Friday, 25 December 2009

Blogging on Christmas Day

Since I returned from Cambridge two weeks ago, life has been on a fast track without any prospect of slowing down till the new year. There are many things to attend to, from ministry to family, from church to personal matters.

In the past years, I would normally take some time off to reflect on Christmas, but this year, I failed to do so until now. Now that I am at home after an early Christmas service, and have some quiet moments for myself, I decided to blog my reflection for this Christmas.

I am reminded of my personal failures and weaknesses these past few days. I guess this brings me to the very meaning of Christmas. Christ took on flesh precisely for the brokenness of the world and the sinfulness of humanity to give us a hope and a future.

Interestingly, Sze Zeng blogs about his "mysterious change in personality" where he now turns his back on his active clubbing life and has become an introvert. I think I am heading down the same road too of becoming an introvert. I noticed that I have begun to retreat a bit more this year. Perhaps this is due to the fact I needed to find space to discover myself, to discover God and to enjoy the presence of God. One of the reasons is that living in a performance driven culture, it is natural to measure the success and effectiveness of our ministry based on the expectations of human. Our worship of God in church is measured against a 'feel-good' experience that the latest worship enhancement aided by modern technology can bring instead of the delight it brings God. Our sermon is measured against how it has ministered to the hearts of the people instead of allowing the truth of God to be communicated. Hence, I find myself retreating, often finding solace in the presence of God after preaching a sermon or teaching a class. The pressure of ministry can be daunting and stressful at times. It is through these moments I know I can be broken before God in my weakness and yet at the same time draw strength from Him.

At the same time, I have begun to enjoy spending time in nurturing spiritual friendships. All the more I am convinced that programmatic discipleship training carried out in many churches has failed to produce true disciples for the Lord. It is through personal touch and many hours of time spent in having teh tarik (or Starbucks for those who can afford it) that a life is touched, transformed and influenced for the Kingdom.

That's Christmas for me this year - Jesus has come to touch the world. Through his minstry on earth, he touched lives - some through his teaching, and many through personal touch. Jesus is never too busy to stop and heal the woman with bleeding problem for 12 years, to have a conversation with a Samaritan woman by the well, and to walk alongside troubled disciples on the road to Emmaus. May we find time to touch someone this Christmas.

Blessed Christmas.


逍遥子 Odysseus said...

I must confess, tho this may offend some people, that, hardly any pastor willing to spend teh tarik with members,,,,

pastors are so busy, so purpose driven, all the more goes to pastor cum scholar,,,hehe

I would be thrilled if able to teh tarik with KY, even just for once in a life time,,,hehe

Kar Yong said...

Hi 逍遥子 Odysseus,
We will surely have teh tarik, or if you prefer, freshly brewed coffee in my office when you begin your studies at STM. You are always welcome to drop by my office for a cuppa. So I look forward to seeing you soon.

Perng Shyang Teng said...

KY, thanks for the reflections. It means a lot to me especially heading toward the ministries next year.

Merry Christmas.

Btw, once you have finished prepare the sermon on DK's wedding, do send me a copy. Haha, you see, talk about ministry again!

Israel Lee said...

took the words right out of my mouth. the 'teh tarik' insight is actually an analogy to my doctoral thesis on change from bottom-up!

looking forward to seeing you at KEFC this January and perhaps after the service, we can go for a cuppa. blessed Christmas! ;-)

Kar Yong said...

Hi PS,
Sermon will be ready on Dec 31 midnight :-)

Will get it to you soonest possible, hopefully within next few days.

Kar Yong said...

Hi Israel,
Opps...sorry for committing "plagiarism" .. :-)

See you on Jan 17. Yeah - would love to have a cuppa after the service!

Israel Lee said...

It is no plagiarism at all! As a matter of fact, you have given me another insight on my thesis. I should thank you. ;-)

KEFC's theme next year is "Knowing Jesus and Making Him Known". I have two weeks ago introduced to the congregation the idea of looking at Jesus historically from the gospels. This is due to the burden in me to see the bible being read more accurately and according to context.

Hopefully, this will give you some heads up while you seek the Lord for a message to be delivered. Take care and have a fruitful new year with your second tome. ;-)

Kar Yong said...

Thanks, Israel, for the info. It's been some years already since I last visited KEFC. So I'm looking forward to this visit.

blogpastor said...

Happy Christmas Kar Yong. May the new year yield more sacred spaces in your packed ministry.

Kar Yong said...

Happy Christmas and New Year to you too, Kenny. Here's wishing you a great year ahead.