Eric S.Y. So, CGMB Overseas Partner - Hong Kong
We have entered the first quarter of a new year. The theme of the 2004 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is "My peace I give to you", which brings an important message to today's world Conflicts, wars, attacks, killing, protests and fighting are happening in nearly every part of the world, and horrible news can be heard nearly every day. We may not feel that we are in any danger at this moment–when we walk down the street, shop in the shops, travel and sleep, we won't worry whether we are safe or not. Yet, we cannot ignore the fact that more and more people are still suffering because there is no peace, and many problems can be found in this world.
There is a Chinese traditional saying, "Every family has its book of hardship." We people in Hong Kong are relatively lucky since we're living in a place that is stable, secure and well-protected. But, it doesn't mean we have no problems. We have viruses such as SARS and Bird Flu which not only affect our livelihood but also the livelihood in other parts of Asia--Thailand, Indonesia and Mainland China. These viruses bring extra trouble to the Asian people, especially the farmers. Regrettably, we must accept the fact that the invisible virus has become a new threat in life to the people of Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Southeast Asia.
Of course, political uncertainty is another big issue. In Hong Kong, conflicts between the democratic camp and Central government of China over the issues of full democracy and the interpretation of the Basic Law cannot be resolved in a short time. In Taiwan, protests and demonstrations of the KMT (Kuomingtang) and the PFP (People First Party) against the Presidential Election on March 20, 2004, have been polarizing the whole society.
Who does the Church of Hong Kong/East Asia say Jesus is in the present situation? Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me." (John 10:14) A good shepherd will give the sheep life, the fullness of life. (John 10:10) Many people today have life but don't have the fullness of life; for example, the jobless ones, the new arrivals from Mainland China, the domestic helpers from Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Sri Lanka, the asylum seekers and other underprivileged groups. Their lives are weak and no one strengthens; sick and no one heals; crippled and no one binds up; strayed and no one brings back. (Ezekiel 34:4) Indeed we can find many in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and other parts of Asia.
Who does the Church of Hong Kong/East Asia say Jesus is? We should pronounce the good news that Jesus is the good shepherd who cares for those who do not have the fullness of life. We tell them that Jesus will search for them and give them rest. The lost He will seek, the strayed He will bring back, the crippled He will bind up, the weak He will strengthen as it was promised in Ezekiel 34.
Though the world is still full of conflicts, struggles and division, Christians should determine to witness Jesus as the good shepherd for today's world by standing together, praying together, and working together. I believe with the spirit gift of God we shall be granted sufficient wisdom and strength from above and within to strive for the fullness of life for all in our time.