Pastoral Perspectives

How Would Singaporean Respond To Jesus If He First Came Today?

What if Jesus wasn’t born 2000 years ago but rather God decided to send His son today and have chosen downtown Singapore. If Orchard Road is the place, would it be somewhere in the $700 million ION Orchard, meaning “I on Orchard”, the new “centre of gravity” in the prime Orchard shopping belt that showcases upscale shops and luxury apartments. To be exact maybe the choice spot would be at the double-story observation deck located on the 55th and 56th floors named ION Sky. I try to imagine the immense publicity through the 117-metre frontage along Orchard Road with its media architecture to cover its entire façade. These bigger-than-life screens will showcase the birth and serve as a platform where ‘live’ global, multimedia art annunciation of Christ birth can be telecast. Would His father be a CEO or a humble busker down the streets of Orchard road?  And how about His mother?  Is there any woman today worthy to be the mother of our Savior?

            What about when Jesus’ education?  Quite likely Nanyang Primary is the choice with the current Prime Minister as the school’s alumni. In Jesus’ growing years, maybe He would have joined the ranks of many national leaders and parliamentarians at Raffles Institution in the Integrated Programme, also known as the Raffles Programme (RP). In Jesus’ adult life, where would He choose for His public ministry?   Perhaps He would be one of the Directors with Temasek Holdings or perhaps He would take to the Internet and create His own Web site.  Would He use Facebook to gather and record his followers?  Would I be brave enough to friend him, or better yet, would He friend me?

            Or maybe He would speak to the crowds in ION Orchard as they boarded and exited the buses, taxis and trains.  Perhaps He would preach His sermon in Orchard Central to crowds of Christmas shoppers and their families.  Maybe He’d be the lead singer in a band and have sold out concerts in an attempt to reach followers through music.  Would they be going just for the music, or to listen to His message?  But more importantly, would He be accepted?  When the authorities mock Him and arrest Him as some crazy lunatic, how many of us would support Him and demand His release?

            Thank goodness, we know He already came and saved the world.  Knowing that, it is up to us who have accepted Him to keep Him alive in today’s world.  After all, isn’t that what we are all called to do?  Jesus is present anywhere we want Him to be.  So while we wait for Him to come again in all His glory, we can help move things along. All it takes is a willing heart and some creativity to bring Him and His message to others. Soon, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow. This idea as a whole is hypothetical, strange and even funny.  But it’s interesting to consider this question: How would you react to Jesus if He first came today and not over 2000 years ago? Would you accept and follow Him, or would you be too busy with your career and family? How do you think the 21st Century world would respond to Jesus if He came today?

To bring the traditional Christmas story into the social media age, Miguel Figueiredo, president of Excentric – a Lisbon, Portugal company – created a video that tells the Christmas story through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google, among other popular media tools. The “The Digital Story of the Nativity” starts with a Google maps visit to Nazareth, where Mary’s iPhone gets buzzed with a text message from the Archangel Gabriel heralding the birth of the baby Jesus.

            She hops on to Gmail, where she e-mails “[email protected] with news of her pregnancy. To make the journey to Bethlehem, the video shows a search on Google maps to obtain directions from Nazareth to Bethlehem. As part of the map search, the user checks the box “Avoid Romans.” The video goes on to show Joseph tweeting his travel plans on Twitter, checking into a stable on Foursquare, buying a donkey and cow on Farmville and on his Facebook page, Joseph announces that the baby was born and uploads a photo of Jesus, creating a “Meet the Baby” event.

            Even the Three Wise Men get the social media treatment. They buy their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh on Amazon and then follow the Star of Bethlehem on Twitter, all the way to the stable. At the end of the Video is the message: “Times change, the feeling stays the same.” You can follow the story with this link:

Pastor Cheng Huat

December 2, 2012