Pastoral Perspectives

Uniquely True Way

Whenever I mention to my friends that I am serving in True Way Presbyterian Church near Queenstown MRT, they would usually respond, “Wah! Queenstown area lots of good food! You would be spoilt for choice! No need to be scared got nothing to eat!” And they would ramble on recommending places and food stalls which I could go to for good food.

I am sure many of us would come across in the papers about the ‘spats’ revolving about the origins of Chicken Rice, Hokkien Mee, Bak Chor Mee, Lor Mee, Mee Siam, Bak Kut Teh and Laksa, etc to name a few. It all began with the papers across the causeway laying claims that some of these well-loved local delicacies originated from Malaysia. Another neighbouring country joined in the food frenzy by laying some of these claims to their own country.

Of course, Singaporeans didn’t really take those claims lying down and started writing to our local papers to say that there were some dishes that are uniquely Singaporean – such as Satay Bee Hoon and Hokkien Mee, etc.

For the foodie like me, it does not really matter where all these delicious food come from lah! As long as it’s unique, cheap and good, we Singaporeans will travel ‘over the mountains and seas’ just to satisfy our taste buds right?

Closer to home and putting our love for good food aside, I begin to wonder if there is something uniquely True Way?

No, I am not referring to food choices here in Queenstown. But is there something we find unique here in our family in True Way? What are some unique things we can see among God’s people here in True Way? Our worship, fellowship, love for God’s Word, love for God’s people, to name a few? Do we see ourselves abounding in love for these things that I just mentioned?

In Ephesians, we discover that we were all chosen to be in Christ right from the beginning of time. That right from the beginning, God in his mercy, had chosen us, forgiven us, and saved us from the clutches of sin and condemnation. So, all of us in True Way have one thing in common – we were once sinners and now saved by God’s rich mercy in Christ. And this unity among God’s people is something that is unique.

And now that Christ has given all of us a ‘new flavour’ by taking away the old sinful nature in us, we ought to put away our old ways of selfishness, bitterness, anger, harsh words, etc. When we put away all these, another uniquely Christlike flavour will emerge – a flavour of kindness, tenderhearted and forgiveness just as how Christ has forgiven us. This Christlike flavour will then permeate the hearts of we believers so much that others can sense the sweet fragrance of Christ in our lives.

As a family here in True Way, whether we are young or old, husbands or wives, youths or young adults, or children, we are all united in Christ – in that He has chosen us, forgiven us and given us a new flavour. This new flavour in our lives is His spiritual blessing to each of us which ought to lead us to praise Him in all that we have and do in our lives.

We might ask ourselves, “But isn’t being forgiven and living a new life supposed to be a unique experience for every Christian? So why should it be just uniquely seen and experienced in True Way?”

The truth of the matter is we Christians can claim to be unique but do we actually live out our uniqueness as Christian brothers and sisters here in True Way? Do we see ourselves showing love to one another – forgiving and accepting one another, submitting to each other? Do we see ourselves mutually encouraging one another with God’s Word, ‘singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts and give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:19-21)?’

It’s not an easy thing to do as we always have the devil to contend with. He is always there to sow discord among God’s people and bring disunity to Christ’s church. But here is where being unique in Christ helps us to overcome the evil one – by learning God’s word so that we won’t be ‘tossed’ about in our faith, strengthening one another through encouragement and prayers, forgiving one another and giving praise to God through our worship.

What ingredients should we add to enhance this new flavour that Christ has given us? We could shake someone’s hand today at service and find out how their week has been. We could catch up with someone over tea fellowship and pray for one another. We could join a Discipleship Group to continue to grow in our faith in Christ. We could journey with others who might be going through an illness or a season of discouragement. We could prayerfully ask of the Lord to use the gifts He has given to each of us to serve the True Way community. We could be patient with our children each time they join us for our Sunday services. We could ‘forget about ourselves and magnify the Lord and worship Him’ as we sing praises to God with our loud voices. The list goes on …

Which Chicken Rice, Lor Mee or Mee Siam is the best and where it originated from does not matter because what matters is the taste. If someone can taste and see the uniqueness of Christ as we live out our new God given flavour, all glory be to God!

My dear brothers and sisters in True Way! By God’s grace, let us strive to do all the above so that we can be a family here that is Uniquely True Way.

Oh, by the way, I just found out that one of the Muslim stalls at Margaret Drive Food Centre dishes out Mee Rebus that is to die for! 

May this prayer be ours to pray for ourselves and for our family in True Way.

A Liturgy to Begin a Purposeful Gathering
“Every Moment Holy,” by Douglas McKelvey
Pages 115-117

And so we are gathered here, uniquely in all of history,
we particular people in this singular time and place.
Accomplish your purposes among us, O God.
Tune our hearts to the voice of your Spirit.
Wake us to be present to You
and to one another in these shared hours we are given.

For it is You, O Lord, who have so gathered us from our various places,
and You alone who know our hearts and our needs.
Among us are some who arrive anxious.
Some who are lonely.
Some who suffer pain or sorrow.
May we in our joys find grace to enter the sorrows of others.

Among us are some who arrive rejoicing,
hearts made light by good news, good health, glad anticipation.
May we in our sorrows find grace to embrace the joys of others.
Let us prize these moments and care for one another deeply, for each of us,
And our relationships to one another are precious and fleeting.

Breathe upon our gathering, O Spirit of God.
Grant each of us place to humbly receive and to faithfully serve,
that we might know in this brief gathering
a foretaste of that greater communion yet to come.

O Father, enlarge our hearts.
O Spirit, expand our vision.
O Christ, establish your kingdom among us.
Be at work even now, O Lord.
May Your will, in us, in these hours, be accomplished.