Tag Archives: christian leadership

9 February, Sunday – Go toward the light

9 February

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Isaiah 58:7-10

Thus says the Lord:
Share your bread with the hungry,
and shelter the homeless poor,
clothe the man you see to be naked
and do not turn from your own kin.
Then will your light shine like the dawn
and your wound be quickly healed over.
Your integrity will go before you
and the glory of the Lord behind you.
Cry, and the Lord will answer;
call, and he will say, ‘I am here.’
If you do away with the yoke,
the clenched fist, the wicked word,
if you give your bread to the hungry,
and relief to the oppressed,
your light will rise in the darkness,
and your shadows become like noon.
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1 Corinthians 2:1-5
When I came to you, brothers, it was not with any show of oratory or philosophy, but simply to tell you what God had guaranteed. During my stay with you, the only knowledge I claimed to have was about Jesus, and only about him as the crucified Christ. Far from relying on any power of my own, I came among you in great ‘fear and trembling’ and in my speeches and the sermons that I gave, there were none of the arguments that belong to philosophy; only a demonstration of the power of the Spirit. And I did this so that your faith should not depend on human philosophy but on the power of God.
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Mark 5:13-16
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled underfoot by men.
‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of men, so that, seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in heaven.’
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You are the light of the world.

The word ‘light’ features prominently in every reading today, even in the Responsorial Psalm and gospel acclamation. It is almost as if God wants all of us to know that no matter how deep we are in despair, how hopeless we feel in any situation we are in now, as long as we have faith in Him, there will always be light at the end of the tunnel.

We have just celebrated a new lunar year and all around us, things are not looking great. The Wuhan virus is spreading slowly and curtailing many activities (I spent the eve of Chinese New Year drafting communiques for staff and students) and it is a constant fight against a unseen enemy — one that knows no boundaries. The end of this week will see me leading worship for the first time at a retreat and I shared recently with my spiritual director that while I do not feel burdened nor worried, I am mindful of the spiritual attacks that may descend upon me.

At the same time, I have been entrusted with the ‘leadership’ of my music ministry, as part of renewal in our centre. I say ‘leadership’ because it is actually a group of 5 of us who have been put forward to drive change within my ministry and to also shape the next few years. It is a call that, while timely, brings with it many legacy issues that I will have to grapple with. I shared recently with the larger group that I truly know how St Peter felt when Christ asked him to step out into the rough water.

But the years in ministry (just slightly more than 8 now) have moulded me to know that God would never put me on too treacherous a path where I would falter. Yes, I am going to stumble and fall, but I know that He will always be there to pick me up, dust me off and set me on my way again. That is how I see my journey thus far and can see the light at the end of this new tunnel. What encourages me is the support that I have been getting from newer ministry members who are eager for change to occur. And over the years, I know for certain that nothing is going to happen without lots of prayer. This is the one thing that is going to empower me as I look ahead and walk forward in faith.

Brothers and sisters, we have each been entrusted with a mission by God to fulfil His plan for us on earth. Many of us are still discerning, some of us are blessed to have been able to hear His call in our hearts. One of my co-leaders shared at lunch today how she recently emerged from a year of distress, uncertainty and darkness into a new season filled with promise and fulfilment. And how leaning on His word and trusting in Him brought her to a new realisation of how much He loves us.

I encourage all of you to look for that sliver of light in the darkness of your situation now. Reach out to it and say to Him, “Father, I trust in your divine love for me. Plant in me the hope that will enable me to move forward in faith.”

(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)

Prayer: Father, we trust in your divine love for us. Plant in us the hope that will enable us to move forward in faith.

Thanksgiving: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.