Two Sundays ago, we were on the way to my sister-in-law's place for dinner when Dinah asked how I felt about the upcoming commissioning. This triggered a flashback. Memories started flooding my mind. I was brought back to 1996 when we discovered that Dinah was pregnant – with twins. We were going to be first-time parents. Everything was going to change. Just 1 month later, I was asked to serve as Senior Pastor of our former church. I had just turned 28. And this invitation came out of the blue. Everything was going to change for our church. After much prayer, my pregnant wife and I stepped into this assignment with fear and trembling. Looking back, God’s grace was on us as parents and for the ministry assignment.
http://benkclee.blogspot.com/2018/03/another-transition.html. Once again we were not expecting this – but it happened. Here is another perspective of the same story http://www.riverlife.org.sg/leadership-succession.
After 5-10 seconds of flashbacks, I answered Dinah - "I feel God’s grace again being invited to serve as Senior Pastor the second time." (The difference this time: Dinah is not pregnant and I am no longer 28.) The moment I replied was when I realised the date of the commissioning was 05/05. Right then it struck me that the number five is associated with grace and redemption. There were two fives on the date so double grace. That's what I told Dinah - double grace. She replied, “grace upon grace”. And so we both came to this Scripture.
"For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace" John 1:16 (ESV)
Today is 05/05. This morning I was commissioned by our elders and senior leaders to serve as Senior Pastor. Our outgoing Senior Pastor Lionel Goh was smiling radiantly. He has been very happy for quite a few months. In his final message today as our Senior Pastor, he smilingly said that he and I are the happiest persons present. He was certainly very happy. The emotion I felt leading up to this morning and this morning was not quite happiness but a range actually.
In my message as incoming Senior Pastor, I encouraged our people that when everything seems to be changing, Deuteronomy 31:2-3 (from Pastor Lionel's message) reminds us that God remains the same. He never changes. He is faithful, and that:
“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” John 1:16 (ESV)
With this assurance - I called our church to join hearts and walk together to prepare the Bride of Christ for the imminent return of the Bridegroom.