human being could he die and in dying break the power of the devil who had the power of death. 15 Only in that way could he deliver those who through fear of death have been living all their lives as slaves to constant dread.
As Christmas fast approaches, I am drawn to these verses which wonderfully summarize the full message of Christmas. That Jesus Christ came to this world so that He could die as a human to save us from our sins. And if we believe in and follow Him, we will be saved. This is the essence of the good news or Gospel. As His children, He then calls us to share this good news with others. Which is why we must, this Christmas, be “outward-facing” and remember to “….go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19).
Just last Wednesday, I went for my regular Specialist Outpatient Clinic appointment to see my diabetes doctor. She has been helping me with my condition for the past 28 years! As we came to the end of the consultation, with both of us masked up and sharing COVID-19 ‘war-stories’, she sighed palpably, saying, “I wonder what all this shaking will lead to”. I believe she was referring to Hebrews 12:26: “At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”
As I contemplated further upon what she had said, I came to 4 personal conclusions regarding the pandemic: (a) that it has helped reveal how truly broken and evil the world is, (b) that it is a wake-up call that Jesus Christ’s return is imminent, (c) that we must repent and course-correct, (d) that we must be all the more diligent about preaching the Gospel.
On the last point, the “all nations” that the Gospel must be preached to are not just outside of Singapore, but they are here within her borders too. Sharing with others the testimony of what God has done for us amidst our brokenness and wretchedness must not stop with our family, friends and neighbours. The sharing must also go to the many hundreds of thousands of migrant workers that call Singapore home for the time that they are here. Every time they encounter followers of Christ, whether at the dormitory operations, in hospitals, in S3P shelters or in quarantine centres, may it be obvious to them the love of Christ that fuels the care and compassion of the Christian.
We sometimes hear others say, “…seek the welfare of the city….” (Jeremiah 29:7). However, the whole sentence actually reads, “But seek the welfare of the city where I have exiled you”. The “city” did not refer to their own community; it referred to Babylon. The Jewish people, who were in exile, were commanded to care for their captors who were foreign to them, who had enslaved them. This is the heart of our Father who wants all to be saved (1 Tim 2:4). Therefore, during this time of shaking, let us redouble our efforts to care for and share our testimonies with the many from other lands in our midst, in our city.
By brother Dr David Loh,
who is a hospital administrator who is grateful to YCKC brethren for rendering much-needed practical help, during the Circuit Breaker period, to the hospital as it cared for COVID-19 patients.