Sunday, 20 December 2020
Title: My Family in Jesus
By Elder Tan Seng Kee
Psalm 127 & 128
Uncle C and AML, both in their 80s, painstakingly nurtured a potted chili plant to full bloom to give me a head start in my erstwhile gardening attempts. Aunty B calls me more often than I her to see if my family and I are well. Sister FY and LL are ever dependable administrators for all matters of the CG. Sister SY rewards us with home grown pesticide free fruits and vegetables from her home garden. Sister KL and Aunty A cook us porky dishes the likes of which easily converts vegans to ‘carnivore’. Brother YS gave me a note book and meticulously looks to see if I make use of it. Sister YL, LJ and SM attempt all the questions to fill in the sometimes silent void in our CG question times. Sister AL encourages us all by her faith and prayers. Our dear MY always has a thoughtful, considered answer (being a retired university academic of senior ranking). Sister SM is first in class every Friday morning. Aunty J reads loud and clear. LSL and SH are ready to go out of their way to fetch anyone that needs a ride. Brothers SC just joined us and W is the youngest in our Karis CG family.
The psalmist in Psalm 127 and 128 lauds the value of having a big family with all the usual components of a father to head the family, the mother to bear children and children to work and defend the family. A large family is treasured and as for me I come from a large family of 6 siblings and we literally form a half football team in my old Chow Kit neighbourhood where I grew up. A family is not immune from occasions of quarrels and disputes. There will be days when seemingly unkind words are said in a family. However, what distinguishes a family that God favours, based on my reading of Psalm 127 & 128 is as follows:
- Psalm 127:1 tells us that “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” This statement squarely points to a family that flourishes must put God in the center of its family life. So coming together for prayers, seeking God for wisdom in times of trials, turning to find refuge and rest in God must be the norm of a godly family.
- Psalm 127:3 reminds us that children (members of our family) are a heritage (handed down) from the Lord to us. It tells us that a family must always acknowledge God’s blessing of the family and we must thank God for the rich blessing of a family for us to love and for them to love and care for me in return.
Psalms128: 5 & 6 pronounces a blessing from the Lord for a family to grow to “see Jerusalem prospers as long as you live.” This alludes to God’s blessing a family with a place of shelter, a home where there is peace and rest and most importantly, where God dwells with the family. The family built by God is also blessed by God to “see the good of Jerusalem”.
I see over the last 25 years all those blessings described in Psalm 127 & 128 over the family of the Karis CG of which I am a member. Today we are still 20 strong and several are in their 80s and 90s. We missed each other a lot over the last 9 months of Covid lockdown and only recently we met again via Zoom meeting. I find in the Karis CG a family of endearing love, affection, care and attention on details relating to any of us in the CG.
I praise God for my earthly biological family but I stare in amazement before our great God for my Karis CG family. The Karis CG is a family that God builds; we are happy to be in this family of God and God has blessed us abundantly when we can see “Jerusalem prosperity” so long as we live. My challenge for you (if you are not already in a PBC CG) is to join a PBC CG and together let us enjoy and see the goodness of God reflected and lived out through the lives of fellow brothers and sisters in a PBC CG.
Dear God, thank You for my biological family and at the same time I praise You for my spiritual family of everyone in Jesus. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
诗篇127 & 128
- 诗篇127:1告诉我们，“若不是耶和华建造房屋，建造的人就枉然劳力” 。这表明一个繁荣的家庭必须把上帝摆在首位。因此，虔诚的家庭必定一同为彼此代祷，在困难中寻求上帝和他的智慧，在患难中转向上帝并靠主得安稳。
- 诗篇127:3 提醒我们，孩子（我们家庭成员）是上帝所赐的产业。这节经文说道，家庭必须承认上帝对家庭的祝福，我们也必须感谢上帝，因为他赐我们丰厚的祝福，我们能够透过家庭彼此相爱。
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