Photo Credit: https://honeykidsasia.com/pink-dot-10-pink-fest-2018/
Speaker: Rev Joe Pang
Scriptures: John 3:16
Sermon Date: 14 Oct 2018
Savoring The Verse: Two Polars
We know this verse by heart. We may even know this song. But have we ever paused to savor this verse?
In this verse, we see a polarity being juxtaposed: perish vs eternal life.
Sometimes we find ourselves in these kinds of polarised decisions: to have or not to have; to go or not to go. It is not a question of which side is good and which side is bad, but how we strive for a balanced somewhere in-between to allow for the emergence of a new possibility.
Life In-Between Spaces: New Path, New Life
Oct to Nov is generally months for lgbt movements. And voices of the other polar is also rampant. We’re exhausted being pulled by these polarities. Yet, we should not overlook the significance of these polarized conditions: it is out of here, we see the emergence of Amplify, Pink Dot, BMCC, the LGBT church in Malaysia and the many Christian groups in China. If we are mindful of these polarized conditions, they often shed a new light where a new path and possibility can spring up.
Pink Dot began in 2009 in Singapore. In the past, people used to belittle Singapore by referring it as a “Little Red Dot” because it is so small. The term which was used to disparage the nation-state put on a new and empowering meaning when the Singaporeans proudly embraced themselves as “Pink Dot”. Jesus also liked turning a custom that was despised by others into a custom of worth: we see this is feet washing (John 13:14) and the good Samaritan. Nobody likes washing dirty feet, but after Jesus’ teaching, even the highest needs to perform feet washing on the smallest. Likewise is the good Samaritan: this group of people used to be despised as not pure, but Jesus empowered them, and now all Christians strive to be a Good Samaritan. Jesus gave these a new meaning. He embraced and empowered them. Jesus was ahead of his time and guided us to a new path, gave new life to otherwise polarized, difficult conditions/situations. Jesus turned shit into gold.
Have You Been Loved Enough by God?
Going back to our passage today, God love us all. Have you ever tasted this love? How does God love you? Even when we despise this little part of us, Jesus came and embraced. When we thought we could no longer go on, he said everything is possible. Jesus turns the impossible, the dirty, the despised, the shit, into its true worth. Has anyone of us experienced that?
It’s only when we sort out how we experience God and God’s love, would we be able to love ourselves. Do we only seek God in times of sadness and trials? If yes, then it is likely that ‘sadness and trial’ is also the only way we experience God’s love — we limit ourselves in how we experience God. We must be conscious of our choices. When we find ourselves in a polarized situation, please pause, and think of John 13:34. There are three relationships in loving one another: God loving us, we loving ourselves and we loving others. When we have enough love from God, we can love ourselves. It is only then, we can love the other.