24 May, Sunday — 60 Minutes

7th Sunday of Eastertide

Acts 1:12-14
1 Pet 4:13-16
Jn 17:1-11

“…the hour has come”

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. This is so true of many great men who have walked this earth. In politics, in sport, in art, in situations where a hero was needed. Then we have the unsung heroes — those who toil, who labour under the sun for a daily wage, the parent who works two, even three jobs just to provide for his/her children, the teacher who goes the extra mile for a student who needs help. And then there are the ones who lay their lives on the line, in the hospitals, on the frontlines of a war-torn country, battling natural disasters.

Here in Singapore, the COVID-19 situation has exposed something that has been overlooked for a long time. How could a first-world metropolis forget and neglect the labourers who have left their families, seeking a better life, yet treat them so shabbily? Now that cases have spiked among these foreign workers, our government has taken action because they recognise the duty of care we have to these sons, fathers, uncles and brothers who have sacrificed so much in pursuit of a better life.

For many of us, the problem may be so distant, we don’t feel any urge to offer anything other than a cursory sigh. Because we have our own crosses to bear, our own worries, our own distractions. Unlike Jesus, who sweated blood for us in the garden, who carried all our sins and more on his back, walked the road to His crucifixion and hung on the Cross for us. Who gave up His life for us in order to save us. He never shirked when the hour came for Him to proceed to his predestined fate.

Two nights ago, I found myself struggling under the weight of a project I had taken on for another ministry. While the struggle was more mental, I couldn’t help but tell myself, ‘This is the last time I am doing this for this bunch!’ Then I decided to step back and ask what the better alternative would have been. Unlike at work, where I know that what is delegated will come back fulfilled, there were too many variables to this ministry project that I was being my own ‘wet blanket’, simply because a planned deadline was approaching.

That is when I told myself to remove my ‘work’ hat and just be the guy who happens to know more about this process than everyone else. And carry the burden to a point where I could hand it over to someone else and not worry about the final outcome. Why? Because it is all in God’s hands. No matter how much I agonised, I would have to leave it in His hands to see the fulfilment of this Pentecost project. All I could do was to cheer, encourage, cajole and coach the others involved to deliver their video recordings.

So when is my ‘hour’ coming? When the finished product is uploaded onto the centre’s website. Then, like Jesus, I will entreat our heavenly Father to bless the outcome and to give me the strength and grace to carry on serving in his vineyard. Brothers and sisters, when was the last time you had to summon up all your courage and strength, only to find it may not be enough? That is when we have to press into the tiredness, the despair and the worry, in order for God to reveal His wisdom, strength, hope and love.  

(Today’s Oxygen by Desmond Soon)

Prayer: Lord, help us in our hour of need, when all seems lost, broken and hopeless, show us your way and the path to your glory in all those around us.

Thanksgiving:  We thank you dear Lord, for being our beacon of hope in these despairing times. We thank you for the gift of all those who sacrifice much for us.

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