LET ME tell you a story about a famine in China.
Deep in the interior of China, far from the booming prosperity of the eastern coastal mega cities, a farming community suffered repeatedly from drought and famine. This caused widespread disease, suffering and death.
Many miles away in the comfort of his home, a businessman from Singapore receives a letter from a distant relative living in that famine area, asking for help.
How should he respond?
• The very least he could to do is to reply and encourage his relative to “endure the suffering”. But you can’t eat a letter when you are hungry!
• He could buy cartons of dried foodstuff and send them to his relative – that would be much better. That would be a much higher expression of love and concern. One can’t really expect him to do much more. But what happens after the food runs out?
• This is what he did. He took leave from his job and personally organised an expedition which included engineers, medical personnel and aid workers. Together they left the comfort and security of Singapore and went right into the disease and famine-stricken area bringing not only food and medicine supplies but also the engineering skills and equipment to construct irrigation channels and reservoirs to provide a long-term solution for the repeated cycles of drought. What an incredible expression of sacrificial love!
This story helps me understand what God has done for us on the very first Christmas day. We call this the miracle of the incarnation.
Almighty God left the glory, beauty, security and comfort of Heaven to enter our war-torn, diseased, wicked world – to be born a human being just like us – to save us from our sin and to help us restore this His kingdom of justice and peace.
He became like us – so that we might become like Him.
MMS Christmas and New Year Challenge
As we enter into another round of Christmas shopping and New Year resolutions – will you consider:
* Supporting one child ($30 a month) throughout 2008?
* Mobilising your cell group or church to support a national church planter and help him or her plant a new church?
(I will be happy to visit your cell group or speak with your missions committee to discuss possibilities with you – please email me at mms@ methodist.org.sg or call 6478-4818).
Christ came that first Christmas to bring His gospel of hope and salvation to the whole world. He offers us the privilege of sharing in His task.
May our Lord Jesus fill your life with so much Joy, Peace and Love that it overflows and blesses those around you.
Have a Blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with the abundance of Christ!
The Rev Dr Norman Wong is the Executive Director of the Methodist Missions Society.