Weekly Reflection • 24 May

Weekly Reflections

How are you today? It is great to be back with you again. It is such a delight to warmly welcome you to this short time of learning together a truth from God’s Word.

The week had passed by so quickly that I hardly notice that is has been seven days since we last shared this time together. I pray that you had a good week. As for me, my week began with a day of retreat followed by two days of ministry conference. It was a good pause but not long enough to have a good break from the daily responsibilities of ministry.

Let us now pray together.

Prayer of the Week

Day of Pentecost [Last Sunday of Easter – also called Whitsunday]

O God, who taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Our Bible reading today is taken from 1 Corinthians 12:14-27.

Bible Reading

For the body is not one part, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has arranged the parts, each one of them in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one part, where would the body be? But now there are many parts, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again, the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

On the contrary, it is much truer that the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those parts of the body which we consider less honourable, on these we bestow greater honour, and our less presentable parts become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable parts have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honour to that part which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same care for one another. And if one part of the body suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if a part is honoured, all the parts rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it.


Who am I?

Have you ever wondered who you were? It is a deeply personal and important question. Have you ever looked into a mirror and see the person there and asked, “Who am I?” Who is this person I am looking at?” Bound up with this question of “who am I?” is also the question of “Am I happy with this person who is me?”

It is not unusual to ask such a question because we are intrinsically curious about our own selves and have an unquenchable thirst for contentment which brings about happiness. This is evident in all of us even when we were children. Haven’t we ever wished some other adults were our parents? Haven’t we ever wished that we belonged to another family which seems to be happier? Haven’t we ever wished that some other child was our sibling?

As we grow older, we wish we could be someone else who may look more handsome, prettier, has no freckles or has straight hair. We wish we didn’t look that fat, pale, ugly or short. How we wish we could be the other kid who had all the toys or had cool friends or from a richer family.

This comparison goes on as we grow up into adulthood. We are not quite sure of who were really are but we want to be someone else who seem to have it better than us – whatever the “better” is.

I have the same experience too. I grew up with one of my cousins who is two years older, and one class ahead of me in school. I seem to always live under his shadows in school leadership such as being a prefect, and school activities such as scouting. He always took the lead and I followed in his steps.

We went to theological studies in Singapore together. We were in the same class studying the same subjects for four years. He always gets straight “A+” or High Distinction for all his subject. As for me, I will hit the roof with joy if I can get a “B” or “Low Credit”. The two of us were ordained Deacons and Priests the same day.

He went off to Cambridge for his Master in Philosophy while I came to Australia for my MA. His Church grew to more than two thousand while mine was a few hundred. He was later made a Diocesan Bishop…. While I remain a simple priest.

Who am I ? Am I happy? Am I contented? Praise God, he moulded me for years with the wonderful truth of the passage we just read from 1 Corinthians 12.

We are who God had made us to be. Each of us is a lovely and vital member of His body. We are all different yet no one is more important, better, more desirable or favourable than the other. In fact, Paul says, “it is much truer that the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those parts of the body which we consider less honourable, on these we bestow greater honour, and our less presentable parts become much more presentable”

Each of us is made in the image of God. He made us with different capabilities and capacities. He made us all to look different but beautiful in His eyes. You are who you are because God had made you thus and placed you where He wants you to be in His body. Paul says that, But now God has arranged the parts, each one of them in the body, just as He desired.”

I know who I am and I am contented with who I am. I no longer compare and desire to be someone else or desire what others have that I do not. I am learning to be happy with myself because God in His wisdom and grace is happy to make me the way I am – even with all my imperfections and weaknesses. I will do my best to be what God wants me to be, where He wants me to be and doing what He wants me to do.

Surprisingly, I lately discovered that another person is admiring me for who I am and what I have. Serious? Yes, serious. Do not be surprised that someone somewhere would gladly fill your shoes if you discard them. Instead, give thanks to God for who you are and live to glorify and praise Him for He is your Creator who loves you.

Two Morning Collects

O Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank you with all our heart that you have brought us to the beginning of this day on which we will hear your holy gospel. Graciously preserve among us the light of your truth, and so direct and rule our hearts by your Holy Spirit, that we may never turn away from it, but remain steadfast in your Word, and finally, by your grace, receive salvation; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.[1]

Into your hands, O Lord, we commit ourselves this day. Give each of us a watchful, humble, and diligent spirit, that we may seek to know your will in all things, and when we know it, that we may perform it completely and gladly, to the honour and glory of your name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.[2]

 The Blessing

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.[3]

Thank you for sharing this time with me. Let me know how you are doing. I very much look forward to be with you again next week. In the meantime, do good. Love outrageously. Enjoy life. Praise God. Amen. Goodbye.

[1] Swedish Morning Prayer. Source: Freely modified from The Swedish Rite: a translation of “Handbok för svenska kyrkan” by Eric Esskildsen Yelverton, 1921, Prayer at Mattins, p. 3

[2] Watchful, Humble and Diligent Spirits Source: Gelasian Sacramentary. Source of this version: Freely modified from  Prayers of the Early Church,  ed.  J. Manning Potts,  The Upper Room, Nashville, Tennessee, © 1953 (Public domain in the U.S.)

[3] 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17