Holiday Bible Program: The Pride of Life
Dear BPCWA worshipper, We thank God for the opportunity to hold another Holiday Bible Program this year. Truly, nothing would have been possible without God’s enabling, and His help in raising many who served Him faithfully and diligently behind the scenes. The Holiday Bible Program is one key highlight each year in the church that worshippers should be aware of.
The theme for the program. As worshippers would have seen the banner in our church, the theme was “The Pride of Life”, taken from Jeremiah 9:23-24 “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”
The impetus for this theme. This is an evil age that we live in and is constantly moulding us to be like the world – and that includes the emphasis to promote and praise oneself to get ahead in life. This fans the growth in pride in man, which is a sin that needs no encouragement, especially in our children. As many have noticed, God has answered our prayers to give His people in our seed to bring up for Him. Our children are exposed to this from a young age in school already. As God’s people, we must take heed of how God views the sin of pride. Prov 16:5 warns, “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.” Pride is a heinous sin. Pride was the sin that caused Satan to be cut down and that led to the fall of all mankind. It is a sin that corrupts all of Adam’s seed, but it is a sin that we’re too proud to admit that we’re guilty of. By God’s mercy, as we see our church’s children grow up, many of them are able to do many things. Schools and parents also put them through many programs to help them gain new skills that will help them get ahead in this life. Pride is an insidious sin that is unseen, but that grows in our hearts, desiring to be satisfied more and more. It has a voracious and insatiable appetite – the more it is fed, the more it wants. It is a difficult sin to shake off. Hence, it is important to help our children understand this sin, recognise it in themselves, and learn to deal with it quickly with God’s help whenever it arises in them before it makes deep grooves in their character.
The difference in this year’s program. Onceagain, COVID-19 restrictions made this another HBP with a different experience even from last year’s. Due to the physical distancing requirements last year, the 2021 program was only open to worshippers and their families as well as to children of non-worshippers who had been regular attendees every year. With the recent mask mandate imposed a month ago, those required by law to use masks had to do so during the 2022 program, including students of the program aged over 12. When it was announced that the mask mandate would be extended, all helpers and parents were informed to ensure that masks were in place as they came into the church. This meant that singing, crafts, briefing, and photography had to be with masks on. As we look back on last year, we must be very thankful that we were able to take our yearly church photo without masks – what a blessing God has bestowed upon us throughout 2021! COVID-19 restrictions also meant that we had to continue to ensure that cleaning was done and that there were no handshakes at the certificate ceremony.
What you can pray for. 1) Pray that our children will remember the lessons they learned about pride and deal with this sin quickly in their own hearts when it arises. 2) Pray that the bonds they have fostered in the 3 days together will continue to grow into encouraging Christian friendships. 3) Pray that our children will continue to be evangelistic. A very positive outcome from this program was that some of our young ones started to learn to practice what they had learned about being witnesses. Since we were able to accommodate more in each class this year, we opened the program to non-worshippers this year. As such, many of our children have through this started to be witnesses for Christ by inviting their unbelieving friends to join them for this session. 4) Pray that the invited children will be saved and come to church to grow. The invitations of our children to their friends meant that about a quarter of the students this year were not regular worshippers with us. We are thankful that we had 3 days to teach the young hearts of these non-regulars about the wonderful God whom we serve and worship joyfully, and we earnestly pray that they will know God and come to worship Him together with us regularly as a result of this program. This is part of the sowing that we must do as part of witnessing. May God be pleased to use these efforts according to His purpose to draw some of these innocent hearts to Himself from a young age.
Praise God for the many that laboured. As a pastor, I truly thank God for the many who laboured to ensure that this program could once again be conducted this year. It is a testimony of the blessedness of God’s injunction “That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another” (1 Cor 12:25). Unity is only possible with humility of heart. As part of God’s body in BPCWA, so many came together to labour long hours for this work. While this was especially an opportunity for mothers with children in the program to serve, many parents whose children were not in the program, adults who did not have children, and even students served in many areas together. And we praise God that all did so as a “whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Eph 4:16). Unseen, but yet each doing a very vital part to help make or get that little “something” going. The children and their parents never saw many who laboured unseen and most of the church never knew who did what. Befitting the theme for this year, this is how our service should be while watching for His return. We labour because God sees and knows, not so that man will see so that we can boast. Such labour is a true test of the love and thankfulness that we owe to our God Who also constantly works “behind the scenes” in so many aspects of our life in ways that we do not even know ourselves. As I think back on the program, my prayer is that this will be a reflection of how every BPCWA worshipper will serve – with humility, with joy, co-labouring for God’s work without pride, without schism, with the wisdom, might, and riches that God has given to them. Most importantly, that we will always do everything with this common goal – that God will be exalted in the hearts of man, and His saints be edified to love God more. This is how Christ has intended His body at BPCWA to always be, and to always function, and to always be likeminded about.
While there is a lot of intensive work involved for each HBP, I am thankful to see how the church has come together for this work. Many have prayed for it during our prayer meetings, many have laboured long hours. It is with a great sense of responsibility even as we prepare the lessons for the spiritual lessons. These are tender young hearts that for the short span of these childhood years will still be relatively humble to accept what they are taught. It is a precious time before pride takes a deeper root in their hearts, resulting in rebelliousness, cynicism and skepticism. If the seed finds good ground, it will grow and bear fruit when the season comes. After the HBP was over, when the church was quiet and everybody had left leaving behind the logistics crew busily tidying up, I missed the hustle and bustle and the sound of the children’s voices, as I seem to always do every year. But I hope that all of you will join together with me in prayer that through what they have learned this year, BPCWA will see the next generation of humble men and women whom God will use to do His work, and be a light and a testimony for Christ in Perth for generations to come.
Php 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Yours in our Lord’s service,