The Preacher shared how he grew up in a rubber estate during his young days where the Tamil community came in big numbers and cut down the jungles in order to plant rubber and to build roads and railways. Many died of tiredness, snake bites, malaria and elephantiasis. He related how at the age of 15 he got to know Christ after he joined the Young Christian students group and how he was liberated from the Caste System (untouchability) and superstitious belief. That was when he realised he had been created in the image and likeness of God and as a dignified person where he understood his purpose of life. He shared on when he had to stop for rest due to tiredness while cycling to school, to discuss and find solutions related to his family financial realities. In order to have savings he had to save some coins from his pocket money, give small loans to buy basic things etc. Presently, a full timer with the National Office for Human Development (NOHD) he had been involved in helping to set up, Credit Unions, Cooperatives (sharing profits with community), Income Generation projects etc. He worked with Plantation workers, squatter communities, small scale farmers, Orang Asli community, etc and focusing on the urban poor and even those who had difficulties running their small businesses.
John Wesley himself was renewed spiritually and he preached the Gospel of justification through faith in Jesus Christ. For the two main aspects of the Gospel we are to share the Love and Grace of God and practice personal holiness and social holiness. The preacher advised that we have to live a holy life i.e. by participating in the Spiritual disciplines such as community worship and Holy Communion in Church, Small Groups etc. We need to fulfil the Social Holiness obligation i.e. doing no harm and doing all good. An early example was of Mr. Wong Nai Siong who brought Christianity to Sibu of which was followed by Bishop Wane who continued his work through religion, education and agriculture. Then came James Hoover, the first missionary from U.S. to Sarawak who brought so many developments to Sibu town. He created history and modernised Sibu Town by pioneering a number of “firsts” in Sibu such as planting the first rubber seedlings, rice huller, agriculture school, bicycle and so on. The preacher briefly touched on the 6 categories of social principles from the Book of Discipline, one of which was “The Family and Marriage”. He also reminded that according to the Book of Discipline, it was recommended that the “Social Creed” be presented to our congregations orally or in printed form at least once a year, and that frequent references be made to it. So, are our Social Principles still relevant today?
According to the preacher, the month of September is the social concern month. Speaking on the topic “The LAW” taken from Micah 6:8, the preacher shared the meaning of the three letters of the acronym “LAW”. The acronym first letter “L” is to Love Tenderly. As in 1 John 3:18, “Let us not love in word or speech, but with actions and in truth”. Do parents spend quality time with their children? Do husband and wife know each other love language? As children we may have provided all the physical needs of our parents, but have we loved them tenderly by using the proper love languages? Secondly on the letter “A”, we are to Act justly. As a minister in the position of social responsibility and power, do we exercise the right to act justly? On the other hand are your workers receiving the good working condition that they deserved? (James 4:7). The last letter “W” is to Walk humbly. In doing so, do we walk humbly with our brothers and sisters in Christ for e.g. in our Small Groups? (Phil 2:3b)
Do we keep a record of our Church history? Looking back to our past history will remind us of our personal encounter with God. As in Deut 6:4 which say that “The Lord our God, the Lord is one”, we are to hear and do as God commanded. Every part of our weekend Church service is important. Deut 6:5 say we are to Love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength. This in effect reminds us to love God in Church and in our daily lives. Our attitude towards God’s Word can be meditating on His Word (Psalms 1:2) day and night and talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up (Deut 6:7b). We have a responsibility to impress God’s Word on our children (Deut 6:7a) such as saying Grace before meal times etc (Deut 6:8-9). So when we say we love God wholeheartedly are we serious to pass on and live out God’s Words?