This year’s Christmas service at CHC celebrated true acceptance and love, and the power of God’s presence in one’s life.
Contributed By Annabelle Low
Truly, Jesus was the reason for the season. The weekend of Dec. 23 to 25 saw tens of thousands flocked to Suntec Singapore for a special Christmas weekend at City Harvest Church, many of them also brought an unsaved friend along to experience the love of the season. A total of 3,835 people gave their hearts to Jesus over the five services that weekend.
The services started with high spirits as members sang along to Christmas carols in anticipation of the highlight of every Christmas service—the Christmas drama. This year, CHC drama ministry brought toys to life with a lovable ensemble comprising the main character Justin (a Bieber-esque singing, dancing doll) played by Lucas Chia, Mattel’s iconic Barbie (Sherlyn Chia), Dorothy the milkmaid who came free with a carton of milk (Krystle Liew), Giselle the ballerina (Andrea Lim), Tezzo the toy soldier (Timothy Wan) and Bobo, a teddy bear who is the oldest in the playroom (Nelson Tong). They all live in the room of an 8-year-old boy, David.
I Wanna Get Home For Christmas
It’s Christmas Eve, and there’s a new toy in David’s collection.
Barbie’s feathers are ruffled as new toy Justin threatens to upstage Barbie as the star entertainer for the toys’ Christmas party with his groovy dance moves and silky-smooth vocals.
The internal strive is interrupted by a visit to a trip to a party at a friend of David’s. There, the motley crew discovers Paradise Mirage, a Tiki-Tiki beach resort glistening with free branded clothes and sleek cars, and the promise of sizzling romance. Seduced by promises of fame and glory—the disgruntled Justin chooses to remain in “Paradise” with Captain Parrot and his assistant, Miss Frost.
After his fellow toys leave “Paradise Mirage”, Justin is horrified to discover that the resort transforms into a zombie graveyard for toys—Captain Parrot is really a pirate and Miss Frost a corpse bride, and Justin is the “meal” of the day.
The boy toy fights valiantly against the zombie mob, and manages to escape but not before getting his right arm brutally ripped off. He ends up lost and frightened outside the house. Fortunately, David returns to search for his beloved Justin, and brings him back home, right in time for Christmas.
Justin finds himself asking for his old friends to take him back, which they do. But in the process of helping him to get cleaned up, the toys discover that Justin is not from Mattel as he claims. Shamefaced, Justin confesses he told a lie so that the toys would like him better. To his surprise, they accept him for who he is and embrace him into the family.
A large part of the drama’s charm lay in the pop songs featured, from Bruno Mars’ “Lazy Song” and Earth Wind & Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland” to a great mash-up of Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” in a sing-off between Barbie and Justin. The other multimedia triumph was the clever use of the LED screen to set the backdrop of David’s bedroom.
But beyond the fancy sounds and sights, it was the message of forgiveness and acceptance that touched the hearts of the audience. Throughout the weekend, twitter timeline were filled with messages congratulating the drama team for putting up the best Christmas drama ever in CHC.
Following the drama, Kong Hee, senior pastor of CHC, took to the stage to share a powerful message on the presence of God.
Drawing from the gospel of Matthew 1:21-23, Kong established that another name of Jesus was Immanuel, which literally means “God is always with us”. This, he declared, was the good news of Christmas. Because of God’s presence, man can now believe in the following:
1) God’s Presence Refreshes Our Body
To illustrate, Kong shared the testimony of Yunus Tarigan from Medan, Indonesia.
A sickly child, Tarigan’s parents gave him to a witch doctor. Tarigan became heavily involved with the occult and was regularly possessed by malevolent spirits. He turned to alcohol and drugs to try to oppress the spirits, but that only aggravated the situation. It got to a stage where doctors declared him medically insane.
At Sunshine Rehabilitation Centre in Medan, Tarigan received Jesus Christ as his personal savior. That was the turning point of his life. Unclean spirits left him and eventually, he was totally healed. Today, Tarigan is a graduate of Bible school and has also graduated with a degree from a local university.
Giving hope to those who were ill and weary, Kong quoted Luke 5:17, which promises that the power of the Lord is present to heal. He then exhorted the congregation to trust in Jesus to bring healing.
2) God’s Presence Restores Our Soul
Kong shared the testimony of John (not his real name) to demonstrate the restoration power of God’s presence. At a young age, John was sexually violated by his relatives. Confused, John fell into a spiral of sexual sin and depression, causing him to eventually attempted suicide a few times.
Thankfully, John was invited to church where he felt the love of God for the first time. He received inner healing from God and God began to restore his life. Today, John is a Bible school graduate, a loving husband, and proud father of two wonderful kids—something he never thought was possible.
Quoting Psalm 23:3, Kong reminded the congregation that God is the Restorer of souls. Even in the most hopeless of situations, God is able to make a way.
3) God’s Presence Remakes Our Lives
Kong brought up the example of Paul Potts, the winner of the popular UK reality show 2007’s Britain’s Got Talent.
Potts has a beautiful operatic voice, but he was often despised for his poor speech and awkward appearance. A fervent Christian, he decided that if no one could hear him sing, God would always receive his songs. With this belief, he served faithfully in his church choir for many years.
In May 2009, after winning Britain’s Got Talent, Potts was worth an estimated 5 million pounds. Yet he never forgot the God who remade his life. Till this day, Potts is still faithfully leading praise and worship at church service every week.
“If God says you can make it, it doesn’t matter if everyone else says you won’t,” Kong emphasized. Psalms 16:11 promises men fullness of joy in His presence.
This message also brought hope to many of the members in the church, and touched the hearts of pre-believers to make Christ their Lord. This Christmas at CHC was one filled with hope, joy and love.