Vicar Writes

Vicar Writes


20 January 2019 | Vicar Writes

You May Not Be The Same Again

By Terry Wong

Your life can be changed significantly this next 18 weeks. I am sure mine will.

"Lord, how can I be used by you to share the gospel and love of Christ with someone?" I have been praying this prayer. He is already giving me insights on who and where I could be involved.

People do have questions about our faith. Daily, people stream into the Cathedral for various reasons and some are very open to talk about the spiritual matters. Some have questions or objections, may it be philosophical or existential. If you get involved in an Alpha Course, you will find the small group experience is like no other.

My last experience in an Alpha group was about 6 years ago in my previous parish. It was a group of mostly well educated young adults and I was both challenged and enlightened by the questions which the current generation is asking. It was a ten week journey of interaction and reflecting together and I found myself able to be helpful. In particular, I was encouraged by how this bright Chinese scholar finally became a Christian after Alpha and followed Christ in baptism. She was asking some very sharp questions on the early chapters of Genesis and I found my theological training and reading helpful. This is not the forum to go into the details, but often a simplistic and naive reading of the creation accounts can be a stumbling block to faith for some without further explanations.   

In part, your life will be changed because you too need to ask again the basis for your faith. This is what sharing the Gospel will do to you. You will encounter questions that will be baffling. What can you say to someone who has gone through unspeakable suffering?

When you recite the Nicene Creed, do you really believe every word? And if you do, what are the implications? But you may have questions or doubts on some part of the faith. There is nothing wrong with having doubts as it is a part of growing as a believer. Some are are well studied in fields like history, cosmology, biology, psychiatry and philosophy. There are huge advances in these fields and in a highly interconnected world today, learning and discovery is accelerating at a pace never seen before in our human history. How can that impact our faith?

You will also encounter some who may not have deep intellectual questions about the faith. They simply want to know how one may be a believer. Why does one need to go to church? What implications are there for their lifestyles? Some will come to you for help as they are experiencing brokenness in their lives or destructive addictions of some form. Can Christ give them any hope?

And if you want to be a good witness, you know that your attitude towards your colleagues or classmates needs to change. As Christians, our number-one priority is to represent Christ well to family and friends. As He is honest, kind, loyal, and honourable, we should strive to be those things as well. All these qualities will contribute to a good reputation. If we have poor reputations, our message is tainted as well. Many will not heed our words when our reputations do not match what we claim to believe.

This is why a desire to be a good witness will be life-changing. I pray that each of us will find opportunities to grow deeper in Christ as we engage with the Celebration of Hope.