Whatever You Do…
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
The Diocesan pre-School video was shown in all our Services last weekend. If you have listened and noted carefully, much can be gleaned from it. There is a unique influence of a work which has strong Christian values underpinning, and the covering provided by a local church. St James’ Church Kindergarten is 2000-strong today and Ascension Church’s Ascension Kindergarten is 600+. More than just numbers, along with other church-based pre-school work, they have been quiet but influential. Both do not have a problem attracting good teachers because it is not primarily driven by money or career-advancement opportunities. Purposeful and meaningful work is always attractive and self-sustaining.
Truths, such as contained in the Bible verses above, powerfully ensure that organisations are imbued with strong inner qualities. I have served in two growing parishes, the last one being St James’ Church as her Vicar for 14 years. I have had the privilege to lead and serve with “high-fliers” such as politicians, High Court judges, senior doctors, senior lawyers, super-scaled principals along with successful businessmen and women, corporate leaders and so on. In church, they prefer to be related to as just worshippers and disciples. They are “serving the Lord Christ”, and thankfully, not me. This explains why our churches can be and do so much. One highly successful corporate leader once remarked to me, “How can you have this small a budget and do so much?”
Political systems, money and connections cannot buy one thing - the human heart. One that is rightly conditioned and motivated, filled with the right desires, motivations, self-governing integrity, love, humility, “others before self.” Not only does the church need this, societies need this as well. That is not to say that church leaders are perfect, and indeed wonderful altruism can also be found amongst people of other faiths. I am merely pointing out that which is good and to urge that we may continue to walk in it.
I now come to the field of healthcare. A bishop once told me that the battle in this field “is already lost.” By that, he was referring to how financial greed and selfishness have gripped the profession and how it has strayed so far from the values embodied in the classical Hippocratic oath. But there is no area nor field which our Lord cannot redeem. Take for example the many medical doctors and nurses who have chosen the less lucrative path to serve in SAMH, SACS and other Christian hospitals like St Luke’s Hospital. There is a clinic at Serangoon Road (under Healthserve) which offers medical care for foreigners at a highly subsidised rate. In
SAC and many other churches, many healthcare workers are involved in overseas missions or crisis relief work. There are also countless doctors and medical workers - in government or private institutions - who have not bowed down to the god of mammon, many whose faith in Christ has shaped the way they work and behave, “as for the Lord and not men.”
Indeed, on this day, we can give thanks and be very grateful for all our healthcare workers for the testimony of their work. May the Lord reward them richly.
Many of the early missionary pioneers of our Church, Schools and Medical Services have served with their blood, sweat and tears, often under very discouraging circumstances and with limited resources. If they can see what is happening today, they will be deeply encouraged.