Reflections on National Day


IN CELEBRATING the 44th anniversary of becoming an independent nation, we give thanks to God for the marvellous way in which this island republic has been able to weather the many challenges that we have faced and successfully overcome. at Singapore has taken its place as one of the newly-developed nations blessed with considerable economic power and influence is an achievement from which we all can draw satisfaction.

Against this, we must ask ourselves whether our report card hides weaknesses that need to be identified and rectified. For example, we often hear of conduct that betrays a lack of consideration for others:

• Diners at hawker centres leaving behind a mess for someone else to clear up;

• Litterbugs, afraid of being fined for littering in Singapore, but are careless and thoughtless when they visit foreign countries;

• Bus and train commuters ignoring someone else who badly needs a seat they occupy;

• Well-to-do shoppers, affluent enough to purchase high-end goods, ignoring the shop assistant’s greetings with disdain;

• Mobile phone users conversing at the top of their voices, regardless of the feelings of others who might be irritated by their gratuitous performance;

• Households taking foreign workers for granted by taking advantage of them, or worse, ill-treating them.

The litany of embarrassing behaviour grows …

If we are to ask why they persist, and have almost become a sad social characteristic of ours, we would all be hard put to answer, often claiming innocence or inconvenience.

We can always find excuses for ourselves, but in all honesty, we have to ask ourselves whether we Christians are equally guilty. Do we really love our neighbour as ourselves; or do unbelievers show the kind of consideration for their fellow men that may be embarrassingly exemplary?

On the whole, we can do better: we owe a debt of sensitivity to people with whom we associate. e challenge for us in the year ahead is to show greater consideration for each one of them: in a word, to make a difference in growing a really gracious society. How will our report card read in 12 months’ time?


National Day Thanksgiving Service

THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES of Singapore (NCCS) will celebrate this year’s National Day with a special service at St Andrew’s Cathedral on Aug 17.

The service will begin at 7.45 pm and the speaker will be Archbishop John Chew of the Anglican Church. He is the President of the NCCS.

Each year, the NCCS will hold a special service in August to mark the Republic’s National Day and to give thanks to God for His blessings of peace and prosperity.
The service is usually attended by leaders and members of the Christian community and Members of Parliament.

The service is led by bishops and heads of the major denominations in Singapore. The order of service comprises anthems of praise, a short sermon and prayers for government leaders, for the peace and stability of the nation.