Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What shall we do then?

Picture from Metro Tabernacle

From the recent incidents regarding attacks on several Malaysian churches, many of us who are followers of Christ have one question in mind: What should I do or say?

People are expecting us to have a response: naturally, a defense or even (gasp) a retaliatory one.
Some of us, though taught to forgive as we have been forgiven, will harbour, as minimal as it may be, some outrage and feelings of being violated.

Prominent Malaysian Christian voices rose to defend our rights, and condemn those who seem to challenge our 'rights'.
My first response, from a highly uninformed point of view was: "What is all this talk about our rights? I thought we surrendered our rights to God a long time ago. Somebody teach me."

As I started to read and understand about the whole deal in the usage of the word "Allah", no doubt, there are some pretty good claims to it, as we as those against it. But it still troubled me that we are so instinctively defensive, while Jesus would always come up with a totally unexpected response in times when he was accused and discredited. Going back to the gospels, its clear that what God expects of us is not what the natural man would do, but he expects so much more - turning the other cheek, carry another weight for another mile, giving up your rights!

In our house church last Saturday, one of us noted: many times we Christians have tried to be smart and give educated responses in terms of how incidents like this will affect our economy, sociology, human rights, language, etc. But maybe God wills us to be blatantly Christian; that is, to forgive unhesitatingly, turning our cheek the other way, and be peaceable with our neighbours. (I will not say enemies, for our Muslim brothers and sisters mean more to us than the Roman oppressors of the Jews two thousand years ago.)

It is heartbreaking to see the incidents unfold on television, not because of the damaged caused to buildings made of stone, but that God's children are involved in such a strife over a word (I'm not disregarding its significance, but it is, just a word). And also that (some of) God's children would give responses so far away from the mark Jesus has set. "We should be worried about our safety." "Our church building is in danger." "This is Malaysia." "I might consider migrating." "I'm insulted."

God's heart is breaking, we know it. And we cannot put further weight on the tense situation, but neither we should take it lightly as not to extend forgiveness. And as one sister noted, let's not forgive because we are in the right, and not to earn Brownies points, but it is God's redemptive character to forgive and for us to move on for the glory of His Kingdom.

Isn't God awesome? Be blessed even as you read this.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Community Christmas Carnival 2009

This was the 8th year since the Kota Damansara Community Christmas Carnival commenced, and it was better than ever before. We are just so grateful that our KD friends from Banner of Love, FGA KD, River of Christ count us as worthy partners in this amazing event.

Here are some pictures:The hall pre-event

Setting up the vege
Uncle Edwin, our poster boy

Uncle Chris trying a hand at the marbles

Seng Chor setting the standards for vege darting

A song for all!

Hmmmhe hall pre-event

Coloring contest

Winners of the coloring contest

Kids anxious to have their faces painted

Uncle Hok Seng and Aty Pansy having a chat with the KD folks on job prospects

Jia Yein and Jia Hua telling the story of "The Happy Prince"

Ming Li!

Adults love the games as much as the kids!

Another amazing Christmas spent! Keep up the good work guys, and don't stop being a blessing!
We will have a thanksgiving tonight ( 6th January, 2010) at 8pm, at Banner of Love. :)


The blog is back.

Apologies for the inconsistency of this blog - truth is, there is so much work and workers are few! Which is great, because God has truly been working through us in the year 2009.

It hasn't been an easy year. Antioch was like a young apprentice, scrambling after the master learning the craft. Many times we encounter frustration in the results, and each of us is sharpening each other as iron and iron (ouch!), but that if that is what it takes to bring unity and purpose to the church, that's what we willingly submit to. And the craft is, loving people.

This year, we are going to turn love into action. Elder Hok Seng says, "Jalan!" (that means 'Go!')
Awesome folks have come into our midst to teach us. It would take an entire page for us to acknowledge all of them.

On the 2nd Jan we worshipped together with this song:

Blessed are those who dwell in Your house,
They are ever praising you,
Blessed are those whose strength is in You;
whose hearts are set - on our GOD.

We will go from strength to strength.
Until we see You face to face

Hear our prayer, O Lord God Almighty,
Come bless our land,
As we seek You, worship You.

How blessed are we to know God? It's beyond us. With Jesus, we have so so much going for us.
A person who is blessed beyond reason shall be a blessing to others. I pray that Antioch comes into full bloom with that this 2010.

See you guys next Saturday!