Will Cathedral Stand?
"Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12: 26-29
June is traditionally a “break” month for many of us. Some of us may go on family vacations while others may be gathered at church camps or conferences.
Some of us who were at the 9 am Service Camp in Bangkok were blessed by the rich fellowship and the Word sharing by Bishop Moses and Cynthia Tay. I will document here a sermon by Bishop Tay which he shared on the last morning of the Camp, the one message he gave as Cynthia was doing most of the teaching.
He reminded us of the “shaking” on Pentecost Sunday in 1986. The roof of the Nave cracked due to the MRT underground works. It was an event which also precipitated the idea of a new Service at Victoria Concert Hall, which eventually started in 1989. This Service celebrated her 30th Anniversary this year. Having grown and given birth to both the Saturday 4.30 pm and Sunday Eleven:30 Service, indeed there is much to give thanks for.
He shared how he was humoured by a letter sent by the Archbishop of Canterbury then, conveying condolences for the “loss of the Cathedral”! It was just a crack at the roof and the Cathedral was still standing. But God's Word reminds us that everything in the world can be shaken as God is a consuming fire. What are the values which will stand in God’s Kingdom?
Firstly, he pointed to the need for oneness.The unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17:23 is more than just a unity of purpose. It should involve the very essence of our spiritual “being.” For this is a unity in Christ and with one another. We need to surrender everything to God: our gifts, discernment, habits, successes and lifestyles. We need to hear, listen and obey.
Secondly, we need to love as Christ loved us. It is a kind of love which involves laying down our lives for one another. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends “ (John 15:13). Will we? Can we? Only by the grace of God. It is a love which is self-giving, where our self is "laid down” that another may be blessed.
Thirdly, we need to be prayerful. Being intimate with the Lord and staying in touch with him keep us authentic. We should not pretend to be what we are not. Cheap fakes will be shaken and will not last in His Kingdom.
Bishop Tay’s mind is sharp as ever though his raspy voice has noticeably weakened. He is 81 now, and given that the Bible speaks about 80 years being a time given by God, he said he feels like a "one year old” all over again, given the physical limitations he is experiencing from day to day. Many of us have experienced him as a spiritual father and may his life and ministry continue to speak and inspire us.