Pastoral Perspectives

His Master’s Voice

Two nights ago, I received a message in my Facebook Messenger. It read, “I need your help.” The message came from Yong En. For those of us who know Yong En, we immediately knew that someone was impersonating him and trying to scam us. Someone from the church also texted me to warn me about this scammer. We were warned and probably deflected something that could have possibly happened. And it is because we know Yong En personally and those of us who have communicated with him knows how his writing style is. And that is not Yong En’s language.

Likewise, Jesus tells us that He is the good shepherd who knows His sheep and His sheep knows him. Sheep can recognize the shepherd’s voice because of the time spent together. We visited a friend who keeps a squirrel as a pet. The pet recognises my friend’s voice and runs to her for comfort and refuge when we tried to carry him. When we tried to carry it, it peed on us because we were strangers. Even babies can also recognise their mother’s voice because they have heard it often enough to know who cares for them most.

The Bible uses similar analogy to remind and warn us so that we will not be ‘scammed’ by imposters – wolves in sheep’s clothing. One of the questions young people often ask me is about discerning God’s will in their lives. It could be about career, deciding which university to attend, and even choosing life partner. If you think about it, we can instantly recognise our favourite singer’s voice because we have listened to it so many times. If we listen to BBC radio often, we will immediately recognise the British accent and language associated with it.

The pastoral team often get messages from Ps Kien Seng. One email I often receive reads, “Are you busy now? I really need you to attend to something now. Can you do it?” Immediately I could tell that it cannot be from Ps Kien Seng because that is not his style of communication, not his nature to ask us like that without giving more information and lastly, if it was so urgent, he would not email. He would WhatsApp us. So, over the years, I have immediately deleted such messages from Ps Kien Seng because it was from a scammer and not him.

As we approach another year by God’s grace, may we pay heed to Jesus’ words and strive toward knowing Him more – His will in our lives, His grace, His mercy and how He has dealt with His people over the years so that we can recognise His voice and be saved from the imposters who come to destroy us. May we spend more time listening to His voice, recognizing His voice so that we need not run here and there seeking to find the answer. God is with us – Immanuel as we have just been reminded over the Christmas period.  We can take comfort in knowing that God’s spirit is with us and continues to help us in our journey. May God’s abiding presence give us faith and hope to face another year so that we can continue to live and serve Him.

May all True Wayan continue to hear the Master’s Voice in the New Year and learn more about God’s communication style, to the praise and Glory of His name.

John 10:14
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.”

A Blessed New Year to everyone!
Rev Loliro Sani
4 Jan, 2024