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Sermon Reflection - Jesus: The Better Shepherd

Posted by Wendy ML Tan on

Shepherd of my soul I give You full control, Wherever You may lead I will follow. I have made the choice to listen for Your voice, Wherever You may lead I will go.
(Martin Nystrom, lyricist)

Realizing that I would be on writing duty for the weekend, I hummed to the melody of this song for a whole week. It has been more than two months since I last wrote an Ignite reflection piece, and I wondered what new stories I would share. On Sunday evening, as I took a drive around my vicinity, God identified for me some of the recent events in my life. Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, has been constantly filling in the canvas of my life’s tapestry. These are some of the stories that gave me the opportunity to learn how to love like Christ and a dedication to the people who inspire me to lead like Christ.

Let me start with what’s about to happen this week. My mama will undergo a surgery this Thursday. It has been a year since the first postponement when she was so afraid to go for the surgery that her doctor backed out. “She’s not ready.” To get my mama to the point where she was confident to go forth with a new surgery date, was an answered prayer that God would provide the right people to talk to her about their personal experiences in having similar health concerns. Their prayer and care gave her the boost to trust wholeheartedly in God’s hand. For myself, though I tried as much to appear strong in front of my family, I would feel numbed internally. Behind closed doors, over Zoom and Whatsapp, I have shared with close friends and multiple groups of people (classmates, bible study group, Ignite team, and core groups) about her. Each time that I talked about the impending surgery, these groups would immediately pause ongoing discussions to say a prayer for my family. I am so grateful for this love that is poured out by our church community. 

I cannot share about marriage experiences as I have not tied the knot nor said a vow at a wedding. I did however have my heart shattered before and as I take a glance at the years that have gone by, I am so glad that Pastor Chris broached the matter that marriages should be regarded with sacredness and honour. For the younger generation reading this, take heed of what the Bible says and take care that you will not end up with pain, guilt and regrets that can mar your heart and life.

Though single, I am nonetheless content to have Christ as my walking partner in life. If He so desires to plant someone new in my life, then I would consider His redirection. After all, life is not static. There will be surprises and there will be shocks. It has been over a year now since my (somewhat expected but still shocking) retrenchment. I am content that I still have a roof over my head, food on the table, and a retrenchment package, though not much that has allowed me the privilege to do things that I did not have the time nor courage to do before, including attending art and craft workshops, baking and cooking classes as well as furthering my studies. In this one year, I was able to experience rest. Rest from the marketplace, and more importantly, rest in Christ.

Learning to love myself and others did not come easy for me. Knowing that God is love and that He commands us to love was very much a mere head knowledge to me. I could spell it out to you but I would not have expressed it genuinely nor naturally. I eventually learned to love, and also to lead, through the lives of others.

So here, I would like to express my gratitude to the leaders under the PJS1 and PJS3 zones whom I have been given the opportunity as a cell leader to sit in with during core groups and sub-zone meetings. By way of your conduct and speech, the sharing of real life struggles and testimonies, the implementation of your cell group’s ImpactNow and internal projects, your humbleness to lean on and have faith in trusting God in all circumstances - you embody what it is to live life with integrity, by the Word of God, with a clear accountability to Him. Your servant hearts inspire me to be a better leader.

Just as you follow after Christ, so too shall I follow after our Great Shepherd.