A Quick Word to Our Senior Brethren

Recently, a senior Christian (about the age of my father), told me his loving concern that he
did not wish to be a burden to others as he ages. Thus, he is doing his best to upkeep his
physical health, so that he may not weigh down his family as well as others in the church. Of
course, this senior Christian is also doing his utmost to grow spiritually, so that he may be a
good testimony for Christ, even as he ages.

The thoughts of this senior Christian are laudable. The chief concern is that the work of the
Lord be not hindered. The desire is that the infirmities of age do not stop the next generation
from being distracted in giving their best for the Lord.

How should we of the younger generation respond to such loving thoughts of the senior
generation? Proverbs 20:29 provides a good reply – “The glory of young men is their
strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.” (Prov. 20:29)

Every stage of life has its advantages. The strong point of youth is their strength, energy and
youthful endeavour. While this strength remains, the younger brethren should do their best to
use their strength to serve the Lord. For soon the days will comes when the bones will creak
and the muscles will ache. Use the strength wisely for the Lord. Do not waste it, “redeeming
the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:16) Be active in the service of the Lord.

On the other hand, the young man can never exceed the old man in terms of experience. Their
days of walking with Christ and battling with adversities has caused them to mature in
heavenly wisdom. The grey hairs on their head are the trophies of the various spiritual battles
they have fought for Christ and with Christ. As they strive for the Lord, the younger generation
are beneficiaries of their godly example and instruction in the Word of everlasting life. Thus,
“the beauty of old men is the gray head.”

Here is our reply to all godly seniors. Thank you for all the years and guidance in the Word of
God. When we were helpless, you have helped us lovingly with the energy God gave to you,
and pointed us in the way of righteousness. We were privileged to receive the blessings of the
Lord through you. As time passes, it is now our privilege to help you through the infirmities of
age in remembrance of the goodness of the Lord. We are also thankful that in your senior
years, God is still using you to teach us what it means to follow Christ. You are never a
burden so long as you continue to grow in the Lord.The hoary head is a crown of glory,
if it be found in the way of righteousness.” (Prov. 16:31)


As national day approaches, let us not forget to pray for the nation. “I exhort therefore, that,
first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all
godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who
will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:1-4)

At the same time, let us remember our duty unto the Lord as citizens of this country. “Let
every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers
that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the
ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are
not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that
which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee
for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:
for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For
for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon
this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to

whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” (Rom. 13:1-7)

We also have the National Day Church Bible Seminar in lieu of the National Day Outing.
Time:10 a.m. Hope to see you at the seminar.

(Modified from John Wesley’s Instructions)

We have emphasised previously from God’s Word that singing is essential in congregational
worship. God has commanded Christians everywhere to sing unto the praise of His name
(Psalm 33:3; 96:1 among others). It is thus unthinkable to have a worship service that is devoid
of congregational singing.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is prudent for health reasons that we be careful with
singing. Nevertheless, let every Christian still sing from the heart as unto the Lord. “Let the
word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in
psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Col.

It is thus good to know some guidelines on how to approach congregational singing. Here are
some practical advice given by John Wesley in his Select Hymns published in 1761, with
modifications to make it more in line with Word of God.

Learn these tunes before learning others. (Wesley’s point is that we should prioritise the
learning of the tunes of hymns, so that we can sing in tune with the congregation. A
practical way to do this is to sing hymns often at home. Get a hymn book and sing
unto the Lord).

Sing them exactly as they are printed here, without altering or mending them at all.
(The hymn writers have spent much thought and prayer in crafting the lyrics and tunes
of the hymns. Do not change these hastily, unless it contravenes a point of theology)
Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a single
degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up, and you
will find it a blessing.

Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half
asleep; but lift up your voice with strength.

Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the
congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices
together, so as to make one clear melodious sound. (Also take care not to sing like a
pop star).

Sing in time. Whatever time is sung be sure to keep with it. Do not run before nor stay
behind it; but attend close to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you
can; and take care not to sing too slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who
are lazy; and it is high time to drive it out from us, and sing all our tunes just as quick
as we did at first.

Above all sing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Have an eye to God in every word
you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do
this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried
away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as
the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.

May the Lord grant you good understanding of this matter.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew