Bishop’s Holy Week & Easter Greetings Holy Week & Easter greetings to you sisters and brothers in Christ! Shalom !
We Malaysians and the people of the world will not be able to forget the year 2020, not because Malaysia had yet to become a developed nation according to Vision 2020, but it was also a year filled with new, exceptional happenings as new challenges arose from the threat of the COVID-19 Pandemic. That tiny invisible virus turned our visible lives upside down. Many have experienced losses in lives, jobs, and works. Losses of income, food and provisions, physical health, losses of loved-ones, losses of study opportunities and not being able to go to schools, colleges or universities. In addition, they also lost the ability of connecting to the world virtually due to poor internet services. Without proper equipment and gadgets, many are not able to attend classes online, not being able to participate in worship services, prayer meetings, fellowships, equipping classes as well as Easter, Christmas and New Year celebrations.
New Orders & Norms: We have experienced being fully or partially locked down at home, perhaps even away and separated from family members under the many versions of Movement Control Orders (MCO, CMCO, RMCO, EMCO, TEMCO) to an extent that we might have felt anxious, confused, lost, down, uncertain, and depressed at times! Our daily living, travelling, studying, working, shopping, entertainment, eating, washing, cleaning, worshipping, and gatherings are filled with SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures).
In Mark 16:1-8, the disciples experienced losses and despair after the Lord Jesus Christ had been captured and ill-treated by enemies from both religious and secular authorities. Jesus was persecuted terribly, tortured unfairly, punished rudely and crucified unjustly on the Cross. He died and was buried.
No Expectation (Mark 16: 1-4): The followers of Jesus followed the traditions and common practices of their society: “1When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll
the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” 4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.” The disciples never expected any extraordinary things to happen, and were just paying their respects to the dead after three days of death.
Natural Reaction (Mark 16:5): When the followers of Jesus entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. The word ‘Alarmed (NIV/ NKJV/ NLT)/ shocked (NLT)/ Amazed (NASB)/ Astonished (The
Message)/ Amazed & Bewildered (Amplified Bible)’ have a similar
meaning. When they experienced something unnatural, their natural
reaction was to be afraid/ unbelieving or even ‘shocked’. This is a very natural reaction for ordinary people.
New Explanation (Mark 16:6): The angel responded to the shocked
believers, “ “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.” They received a new explanation on the very purpose of what had happened to Jesus and His resurrection from the dead, His authority over the dead and overcoming the last enemy of human beings.
Next Mission (Mark 16:7-8): Then they were sent out for their next mission in life, “ 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” They had never expected such a mission in life. Despite still being afraid of what they had experienced, their despair will soon be turned into hope, their sorrow will soon be filled with joy, their uncertainty will soon be filled with the certainty of purpose in life.
Although we are in the face of the threat of the COVID-19 virus and
pandemic, we should also be reminded that with the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour we should be filed with hope. Similar to all of us in Malaysia & the world, during this COVID-19 Pandemic, our reasonable expectation will be the efficacy and availability of the Vaccine for everyone in Malaysia & the world and that no one will be left out so that everyone will be safe. On top of that, may all of us experience the same Hope that was brought by Christ to the followers in the first century until today. In turn, we will
bring this Hope and Mission to the world until His Second Coming!
New Season with New Normal: As in Ecclesiastes 3: 1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” (NIV) As we step into this ‘new season’ of life, filled with new ways of living or ‘new norms’, despite life being riddled with
uncertainties and challenges, fear, anxieties that have crept into minds unknowingly, yet, we are not walking alone. Hold on to the Peace, Love and Hope of Christ to us. He came to the world for us, He Sacrificed Himself for us on the Cross, He Died for us, and Resurrected for us.
May the God Emmanuel be with us always and the may the Risen Christ grant us His Peace! Blessed Easter to you and family! Amen!
