Sunday, 19 September 2021
Title: Time for Everyone
By Elder Tan Seng Kee
Bible Verse: Matt 10:8 b “…Give as freely as you have received.”
At the end of my 2nd year studies at a local Malaysian university, I was required to do a 3-month internship with a local organization related to my field of study. A neighbor of mine then got me the internship position and I remembered clearly walking into the Bangkok Bank building in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur on my first day of reporting to work.
I was concerned with what is expected of me and at the same time loaded with trepidation as this was the first time in my life I was going to work in an office with strangers, all qualified in their respective field of expertise. I was quickly shown around the office and assigned a desk and given a file to read. It was a tenancy agreement file.
I don’t remember anyone coming up to talk to me that morning nor did I try to be friendly with anyone. Soon it was lunchtime and most of the lights were switched off and the office staff quickly filtered out in pairs and groups to the many coffee shops in the Petaling Street vicinity. In the brief stammering darkness of the floor, a staff member in the office came up to me and asked if I wanted to follow her out for lunch. I remembered the corner coffee shop was diagonally across the office building and that afternoon, I had beef noodle soup for lunch.
That incident was almost 40 years ago but I could remember it because it was an act of kindness shown to me by this kind lady. I am not sure whether this kind lady was a Christian then. Today, she is a disciple of Jesus and she greatly inspires, motivates and encourages many other Christians to live lives worthy of their calling as a Christian.
Jesus in the Gospel had time for everyone. He called out to the repentant tax collector on the tree, stooped down to draw a line in front of the adulterous woman, sat on the mountainside to teach the crowds what to expect in the Kingdom of heaven, called each of the Apostles by name from their respective station in life, answered patiently the questions of the rich young man, visited the home of Mary and Martha, healed the leper, visited the family whose loved ones had died and had time for a little child.
It is not difficult finding people to rejoice and celebrate with and often after that we forget the occasion and even the people who attended the celebrations with us. It is however not so easy to have people to mourn together with and to suffer alongside because we naturally rather gravitate towards happy times than sad.
In this very difficult time and for the many foreseeable challenging days ahead, we should find more time to observe, care and come alongside people in need. Jesus calls us to a sacrificial lifestyle not detached from the world but to be in the world. A phone call, an expression of care, a helping hand or an offer of help could mean a world of difference for a person struggling to stay afloat in this pandemic.
As a church, we were thinking whether we could scale down PBC Covid Relief Initiative only to be told that personal recoveries are not there yet and many help organizations are still inundated with calls for help. If God “cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, …” (Matt 6:30), then not only we should trust and have more faith that God will certainly care for us, but we should also care for others as well.
In the final analysis, people will remember us more for the time we set aside to be with those in sorrow and sufferings than for our presence at their parties and celebrations. An act of kindness with words and actions will stand out more than the presents and gifts. A pronouncement of a blessing from God for someone may mean more and have greater effect than we can imagine. Let us all consciously be instruments of God to be a blessing each day of our life.
God, help me to care and love the way Jesus would. Teach me acts of kindness that mean more than the money we can give and finally help me to be a blessing to someone in need. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
星期日，2021 年 9 月 19 日
圣经文：马太福音 10:8 b “…你们白白的得来，也要白白的舍去。”
那件事是近 40 年前的事了，但我记得，因为这位善良的女士对我的善举。我不确定这位善良的女士当时是否是基督徒。今天，她是耶稣的门徒，她极大地启发、激励和鼓励许多其他基督徒过着值得他们作为基督徒被呼召的生活。
作为一个教会，我们在考虑是否可以缩小 PBC Covid Relief Initiative 的规模，结果却被告知个人康复尚未完全，许多帮助组织仍然收到大量求助电话。如果上帝“ 野地里的草今天还在，明天就丢在炉里，神还给他这样的妆饰，何况你们呢”（马太福音 6:30），那么我们不仅应该信靠并更加相信上帝一定会照顾我们，而且我们也应该关心他人。