The End and the Beginning

As the 2013 is approaching the end, I would like to write a reflection base on the sermon/meditation/testimony I heard yesterday in church. Yesterday’s service was slightly different as it was not purely a sermon only service (as usual). There was meditation by Vernon, testimony by Zhiwen and finally ending off with sermon by Ps David. The topic of yesterday’s discussion was “The End and the Beginning” based upon the text:

Ecclesiastes 7:1-14
1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. 2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. 5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. 6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity. 7 Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart. 8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. 9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. 10 Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this. 11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun. 12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it. 13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? 14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

This passage might sound depressing as the discussion is regarding the end/death which runs against the course of ending the year on a happy note. In actual reality, this passage speaks about the happiness of the end for Christians. As I sit there listening to the 3 speakers, the common message that speaks out is that Christians should look forward to the end. Like what Vernon has mentioned, we should perhaps enter the new year with the perspective of looking at the end rather than forming new year resolutions. This also brought to mind some new insights as to how I hope my 2014 would go. Verses 4 & 8 stands out strongly and succinctly summarizes up the whole idea behind the message.

I am also inspired by Zhiwen’s testimony of how he step out of his job in the army to swim against the current -> serving God. And I quote him – swimming against the current can sometimes be lonely and difficult. More importantly, we have to keep in mind that the end of this arduous swim is for God. This also made me think about how I can be like Zhiwen to serve God as much as I could. I really enjoy taking photos and I dont know how any of this will add up for God. Furthermore I also resonate slightly to what he has mentioned of having too many fingers in many pies. And I came to a conclusion that I should slowly start to focus my energies onto specific areas that would ultimately lead to the end.

Ps David sums up the whole sermon with something very important for me to take away as my 2013 has been devastating – Our life’s perspective should be oriented towards the end rather than looking back at the past. That is the only way for me to move on.

How should we live our lives in 2014?
I would want to live my life for God in 2014 and to serve Him to the maximum of my capability. Be it taking photos, playing the uke or helping in capacity that is within my means.

I will be signing up for catechism class with Zion Bishan to change my membership. I warmly welcome anybody to my church and you can message me if you would want to attend the service.

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