ON HOLY SATURDAY, April
7, 2007, about 4,500 students from the 15 Methodist schools and
some 1,000 members from the Methodist churches came together as
a Christian family to "Walk for Love and Walk for the School".
MethodistWalk 2007 was organised by the Methodist Schools' Foundation (MSF) for the students to raise funds for equipment and the building development of their Methodist schools.
The Guest-of-Honour, Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Manpower, flagged off the walk at 8.05 am. Together with his wife, he took part in the walk.
Among others who took part were Bishop Dr Robert Solomon, Chinese Annual Conference President Rev Khoo Cheng Hoot, Emmanuel Tamil Annual
Conference President Rev James Nagulan, Trinity Annual Conference President Rev Wee Boon Hup, General Conference Women's Society of Christian Service President Mrs LaureenOng, MSF Chairman Mrs Joni Ong, MSF committee members, school board members and school principals.
Themed "Walk for Love. Walk for School", the students did more than just raised funds. They had the opportunity to reflect on the "great last walk" that Jesus took on the way to Calvary. And today we can continue to walk with Jesus who offers us joy, victory and everlasting life.
The programme for the morning started as early as 6.30 am with all participants assembling at ACS (Independent). After a welcome address by the MSF Chairman, Mrs Ong, the Rev Paul Nga called the assembly to worship, and a song item and a mime were presented by ACS (I) and Living Waters Methodist Church respectively.
The event saw a great bonding and love between the schools, churches and the MSF in serving our Lord for His Kingdom's glory.
The weather was fine, and it was a wonderful sight seeing the children and church members walk and reflect while some pastors jogged.
The primary school children walked 2.2 km while the secondary school children, joined by the church members, walked the 4.3-km route.
The schools raised a total of $1,357,092 (unaudited). Church and corporate donations amounted to about $150,000, making a total of $1.5 million raised.
The morning's sermon, aptly entitled "Focus on Holy Saturday", was given by Bishop Dr Solomon.
Referring to Holy Saturday, also called Low Saturday, he said it was a terrible Saturday, an absolutely low day for the disciples. Everything seemed to have been lost. Jesus had died on the cross and His body was laid in a tomb. It was all over. That was what they thought, and that was how they felt.
"Today, 2,000 years later, we have the benefit of hindsight, and the knowledge of history. We know that Jesus rose from the dead on the following day, on Sunday. But one day can make such a lot of difference.
Walk with God - and we walk into the dawn
"On Saturday, the disciples felt awful. Why did Jesus not do anything to prevent His own death? Not that He had no power to do anything. When the heartless people taunted Him asking Him to come down from the cross, why did He remain on the cross and suffer so much? Later, it would all become clear to them.
"Jesus died on the cross offering Himself as a sacrifice, paying the penalty for all the sins we have all committed. The human race suffered from a curse - the curse of sinful hearts, and certain death.
"Jesus died our death so that we can live a new life. If we believe in Him, we can come to know God personally as our Heavenly Father who loves us so deeply that He sent Jesus to save us."
When Jesus was crucified on the cross, He entered into a cosmic duel with the three enemies of the human race - the devil, sin and death. These bullies had tormented human beings since the beginning. But nobody had succeeded in getting rid of them or defeating them. When the disciples saw Jesus at work, they knew that at last here was someone who could save His people.
The Bishop continued: "Today is Holy Saturday. The disciples felt that all was lost. God seemed to be absent from their lives. His presence and power seemed to have been removed. They felt lonely and confused. Hope was lost.
"We may feel like what it felt that Saturday as we live in between the tragedy of Good Friday and the hope of Easter. Our minds may conceive of great and noble things but our real lives may be somewhere else. We are neither here nor there.
"If you feel like that, take courage. God is present. He comes to be with us. The Risen Lord, the Saviour, is here to walk with us.
"We are walking today to raise funds for our schools. But at the same time, this walk is a reflective walk, to help us think about our lives and the meaning of life, about what is important in life, how to live in a way that brings deep satisfaction."
The Bishop urged those present to walk with God, who alone could satisfy them deeply.
"You are never alone. If we walk with God, we walk into the dawn. We wait for Him, for His new Kingdom to come, when all things will be set right, when there will be perfect justice, and every tear will be wiped from our faces."
The MSF would like to thank Wesley Methodist Church for sponsoring the event and all those who served quietly in the background in making the fund-raising event for the future of Christian education a success.