Today many Chinese families/homes will be having the traditional reunion dinner where family members will gather to have a meal together as a customary practice for centuries on the eve of Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year.
After a dark and dreary winter, spring festival is a welcomed event as freshness in the air is felt and revitalizing energy is anticipated. Animals hibernate and trees are bare in the winter; but when spring arrives, animals emerge from their hibernation and new leaves begin to appear on the branches of the trees. Truly spring brings into the scene a sense of new beginning and is accepted as symbolizing new life.
Gathering for a family reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve is a good tradition to observe for Chinese Christians. Our busy and hectic lives in Singapore often give us little time and scarce opportunity to meet as a family. Thus, we should gladly take this opportunity to have family meal together for family bonding as well as for the celebration of Chinese New Year.
As Christians, we should take note that while we celebrate Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, we should be careful that we do not participate in practices or activities that are non-biblical which are associated with superstition and do not have any cultural connotation. We may come across such situations if our family background is non-Christian.
Unfortunately, in Singapore, spring has no significance as we do not experience a four season climate. However, as we celebrate Chinese New Year (Chun Jie) it is good that we should be reminded of the spring or new life that we already have in Jesus Christ who has given his life to us on the cross at Calvary in order to save us from our sin.
We who believe in Jesus Christ and have accepted him as Lord and Saviour have this new life and have it to the full. Jesus said “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Not only is it life to the full, it is also eternal life that we are promised. It is a new life because it is a resurrected life. The apostle Peter tells us that God in his great mercy has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3) Christians are people who belong to God and are called born again because it is only through a new birth can they see the kingdom of God according to Jesus who told Nicodemus the need to be born of water and the Spirit. It is a spiritual birth that Jesus was talking about. (John 3:3) The apostle Paul tells us in a different way that having a new birth is like a new creation. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Naturally and biologically speaking, we did not choose to be born; it is our parents who brought us into the world. In a supernatural way and miraculously speaking, we are born again, not of our choice but the choice of God through his mercy and grace. Praise the Lord!
A new life in Christ means belonging to Jesus and following him. The demands of following Jesus are hard but we can be sure of his help through the Holy Spirit. It also means surrendering oneself to the control and leading of Jesus as we acknowledge the sovereignty of God. Our cell groups have just been reminded in our study of the first letter of the apostle Peter that as we have been chosen and have been given new birth into a living hope, we are to be self-controlled and be obedient children of the word of God. We are to be holy because God who has chosen us is holy.
We thank God for choosing us to receive his salvation, to be his children and to be members of the family of elect, the chosen one.
Dear friends of LPPC, if you have not come to know Jesus Christ as Lord, consider today as the new spring in your life. It will be a new beginning for you when you begin to walk with Jesus. ￼