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From A Shepherd’s Heart (20 May)

By Ps Assoc. Ang Lee Luang
As we maintain a prayerful heart, let’s hear from one of our pastors today and reflect on God’s Word from them.

Dear Carmelites,

During this circuit breaker, I find myself missing many things I took for granted. I wonder if you feel the same.

I miss meeting over coffee.
I miss having lunch with friends.
I miss family gatherings and celebrations.
I miss the physical gathering of God’s people every Sunday worshipping together.
I miss having physical face-to-face conversations with people.
And I miss exercising in groups.

In short, I just miss face-to-face interaction and fellowship with people – particularly God’s people. Thank God that the church is not about a physical building and worship is not restricted to being in church. and that we can still worship together virtually as His gathered people each Sunday morning. I am thankful for this platform to be together and stay connected virtually. My point is that we have often taken the blessing of being able to come together for granted.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his classic book, “Life Together” reminds us how easily we forget that “the fellowship of Christian brethren is a gift of grace, a gift of the Kingdom of God that any day may be taken from us, that the time that still separates us from utter loneliness may be brief indeed.” And so it happened during this pandemic – this gracious gift of physical gathering and fellowship has been taken away from us. For how long? I do not know. But Lord-willing, I hope it is only temporary. While we may yearn to go back to pre-Covid-19 days, let’s make the best of the present situation and continue to worship with heartfelt thankfulness that at least we can virtually be together. Let us also be intentional to fellowship with one another through WhatsApp video, text, Zoom, or whatever platform you are comfortable to use. Whatsapp can now hold group video chats of up to 8 persons. This is good for small groups to meet, encourage and pray for one another. I used a WhatsApp video with my mentoring group of four. Two Saturdays ago, a Carmelite asked Cynthia and I if we could have a virtual meal together and talk. It is something neither of us have experienced before. But it was good, I must say, to be able to still fellowship together with a meal. Lol. Let us not isolate from one another and forsake meeting together at this time.

The writer of Hebrews tells us, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Heb 10:24-25).” The word “fellowship” (koinonia in Greek) expresses the idea of being together for mutual benefit. These verses give us two reasons that fellowship with other believers is important. Firstly, we are to express love to one another. Secondly, we challenge and encourage one another in doing good works. When we come together in fellowship, we learn, strengthen, support and build one another up. Fellow believers can help us stay committed to God, provide us what we need in difficult times, aid in our healing process, and encourage us to move forward in our Christian walk.

If you are not in fellowship with any believer, or if you know of someone who is alone or feeling isolated, may I encourage you to start reaching out to your fellow brother or sister? Give a video call, or organize a group video call and chat with a few Carmelites. Friends, why not give Terry Seow a call @ 9750 1195 and express your interest to be connected in Care Group fellowship? Ladies, join the Life with God Zoom Friday Fellowship to pray, share, care, and grow in Christ with others. Everyone is welcome to join a Mother & Son skill sharing session this Saturday 23 May at 2.30pm via Zoom. This is open to all ages and gender. You may sign up with me (Lee Luang @ 9452 9427). And do remember to join in on Sunday, 31st May, for our 53rd Church Anniversary worship online at 10 am. Tune in at 11.45 am for our 1st ever Zoom Carmel-wide Anniversary Celebration. Have a great week ahead! Keep in touch!

We welcome everyone for online & in-person worship services! No registration is needed starting 15 March 2022. Everyone’s well-being is important so if you are unwell, pls join us in the livestream worship service online at 9am. Stay safe & be well! Thank you for your cooperation!

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