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Dear COA Family,

Hope you all have been enjoying a blessed Chinese New Year fellowship with your family and loved ones this year – one that is so much less restricted than the Covid-affected celebrations of the previous years!

One favourite activity of Chinese New Year celebrations is the tossing of “Yu Sheng” or raw fish (with other ingredients). While the origin of this practice is not so clear, its purpose is clear. It is to wish or even call for blessings on those who participate in the tossing.

So, as Christians, what blessings should we be calling out for ourselves and others?

One favourite phrase for many is “Gong Xi Fa Cai” (prosperity and wealth), or in short “Huat ah!” Material wealth seems to be a very high priority among many families in Singapore. I recalled passing by a house and a huge inflated figure of the deity of wealth was displayed prominently on the driveway. This indicates how much many desire wealth.

Wealth is important to enable us to continue with our daily lives and as a form of saving and security for an uncertain future. The Lord understands our anxiety, which is why he assures us of his care and provision for our lives (Matthew 6:25-32). He also tells in Haggai and the psalms that all of the gold, silver and cattle on a thousand hills belong to him. He is able to supply all of our needs according to his riches in glory.

This is why we should not be focusing on wealth but on God who is the giver of all good things. He alone is our Rock and Provider, and our speech and actions should reflect our absolute and undivided trust in him.

It is also why I believe Christians should refrain from joining in to say “Huat ah!” But we can replace this with other scriptural blessings that God has intended for us – like wisdom, health and growth in knowledge, faith and love for others. These are higher blessings that will benefit us much more than money.

Remember to be generous in giving to others this season too as our Lord Jesus tells us, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

Have a blessed Chinese New Year!

Revd Ian