“Count on me Singapore, count on me to give my best and more
You and me, we'll do our part, stand together, heart to heart
We're going to show the world what Singapore can be
We can achieve, we can achieve”
I remember growing up singing countless National Day Songs from 1980s such as “Stand up for Singapore”, “Count on me, Singapore”, “One People, One Nation, One Singapore”. The lyrics and the tunes of these familiar oldies have stayed with me through the years and I’m sorry to say that to me; the newer National Songs have failed to grip my heart with the same passion and heart-wrenching emotions.
Perhaps as I grow older, I became less patriotic. I can’t remember when was the last time I watched the NDP Parade from start to end. I can’t even remember the title of last year’s National Song because I hardly hear it. Gone were the experiences I had in school where I’ll be standing side by side with my Malay and Indian friends in the hall, singing loudly and offkey to “what Singapore can be”. As I grow older, I grew inward-looking and focused primarily on my family, finances and health. My circle of pre-believing friends also shrank and shrivelled.
One of them asked me, “You’re working in a church? Aren’t you like a priest? How is it that you can get married?” That’s when I realised that my impact on my pre-believing friends had been minimal. Much like how the Romans viewed the early church Christians with much misconceptions – calling them incestuous (because they called themselves “brothers” and “sisters” and yet married one another), atheists (there was no imagery or idols within the early church) and cannibals (that Christians consumed the blood and flesh of Jesus during Holy Communion); there will be much misconceptions and a skewed perspective of what Christians are, and what we stand for IF we do not show our pre-believer friends what Christians can be.
Perhaps from this National Day onwards, we need to be more intentional in showing Singapore the way we trust God for our family, finances and health. Everything we say and do ought to reflect our full confidence in a Risen Christ for our lives in this world and the next. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Singapore is watching us. Our pre-believer friends are watching us. To Jesus, we ought to pray then, “Count on me, Jesus, to give my best and more. That we as a church will do our part, stand together, heart to heart. To show Singapore what Christians can be. Because Jesus, you have already achieved. You have already achieved.”
May Singapore hear the news of salvation through us.