Watch Night 2020
Nicholas Quek reflects on 2020's Watch Night Service, a wonderful time of giving thanks for His grace and mercy, as well as a powerful reminder that Jesus is our one and only hope.
2020 was a long and difficult year for GBC. Many of us felt unstable and untethered, our plans for the year having been dashed by the Covid-19 virus. Some of us lost financial stability, health, and even loved ones. It was on that note that Andrew Sung opened the Watch Night service in prayer, reminding us of God’s glory and sovereignty, as well as His great love and mercy toward us as a church despite our weakness. It was a good reminder that for all the pain of 2020, there was still much to give thanks to God for.
Toshi and the worship team led us to sing “Behold Our God” and “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, fitting songs that reminded us of God’s continued rule over all creation, and steadfast love toward His people.
Andrew then led us in a time of thanksgiving, starting with the GBC Youth Camp. With the theme, “Risen?”, the camp brought the youth together to reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and to glory in the hope that we will be raised with Him forever. Thank God for the great work He is doing among our youth!
Then we heard from John and Adelene Cheah, both of whom were unable to work during the earlier part of the year. John shared about how the GBC family came alongside them in offering financial assistance, sending food to their house, as well as calling and texting regularly just to check in. Adelene also shared about the care she received from GBC members like Lye Kean, Elder Chong Tien and Reuben when she sustained a back injury just a few weeks before the service.
We then had a time of small group reflection and prayer, where groups of 5 in the service were able to reflect on the year past. We shared not only our struggles, but also the encouragement we had received through God’s word. It was a difficult but helpful exercise, where we shared but did not remain in the pain of 2020, but also remembered how God was working in it.
(L) Adelene and John giving thanks for how the GBC family came alongside them. (R) Time of small group reflection and prayer.
After Toshi led us in another time of song with, "Holy Spirit", Ps Ollie gave a short message from Revelation 21:6-7. He reminded us that our spiritual thirst that can only be satisfied in Jesus Christ, and hence we need to turn away from self-reliance and only rest in Him. He exhorted us to respond to fear and suffering by reminding ourselves of God’s Word, His promises and His character. As Christians, we have a certain hope of eternal life with Christ!
Then we watched a video of Annie and John’s wonderful cover of “Blessings” by Laura Story. It was a good exhortation to remember that God’s mercies are always working, never ceasing, even amid pain and sorrow.
After that, we heard a testimony from Bryan, a frontline healthcare worker. He shared honestly about his spiritual struggles during the height of the pandemic, and his growing fear and anxiety as he became more involved in Covid-19 work. He shared that before his stint at the expo isolation facility, he received encouragement from 2 Chronicles 20:6, where King Jehoshaphat looked to God in hope while being surrounded by enemies. When he felt lost during the middle of the year, God encouraged him through the parable of the prodigal son, a passage he was preparing to teach at Sunday school. Bryan’s testimony turned our focus toward our faithful God, who is merciful to His weak children and gives life to them.
Bryan (left), seen here in small group reflection, shared about his spiritual struggles during the height of the pandemic as a frontline healthcare worker.
We then had our second and last time of small group reflection and prayer, where we shared about an aspect of God’s character we could trust in for 2021, as well as the hope we had for ourselves and the church in the year to come. It was a wonderful time where we turned our attention back to God’s Word and allowed it to speak to our present circumstances and feelings.
Toshi then closed the service with “Christ Our Hope in Life and Death”, a fitting song that reminded us of our one and only hope in 2021, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
Who holds our faith when fears arise?
Who stands above the stormy trial?
Who sends the waves that bring us night
Unto the shore, the rock of Christ?
O sing hallelujah!
Our hope springs eternal
O sing hallelujah!
Now and ever we confess
Christ our hope in life and death
– “Christ Our Hope in Life and Death”, ©2020 Getty Music Publishing (BMI)
You can watch the Watch Night Prayer Service here: