The following is an extract of the sermon preached by the Most Revd Ng Moon Hing in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, yesterday (Monday) as he was installed as the Archbishop and Primate of South East Asia.
You can watch the full sermon (26m, 47s) on YouTube; and also the full service (2hr, 13m).
I wish to thank you all for making precious time and efforts to attend this Installation Service. May the good Lord bless you richly.
I have been asking myself what is the role of an Archbishop and Primate. When I clicked on to the Google, I found that it is the one who swings from tree to tree and loves bananas.
With the enormous geographical area and huge task attached to this profile, who in his right frame of mind would want a post like this? As I was reflecting on the Magnificat – the response of the little girl Mary to the angel Gabriel after she was told of the great responsibility for her to bear a child – the Son of God – “I am the Lord’s handmaid and may it be to me as you have said” was timely and superb. I immediately repeated the same as my response to the Lord’s call.
What does the Lord want for our Province?
Good foundation and resourceful leadership
In 2 Chronicles 32, in the challenging days of King Hezekiah with the impending attack by Sennacherib the Assyrian King, he made sure good foundations were laid and essential resources, especially food, water and weapons, were sustained and kept. He built up the broken walls, raise the towers and built another wall outside. (v5) Of course, he and Prophet Isaiah trusted God, prayed earnestly and cried to heaven to interfere. The story line told us that the plans of Sennacherib were frustrated and also brought about his demise.
We, too, need to build strong foundations in the word of God where orthodoxy in theology which should always couple with orthopraxy in Christian disciplines. We want to be firmed in the knowledge of the Word of God as well as having a translatable Word of God to human and kingdom needs. In short, we must be able to produce useful and relevant Christians for this world. Evangelism, Church Planting and Leadership Training are key words in this aspect.
Holy living and upright character
In 1 Peter 1, Apostle Peter reminded us to prepare our minds for action and to set our hope fully on the Grace of God, not conforming to the passions of the flesh but to holy living. You shall be holy, for I am holy. There is no easy or short-cut to this; the only possible track is a devoted and wholesome spiritual formation. It does not stop at daily devotion or quiet time, but it continues with the daily mindset and attitude towards life and livelihood in God’s presence. Peter called this a purification of our souls by the obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love from a pure heart. The holy life he is referring to is not the one which is – only good for heaven but with no earthly use.
Anointed and being filled by the Holy Spirit
The Gospel of John chapter 14 reminded us that we are not to move the mountain by our strength, skill and might. The Lord has given us the Holy Spirit and will be with us forever. He is there within us since the beginning of our walk with Him. How often we have encountered great difficulties when we tread alone, without the dependence of the Holy Spirit, and the little ants are like giant elephants. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and he will lead us into all truth.
True Disciples of Christ
All of the above points to one type of people commonly described by the New Testament i.e. – DISCIPLES – one with good biblical foundation, evangelistic, orthodoxy and orthopraxy, holy living, upright character, led by the Holy Spirit, love God and love man, etc.
The Diocese has embarked in a Discipleship drive since 2012. I believe the best way to plant churches and grow dioceses is to make disciples; the best way to counter extremism and terrorism is to make disciples; the best way to stay above water in the atmosphere of secularism, atheism and capitalism is to make disciples. There is no short cut to making disciples. It needs vision, planning, perseverance, love, passion, commitment, focus and finally the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
- Click here to read our profile of the new Archbishop.