Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Some thoughts...

achtung baby
Originally uploaded by mincaye.

A few random thoughts during service on Sunday (Tien and I agree that our thoughts are often on everything but the sermon; all sermons should be as short as those of the Roman Catholic masses for maximum impact, I'd say):

More on the marriage conspiracy! Pastor Vincent's sermon text was Genesis 1:1, 26-28 and 2:15-17. Just check them out.

(I wrote the following on the church bulletin, while reflecting on the ushers standing at the doors and by the aisles)

Even into church, we carry our burdens. It is folly to imagine church as a place of smiling faces and utter joy. So many stories must go untold, hidden beneath the beaming facade of ushers' faces.

For a moment, I recalled C.S. Lewis' words in The Screwtape Letters, in which the novice demon Wormwood is instructed to cultivate a holier-than-thou smugness in his human, an intolerance for people in church who don't appear 'churchy.'

Over the last few Lent meditations, I was particularly struck by Matthew 5:48 and Luke 6:36;

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

These verses reminded me of the call which echoes throughout the entire book of Leviticus:

Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.

And as I thought about that, I recalled God's words to Moses regarding the construction of the Tabernacle in the Exodus:

See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.

It dawned upon me that God is the ultimate pattern. The Tabernacle's 'pattern' was only a metaphor or foreshadow of the pattern of holiness that was to serve as the template for God's people.

And Jesus is the incarnation of that pattern. Perhaps Lent is about realigning ourselves to the pattern set forth by Christ: a pattern of truth, sacrifice, love and faith.

Speaking of which, Brian McLaren's article 'Found in Translation' is an excellent read on the contextualisation of the 'kingdom of God' in today's culture:

Read it here.

After dropping by school to observe the issuing of the SPM results, I met up with Tien, Ming and Mich for lunch at KLCC.

There were some intense moments in which we had to confront certain realities, and upon reaching home, I found my thoughts expressed in two songs from U2's Achtung Baby:

"...We're one
But we're not the same
We hurt each other
Then we do it again" (from 'One')

"And I'd join the movement
If there was one I could believe in
Yeah I'd break bread and wine
If there was a church I could receive in...

And I must be
An acrobat
To talk like this
And act like that..." (from 'Acrobat')

(Indeed, it's probably their most emotional album.)

Practised piano this morning. Scales in sixths are DIFFICULT! But pieces are fun, and it was nice to rediscover Richard Clayderman, since playing through 'Ballade Pour Adeline' at Li Ling's.

Later today, will attempt to prepare my essay for the IMPAC-Dublin Literary Award for Young Malaysians, write a long overdue piece for Pek Lean (former President of the Consumer Club; Li-Shia's predecessor), and do a little trigonometry.

Watching Capote with Li-Shia tomorrow, and hopefully V for Vendetta before the end of the holidays.

Lunch now.


Siedne said...

wah, Roman Catholic masses have shorter sermons than u guys?? i tot ours was long..how can u pat attn for so long? :s

Siedne said...


silentsoliloquy said...

Siedne: They're even longer in the Chinese house churches. ;) 3 or 4 hours apparently.

Ben: Movies.. aih, I've got two in my PC right now but no time to watch them.. argh.