Rest and Reflections on the Sabbath

Based on a Singapore Mental Health study by IMH [1], 1 in 7 Singaporeans will experience mental health conditions in their lifetime, e.g. anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorders, addiction and personality disorders.

What is God’s advice for us? It is for this reason our sermons in November are themed “A Rhythm of Work and Rest.”

On 6 Nov, Dr Philip Satterthwaite spoke on the topic, “Created to Rest?”.  I would like to summarise his sermon in 4 words: Rest, Reflection, Redemption, Relationship.

If God who does not need to rest rested on the 7th day (Genesis 2:1-3), then we who are created in God’s image must rest.

How should we rest?  One of my habits is not to do office work on Sundays. It is often tempting to think that we need to be contactable for work 24/7.  This is usually not the case.

Reflecting on true, honourable, pure, lovely things is good for our mental health. On the contrary, Yahoo news, Channel News Asia and YouTube often barrage us with bad news. We have to discern what is good to know and what is not, as ingesting negative news overly will inevitably result in a negative mental health.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  (Philippians 4:8)

Reflection through readings, journaling and prayers are a good way to fill our minds with pure, lovely, commendable thoughts. I often spend my Sunday afternoons tending my soul by catching up on my readings. Reflection can also take place at our Sunday Services when we reflect on God’s redemptive work in us through the worship, holy communion and sermon.

Lastly, we can strengthen our relationships with family and our fellow Christians.  I always look forward to my family dinner, as well as Sunday lunches with church mates.

I am hopeful that as we recapture the Sabbath principle of Rest, Reflection, Redemption and Relationship, we can strengthen our mental resilience to be a blessing to our family as well as our BC family.


Deacon Alvin Fu

[1] 2016_Media Release_FINAL_upload.pdf