March has been quite a month indeed. So much has happened.
The Friends in Conversation 2007 event and all that surrounded it has generated much good I think. It was a pity some of my own church members didn’t manage to meet Brian McLaren. While I’m glad many who might not have had a chance did. But more on those thoughts in other posts.
The parable of the wedding banquet has been on my mind in many regards. Last Saturday, this parable was alluded when Keat Lim reflected on our participation in the Dropzone mini-concert event for a bunch of youth.
Somehow, those whom we expect to turn up didn’t and those who came were surprises. This seems to be the case even for those whom respond to invitations to serve in some capacity whether in the church or beyond the church walls. I’m trying to understand how this all plays out in practice and how to frame the questions theologically.
Some really good moments as far as BLC is concerned … yesterday, I had a g
good visit to one of our LiFE Groups (who’ve been sharing how they have been struggling). I got the sense that we were all energized and encouraged after the meeting. The Spirit surely was moving amongst us. Last week, a home visit turned out pretty well with good conversations and laughter. What I was happy to see was one of my members recovering slowly and we could have a decent conversation. A google chat was around the topic of where one can serve and not dwell in a lazy “mode” which I think is a step (or a kick!) in the right direction. The Catechism class has been REALLY good this season … with very good questions, participation and responses. I felt we had meaningful moments during our worship gatherings whether it’s through silence, the sermon, the mini-chats, the times of prayer, the songs, Holy communion, surprise guests, etc.
And yet, this is where it’s not easy for pastors like me to manage the emotional highs and lows. Got a SMS last night of a member’s mom collapsing after a stroke and according to the doctor it’s a matter of time for her. I read his blog with much pain this morning. Praying for him round the clock. Some bumps coming up for the worship ministry of BLC and feel terrible for the new person in charge (will try my best to support him and get more people to support the overall ministry). Still trying to discern ways to relieve those who feel overextended by sharing the work load to more people. Of course, there’s always those who have been missing for some time. Feeling the strain for the energy and attention requirements as BLC has more people linked to us.
Returning to my Chinese roots through reading the classics. This was very much kicked into momentum after reading an “awfully arrogant” display of so called Christian scholarship in a particular review. We use the term “vomit blood” here. There’s no turning back anymore for me at least. I’m pretty sure who and what I DO NOT want to become. And interestingly, this kind of values go way back to my more Confucius roots. So, I’m trying to understand how this integrates with the Christian faith I’m part of. What does it mean to be a true scholar?
I also spent some time reengaging some good Lutheran theology – decided to start from the end “Eschatology” 🙂 …. I’ve been thinking a lot on how do we live in the present in the light of the future? Once, I’ve flushed the “end time charts” from my system, the future is opened to fresh insights (which actually is based on more classic ways of looking at time and history rather then simplistic deterministic speculations). What is more valuable for me is the fact that I am participating in the working of God’s not yet Kingdom here and now? The issue of prediction is no longer the main thing.
Another blessing is how the “theology of the cross” seems to return again and again to my consciousness. Need to spend more time appropriating this into my being and doing.
Conversations with Gareth and Elysia has been educational. Reading to them to sleep whenever I can has been a tremendous joy. Resolving their conflicts has not been easy. Encouraging Gareth’s potential delights me. Watching Elysia assert her independence with her smile is rewarding.
The recent holiday at Kuantan wasn’t the most restful time due to the long drive. But, surprisingly I got a good dose of needed sleep there and extra theological reading. Walking the beach and feeling the wind did something to my physique. I do think I have over-eaten a bit 🙂 Watching the kids interact with the grandparents, cousin and aunty was nice.
My study is a mess (what’s new!). This week is book sorting week. Looks like need to clear some boxes and rearrange lots of books. And look for missing items under the pile!
No more chips this week! Ok … until Easter.
Off to some solitude before the day continues with a big meeting and a full day.