Ascension Thursday: Always Alive in Jesus!

 

Autumn breeze. The depiction of autumn holds certain fragility when the leaves wither and die. Though it might be the best season for that holiday or evening stroll through the park, to see the different colored faded leaves scattered on the ground, it tells of a deeper meaning. This past week we saw the passing of Roger Moore, but more so, news broke of the sudden passing of Chris Cornell and Autumn Snyder and though I do not know them, their stories are very much relatable in terms of juggling their personal struggles and creative contributions.

One was a multi-talented musician, the other was a writer. During my childhood, I did not get the chance to learn a musical instrument, but later I discovered the special gift of writing. It was nothing out of the ordinary but I am amazed that a 20 year old teenager like Autumn Snyder had created a Write-A-Thon that will benefit so many people. Autumn is the daughter of Zack Snyder who is a prominent comic book film writer and director.

There was this paragraph in an article that resonated with me,“The thought of his daughter’s writing prompts Zack to recall another memory. Autumn had a quote that she included in everything she wrote. (“Every. Single. Thing,” chuckles Zack.) It’s from author Chuck Palahniuk: “We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”

In the same vein as her father, she organized a fundraiser where she wrote a short novel to benefit homeless pregnant women and their children in California. She said,“Writing is very important to me. It is my way of speaking. I have been doing it for many years quietly, but now have decided to use my passion for writing to help raise money for the Elizabeth House in Pasadena, California.” I am sure that they knew how they use their gifts but it only took a few minutes for life to change tragically, and it shows that many suffer in silence and do not get the help that they need. The difference lies in reaching out to people and taking an interest in their well-being to let them know that they matter in their good and bad moments. All they might need is appreciation that their work is not done in vain.

The gospel reading begins by saying,The eleven disciples went to Galilee,to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age (Matthew 28:16-20).”

We might feel that one day means that it will be bad times ahead for us indefinitely, but it is not the case, it does get better. I had times of immense doubt in my faith and times when I felt a surge of faith and hope. For all that I am grateful , and this is because Jesus promised that no matter what happens, he will be with us till the end- that is his word. What are we then afraid of? Would it be that we are not convinced in our belief that Jesus is there with us?

Jesus gives us the mission to go forth to spread the Good News to others, to help one another,  love one another and  be with one another. The disciples did that and we continue this Christian mission of going forth because we said “Yes” to Jesus. Yes, we made the choice.

When I was young, my dad used to bring me to Bras Basah complex where there were old shops selling tons of comic books. It was a time when there were no smart phones or internet. I was introduced to comic books and it taught me to always fight for what is right. In the comics, the hero would always be tasked with the mission to defeat the villains and drive them away from wreaking havoc on the lives of the innocent. Sometimes, the hero cannot do it alone, so he or she calls for backup- a team of heroes to join their cause.

At times, we cannot fight or overcome our trials alone, and those close to us may not understand what we are going through or shrug our struggles off, because they do not know what to do. I do not blame them, they might even be fearful to try to intervene, in case it makes the situation worse. However, Jesus is always there when others are not there, and He is just a prayer away and He listens to our cries.

Leading a life in Jesus and being alive in Him shows our passion to trust Him always, that even when we lose, we win. Losing a grade, a job interview, a career is not the end because you – as a person – are so much more valuable because of your special personality and talents. No matter how ordinary you think they might be, in God’s eyes, it is extraordinary because we are using these gifts to reach out to so many people who will be inspired to be the change that they want to see in the world!

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us when we feel like giving up, throwing in the towel and just feeling so worn out to the point that we question:  is there meaning in life? What is the point of believing? Give us the assurance that all hope is not lost as there is a rainbow at the end of the storm, things do get better eventually and most importantly, our work is counted and we mean so much more than our achievements or social status. Amen!

I would like to end this post with a song titled,”One More Light” by Linkin Park that speaks of the need to care for others and show them love each day because like the autumn breeze, life does come and go in times of tragedy. Take time to love, and always hold each other close for we can be a light to each other. I care, always.

“Should’ve stayed, were there signs, I ignored?
Can I help you, not to hurt, anymore?
We saw brilliance, when the world, was asleep
There are things that we can have, but can’t keep

If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do

The reminders, pull the floor from your feet
In the kitchen, one more chair than you need, oh
And you’re angry, and you should be, it’s not fair
Just ’cause you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it, isn’t there

If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do

Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do
Well I do”

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s