Bishop Philip Lok’s Farewell Message

Bishop Philip Lok Farewell_editedDear Friends,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord.

Today is my last day in the LCM Bishop’s Office. After two weeks of packing and of goodbyes, I’m glad that the day for me to leave has finally arrived. The book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a time for everything. For me, this is the right time to do a ‘reset’ in my relationship with my family, with my co-workers, and with friends in the congregations and from around the world. But most of all, this is the opportune time to be renewed and refreshed, for what the Lord will call me to do in the coming years.

On this last day in office, I would like to express my deep appreciation to all who have lovingly supported my ministry in the last 8 years as the LCM bishop. It was your words of encouragement, and constant prayers that kept me going in this very special but challenging call. While it is undeniable that there were many difficult and disappointing situations, yet I’m always grateful for the good times we had. The significant events, the meaningful conversations and the laughter we shared, will be forever remembered. Also, thank you for bearing with all my failings, and if I had caused offence to you while in office, I humbly plea for your forgiveness.

In the next 3 months, I will take on a journey of discernment. Apart for giving my body and spirit some rest, I will also be seeking God’s guidance in what to do in the next chapter of my ministry. At this crucial life-intersection, I do earnestly seek your prayers and counsel.

8 years ago, I stepped into this office with a deep sense of trepidation. I felt extremely inadequate to fulfill the duties of this sacred call. But a colleague encouraged me with these words – “God doesn’t make mistakes.” With those 4 words, I moved forward in faith, and resting each day on His faithfulness. (If there were any mistake made, it was solely due to my own sinfulness and shortcomings.) As I leave the office today, I do have one farewell wish. And that is for the Father to whisper, “I didn’t make a mistake.”

Signing Off with Much Love,
Philip Lok

PS. Now, with a bit more time to spare, I will undertake a special task which many of you have requested me to do previously – start a Facebook account! Hope to see you on Facebook soon 

Bishop Philip Lok’s Easter Message 2012

Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” (John 20:18)

Even though the first three months of 2012 have come and gone, the world still looks very much the same as it was in 2011. While the slaughter of the innocents remains unchecked in Syria, extremists continue to terrorize the majority in countries like Pakistan, Iraq and even, Thailand. Many nations also continue to suffer from the after effects of natural disasters like earthquake, tornadoes and famine.

In Malaysia, there is still the ongoing concern over the economy and rising cost of living. Politicians carry on using the race card with the hope to gain greater support from one section of the population in the looming General Elections. Religious tension continues to simmer, with new but unsubstantiated allegations made against the Malaysian church for trying to “Christianize” our Muslim friends.

As a result, many do wonder if things would ever change for the better. Or that these situations would instead become worse in days and months to come.

The disciples, who witnessed the brutal death of their Lord on that dark Friday, probably had the same questions whether the situations will change for the better. In all likelihood, all of them were frustrated and were in despair of their predicament. As Jesus lay lifeless in the tomb, their hope was equally dead too.

Then comes that seismic announcement by Mary Magdalene, “I have seen the Lord!” An announcement that turns everything upside down. Because Christ is risen, the Cross is not a defeat but victory. Because Christ is risen, sin and death no longer hold us captive. Because Christ is risen, a new order is now at work in the world.

Through the water of baptism and the sacrament of bread and wine, we too can say that, “We have seen the Lord!” Like Mary and the disciples, we are the people of the Resurrection. Like Mary and the disciples, we need to go out and proclaim this good news through our loving words and self-denying actions.

On this Easter Sunday, with a firm belief in the power of Christ’s resurrection and with a heart of thankfulness, we must join St. Paul in saying, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

On behalf of my family and the Executive Council, I wish all of you a ‘Blessed Easter.” May the fact of the Resurrection inspires and strengthens us for the mission of the Church.

Bishop Philip Lok, Lutheran Church in Malaysia & Singapore

2012年会督的复活节信息

抹大拉的马利亚就去告诉门徒说:“我已经看见了主。”(约20:18)

2012年的首三个月虽然已经来了也去了,但仍然与2011年的情况相似,杀戮无辜者持续在叙利亚发生,极端份子仍然危胁着巴基斯坦、伊拉克甚至泰国,许多国家仍然受自然灾害如地震、龙卷风及饥荒后的煎熬。

马来西亚仍然被经济及持续高涨的物价所困扰,政治家仍旧玩弄种族课题以便在来届大选获得部分人口的支持。宗教的张力持续扩张,马来西亚教会最近被还未证实的指控说试图“基督化”我们的回教徒朋友。

因此很多人质疑情况是否会改善?或在未来更趋恶化?

门徒在黑暗的星期五目睹主被残酷的杀害后,可能也有相同的问题,情况是否会改善?他们可能对当时的困境很烦躁很绝望。当耶稣的遗体被安放在墓穴里,他们的盼望也死去了。

抹大拉的马利亚震惊的宣告:“我已经看见了主!”,把情况全颠倒了,因为基督的复活,十字架不是失败的而是得胜的,因为基督的复活,我们不再被罪与死亡所辖制。因为基督的复活,世界有了新的秩序。

透过水的施洗及圣餐,我们也可以说“我们已经看见了主!”就像马利亚及门徒,我们是有复活能力的子民;就像马利亚及门徒,我们须出去透过爱的言语及舍己的行动来传扬好消息。

在这次的复活主日,让我们坚信基督复活的大能并以一颗感恩的心,与保罗一同说:“感谢神,使我们藉着我们的主耶稣基督得胜。”

本人代表家人及全體執行委員們願祝大家“復活節蒙恩”,让复活的事实能启发及加强我們推展教會的事工。

陆爱平会督