Pastor's Message

Reflections on Different Festivals

Rev Chua Ooi Suah

Ash Wednesday falls on 14 February 2018 this year. This is ahead of the Chinese New Year. It appears that these two festivals coincide frequently in recent years. While the mood and tone of these two festivals are vastly different, both emphasized the value of relationships and hence are not antagonistic to each other.

The Chinese New Year is traditionally a family holiday. The emphasis on the family leaves some people happy while others are anxious or worried. One of the factors that affect happiness and anxiety is the relationship between family members – whether everyone is living in harmony and loving one another mutually. Everyone yearns for a harmonious and warm home to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Ash Wednesday helps believers find the root of a harmonious relationship. We must first be reconciled with God before we can be well with those who have sinned against us, or who offended us. We must first experience inner peace before we can be at peace with others.

Ash Wednesday is not just about an individual's reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. It is also about reconciliation with others within our communities. These communities include our families, churches, our country and eventually, the world.

As Saint Paul said: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5: 18-19)

May God bless you and your family with a meaningful holiday!