A Year of Hope
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
Next Sunday, across all our Services, we are starting a new Sermon Series entitled "A Hope for All." This series will reflect on the stories of men and women in the Bible whose lives have been transformed by the saving power of God. You will find that each of them is very different and yet the Gospel has a way of reaching them at a point of need. This sermon series can help us to prepare for the Celebration of Hope (COH) events in May this year.
One can say that Singapore is far more heterogeneous as a society today compared to the society that experienced the visit of Dr Billy Graham more than 40 years ago. The diversity of race, culture, the wide educational exposure (including overseas education) and our global nature as an international gateway city mean that we cannot assume we understand the people we are talking to.
Yet Scriptures record human experiences spanning many centuries and across different lands. These stories continue to live on through the Church as she grows and embeds herself into many different languages and cultures.
Even here in the Cathedral, we have come across so many different and interesting stories of conversion and spiritual experiences. We are enriched when we come to understand how the Gospel can work so differently for another person. Being a Christian for over forty years now, I have of course gone way past the initial glow. But when I encounter fresh testimonies, I am reminded again of the power of the Gospel to change lives and bring hope. And I find a new encouragement to share the Gospel even if the person I am trying to reach may find it so remotely irrelevant. It may start that way. Just be faithful to love and share and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.
This is the reason why we believe that this gospel hope is for all. We are reminded of the words of St Paul in 1 Timothy 2:3-6:
"This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time."
I can think of no greater privilege than to help another person to find faith in Jesus Christ. Singapore today, rich in diversity and a home for over two million non-citizens is an exciting place for the sharing of the Gospel. May the Lord love, speak and heal through each of us.