September 25, 2020
Dear TCCBC church family,
Greetings in the name of the Lord! Following the worship service last Sunday, a number of brothers and sisters responded to my sermon message over emails and phone calls. The responses have basically been positive, affirming that we are facing a spiritual battle during the pandemic, while some also shared observations of it contributing to the declining number of online viewers. I want to thank brothers and sisters for their love and concerns for the church. Here’s my one simple perspective. The number of online viewers is merely a superficial symptom. Instead, I am actually more concerned about how earnest and genuine we are in our worship.
Let me share a small matter with you. As you know, other than our English congregation using livestreaming for their online worship service, both the Cantonese and Mandarin worship contents are pre-recorded and scheduled for online broadcast. I do not have the knowledge of the worship content production process by Pastor Mak. I am simply sharing here on how I have been doing it myself. From writing up the sermon message, to reviewing it prior to recording, producing the sermon content, with occasional editing to complete the production, I have had opportunities to hear the sermon several times. Mrs. Lee, likewise, has also heard the sermon message before each Sunday since she assists me on the video recording. But we always stick with one principle, that is, we still join everyone together to worship our Lord on YouTube each Sunday! We do this with the hope that we can be united in the same spirit to worship God in one heart. It is also a special experience provided by God for me. When we gathered in the church before, I would be preaching while brothers and sisters listened. Now, I have another kind of surprise and gratitude in my heart when I am able to focus on hearing my own message.
Over the past six months, pastors from our three congregations were responsible for the sermon messages each week. I want to thank Pastor Daryl from the English congregation and Pastor Mak for the Cantonese congregation, for their faithful service in the Lord, enabling us to be fed by the spiritual food from God above through His abundant supply. I also invite brothers and sisters to remember God’s servants in your prayers, to allow us to first gain insights before God, be enlightened by Him, and to testify His gospel in our lives. I always believe that a well-grounded church would be willing to exalt the Bible, exalt Christ, exalt the cross of Jesus as a church. If we depart from God, and depart from His Word, the church not only becomes a mere empty shell, but is just another social gathering facility.
As mentioned in a poem by folk writer, Xiao Min, “O here we have the presence of God, here we have the Word of God! Here we have the anointing of the Holy Spirit, here we have a different heaven and earth!” I was touched by her poem, leading to a sense of returning to childhood days, longing to go with my play pals to that heaven and earth only we would know about, and joyously playing our favorite games there. Brothers and sisters of Tri-City Chinese Baptist Church, my longing is perhaps we too, can think about being in a different heaven and earth when we are able to gather for worship. For this is the special heaven and earth from God. It is the place we can meet God. Through His Word, we may perceive the mystery of God! Let us joyously come before Him for worship each Sunday!
Waiting upon our Lord prayerfully with you,
Pastor Job Lee, Senior Pastor
With fellow church leadership team