Over the last month, we have been reflecting on the values of our church. We love Jesus, teach the Bible, build community and share the gospel. Today we come to our fifth and final value: we serve our city.
Our desire to bless the city of Hong Kong is borne out of the other values. We serve the city out of love for Jesus and obedience to His Word. We serve together as a community, and share the gospel in both word and deed.
In Jeremiah 29, the LORD says to His people in Babylon, ‘Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.’ We are to seek the Shalom – the peace and prosperity, wholeness and wellbeing – of the city where God has placed us.
As a church, we partner with different Christian organisations to reach the marginalised in our society – the elderly, poor and homeless, refugees and ethnic minorities, people with special needs and those in prison.
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to visit a hostel run by Kun Sun Association for former inmates who had recently been released and were adapting to life outside of prison. I must admit I felt a little nervous beforehand. Conscious of my sheltered upbringing, I wondered how I would relate to them but I need not have worried. As we sang of God’s love and forgiveness, I understood more deeply that we have far more in common than we are different. God’s grace is a great leveller.
As fellow human beings, we have all been made in God’s image with inherent dignity, value and worth. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and precious in God’s sight. But we are morally impoverished and spiritually bankrupt. Our sin alienates us from God and leaves us outside of His blessings. The same is true for all of us regardless of our age or background, ethnicity or life circumstances. All of us are in need of God’s grace. Wonderfully the gospel is the power of God that saves everyone who believes (Romans 1:16)!
Our mission partners share the good news of Jesus and provide practical care for people in need in Hong Kong. The Home of Loving Faithfulness is a residential home for people with special needs. Christian Action serves refugees and asylum seekers, whilst Inner City Ministries serve the Nepalese community here in Hong Kong. St Barnabas Home and Society provide food and practical help for the poor and homeless, and a team from our church visit elderly people who live alone.
There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer with our mission partners. Visit our website (standrews.org.hk/volunteer) or email Claudia (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out more. God has given us all different gifts to serve His people and bless our city. Let us prayerfully consider how we can each play our part. May we resolve afresh to love Jesus and His Word, build community, share the gospel and serve our city.