By Ps Tan Hui Ru

Today we celebrate two things: ORPC’s 164th anniversary, and our return to on-site services after months of worshipping only online. Welcome back, and welcome home. Even if you’re not on-site with us today, you are still with us in spirit, witnessing our return to being an embodied physical gathering of the Body of Christ, worshipping God together, by the Spirit, according to the truth revealed by Christ. As we re-begin today, on our “birthday” as a congregation, shall we take stock of ourselves and covenant with each other to not just to work on our weaknesses as a community but also to celebrate our strengths? More often than not we see only our faults, which blinds us to where we have grown.

Let me begin with what I have witnessed in this congregation in 2020. As this pandemic unfolded, I have seen the leaders rally together, working hard and seeking to keep the church building open for worship as long as it was safe for our people. Yes, there was confusion, and communication lapses, amid all the scrambling — yet there was a common goal and purpose centred around love for each other, love for this congregation because of our common identity as God’s children. As time passed, I also saw that we were hungry to connect over God’s Word, overcoming our aversion to online formats of Bible study, and making the effort to share Scripture and hymns over various WhatsApp groups and social media. And I have seen so many trying to reach out to those who aren’t connected to small groups or ministry groups, making contact and caring for them. 

In the past months, I have seen God’s love and grace work in this community. Yes, we have a long way to go. Yes, we are far from flawless as a church. Yes, we struggle with translating God’s Word from our heads to our hearts, and even more, to our hands. But we have grown, and we trust that God will continue to help us grow in following Him in all areas of our life and ministry as a community. To the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.