November 15, 2018Back to list
By Tan Khye Suan
In July 2015, when Claudio Ranieri was made the manager of Leicester City FC, many felt that the owners of that football club had made a mistake. Ranieri was not quite in the league of notables football managers. His history of achievements in the football world was not exactly outstanding. He just had a poor stint as the manager of Greece’s national football team.
Besides, the players at Leicester City FC were not the well-paid superstars of the football world. It would be crazy for any superstar to sign up to play for Leicester City FC. They could not afford them anyway. No one dreamed that Leicester City FC, with a team of unknowns, would become the English Premier League Champion 2015/16. It would be crazy for anyone to dream of this outcome ten months ago. But it happened!
Since its inception 132 years ago, Leicester City FC defied all odds to become the English champion for the first time!
The manager and team may have been less than extraordinary by comparison to the big names of the football world, but they achieved extraordinary results. What was their formula for success, let the sports analysts study and tell us. But for now, it is a story of hope beyond the wildest dreams, and the city of Leicester celebrates.
Everyone loves a fairy tale story of an underdog team winning the championship. It resonates with us because it gives us hope! It tells us that we can still make it even if we haven’t made it yet!
This same message of hope is found in the Christian gospel!
When Jesus chose his disciples and tasked them with establishing his church on earth, they were not a group of nobles, high priests, religious teachers, professionals or respected members of society. They were a rag-tag group of ordinary people with ordinary professions. Yet, Christianity is now an established religion worldwide with one of the biggest followings.
In 1 Corinthians 1:26 – 29, Paul wrote: “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”
God continues to reach out to many people with humble origins and those with humble hearts—people who are downcast, who are beset with many challenges, who have impediments, and who have made a mess of their own lives. As these people are touched by the love of God and put their trust in Jesus, hope arises. God transforms their lives so that they can live extraordinarily and become a blessing to others.
The Christian story of hope is not humbug. In fact, time and again, God establishes his church in many countries of the world by first reaching out to the humble, the inapt, the unknowns and those with great needs. Out of these people came extraordinary actions driven by love and hope that God gives. And out of these people, the church is, once again, established.
Our mission is to “reach out in Christian love”. Christian love is our motivation. Through its programmes and services, we give hope to those in the community. Ordinary workers are doing what they can in the community. This is Christian love in action! May the blessings of God reach the community. With the hope that comes with love, may the people that we reach out to experience the love of God and be transformed to live extraordinary lives!
The important work of Epworth Community Services is funded primarily by generous well- wishers who strongly believe in our cause.read more