A sermon preached at Kowloon Union Church on Sunday 9 October 2011 by the Rev. Phyllis Wong. The scripture readings that day were Psalm 121 and Philippians 4:4–7.
Dear God, May the Holy Spirit bless us to understand Your Word. Lead us God to experience your joy and peace through Christ. May Your Word of love empowers us to live a life with courage and hope. Amen.
Good morning. I am glad to see so many friends from the Wai Ji Christian Service. Every year, clients from different social service centers, their parents, volunteers and colleagues visited KUC, join hearts and minds together to worship God and share the loving time of fellowship. It is indeed a great moment. It is also a wonderful time for us to give thanks to God for what he has been done.
Wai Ji was set up by KUC in 1977 and became independent after several years. Wai Ji Sunday held in KUC every year is significant. The presence of service users reminds us of the church of her mission to serve the needy and the vulnerable in the community. The Church has to have a clear vision and mission to serve those who are weak and rejected by the society.
I am always impressed by the hymn presentations by the clients and bible reading. Although they have their limitations, learning something new is not as easy and quick, they do try their best. I see God’s wonder in their vulnerability.
From the smile and innocence of the mentally challenged people, I see how God’s love and grace dwell in them. In the eyes of God, everyone is unique and precious as human beings are created in his own holy image.
Wai Ji Christian Service has been developed steadily in the past thirty years. Beginning as a very small NGO, she has expanded her staff to 400 over thirty years.
We would not be surprised to see many clients served by Wai Ji and workers working in the agency have gone through ups and downs. But their presence every year in KUC demonstrates one important fact: by the grace of God, they made it!
They still gather together in the House of God to give thanks and praise to God, and to share the loving friendship with and in Christ.
There is a good news and a bad news in life. The bad news is we all encounter difficulty and problems. No one, no matter how strong you are, will be exempted from trials. The good news however is that there is a God who created the whole universe, is always there listening to us and helping us with his love and grace.
The psalmist shared with us a hopeful message from 121. Our help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. With a strong faith in God, the gracious Creator who will take care of us and protect us whenever we are in need, we will then take a bold step to seek help from him. We will also take a bold step to move on in life no matter how difficult it is.
Very often, we find it difficult to look up to God for help because of our pride and self-centerness. The clients of Wai Ji who have full trust in their family and care takers have inspired us an important lesson – to have trust to those who love and take care of us, and to seek help from them with a humble spirit and a thankful heart.
I love to see the smile of the clients. They are very innocent and pure. Jesus said, ‘bless are the pure in heart, for they will see God.’
In today’s scripture reading, apostle Paul delivered a message of joy and hope to the early church believers. He said,
“Rejoice in the Lord always; … don’t worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
A humble spirit and a thankful heart is the key for joy and peace. We seek help and acknowledge our limitations. We need help from God and others. We are not God and living in an isolated island.
I strongly believe that the physically and mentally challenged clients and their families have gone through many difficult times. But many of them do not give up and keep on with their lives. We have so much to learn from them.
Now I would like to invite Ms Wong Ms Wong, a family member of a Wai Ji client who received baptism a few months ago, shares her testimony with us.
Testimony by Ms Wong Yuen Wah: She is the sister of a service user in Tin King Center. He brother was baptized July last year. In the eyes of many people, mentally challenged people do not have good understanding of God. But in her experience and her observation of her brother, she finds that God’s steadfast love falls unto everyone regardless of their intelligence. In God, everyone is precious. Ms Wong feels very strongly God’s impartial love and great mercies to all his/her children.
After the testimony:
Thank you Ms Wong for her testimony. From what she shared, we are ensured how the love and grace of God bring joy and peace to his/her beloved children.
May the joy and peace of God dwell in them and continue to bless them to live a life in full happiness. May God bless you all.