In the Old Testament, the Israelites were promised their own land by God, and they were moving to take hold of it. The journey of 40 years started with Moses in Egypt and ended with Joshua in Jericho. Many obstacles had to be overcome during those 40 years, as Israel had neither land nor a city for themselves. In Joshua 6, even when walls of Jericho fell down and the Israelites moved in to take over the city, the job was not fully complete. That was only the entry point into the land God had promised Israel. They had entered the Promised Land but there were still many battles to fight and much land to conquer. It’s not until Joshua 13 that we see inheritances given out and land allocated to different tribes. After entering the Promised Land, the Israelites still had much work to do.
Come September, the main congregation in Hermon will have been worshipping in person on Sundays in Henderson for a year. During this time, we have experienced many firsts as a church in Henderson. The first Christmas and Good Friday services, first ministry and Session meetings, first church conference, first anniversary celebration, and even a first second worship service, which took place last week. It has been a year of celebrating many firsts and the place we have now at Henderson is something worth celebrating. It was a long journey to get here (albeit not 40 years) and we needed to rest and enjoy what God had blessed us with.
However, much like the Israelites when they entered the Promised Land, the work is not yet finished. In fact, we are just getting started. From last September, Hermon was also in a state of transition. No one knew for sure what the best solutions to issues were. We had to make mistakes and learn along the way. We were finding our feet in the various ministries, understanding the new community we had been placed in, while still worrying about attendance at Sunday services. It seemed as though we were trying to move forward while always looking back for a reference point, which is completely understandable given the new circumstances we were placed in.
One year on, we have started our second Sunday service, sponsored the 74th Boys’ Brigade and 54th Girls’ Brigade Companies at Kent Ridge Secondary School and reached out to our community in various ways. We will also stage our Christmas musical here at Henderson. On the spiritual front, the church has been equipping members with skills to start small groups with the intent of discipleship through the reading of Christian material and the sharing of lives. This is, of course, a non-exhaustive list of what Hermon has embarked on since our move, but it definitely looks like our sleeves have been rolled up and work has started. We are hardly in a state of transition any more – we have started to take root and are looking to bear fruit.
All this would not have been possible without the sacrifice and zeal of all who are currently serving in one way or another. I have always been inspired by the worship team, who arrive much earlier than the congregation to rehearse and ensure Sunday services are glitch free. We arrive between 9.15 and 9.30am and everything is prepared, ready to go. Just how early do these guys come to prepare? Some of our members who serve in the worship ministry also double up in other ministries as well, so whenever I feel like I am doing a lot and am weary, I gain strength and encouragement from their service to God.
That said, the church does need all of us to step up and serve. As we have seen in the book of Acts, the Apostles and the members of the church worked in partnership to spread the Word of God. It was not done by the Apostles alone. They needed the help of members from the local churches to do God’s work. Likewise, we cannot depend on our pastors or session members to do God’s work. We need all hands on deck if we are to achieve God’s plan for Hermon in Henderson.
Our journey to Henderson has not come to an end. It is not “mission accomplished”. On the contrary, it has just begun. There is still much work for us to do. Let us prayerfully consider areas in which God might be able to use us so that Hermon can fulfil His purpose here at Henderson.
_ Deacon Jeremiah Chan