Last Sunday 20 August, Singaporeans had a ‘scare’ when our PM, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong felt unwell halfway through his National Day Rally speech. He had to be escorted to the resting room backstage for more than an hour. Thankfully, and to our great relief, he returned to the podium to complete his speech. He finished his speech with two weighty matters regarding leadership succession and the future of Singapore. Perhaps, this little ‘scare’ is a poignant reminder that we must never take both our future and leaders for granted. Our PM reminded us that Singapore must be prepared and be more determined to plan for leadership succession and the future of the next generation.
This brings me to the issue that we, as a church, should face. Are we making any preparations and determined efforts to pass the baton of faith to the next generation?
Author Christine Caine in her book, Unstoppable, wrote about this issue. She laments that after what God had done for Israel through Joshua and the elders, the next generation grew up without knowing the Lord. She asks, “What happened? Where was the legacy of Joshua’s generation? Were they so busy defeating foreign armies that they forgot to remind their children that it had been the Lord who fought for them?” We too should ask ourselves, “Have we been too busy fighting our own battles, securing our own future and planning for our own retirement that we forget to tell our children about the Lord’s work in our lives?” We don’t know what happened to the Israelites, but whatever the reasons, someone somewhere dropped the baton of faith. They stopped carrying on the baton of faith and lost an entire generation that do not know the Lord.
What an awesome responsibility we have as the church! We are entrusted to pass the baton of faith from one generation to the next. Let’s hand off the baton well so that the next generation will continue to know the Lord and make Him known to the world around them. If we fail to do so, we not only lose our impact on the world but we would quickly lose an entire generation of our children.
Let us follow Paul’s example as he exhorts young Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1, 2:
“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
Rev. Mark Tay