True Blessing: Chinese New Year Message 2021
On a normal Chinese New Year, much of the focus of our celebration is on acquiring blessing for ourselves and our family. The decorations, the songs, the Ang Pao’s, the Yi Sang, and even the greeting 恭喜发财 (Gong Xi Fa Chai) all revolve around this theme of receiving blessing. Even McDonald’s joins in offering its Prosperity Burger and Prosperity Sundae.
But for most of us, this is not a normal Chinese New Year. We’re unable to Balik Kampung. We’re unable to go out for Reunion Dinner. Some of us won’t be able to see our relatives at all. Instead, we continue to endure the restrictions of the Movement Control Order as Covid enters its second year. For those of us disconnected from our family this year, we may feel down and dispirited. It’s hard to celebrate, when those closest to us are not with us.
These times remind us that the greatest blessings in life are not material things. What matters most is not money or food, or houses or the latest gadgets, but relationships with those we love. All too often we forget this, neglecting relationships in the pursuit of money, career, and success. Sometimes, we think that the best way to love our children is to give them a good education and money to get ahead in life. Sometimes we think that the best way to love our parents is to pursue great achievements that will make them proud. It is all too easy to focus on stuff, instead of relationships. And sadly, we often only realize our mistake when it’s too late to put things right.
If relationships are what true blessing is about, the Bible tells us that the greatest blessing of all is relationship with the God made us. He created us in his image and blessed us with everything we enjoy. Our health and safety, our family and friends, our opportunities and intellect, and this beautiful world we inhabit are all blessings given by the God who loves us. But in our sin, too often in pursuing these blessings we fail to pursue the God who gave them. Like children who receive their parents blessings, but fail to love them in return. We deserve to lose God’s blessings, and face death and curse instead.
But the good news of the Bible is that God offers us the ultimate blessing: the blessing of forgiveness. God sent his son Jesus Christ, to live the perfect life we have not, and to die in our place. On the cross, Jesus took our sin and punishment on himself, so that we could be forgiven and restored to relationship with God. The Bible says in Psalm 32:1-2
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity(Psalm 32:1-2)
All who turn to Christ can receive this blessing of full forgiveness, a restored relationship with God, and eternal life. For all of us, weighed down by our guilt and burdened by our sin, what a wonderful blessing this is. We can have a fresh start with God!
May God bless you richly this Chinese New Year, with good health, long-life, and a loving family. But most of all, may you know the blessing of forgiveness and a restored relationship with God as you turn to Jesus Christ as your Saviour and King. God bless you this Chinese New Year.
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Originally from Australia, Tim came to know Christ as a child, before maturing in his faith during his university years. Tim now lives in Malaysia and serves as a Pastor at St George’s Anglican Church in Georgetown, Penang. Tim is married to Siew Mun and they have three children. Tim loves Malaysian food, the hot tropical weather, and is learning to speak BM and Mandarin! But most of all he loves Jesus, and is passionate about seeing people from all nations and all stages of life come to know Christ as their Lord and Saviour and joyfully live for his glory.
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