Wednesday, 23 December 2020
Title: Shout for joy before the LORD, the King
Author: Pastor Wallace Ong
4 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
5 make music to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the LORD, the King.
Last Monday morning, I went out to have breakfast with two of my high school friends. I have not seen them for more than 2 years. After we exchanged greetings and had our food ordered, they started to complain about the situations in the world starting with the US President, followed by the Thailand Prime Minister. They then moved on to England, Korea, Indonesia, and finally back to the local situations in our own country. After listening to all their discussion and criticism, I asked them to share some of their possible solutions and ideas of hope for the betterment of our country. Will the world become a better place for our children and grandchildren to live in, with the advancement of knowledge and technology? They laughed, and in sarcasm responded, “Maybe we can find such a possibility in outer-space!” I continued, “ but even there, it will still be ruled by men, — do you think human beings will behave differently in outer-space?” When they were silent and became more sober, I seized the opportunity to share the gospel with them. Deep in my heart, I was rejoicing, knowing that my family and I have the hope and peace that comes from God who created heaven and earth. We know from the Bible why we are here, where we are heading, and how we will end up. I would love to have my friends share this real joy and hope as well.
As we look around our world today, we see tragic news all over the media every day. There are violence, natural disasters, diseases, sicknesses, pestilence, wicked leaders, corrupt governments, conflicts and wars, and wanton abuse of power by those in authority. We live in a fallen world. Darkness has become the order of the day. Evil and injustice have dominated the worldly system and there is no one on earth who could stop it. There is no safe place for us to seek refuge in this world. However, from the biblical perspective, we learn that God has a great plan for all of us. He sent Jesus to die for our sins on the cross and made an eternal covenant with us. He establishes His kingdom and has made all of us who believe in the name of Jesus to be His people and His children. His kingdom will last forever and it will be peaceful, safe and secure. He will be the perfect King who is forever good, righteous and full of love. Therefore, in this Christmas season, we who believe in the name of Jesus should praise His name with songs and shout with exceeding joy, acknowledging what God had done for us now and forever more.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for Your wonderful love for us. Thank You for sending Your son Jesus to come to this world in human form, died for our sins, and be our King forever. Christmas is a reminder to us that we are celebrating such a wonderful gift that You have given to us. Oh Lord, we rejoice and praise You for what You have done for us, and that You continue to pour out Your love to us. Thank You for the hope given to us, and the Spirit who lives within us that gives us courage and strength to overcome the sufferings in this fallen world. As we celebrate this Christmas, also help us to remember all those who still do not know You; remember our family members, co-workers, friends, neighbors, and people around us. Give us the love and courage to share this wonderful news to them, so that they too may know You and receive Christ as their King and celebrate Christmas together with us.
In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
上周一早上，我和我的两位高中朋友出去吃早餐。我已经两年多没见过他们了。在我们互致问候并点了食物后，他们便开始抱怨世界局势，从美国总统开始，接着是泰国总理；然后他们又聊至英国、韩国、印度尼西亚，最后又回到了我们国家本地的情况。听了他们所有的讨论和批评后，我请他们分享一些可能的解决方案和希望我们国家变得更好的想法。随着知识和技术的进步，世界是否会成为我们子孙后代生活更好的地方？他们笑了，并带讽刺地回答说：“也许我们可以在外太空找到这样的可能性！” 我接着说：“但即使在那里，它仍然将由人统治 — 你们认为人类在外太空的行为会不同吗？” 当他们安静下来，变得更冷静时，我抓住机会与他们分享福音。在我内心深处，我欣喜若狂，因为我知道我和我的家人从创造天地的上帝那里得到了盼望与平安。我们从圣经中知道我们为什么在这里、我们将往哪里去，以及我们最终的结果会是如何。我愿望我的朋友们也能分享这份真正的喜乐和盼望。