From the Pastor’s Desk: Rev.Raphael Chow

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

In my high school years, I attended a school in the suburbs with a small river nearby. The school was a seven-story building. Looking out from the classroom on the fifth floor, I could see a lush green meadow and forest on the opposite bank of the river, and in the distance, a small hill about ten stories high. Compared to Lion’s Hill in the distance, this was just a small hill covered with ordinary trees and weeds; it had no grand appearance, no winding mountain path, no towering ancient trees, no unique sights, and no valuable minerals.

In spring, as the trees sprouted and the branches turned tender green, the small hill was awakened and brought to life. Occasionally, the mist would envelop it, making the hill appear to be both hidden and visible. Nevertheless, the hill always had a gentle smile, greeting passersby. In summer, the scorching sun poured down a golden glow, and the hill was suddenly covered in a layer of golden light, showing off its charming dominance. The local cicadas woke up and sang loudly in the trees without reservation. The hill was fascinated by their singing and had not a trace of impatience. In autumn, the leaves turned brown and fell off, and the hill put on a brown coat. The cicadas left, and the cool autumn breeze swept across the land. The sun also went home early. The hill said goodbye to the sun but did not lose its calm hope because it knew that it would see the sun again tomorrow. In winter, the bitter cold wind blew from all sides, and the insects and birds all took refuge. However, the hill was warm and gentle, as if welcoming the coming winter: “Old friend, it’s nice to see you again!”

Year after year, the environment around the hill was not always the same. One year, the green grass under the hill became a junkyard, which was quite unsightly. The hill did not argue or protest but silently offered the land and blessed its users. Once, it was in the height of summer. On that day, there was a heavy rainstorm, and lightning struck the hill when I happened to be gazing at it. Smoke and flames surged, but because of the continuous rain, the smoke and fire were quickly suppressed, and the hill returned to calm. Now, the junkyard is gone, and the grassland is gone, replaced by houses, roads, entertainment centers, and office buildings. The hill remains the same, embracing everything on the earth, whether it’s insects, cicadas, or humans. It offers everything with a smile every day, bringing blessings to the earth.

The hill is not voiceless or soundless. So the poet said, “Let the rivers clap their hands; let the mountains shout together for joy before the Lord” (Psalm 98:8). The hill’s enduring constancy reflects that of the Creator. As the poet wrote, “26They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. … 27 But you remain the same, and your years will never end” (Psalm 102:26-27). What is more important is that this true God has thoughts of peace for you, not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?” (Psalm 121:1)

Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Raphael Chow