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Vicar’s write 3 January 2016

posted 03.01.2016

The famous theologian Karl Barth once advised the young theologians “to take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible." [The emphasis mine]

As we begin 2016, the world is preparing for unspectacular growth; or as some said “more of the same from recent years.” I am no economist and they are probably right from the impressive data they can rely on. Learning from Barth, I remember God had told Habakkuk “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” (Hab 1:5)

The bad news was real; the Babylonians were coming and when Nebuchadnezzar did, God’s Temple was destroyed and the nation exiled. The Babylonians were a godless and cruel people. Can such gloomy news bring any hope? Yet we have memorized Habakkuk 2:4 “the righteous shall live by his faith” and found assurance!

In the ESV, the footnote gave an alternative reading; instead of “faith” the word could also be translated as “faithfulness”. Whose faithfulness was Habakkuk talking about? Surely not his or Israel; it must be God’s! This is fascinating when we realized Paul quoted Hab 2:4 about our justification in Rom 1:17 and Gal 3:11. My righteousness and salvation is in God’s faithfulness more than mine!

2016 may be very challenging; but let us cling to God and His revealed word. The Bible is eternal and every word of the sovereign God will come to pass. We read the newspapers to pray but let us read the Word of God to shape and transform our mind. I commend to you our new SJC bulletin design and these new features:

  1.  “Week @ a Glance” contains Bible readings each day from the Morning Prayer. Events in SJC are in bullet points – a reminder for us and points of prayer.
  2.  The “Prayer Highlights” calls us to pray for the Diocese, St James’, the world and Singapore.
  3. Keep your 2-month calendar in your Bible and commit at least one verse of the Bible to memory.

Ps Siang Guan