我们身为马来西亚人及世人 将不会忘 记 2020 年，不是单单因为马来西亚 在依据 2020年的展望理当成 为已发展的国家，而是因为这一年 新冠肺炎Covid 19) 疫情 带来许多意想不到的挑战及威胁。那看不见的病毒已将看得见的生活颠倒过来，许多人 失去生命、失业、 失去 谋生的能力、 失去日常食物的供 应、失去健康、失去亲人、失去升学的机会、无法正常上学，有些甚至由于网络服务的落后而无法在线 上与世界连接，许多 因 为 没有适当的 设备 而无法参加 线上的教
学、无法参加线上的崇拜、祷告会、团契、装备课程 、复活节、 圣 诞节、新年庆典 等。
新的次序及规范 (New Orders Norms)
我 们曾经 被逼待在家里， 经历完全或部分的封 锁，在各类的行动管制 令下（行动管制令、有条件行管令、复原行管令、 加 强行管令、针对性 的加 强行管令 ）可能甚至与家人的分开，因此 时会感到忧虑、困惑、失落、彷徨、不确定及忧郁！我们每天的生活、出入、学业、工作、购物、娱乐、饮食、清洁、崇拜、聚会等都须遵守 SOP 标准操作程序）。
在马可福音 16:1-8, 门徒也有类似的经验，因为主耶稣基督被宗教领袖及属世当局拘捕及虐待后，他们经历了失落及绝望，耶稣遭到严重的逼迫、不公平的虐待、粗暴的惩罚、被钉死在十字架上并且被埋葬。
没有期望与期待（No Expectation, 马可福音 16 14 ）：耶 稣的跟随者按照传统及社会一般的做法 1 过了安息日、抹大拉的马利亚、和雅各的母亲马利亚、并撒罗米、买了香膏、要去膏耶稣的身体。 2七日的第一日清早、出太阳的时候、他们来到坟墓那里。 3 彼此 说、谁给我们把石头从墓门滚开呢 4 那石 头原来很大、他们抬头一看、却见石头已经滚开了。 他 们没有想到会经历不寻常的事，只是 想要追悼死了三天的耶 稣。
正常反应（ Normal Reactions, 马可福音 16 5 当耶 稣的门徒走入坟墓时 见到一位穿着白袍的年轻人坐在右边，他们很惊慌 。 这个字 惊慌 Alarmed (NIV/NKJV/ 惊讶 s hocked ( 惊奇Amazed ( 震惊 Astonished (The Message) 惊奇及迷惑 Amazed Bewildered (Amplified Bible) 都是描述当他们经历不寻常事时的正常反应，表示害怕 难以 相信或 惊讶 这是正常人的自然反应。
新的诠释（ New Ex planation, 马可福音 16 ）：天使 对惊讶 的信徒 说 不要惊恐，你 们寻找那钉十字架的拿撒勒人耶稣，他已经复活了！不在这里，请看安放他的地方。 他 们对耶稣所遭受的事及祂从死里复活的目的领受了新的诠释，祂掌管死权以及 胜过人类最后的仇敌。
接下来的使命（Next Mission, 马可福音 16 7 8他 们被差遣履行接下来的使命， 7 你 们可以去告诉他的门徒和彼得说， 他在你 们以先往加利利去，在那里你们要见他，正如他从前所告诉你们的。 他们尽管仍然对所经历的感到 害怕也从没想 过会领受如此的使命 ，他 们的绝望即将转为 盼望、他 们的哀伤即将转为喜乐、他们的彷徨即将转为充满目标 的生命。
虽然我们正经历那看不到的 COVID 19 病毒及疫情的威 胁 让主耶稣基督的复活提醒我们 ，我 们是 大有盼望的。在 COVID 19 疫情期 间，对所有的马来西亚人及世人 来 说 ，理当期盼有个 对抗病毒有效的疫苗并且每人都有机会接种， 使得所有人都能安全；除此之外，愿每个人都能 经历基督赐给所有从第一世纪到今天跟随祂的人的盼望，我们也 要将此盼望及使命 带到世界直到祂第二次再来！
新的季节新的规范 New Season with New Normal 传道书 3: 1 凡事都有定期，天下万 务都有定时 。 当我 们步入生命中 新的季 节 ””，充 满新的生活方式或 新的 规范 尽管生活充满不确定性和挑战 、害怕、不自 觉的忧虑，我们不是孤单的，紧紧抓住基督的平安、爱及盼望，祂因着我们来到世上、祂因着我们死在十字架上 、祂因着我们受死并复活。