Watchnight Service reflections

I thank God for those who helped put our 2020 Watchnight Service together.

Firstly, I was thankful that my wife, who recently underwent eye surgery, was still able to attend the service because it was conducted via Zoom. Though hardly able to watch the event, she was nevertheless able to hear the proceedings, which included encouraging testimonies presented by our brothers and sister. Had it been the usual arrangement where we gathered in person at the Jerusalem sanctuary, she would not have been able to join us. It dawned on me then that virtual meetings during this abnormal period are God-sent. Such an arrangement has its time and place for some of our members, both now and in the future. In addition, it has brought the church right into our homes, blessing non-believers in some families.

Secondly, this mode of meeting, while useful and convenient, can only be a temporary substitute for the actual physical gathering of God’s people. Ps Luwin in his 22 Nov ’20 article explained, “So, Christian fellowship over Zoom, however large your screen, however high your definition, however powerful your speakers, ultimately falls short of the genuine article because it is missing our physical presence. Authentic Christian fellowship must include our bodies.” Therefore, like the torchlight which comes in handy when there is a power blackout, full restoration of light is still the desired norm. Indeed, it is only because we have always been congregating in person that we are able to connect with one another virtually in a spirit of oneness. The familiar faces and voices we see and hear through our screens instantaneously bind us in spirit. Such moments surface the truth that a church is more than a physical building. Yet, without our prior physical assembly, care and fellowship as God’s

people, there would not have been the same effect. Therefore, let us do our best to attend our worship service in person now that we can gather in larger numbers under Phase 3 of COVID-19 restrictions.

Thirdly, we were reminded through the homily that Jesus is our King. How many of us live each day considering Jesus as King? Often, we unwittingly count the cost of discipleship. This is because we start off with the wrong perception, equating the Christian life to one of worldly blessing in addition to the blessing of eternal life. We count as a sacrifice the giving of even a little of our time to serve, and when we do, we choose what is convenient. This is not the example the early disciples of Christ set for us. Even as they looked to a reward from the King eventually, these disciples gave their best in their service to the point of death. Just as we must not let the convenience of virtual congregational gathering hijack the real thing, we similarly must not allow the temporary reward of this world to hijack the ultimate one to come. Today, let us enthrone Christ as our King.

Finally, we shall be moving out of CCKBC to Henderson. We will all have to make many adjustments, chief of which will be getting used to the much smaller space. However, our ministry will only be limited by our faith and love of the Lord, and not by the size of our facilities. The pandemic has also providentially prepared us for a change in our paradigm regarding the judicious use of space for ministries. Over the next few months, we will be conducting tours of the new facilities and sharing our plans during our Communications Day. Suffice it to say that for now, it will not be “business as usual”, and each and every member, young and senior, will be key stakeholders in the vision for Henderson. So, let us purpose in our heart, soul and mind to power Hermon on to a new and  exciting future in the years ahead.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Session members, office staff, heads of ministries and CGs, and everyone else for their labour during the past year, a year that the world will remember for its upheaval and crisis but for us Christians, a year to be remembered and recounted for God’s protection and grace.

Now, “To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory forever and ever.” Amen!

– Eld Peter Seah