Reflections On National Day 2019
Updated: Aug 11, 2019
Chan Gin Kai
He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
Red and white, crescent and stars... We get imbued with pride and nostalgia when we see our national flag hanging from houses, fluttering on small sticks mounted on cars, and appearing just about everywhere we turn our heads.
The last 54 years since Singapore gained her independence, and her journey from third world to first is nothing short of a miracle. To various governments, economists and think tanks, Singapore is a model to imitate, a source of both admiration and envy. To us, Singapore is a home we love, but also a blessing we often take for granted. There is so much for us to be thankful for.
As I celebrate the birth of my earthly country, Singapore, I am reminded of my spiritual kingdom, the Central Christian Church. They’re both my home and my family; they’re where I’m born in, where I’ve grown up, and hopefully where I’ll grow old. They’re where I’ve created so many fond memories and where I hope to create many more still.
In many ways, the story of our church mirrors that of our country, a small island nation that punches above its weight. The church started with a small rag tag bunch of disciples, with more zeal than knowledge, and more dreams than experience. Yet in just three decades, God has allowed us to touch and transform the lives of thousands. We have stretched beyond our shores to our neighbouring countries, impacting the lives of many through the message of the gospel, and the imitation of Christ’s love.
Like our country, our church has been through difficult times and emerged stronger. We've faced persecutions, envious eyes that felt threatened by our evangelistic fervour. We've faced struggles from within too. We traded passion for processes, efficiency for empathy, and Christ for convenience. We allowed complacency to set in and commitment to move out. But despite our struggles and mistakes, God never took his loving eyes off us. Through His Spirit, we’re shown how we’ve strayed, and are guided back each time.
Like Singapore, a nation in transition, our church looks at the rise of our new generation with excitement and trepidation. In both country and church, we were blessed with pioneers who sacrificed so much to build what we hold dear today. While we won’t stop serving the home we love, we’re cognisant of the fact that the future is in the hands of the next generation. We hope we've nurtured the new generation in church into Christ-loving individuals. And we hope our faith does not dim even as we try to fan their dreams into flames.
Come National Day, we will all stand tall and lift our heads high as we recite our Pledge with pride. Let's follow that by bending our knees, and bowing our heads as we pray to God with humility. Let us gratefully thank Him for how He has blessed our country and our church over the past decades, and seek His strength as we look bravely into the future.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. In church, he serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry. He describes himself as "just a sinner who wants to get right with God".