Sermon: Lent and Fasting – Rev. Thomas Low

Thomas Low preaching at BLC - 9 Mar 2014

This morning, we had the privilege of having a good friend of BLC and pastor of Luther House Chapel, Rev. Thomas Low, preach the message. He spoke from Matthew 17:14-21, as a continuation of Transfiguration account.

His sermon started off by pointing out that the disciples experienced a “mountain top experience” when they saw Jesus transfigured. Such “mountain top experiences” are typically assumed to be the best, the pinnacle of our Christian experience.

Yet, immediately after their mountain top experience, they encountered an unmet need in the form of a man possessed by demons. The disciples went on to ask, “Why couldn’t we cast it out?”

Pastor Thomas went on to say that the measure of Christian life is not the number of mountain top experiences, but our continued faithfulness in living fully in Him. However, instead of pursuing God, Christians sometimes pursue mountain top experiences instead – but life and faith are not static.

Pastor Thomas then went on to talk about fasting, from Jesus’ answer to His disciples – in verse 21 (which isn’t included in some translations of the Bible!): “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Before that, he took time to clear up a few misconceptions about fasting: it is neither purposely skipping meals (that’s what he’d call “volunteered starvation”) nor is it to diet just because the doctor said you needed to lose weight. Instead, fasting must be purposeful… which is why it’s inseparable from prayer.

Fasting reminds us of our humanity. It reminds us about our need: we are creatures who need sustenance – we get hungry and thirsty.

Fasting humbles us. It reminds us that we are not the center of the world – just because we don’t have food or water, it doesn’t mean that the world will pause to take notice. It reminds us not to confuse the created with the Creator.

Fasting is a sign of our desire and commitment. It is a mistake to “use” fasting like magic (doing something in the natural to control the supernatural) or to blackmail God (like a hunger strike). It’s not about just giving up something you like for the sake of it – it is more about giving up something that has come between you and God, which makes our spiritual life less than it should be. Fasting brings us to the point of saying, “Lord, I commend this part to You, that the other parts that are lacking may be enriched to Your glory.”

In so doing, when we fast, it may may lead us in that one area, to an Easter where we can truly understand how “The Lord Is Risen”.

Elected EXCO From The LCM General Assembly 2013

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Via the Lutheran Church of Malaysia:

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

We thank the Lord for a successful and smooth completion of our General Assembly last
month. The newly elected  Executive Council (EXCO) on 18 September 2013 and we are happy to inform that the final line up of the EXCO for 2013-2015 is as follows:

  • Bishop : Rt. Rev. Aaron Yap
  • Secretary : Rev. Thomas Low
  • Treasurer : Mr. Mak Hon Weng
  • Education : Rev. Linda Chan (clergy representative, Northern district)
  • Social Concern : Mr. Allan Yip (lay representative, Selangor district)
  • Mission : Rev. Ezra Yew (clergy representative, KL district)
  • Special Project : Mr. Jason Wong (lay representative, KL district)
  • Stewardship : Rev. Tan Hee Ming (clergy representative, Selangor district)
  • Committee member : Mr. Peter Yoon

Appointed Members

  • Orang Asli : Mr. Yeoh Chuan Wooi

District Deans

  • Northern District : Rev. Lee Chin Khiang
  • Selangor District : Rev. Tang Karn Poh
  • KL District : Rev. Goh Roo Chun
  • Provisional Southern District : Rev. Yap Hing Bee
  • Provisional Orang Asli District : Rev. Chu Fook On

Please pray for all of them as they serve as partners in the ministry of our Lord.

Congratulations to our newly elected LCM Bishop Aaron Yap

Congratulations to Rev. Aaron Yap who was elected as Bishop of the Lutheran Church of Malaysia (LCM)!

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Rev. Thomas Low has also been retained as Secretary of the LCM.

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An Eventful Sunday – Celebrating Moms and Dads, and Welcoming Our New BLC Council 2013-2015!

We had a pretty eventful day today: celebrating our BLC moms and dads (biological, adoptive, spiritual, metaphorical, etc.) with our BLC Parents Day 2013 Celebrations as well as welcoming our new BLC Council with an installation service.

The day started early for some in what is now lovingly known as “Emily‘s Sweatshop” (courtesy of Jason!). We had to roll stacks and stacks of newspapers into balls… which were then used for games later in the afternoon. Unfortunately for us, the air-conditioning in the room failed… (and yes, Emily got little kids to work too!).

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Emily even found the time to have a little fun with one of her underaged “volunteers”! 😛

Mei Li set up a pretty neat altar decoration…

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…and Aaron even came decked out in the latest fatherly fashion!

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Since it was Father’s Day today, Rev. Thomas Low preached a moving sermon based on the life-example of Joseph, the father of Jesus.

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Then, we installed the new church Council for the 2013-2015 term!

Of course, any celebration would be remiss without the obligatory fellowship meal – i.e. lots and lots of #omnomnom!!!

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And, then, lots of laughter with games by Emily (the sweatshop did not labor in vain!)!

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And finally, family photos for everyone!

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A huge word of thanks to Jamie for organizing everything!

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Sermon: Joseph, A Most-Underrated Father – Rev. Thomas Low

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This morning, in conjunction with Father’s Day (and BLC’s Parents Day Celebration), Rev. Thomas Low preached a very moving sermon based on the life and example of Joseph, the father of Jesus.

Tracing the life of Joseph, Rev. Thomas talked about how Joseph:

  • Was a loving man towards Mary, despite the circumstances when he felt betrayed and had the right to shame and divorce her publicly;
  • Was loving towards Jesus, despite the gossip and scandal that surrounded His birth, bearing the burden of ugly rumors for the rest of his life to protect his beloved son, Jesus;
  • Was a devout man who obeyed God (who packed up and went to Egypt, and then back again) and had faith in God; and
  • Was a wise man who redeemed time –  it is not how long you live, but how well you live. Even though it was likely that Joseph died early (there are no more references to Joseph after the incident at the Temple when Jesus was 12), his impact on Jesus was indelible – Jesus even became a carpenter like his father.

Fatherhood is a awesome and frightening blessing. May your children drive you even closer to God. Leave them a legacy that lasts, even until they face the Throne of God at the end of their days.

And, as fathers (biological, adoptive, spiritual, or even just being a “father figure”…), may we be like Joseph – loving, devout, and wise.

Happy Fathers’ Day!

BLC Easter Celebration 2013

All are welcome to our Easter Sunday Service at 10am, and we are looking forward to being blessed by our guest preacher Rev. Thomas Low.

This year, we will also mark the 13th anniversary of Bangsar Lutheran Church. So, we’ll be having lunch together as well.

This is an open event – so please feel free to share and invite. All are welcome at The Father’s House. Event info on Facebook is available here.

Christ is risen, indeed! Blessed Easter everyone!