Vicar Writes

Vicar Writes


9 April 2017 | Vicar Writes

Were you there?

By Terry Wong

The Holy Week (Palm Sunday to Easter) has always been a week that we can all look forward to. For one, it is about worship and our relationship with God. It is a time to anamnesis, to recollect and journey with Jesus on the road to Calvary, to understand who He is and what He has done for us. Like the refrain of the negro-spiritual, we ask each other: Were you there….? 

The cross is an exemplar for us. It carries the message of love, servanthood and humility. Thus, it speaks to our own hearts of our attitudes, sensibilities and what we love. Indeed it is what we love which continue to shape our lives, not what we know. “See how He loves him.” That was the response of observers when Jesus wept for Lazarus. The same Jesus asked us to love one another the way He has loved us (John 13:34). In fact He instituted that as a new commandment, bringing it up to the same level as the Law. Before the cross, our pride, selfishness, censorious thoughts of others, jealousy are all exposed, as the love of His light perches through the darkness of our tombs. Let His love unbind the death clothes that wrap
ever so tightly around our  hearts and set it free to love.  

The cross is also about salvation. For He is “Christ, very God, and very Man; who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men” (Article 2 of the 39 Articles). There are also many opportunities to invite an unchurched friend to “Come and See.” Every Service or event during Holy Week is evangelistic to some measure. Whether your friend is senior or junior, listens to 97.3 or 92.4 FM, a complete agnostic or a lost believer, the Cathedral has it covered. There is something for everyone. 

We will be welcoming Revd Dr Ephraim Radner and his wife, Revd Dr Annette Brownlee. They are both serving in Wycliffe College in Toronto and in the Anglican Church in Canada. I got to know Ephraim very well as I sat into three of his courses during my Sabbatical in Toronto in 2014. He is a highly respected theologian, scholar, thinker, writer and Anglican leader. And more than everything else, he is a dear friend to me and Jennifer. He will be speaking at our annual two-day Lenten Devotions and the other Holy Week Services. Some of you may be interested to attend his public lectures on The Cranmerian Vision on
22 April, Sat.  If you think deeply about the nature and calling of the Church, you will appreciate these lectures and will be inspired as you become more aware of the heritage of the Anglican Church. 

The printed Courier is back on track. Indeed much is happening in SAC which needs to be shared with the wider community. There is a rich diversity and certainly, the church culture in SAC is certainly not monochromatic! This printed version will complement the online one, where most of the printed articles will be posted and archived. Once a quarter? Two times a year? That depends on you! We need – testimonies of what God is doing in your life, reflections of significant events or talks, teaching articles for both the heart and mind, articles on our Anglican heritage, book reviews, cross-cultural mission stories, community interest articles on arts and crafts, Chinese tea-brewing, the art of blogging, social media manners,
poetry writing and yes, even heirloom family recipes! 

It is our magazine. Not unlike courier pigeons of old, it seeks to carry the message to those who need to hear, whether far and wide or as close as the neighbour sitting next to you. There are so many stories in the SAC community which a weekly Vicar Writes, quarterly printed Courier and a “timeless” Courier-on-line can help tell. But pray tell, how can they unless you play your part? If you struggle with writing, we have a gifted Editorial Team who can help.