When I was growing up, National Day was just another public holiday. Schools would let students off for half a day on the eve, classes would be cancelled, and we would have some fun activities and performances in the morning. In my primary school, each of us would receive a pack of Khong Guan biscuits, which was a highlight for me.
When I was doing my National Service, however, I did not look forward as much to National Day, because it meant either participating in the parade or doing guard duty while others booked out for a nice break.
Since those days, our National Day celebrations have gone up quite a few notches, with massive parades and impressive firework displays. Along with the heartwarming, locally-written songs that recall our history, they remind us of how we survived against all the odds when we became independent on 9 August 1965.
This year’s celebration may not be as grand as in previous years, because of Covid-19. Yet, many of us would still desire to celebrate National Day as we reflect on the need to stay as one people, one nation, and one Singapore, braving together a future filled with uncertainty.
As a believer, I am thankful for Singapore. For me, it is an earthly home like no other. It is not a perfect place, but I have learned to enjoy the peace, harmony, and prosperity that we have had all these years. I am grateful to be able to live and work in a multi-racial society, and to be able to raise my family in a safe, secure place.
However, I also know that Singapore will not be my home forever.
God’s Word promises that there is another better place prepared for me. It is a place where God himself dwells. Jesus had told His disciples that He would go there to prepare a place for those who are His:
“My Father’s house has many rooms;
if that were not so, would I have told you
that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back and take you to be with me
that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2–3)
This place will be a glorious and loving home where I will enjoy the presence of God forever, and where I will have a new, glorious body like Christ (Philippians 3:20–21).
When I’m there, I will be able to ask God all my questions about the life I had on earth and finally understand all His truths, many of which I now struggle to grasp. It will also be a place where there will be “no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
Although I am blessed to have Singapore as my earthly home, I know I am even more blessed to have an eternal home awaiting me.
This National Day, may we remember that what we have in Singapore is a blessing from the Lord, and that an even greater blessing awaits all who believe in Him.
Father, thank You for the blessing of this nation,
and for Your wonderful promise for an eternal home with You.
Help me to be the salt and light of the gospel now,
that my life may reflect Your glory and point others to You.