Community and clique - part two

Camp was coming up, and I couldn't help but feel cautious, rather than excited, about the whole event. A bit of background.

Same time last year, in the same seaside town, we drove up for a day trip to the same camp. Having not seen many people for months, or years even, there was this awkward situation of not being "new" (and triggering people's welcoming newcomers alert) but not "old" enough to have anyone to talk to either. I noticed a few people I hadn't met before playing pool, sitting in trios at meals, separate from the rest. Said hi, because I love pool and didn't care who I played against. Not really. Because noticing and acknowledging people, even when you feel like passing them by, is the only way to begin showing godly love. Because particularly in fellowship, love is more important than fitting in with the "culture" of the group, or seeking out popular people so that I can be connected with the "in" crowd.

I didn't know what we had in common any more than anyone else. In fact, I couldn't remember their names for ages, or tell one apart from another. I didn't know how to talk to them, not being able to understand or be understood completely in English. At the same camp this year, I reflected and remember how our friendships have grown. Earlier this year, one shared with me how he was really searching at that time last year, and believed in God shortly after. The two I'm thinking of are eager to grow in God's word, sharing it with friends and family because they care, and are some of the most genuine, helpful and loving Christians I know. Plus some of the best KTV buddies. I reflect, and realise again (as I first did in Singapore), that it's my blessing to have said hi instead of walking away.

April this year. This is not really about community or cliques, but love. I was surprised, in a bad way, at how both in the girl's and guy's cabins, there was a mad scramble for the limited beds available. Literally running for one, or saying blatantly, I was here first, I'm not going to sleep on the floor. How old are we again? And more disappointingly still, this was between sermons where we heard of Christ's love for us, how he lived, suffered, and died for us. Can't we, even starting there and there for a few days, live likewise in serving others? But I suppose it's hard, I struggled to not do the very things I hated in others.

Anyway, back to the starting topic. This time, was better than I anticipated. Teaching was clear, as usual. Discussions were meaningful rather than routine. People made an effort with my friend, my sister. I was encouraged by finding others who were there to build a fellowship, rather than build a comfortable social circle.

I hope that we, myself included, are not just growing in knowledge each time we come together to study the Word, but can learn also, to respond in love and service towards each other, knowing how Jesus came to love and serve us. Which is (if you don't read Chinese) the idea of the chorus.

祢的爱



祢创造宇宙万物,统管一切所有
但祢却关心我的需要,了解我的感受
祢手铺陈天上云彩,打造永恒国度
但这双手却甘心为我,忍受彻骨钉伤苦痛
祢公义审判万民,圣洁光照全地
但祢却一再赐恩典,一再施怜悯
给我机会回转向祢

祢的爱如此温柔,超乎我心所想
这样大有能力的主,竟捧我在手掌心上
祢的爱如此深切,我知我无以报答
但愿倒空我的生命,学习祢谦卑的样式
背起我自己的十字架 

祢创造宇宙万物,统管一切所有
但祢却关心我的需要,了解我的感受
祢手铺陈天上云彩,打造永恒国度
但这双手却甘心为我,忍受彻骨钉伤苦痛
祢公义审判万民,圣洁光照全地
但祢却一再赐恩典,一再施怜悯
给我机会回转向祢

2 comments:

joseph said...

glad to see someone share a similar passion!
by the way you sure know some old Chinese hymns :)

Winnie said...

Hey, I thought that song by Streams of Praise was relatively modern compared to some older Chinese hymns we used to sing at church!

 

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