BLOWING THE 2nd TRUMPET – Call to Assemble
by the Rt. Rev. Datuk Ng Moon Hing
The instability of Malaysian politics and the Movement Control Order (MCO/CMCO/RMCO) has put our application of the creation of three new dioceses at a disadvantage. We need to pray and pray earnestly for God’s intervention and a breakthrough on this matter – for a stable, just, and fair government. It is not a flesh and blood issue but a spiritual one. We need to Call for an Assembly to Fast – to seek and plea for God’s mercy. The prophet in Joel 2:15-16 also plead to the people of Israel to return to the Lord when things become difficult: “Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders”. A strange feeling has come upon me that ‘Nothing will happen if we allow things to take its course’. There are obvious blockages and hindrances that only the Almighty can remove. Let us jointly cry to the Lord for His gracious generosity and mercy.
This year 2020, the diocese has entered its 50th Anniversary (1970 – 2020), which according to the biblical norm, is a Jubilee Year. We need to Call for an Assembly to Celebrate. It is the time when everything will start anew. The creation of three new dioceses is timely and supposedly essential for a new start and new adventure, otherwise, stagnation can easily set in. For Jubilee, the introduction of a new beginning and new aspiration for the same group of people will inevitably invite much vigour, stamina, and expectation. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted many quarters and economies including our diocesan finances and church worship. Quickly realising the potential effect on the diocesan finances, the church leadership acted to seek ways and means to look for alternate funds from members and friends. Many members responded positively, and I believe more will respond in a matter of time. During this period of challenges, the diocese did not shrink from her pastoral and evangelistic ministries and caring concerns. The Relief Emergency and Crisis Help (R.E.A.C.H.), a joint effort with Crest and Malaysian Care, has immediately sprung into action and bring aids to the needy and the less fortunate ones. Similar efforts, in at least 20 places throughout the diocese, were reaching many who have lost their jobs and without sufficient daily food and basic needs, including the villages and Orang Asli kampungs. Many Online services, Bible Studies, Webinars were streamed to the members in their homes. Pastoral care teams used modern technology to reach their members through phone, Whatsapp, Facebook, Gmail, Instagram, zoom, etc. I have received news of a good number of people received Christ through the Online services and virtual Pastoral Care ministry. Praise be to God. When the restriction is lifted, I believe it will be soon, there is every reason to celebrate with thanksgiving.
Let us believe that the God who has started a good work in us 200 plus years ago, beginning at the Chapel at Fort Cornwallis in Penang Island in 1805, will continue to lead us steadily toward His high calling. 50 years later in 1855 Rev Francis Thomas MacDougall became the first bishop of our region, the Bishop of Labuan; another 54 years later in 1909 the Diocese of Singapore was formed; another 61 years later the Diocese of West Malaysia was created in 1970. Now in 2020 and possibly beyond, we are working towards the preparation of the creation of three new dioceses, that is after we have satisfied all the necessary legal requirements. We will need to Call for an Assembly to be United for re-Creation. The Almighty God in His gracious timing will see to the realization of this, according to His Will.
The Call for an Assembly to Fast, Celebrate, and United for re-Creation will help drive the energy and stamina to an optimum level, especially after all the restrictions – face masking, social distancing, and hand sanitizing. This augurs well for praise and thanksgiving to God Almighty, diversification and deployment of resources, enhancement and wholesome focus, intentional mission, and discipleship development.
Let us continue to trust God and heed to His commands and pray earnestly.