A Word from Our Assistant Minister for Family Ministry and Young Adults

It is so nice to meet you all through this edition of Homevisitor. As this is the season of Advent, I would like to present a few thoughts on the season first and then briefly introduce myself in that light. Advent is the season before Christmas, and it is a time of preparation and waiting for the birth of Jesus. But we all know that Jesus was born 2000 and odd years ago; yet, during this season, we wait for that past historic moment. So, in a way, Advent is about waiting for that past event which has left a lasting impact on the manner in which we understand and experience God and God’s love.
That is not all. Going in line with the Christian tradition, during this season we anticipate the coming back of Christ. In whatever way it may happen, at the deepest of our hearts, what we anticipate for is a time when there will be no more pain and suffering, and for a time when all will see the beauty of God in its fullness and experience the love of God without any bounds. In that sense, during this season, we wait for a time in the future.
Although we wait for an event that had already happened, and also for a time in the future, we in fact wait in the present. We wait so expectantly in the now that our sense of reality is conditioned by that expectancy. Moreover, this sense of expectancy, being informed by the past and the future, transforms the present reality. That is what Advent is all about – it is not just about the past or future, but about the present that is informed by the past and the future.
As I look back and think about my spiritual journey, I can trace the three moments of Advent in my life as well. I have been raised in a family that held very strictly to what Jesus had done on the cross. Nothing else really seemed to matter, except the belief that Jesus is the Son of God and that he can forgive me from my sins and reconcile with God. At that time, my life and outlook were deeply rooted in only what God had done. That theology, thankfully, didn’t last for long. I went to a theological seminary and I started to see Christianity in a different light, and the church also seemed very different. After a few years of learning, I started feeling that the church has gotten everything wrong and that it has lost the ability to love people as they are. Soon, despite my intense love for Jesus and for the shocking love of God that is revealed in him, I had lost hope in the church. I kept waiting for a time in the future when God will set it right and make everything new. But that left me with a sense of meaninglessness in the present. What do I do here and now? What if the church is the pearl of great value that Jesus had been looking for, and was willing to sacrifice everything for? With a renewed sense of realization, I started my journey back to the church, and now, here I am at BMUC. What God has done in the past is important, so also is what God going to do in the future, but in the present moment, I have a role to play, and I am ready.
– Chai