Happy New Year

Posted · 1 Comment

Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Each day proclaim
the good news that he saves.
Publish his glorious deeds
among the nations.
Tell everyone about
the amazing things he does.
1 Chronicles 16:23-24

Our God, Our Church, Our City:
Love Beyond

When I was growing up, my mom took me to church every week. It was a fun time where I listened to stories, sang songs, and learnt about God. That’s where I met God. I heard the stories of creation. The battles of Joshua. The healings of Jesus. But it was only much later when I was struck with the realisation that although I knew God, he was not my God. I believed he created and existed, I believed he saved, I believed he resurrected. But one day he became my God. He was mine. And I loved him. And he loved me.

I’ve never been one to jump from church to church. When moving to a new city, it can be hard finding a church to settle in. You want to consider things like location, language, services available, doctrine, and of course, people. And what I discovered was, there is no perfect church. Even the cleanest, slickest, and most polished church is never as perfect once you get beneath the surface. At first that discouraged me. It made me wonder about this Christian life. Where was the community of perfect followers of Christ? Then I realised, the church is the perfect place for the imperfect. Being a follower of Christ means being saved by grace. Being part of the church means a chance to show grace. The same grace given to me is the same grace I could show to others. And so as I discovered the power of committing to a church – to a group of other believers – I discovered my own faith growing. My own relationship with God growing. I discovered that the church has a voice. It declares. It publishes. It announces. It sings the triumphant beauty of our God. And this — this is our church. This is my body. This is my family. This is my church.

I am not British. Not a day goes by where I don’t realise that I am not the same as the other people here. I am American. I am Chinese. But I also discovered that by holding on more to identity, I cared less and less about the people here. I see them but they are not my people. And that’s my problem. I see them as different. Not like me. And so they are not my responsibility. But God says love your neighbour. And who is my neighbour? The one in need. How can my heart be so hard? Am I not my brother’s keeper? If I don’t see this is as my city then I won’t invest in it. If I don’t see them as my neighbours then I won’t live in it. This is my city. These are my people. These are my neighbours.

And that is the BCEC’s call. To realise that this is our God, our Church, our City. And we are called to Love Beyond. Beyond our walls. Beyond our constraints. Beyond our abilities. To love as God loves. To love beyond.

Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.

One Response to "Happy New Year"
  1. Wing Yee Lo says:

    Hi bert, just want to say thanks for sharing this, you always say things that people can be afraid to say out loud or what people don’t think about. I will personally make sure I don’t just ‘know of God’ but make Him MY GOD! Take care and I thank Him for 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *