The Mid-Autumn Festival (30 Sep 2012)

The Mid-Autumn Festival

To-day is the 15th day of the 8th Lunar Month, the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

This festival is a time of celebrating a bountiful harvest. It is associated with the legend of Hou Yi who shot down 9 suns when the earth was scorched because of the presence of 10 suns. As a reward for his heroic deeds, he married the Princess Chang E. When he later became emperor himself, he turned out to be a despot. He demanded that his subjects produce a pill that would give eternal life.

When the pill was produced, Chang E feared that this despot would live forever and his people would suffer. In haste, she popped the pill into her mouth and swallowed it. As a result, she floated all the way to the moon.

Mankind’s landings on the moon have of course proven that there is no Princess or other permanent life forms on the moon. This  fact  is not lost among the Chinese who continue to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is the time when the moon shines brightest.

Various poets have written in praise of the moon, and the occasion is also a great time of reunion with one’s family members.

A  sister Hsing Lin Tse wrote, “Though we see the full moon and a lesser one at different times of the month, the moon is actually always full. It is because different amounts of light are reflected back to us in different positions. Similarly in life, if we put aside the things that weigh us down, we can walk out of the shadows and enjoy life in its fullness and abundance.”

Hsing Lin Tse was a Christian who suffered from severe arthritis and was wheel-chair bound, but she rose above her condition and continued to enjoy a positive outlook.

When we look at the beautiful moon, and the even more beautiful earth, we are reminded of God’s wonderful creation. Thus the Festival can be a time of celebrating life with our family members and friends and of pointing them towards our great Creator, and our Saviour who can give us hope and a positive outlook and also real eternal life.

The young adults from our Chinese speaking congregation organized a steam-boat dinner yesterday and invited a number of pre-Christians. Let us pray that these friends will be drawn to receive salvation in the near future.

Elder Dr Ng Hwee Hin