On the recent Good Friday evening, I pondered again the meaning of sacrifice. Our Prime Minister addressed the nation and drew the parallel of Christians commemorating the sacrifice of Christ with the many sacrifices that all Singaporeans have to make in this COVID-19 season.
I am usually very busy with work at this time (Holy Week) with the many services leading up to Easter. But it has been starkly different this year. The circuit breaker measures have meant that religious organisations are not allowed to hold their usual services or gatherings, making us rethink how we function - this applies even now, well after Holy Week. Yet at the same time, we recognise that we have been presented with the unique opportunity of exploring new ways of communicating and connecting with people beyond our four walls. It has come at a great cost, of course, with major adjustments having to be made. I never thought I’d ever have to preach to an empty church, or spend hours figuring out how to set up a recording facility in my own home. But then again, we know that there has never been a better time than now to drive home the message of sacrifice and the laying down of one’s rights. Personally, it has warmed my heart to see people in our congregation going way above and beyond to serve the needs of others.
As a mother of two, I talk to my children honestly about the COVID-19 situation and why they too have to fall in line. I do not think they have a firm grasp of the gravity of the situation. Home-based learning, video calls and not having to wake up early for school are still a novelty for them. But I remind them (and myself) of the sheer amount of work our educators have to put in to keep “school” running. For them, it has also been a huge sacrifice.
I have come to understand that often our sacrifices either go unnoticed or unrealised, and we should be ok with that. Our generation has benefited immensely from the sacrifices of those who have come before us; and although we can’t see it yet, our children and their children will reap the fruits of the sacrifices we make today.==
Trisha is a pastor at an independent church in Singapore and a mother of two. An extroverted self-taught musician and avid coffee lover, she is currently trying to make the best use of her time at home as a community circuit breaker by zooming, skyping and google-meeting as many people as she can.