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29 & 30 May 2021 (Pastoral Page) RESPONDING FAITHFULLY

By Dn Tan Sze Wee

Sometime last year, when I shared with Pastor Soo Yeong how I was finding it difficult to cope with new and different roles and responsibilities, he encouraged me to find my rhythm of life.

A vision of what that looked like - waking up at a specific time, being able to attend to the many different tasks in the day in a calm and orderly manner, and reserving enough mind space to attend to new arrangements came to mind. It was an alluring imagery that was comforting and calming and I set about wanting to reset and find the rhythm in my life.

If one needs training to establish rhythm, this past year surely provided the best training ground. In the last six months, I found myself having to develop new patterns and rhythms constantly as Covid-19 disrupted rhythms of my life on all fronts - family, church, work and social.

Phase 2, with a heightened alert, brought me disappointment and frustration. Rather than rushing into establishing a new rhythm, I paused to work through these emotions. I had been on fifth gear for many months and I kept myself going because I believed that all these would soon come to pass. I had been looking forward to a break at work, certainly not to another round of implementing safe distancing measures and business continuity plans.

Much of my time and energy in the past year had been consumed by crafting responses and advisories for changes that come suddenly at work. Having to constantly adapt to these changing situations and experiencing loss (even if these were seemingly trivial things like not being able to attend my son’s passing out parade) has built up frustrations and I asked God, “How long more?” If I knew how long more, I felt I could tahan till that day.

God did not tell me when, but He reminded me that in the midst of all these disruptions and changes to the world and lives we knew and found comfort in, He is unchanging. What remains unchanged too is our calling to respond to the gospel of God’s love in Christ and to live out our faith through worship and service: love for God and for others.

I learned that it was neither profitable to be lulled into thinking that things would get better soon nor be despairing over the continuity of the pandemic.

We can never fully understand the ways of God (Isaiah 55:8-9) but His Word gives us steps we can take.

As I began to be less concerned about the ‘when’, I began to think about the ‘hows’. At work, it was about how to provide social work services without the ‘social’. At home, it was about how to remain bonded with extended families without the family meals. And in church, it was Pastor Soo Yeong’s timely question for us last weekend: how do we practice life together with each other even during this time?

As Christians, we can and must find new ways to fulfil the great commandments of Jesus in Matthew 22:37-39 that remains unchanged: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”

We can step forward with faith that God is with us.

We can start by praying:

  • for those afflicted with Covid-19, and their loved ones, that they will cast all their anxieties on God because He cares for them. 1 Peter 5:7

  • for those whose livelihoods have been affected, whose family lives have been disrupted, that they will find peace in God; that their hearts may not be troubled. — John 14:27

  • for our healthcare workers, essential workers, delivery drivers who are exposed to risks every day, that they will be comforted by God’s presence and protection. — Psalm 23:4

As a community of faith, let us ponder how to love God and practice life together with each other in new ways. It is with this in mind that the council and staff invite you to share with us your communications preferences and ideas for deepening connections in church through the BC Connection survey. Please take a moment to share with us as we learn together how to live out our faith with love for God and for others in these unprecedented times.

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