Nov 13-14, 2021
From the Pastor’s Desk: Rev. Raphael Chow

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

Shallow Water Amid the Wetland, Reed Clusters Gracefully Boost;
Swaying in the Breeze Stylishly, Unadorned Plainness Passionately Revealed!
[Chant on Reed]
Reed grows and ripens by the water. They do not have the glamour of the peonies, nor the gorgeousness of the roses, let alone the romance of the lotus and the elegance of the lilies! Even with a large field of reeds, it falls short of offering people the reckless shock or the astounding gasp! Yet, there is always exception, as with the endless reed field spreading over thousand acres in Qià Chuān Wetland in the province of Shǎnxī!
Reed always keeps its initial form, with no extra decoration or embellishment, merely topped with the reed flower. Clothed with the upright hollow stem, it stands peacefully in tranquility. It waltzes gracefully in the gentle wind, following the rhythm of the nature, liberating its wonder!
Grass, climbers, creepers all wither when fall creeps in; but the reed blooms! The flourishing reed ears up! The golden spikes swing and sway by the water, crafting a charming picture and an amazing poetry! The reed ears flutter in the breeze like snow, yet with more elegance than snow; like defoliation, yet with more feathery than the falling leaves! It sets the scene for “Snowflakes in the Breeze, Rustling of the Reed Amidst”! Under the sunset glow by the reed field, you would experience the magnificent and marvelous creation of God.
Without charming flowers of the cherry blossom and delicious crop of the groundnuts, the reed can reach a height of 20 feet which turns out to be the ideal habitat and nesting ground of the water fouls. The flowers dry up quickly in the frosty season. With no blossom and no leaves in the winter serenity, the hidden root keeps on nurturing new life unnoticeably.
The reed hints robustness. Being tenacious, it adapts well to different environment, even under extreme conditions. The reed flower also implies a modest love. It peacefully grows by the water, bearing bronze flower that is neither dazzling nor eye-catching. It fulfills its purpose of life with full blossom, willfully pouring out itself for mother nature.
We seem to see the spirit of the reed on Apostle Paul:
11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment. (1 Corinthians 4:11-13)
I believe Paul chose his path of life because of Jesus’ love, that’s why he said,
… (the Son of God) who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Yet this is not the end, Paul proclaimed that “there is in store for him the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to him …, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8)
Wish you a life resembling the reed: be a blessing to the community and be the glory of God!