The Bethany Spirit
by Pastor Mark
July 22, 2015
Ministering to the Yong Family
Bethany began this week on a somber yet heartwarming note. The church came together to lovingly minister to the Yong family as they suffered the loss of their beloved mother and grandmother, Mdm Lim.
This is actually the first funeral for the year that was held in church. We have not held a funeral service in Bethany for a quite a while. Yet when the Yong family needed our help and support in the funeral arrangements and services, the church rose to the occasion and ministered to their needs. The church came alive in showing care and concern for the family. This is what the Bethany spirit is all about.
Understanding the Bethany Spirit
How should we understand this spirit of Bethany? Let me share with you what is my understanding of the Bethany spirit that has become part of me over the years.
- The spirit of a family
“We are brethren”. This is how I see the people of Bethany. We are brethren of the spiritual family of God. The Apostle Paul told Timothy “Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.” (1 Timothy 5:1,2) Utmost regard is given to each member of the spiritual family. They should be seen as spiritual fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters. At the passing of Mdm Lim, my heart was saddened…at the passing of our ‘grandma” and empathised with the Yong family. “We are brethren” moves us to support the family in their time of grief.
- The spirit of the body of Christ
Being part of the body of Christ, I recognize how connected we really are. Though there are many members in the body, they are all connected to each other as one. There is a sense of care and concern for each other. Paul wrote, “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it;” (1 Corinthians 12:26) When one member is suffering, the other members suffer alongside. The others feel the pain of that one member. There is great empathy for those who are hurting. Identifying with each other causes us to want to stand by each other as one in the spirit of the body of Christ.
- The spirit of oneness
The church is meant to be one. The Lord Jesus prayed and asked for the believers of the church to be one. (John 17:20,21) We are meant to be one with each other. It is this spirit of oneness that should make us want to be with those who are grieving. We would take the time and effort to care because we want to cultivate this sense of oneness with each other. Let us be challenged to understand and pray for this spirit of oneness in Bethany.
Catching the Bethany Spirit
Ultimately, the spirit of Bethany is not something that can only be understood…it has to be caught. It is only caught when you are there with our fellow family members in their time of need. It is caught when we serve alongside each other with a common ministry goal in mind.
Let us be challenged to truly catch the spirit of Bethany. Let us seek to uphold the spirit of oneness in the church.