BY REV GOH YONG KUANG

 

I grew up in a church that celebrates Christmas with an all-night carolling every Christmas Eve.  While some question the practice due to its pagan origin, I prefer to associate this tradition with the angelic carollers, who first brought the good news of the birth of Jesus Christ to a group of shepherds in the field, as the basis of our carolling today!  This choir of angels descended on the earth on that first Christmas and sang songs about Jesus’ birth and the hope He brings to a lost world (Luke 2:8-20).

BY JOSEPH TAN

 

At our Sunday worship, we recite the Apostles’ Creed as our statement of faith. Do you wonder why we do that? Do you know why the early fathers thought it necessary to express so precisely a theological statement of biblical – especially New Testament - teaching?

In the early church, this creed was necessary to help and correct the faulty views of Christ’s nature and proclaim truth that unites believers. There were at least four reasons and they are still valid today. (1) To present the truth of the Gospel; (2) To review an accurate truth; (3) To ensure a consistent teaching of the truth; (4) To be suitable for church to use as statement of faith.

BY PR. ISAAC CHANG

 

 

When I studied biology in school, it amazed me how our food digestive system could turn our food into energy. For instance, the carbohydrate that we eat will be digested by our stomach and broken down into glucose as fuel for our body. And when we have surplus glucose, it will be converted into fat. In this image-conscious era, ‘fat’ is a sinful word to those who love to maintain their body shape. Many want to be fit and healthy. In the same manner, do you know that we can have the spiritual fuel that is garnered from our Bible devotion and studies? And if we don’t use this fuel, it will be converted to spiritual fat. Yes, it is spiritual fat. Besides, having such a reservoir of biblical knowledge without much desire to use it, we can grow spiritually lethargic. And I am not here to judge anyone. The Holy Spirit will reveal to us individually on the conviction of applying the knowledge when we get into the “moment of truth.” So, why don’t we do something about the spiritual fuel or fat before the special moment? How? My thought motioned more on teaching.

BY PR ISAAC CHANG

 

Every living organism grows. Conversely, every dead thing will not grow. Are we growing in the Lord through His Word, or we prefer to grow through the personal encounter of God’s presence instead? Can we have both? If we did have both, why aren’t we transformed to be more like Christ? Are we finding ourselves struggling with anxieties, fears, and doubts? Is the Word (seed) of life that once sowed in us somehow got choked up? In some past situations, our failed attempts in applying God’s truth might have affected us to rationalize God’s Word further. Thus, we might have fallen into a state of giving up on God. What could be more challenging is when we begin to tell others that God’s Word doesn’t make sense, and it will not work. We might end up telling others that the “God” in the Bible doesn’t understand us. Hence, we might even stop growing and feel complacent without the concern for transformation in Christ. Perhaps, we might even think we have reached certain maturity and contentment of our Christian life. Is it true or false?

BY PR. ISAAC CHANG

 

I love movies. Imagine if you have not watched “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and you begin with “The Two Towers,” what can you get out of this second part of the trilogy? You probably will end up being confused. You might begin to ask many questions about the stories before this part because you want to know the plot of the whole story. Let us change from watching movies to reading our Bible. Is this view on understanding the stories in the Bible new? Do we often understand a snippet of the whole Bible story well when we read our Bible? How can we just read one part of the large story plot and deduce a theological principle? And how can we use our modern or Western context to interpret what the Bible is telling us? Please do not be ignorant that the world in the Bible is mostly Eastern World. How can we deal with this predicament?

BY PR ISAAC CHANG

 

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, I noticed some believers would get themselves “filled” by the “presence” of God in a particular worship ambience. I have seen others wanting to be ministered by some kind of motivational Sunday message. But now, such sessions have been flattened onto our devices’ screens. While reflecting on this, I asked, “Does it make sense to be “filled” by these preferred worship and motivating sessions? Are they becoming fuel for our spiritual survival?” If we do, then we are in a crisis as such spiritual “refill” is no longer available physically. It is not spiritually sustainable to rely on these sessions through our devices. Perhaps, it is time to understand how we remain sustainable spiritually in these trying times through a proper understanding of God, a.k.a., theology.