Looking back at 2015, we have much to thank God for as a church family. We give thanks to God for blessing us with a beautiful venue where we can meet together to worship Him and sit under His Word. We give thanks that God has continued to sustain Living Praise to do the work of disciple-making and ministering to Kuo Chuan Primary School. We give thanks for the many new members of our church family who have come to know and be known by God and his people. If these praiselines were to contain all the thanks due to God, even a hundred pages would not suffice. Yet, as we marvel at the wonderful gifts God has given us, one gift stands head and shoulders above the rest. On the first Christmas, more than 2000 years ago, God gave us his Son, Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us. Our Sunday School had the privilege and joy of celebrating the incarnation of our Lord and Saviour during the Christmas Party held on 20 December 2015, reminding us that ‘from the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’ (Matthew 21:16). Indeed, Jesus is the Son of David, God’s promised King to whom we cry out, ‘Hosanna’!
And as the children learnt more about why Jesus is God’s greatest gift to us through the Christmas Party Treasure Hunt, many of them expressed their thanksgiving in writing. The children wrote simple birthday messages to Jesus to offer him praise and to encourage us to keep walking with him. Here are three of these messages, written by Jireh Kwek (Pri 3), Emily Chen (Pri 3) and Denise Tan (Pri 2).
Dear Jesus, thank you for coming down to earth even though you are God. Thank you for coming to serve us instead of us serving you. Happy Birthday! – Jireh
Dear Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for our sin. Thank you for coming down to earth to serve us instead of being served! – Emily
Dear Jesus, I would like to wish you Happy Birthday. I have learnt that you are the greatest gift. I think you are the greatest gift of all. I will treasure your love forever and ever. I want to wish you once again Happy Birthday. I love you! – Denise
The children’s notes remind us of Mark 10:45, which tells us that ‘even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’. Not only are we spared from punishment in Christ, we are lovingly accepted into God’s family and have hope of spending eternity with Him. This is only possible because Christ took the punishment we deserved, paying the ransom for our sins. Moreover, these notes remind us not just of Christ’s Work, but also his Person. We are reminded of the humility of our King reflected in Philippians 2:6-8, who though in very nature God, did not grasp hold of his place on the throne, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born as a man, and humbling himself through obedience to death on a cross. Many of us may be weary and battered in our Christian walk. It is the hope of our Sunday School that these simple, hope-filled and heartfelt words of praise to Jesus would renew in us the first love we had for Him. Indeed, let the ‘Amen’ sound from his people again!
As we venture into 2016, may God’s Word in Colossians 3:17 ring anew in our hearts: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Who knows what challenges and struggles lie ahead for us? Yet, as we cast our gaze upon our Risen king, let us persevere with confidence, holding on to his promise that he will be with us until the end of the Age. Let us look forward to that day when we will meet him face to face, and be filled with unspeakable joy for all eternity. Let us in one voice cry out to him with longing ‘Come, Lord Jesus’.