Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ,

It is with mixed feelings that I have written this article to you. Firstly, it is a happy feeling of the privilege to have known and served with you. Secondly, it is a sad feeling that today is the last Lord’s Day with you as pastor of Tabernacle BP Church.

I am not writing to you as one who considers himself as pastor per excellent or an excellent example that you should follow. Apart from the truth that has to be spoken, I ask for your forgiveness for whatever I may have by my own words and actions that may have caused unhappiness and pain to you.

A new session in Tabernacle BP Church will be in place before this day is done. Life is a journey and since October 2006, Tabernacle has been an important sub-journey for my wife, Elizabeth and me. There will be many more sub-journeys through the main journey of life if the Lord continues to extend life a little longer. After today’s Church election and whatever results may turn out to be, a new stage of life awaits me. For every new stage of life is the need to go forward, but a new beginning ahead is never easy for people who are in the middle- age. It will take more energy, courage and strength to move on. But it is the Lord Himself who enables us to move on and guides us with the assurance that He is with us at all times. As Elizabeth and I are moving on to the future and each of you is moving on as well, let us remember that what we discover through the journey of life depends on what we are really seeking after. What we find in the future is what we bring along with us from the past. If we bring along strive, antagonism and negative emotions, we will find them at the end. But if we take the fruit of the Spirit of love, hope, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, we will find them.

Jesus said in Luke 9:62, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

The Lord Jesus Christ was definitely not condemning anyone who looked back to the past. But He was issuing the warning of the danger of looking back to difficult people, traumatic events and hurtful experiences of the past and as a result, to render us unfit for His kingdom.

Tabernacle BPC has already moved on to the 25th year and grown a year older. There is such a thing as looking back to past events like King David, who looked back to the past victories to encourage himself in the Lord. Psalm 18 is one of the many Psalms that he wrote saying, “I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.  I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.”

Apart from the purpose of glorifying and magnifying God’s name, looking back to whatever we wish to look back in the past has little purpose and meaning.

Consider the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:12-14, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

My prayer for my wife and myself is to love God more dearly and to follow Him more closely in the days to come. May this be your prayer and resolve too.

Pastor Douglas Ho