29 Sep 2019
Dear family in Christ
A few days ago, several staff and myself experienced a pastoral situation which reflected the full spectrum of life. We attended a funeral at Mandai crematorium in the early afternoon, where there was sorrow and grief for the bereaved family of one of our church members. Then we proceeded to a local hospital to visit a church couple and their new-born baby, where there was celebration and joy for God’s grace and love for the family. On that same day, we witnessed both birth and death, life at its beginning and life at its ending.
At the crematorium, as we sat quietly through the rituals, I grieved in my heart as I thought about the destination of the soul of the dearly departed elderly person, and offered a prayer to God that many in his big extended family will experience salvation in Jesus Christ one day.
At the hospital, as we rejoiced with the couple and their families, I thanked God for his gracious lovingkindness and had the opportunity to pray for the new-born baby that she will grow up to know and fear God, to love and follow Jesus Christ all the days of her life.
All of us will take this same journey, from birth to death, a beginning and an ending. What will be different is how we live our life and for whom or what purpose do we live for. The writer of Ecclesiastes reflected on life and realised that life is meaningless without God. All the things of this world (money, possessions, pleasures, toil & labour, achievements, knowledge) will not give true and purposeful meaning in life. The writer made this godly conclusion in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.