National Day 2023 Theme: Onward As One

We are approaching our beloved country’s 58th birthday. The theme for this year – ‘Onward As One’ is relevant to our Christian community.

As a nation, we are called to rally together and forge forward as one united people. There are many situations from within and without that can derail us.

For us, this theme quickly draws our attention to the hymn – ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’  One of the stanzas likens us to a mighty army, undivided and moving forward victoriously.

Christians are described as soldiers in Scripture. Paul wrote, ‘Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.’ (2 Tim 2: 3-4).

Three brief lessons:

Firstly, be prepared to ‘suffer’ for Christ. At whatever age bracket we are in, be it Pioneer, Merdeka or Strawberry, etc, may we all be ready to go the 2nd mile for Jesus.

Secondly, do not get entangled.  For Paul, his prayer was , ‘. . . one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’  (Phil 2:13-14).

Thirdly, to please God. Jesus our Lord grew in stature and in favour with God and men. (Lk 2:52).  While we are to live favourably with men, we are not to be men-pleasers and  compromise our Christian values.  We need to be God-pleasers (Gal 1:10, etc).

Happy National Day,

Richard Lai