This week’s message is an Excerpt from Bishop Titus’ Synod Address on 11 Nov 2023.
Brothers and sisters-in-Christ, the peace of the Lord be with you.
Relationships are the glue that holds the church together.
And authentic and strong relationships are not built overnight – they need time to be developed,
tested, refined. For the Body to be united, we have to develop authentic relationships across all
facets within the church. Just as a net, made up of countless strings, is strengthened when more
and more strings are woven and knotted close together, so will we, as a Diocese, grow stronger as
we build stronger and more authentic relationships around us. And with the Lord leading, we will
grow stronger – within our parishes, area groups, Diocese, and the Province.
Jesus Christ is the perfect example of one who builds authentic relationships. Through the special
work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus built relationships centred on love. Certainly, we cannot talk about
authentic relationships without talking about love, in particular, the type of love that is articulated in
the New Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40). Jesus calls us to love God and to love our neighbour
as ourselves, so what is expected of us all (both clergymen and lay) is not to provide lip-service, but
to actually live out the love of God that we have received through our salvation in Jesus Christ.
We need to walk the talk, we cannot bury the one talent in the ground (Matthew 25:18), because
the love of God is the foundation of our relationships in church.
In less than 23 days’ time, we will enter the season of Advent. Let us remember that we are living
between the first and second coming of Jesus Christ. All of us have a mission, a mission that is
getting increasingly urgent – to fulfil The Great Commission, making disciples of all nations. As we
work toward strengthening our relationships within the church, let us not neglect the people outside
the church. People who have not heard about the gift that God has given through Christ, nor
experience the hope and love freely given by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Brothers and sisters-in-Christ, we are living in tumultuous times, unprecedented with many
unknowns. What happened recently in the Gaza Strip, without question, is indeed very painful and
tragic, likewise the Russian-Ukraine war. We are reminded of what our Lord has said in
Matthew 24:7-8: “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be
famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains”.
Trials and tribulations are signs of the end times and the 2nd coming of Christ. Trials and
tribulations are also meant to test and teach us (James 1), that we may find out if we are easily
disturbed and worried by the things of the world and forget the most important twin-teaching of
Jesus, which is the core of our faith, and what it means to be a Christian and a believer.
May I encourage us to continue to keep one another in prayer so that all of us will be steadfast in
loving God and will go beyond the walls of the church to where God has called us to serve.
In the Name of Christ. Amen.
The Rt Revd Dr Titus Chung
The Bishop of Singapore