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.