Last Sunday I preached in Gereja Kristus Yesus Journey on Nehemiah 9:1-38. And if you look at Nehemiah 9, much of it recounts what God has done in the world as well as in Israel’s history, with the conclusion that God truly is faithful beyond human reasonableness, so Israel re-commits herself to God as His covenant people. I was thinking about what a parallel of this recounting would look like for ORPC:
God brought the Scots to Singapore through colonialisation and established for Himself a church in Singapore, a centre from which the gospel was preached in the region and churches were planted. God continued to provide for this congregation through two world wars and three major changes of government, and through the transformation of this congregation from an expatriate congregation to a local congregation. And although mistakes were made through the years, God remained faithful to us and did not abandon us.
And in Nehemiah 9:36-37, the leaders of Israel end with a plea before they re-commit to the covenant: “but see, we are slaves today, slaves in the land you gave our forefathers so they could eat its fruit and the other good things it produces. Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings you have placed over us. They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress.” They see the need of their people and they cry out to God for Him to work for their good.
Today, we aren’t slaves in this land. But that does not mean that we don’t recognise our need for God to work for us. Despite our new heart, new spirit, and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Ezek 36:26-27), we still struggle to recognise that we are no longer under the dominion of sin. Despite our unity as one Body across ages, races, and even preferences (1 Cor 12:12-13), we still struggle to see ourselves as one and love each other. We need God.
As we strive together to become truly a Disciple-Making Church, may we commit ourselves and each other to our covenant with God. Our God is faithful and will do all that is needed because He who has begun a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6). Amen.