On 17 October 2014, Friday, after a hectic week of projects and assignments, I made time to attend the second Nox Gaudii held at the Office of Young People (OYP) at Lorong Low Koon, Hougang. We attended the event with the friendly people from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) who picked us up from school.
It was my second time attending the event and the turnout was amazing, to see so many young people on a Friday night, praising and reflecting on the love and mercy of Jesus. The theme for the night was about falling in love with Jesus and to look at our own relationships in life. Relationships are always complicated and complex as they change from day to day. Sometimes, relationships come and go with the people around us and it is something that people struggle with which is the emotional baggage that comes with it.
The first segment of the event was the usual praise and worship to just put our burdens in front of Jesus and to know that he is there for us in our struggles, like having feelings of unworthiness or being broken in spirit. Jesus will always be our pillar of strength when people around us pass us by and do not seem to understand the things we are facing. Through praise and worship, we are letting Jesus take control and to know that his love is enough for us. It always amazes me that music can convey such a strong subtle message that is both comforting and empowering, I hear Jesus speaking to me through music!
After the praise and worship segment was the Living Room dialogue where members of OYP were invited to talk about their relationships in life and God’s presence in them. One aspect they covered was their relationships with family members. As we grow up, sometimes it can be hard to have a close relationship with the family as mindsets change and situations evolve. However, through prayer and acceptance of others, relationships do improve and things do get better in terms of communication. The family is God’s gift to us for guidance, love and support. Understanding and openness can help communication with family members and we can look to Jesus, Mary and Joseph to help make broken families whole and struggling marriages work again.
Fr Jude David, the guest speaker for the night, spoke about idols, obsession and loneliness in relationships. He preached about putting God first above everything else as God is the most important and he knows our needs,desires and weaknesses. Idols in relationships means worshiping a person or thing in life. Idols are known to bring a false sense of feeling and it leaves us unable to function properly without them. Fr Jude tells us to do away with these idols or it will drain the very lives out of us as persons. Obsession is also an ugly aspect that makes us sin and we become addicted. It is a catalyst that breaks down marriages and relationships where we lose trust in one another and the love once there is gone.
Loneliness is another aspect that people of the world struggle with the most as they find it difficult to be in a relationship or circumstances prevent them from being in a relationship. It is living in isolation that we begin to have negative thoughts about life and often we lose sight of Jesus as we are so caught up with our self bitterness and anger in our own situation. Jesus wants us to know that he loves us and he wants to know us through building that special relationship that is everlasting and permanent. The sad reality that Fr Jude tells us is of Catholics who separate after years of marriage and they find it hard to move on due to the guilt and sadness in their hearts. However, this aspect must still be shared as marriage is a very serious commitment and much preparation is needed for it.
Often in life, we do not say the things that we want to say to others for fear of judgment and rejection. But with Jesus, we can say these things to him and know that he will understand and listen with patience. Jesus has taught us about his great love and we can do so by loving the people around us, even those that we find so hard to love due to the hurt or pain that they may have inflicted on us. Through the people in life, the greatest joy that one can give to a person is about being in the company of the person and lending a listening ear. Jesus invites us to take this joy and love to also be with him in our faith journey in the many junctions of life.
I would like to end this post with two songs from the praise and worship session that we are able to place our fears in his hands , just be in his presence and we are broken no more. The two songs are “Here in Your Presence” by New Life Worship and “Brokenness Aside” by All Sons & Daughters; I know that Jesus is love and he wants us to know that we are his wonderful, beautiful and glorious creation. I continue to learn about Jesus and feel his presence in the many aspects in life where I am inspired to live out his will in being there for people and appreciate his great works of nature and animals.
God Bless! and Praise the Lord for his great works unto humanity!
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong