“Exceeding joy” is still ours this Easter, Methodist Bishop reminds his flock
Salt&Light // April 6, 2020, 8:00 pm
"Wherever the Lord finds you this Easter, be His light and love to those around you," wrote Bishop Chong Ching Chung in an April 6 letter to the Methodist Church in Singapore. Screengrab from Aldersgate 2019 Invitation video.
Church offices may be closed during our nation’s “circuit-breaker” period of April 7 to May 4, but pastoral care will still be available, the Methodist Church in Singapore assured its members in a letter from Bishop Chong Chin Chung today (April 6).
Each of its 46 local churches can be contacted for urgent ministry.
Reiterating the Singapore government’s latest move to stop the spread of COVID-19, Bishop Chong urged cooperation from the MCS’ 44,000-strong congregation by:
- Suspending physical small and cell group meetings
- Staying home
- Observing good personal hygiene
He advocated the use of teleconferencing or even the simple telephone call, and called on the Church to continue to be God’s “light and love” in this coronavirus season: “Be the Samaritan to a neighbour in need,” he wrote, “perhaps one who struggles to leave their home to get groceries, or who cannot cook or fend for themselves.”
“It is at times like these that we need to come together on our knees before God to lament and petition and He will hear our cry.”
Highlighting the significance of Palm Sunday and Holy Week, he also brought to remembrance “how quickly the Jews turned from cheering Jesus in His triumphal entry to condemning Him to death on the Cross”, and said: “Let us not turn from Christ in betrayal but cling to Him instead in this hour of need.”
In his characteristically pastoral style, he counseled: “As you find yourself in the quietness of the additional time you have at hand, use it to reconnect to God.
“We so easily miss the company of friends during isolation and try to connect, but do we miss the companionship of Jesus and crave for Him?
“Have you a quiet corner in your home to stop to listen to His soft voice? It is at times like these that we need to come together on our knees before God to lament and petition and He will hear our cry.”
While reminding Methodists not to administer Holy Communion at home on their own, he noted that the Easter celebration would be quiet yet exceedingly joyful, “for we know and serve a Risen Saviour”.
“Wherever the Lord finds you this Easter, I keep you in my prayers as you keep me in yours.”