Sunday, 28 September 2014

Living in the Present: With Others

Hello All,
‘No man is an island.’
This is a quotation from John Donne (1572-1631) who was an English poet, lawyer and Anglican priest.
Although many of us would agree with that phrase, we would most of the time find it easier to accomplish a task alone.
In my university days, I remember the dread that many used to feel when it came to group projects. No doubt there were some groups who worked very well with each other but there were others who fell out with their group members and thus rued the day they had to work with other people to accomplish a task.
Many of us feel that matters would be less complicated with less people involved. This is because of our sinful nature which makes us want to do things our own way.
‘No Christian is an island.’
There are Christians who think that it is sufficient to just keep a relationship with God in fervent, daily prayers but isolate themselves from the Christian community.
God has never meant for Christians to venture out into unchartered territories alone in this world. He has created a community of Christians to remind and encourage each other to live as pilgrims on this earth for His glory.

Living in the Present: With Others
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (3rd April 2014)
Based on Henri Nouwen's 'Here and Now: Living in the Spirit'
Our journey as Christian pilgrims on the road
Is not a solo travel embarked on our own
We are to bear our fellow Christians’ heavy load
In God’s Kingdom, no one ventures out alone

Do you see a brother who needs your prayer?
Do you notice a sister who needs your comfort?
Are you willing to aid your brothers and sisters?
Would you help even if it demands much effort?

The closer we come to know and love our God
The closer we come to those in God’s family
For the infinite love of Christ is shared abroad
Cutting through our barriers and diversity

Points for Reflection:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
(Hebrews 10:24-25)
·         Have you been isolating yourself from the Christian community?
·         You might have literally stopped going to church altogether or pop by whenever you please.
·         Or perhaps you have been attending church faithfully but do not share your life with other Christians?
·         Have you been feeling alone even in the midst of conversations with church friends?
·         Don’t face your struggles alone but seek support from your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray that God will send fellow Christians who are trustworthy and willing to faithfully support you in your struggles.

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
(Galatians 6:2)
·         Do you see someone who needs your prayer?
·         Have you been praying faithfully for those who are need your support? How could you be more mindful of others in your prayers?
·         Do you notice someone who needs your comfort?
·         Do you show your care to a fellow Christian who is down and discouraged? Often we are so absorbed with our own lives that we forget that comforting words and gestures can mean so much to a person going through the ‘valley’ experience.
·         Are you willing to aid your brothers and sisters?
·         Would you help even if it demands much effort?
·         Pray for God to help us to be united in the love of Christ and to look for ways to help each other fight the good fight of faith.

“This is my [Jesus’] commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

(John 15:12-13)