Today is the third day of Chinese New Year. Chinese has many customs during the Chinese New Year. For believers in Christ, some customs we can follow, but for certain customs, under the true light of Holy Spirit, we have to give up some bad habits.
Lunar New Year has some good habits, such as gathering together to eat a meal. For “bai lin” (I personally like to call it visiting each other in the new year), I think it will promote interpersonal relationships. One of the habits is blessings—using positive words to bless each other, such as good health, “good harmony in team”, etc. But there are blessings that are not parallel with our religion—such as “successful horse bidding” and “money cometh”. We can use Bible words to bless friends: “help people and glorify God”, “serve the Lord and be blessed”. This year I have written some red scrolls—such as “the whole family turns to Jesus”, “give thanks in every thing”. The Bible reminds us “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29).
Before the Chinese New Year, many families will clean house, that is a very good Chinese New Year custom. We can throw away old things and garbage so that the home is more neat and tidy. The family will then be in good health.
Chinese have the custom of giving red pockets, the original purpose is positive. It gives children as pocket money and promotes consumption which helps with the economy. But if we overemphasize red pocket, it will become a temptation for children. It will also give pressure to poor parents. Therefore church will not encourage but will allow the leading of Holy Spirit so that poor members don’t have to “avoid new year”--avoid giving red pocket.
In new year, many people will make sacrifice. Here I encourage Sunrise brothers and sisters to worship the true God to destroy the dark forces of sacrifice in the new year so that Hong Kong’s sins will be forgiven and give receive the peace of God.
Lastly, please be ready to participate DMM celebration and ordination ceremony. I encourage you to attend as a thank you for your pastor’s serving in the past years. Wish you happy a new year and speedy spiritual growth.