Reflecting on an NDP song and our heavenly citizenship
By Doreen Tan
Every August 9, including the one that just passed, Singaporeans all over the world celebrate the country’s National Day. Among the various National Day songs we sing is the very popular “Stand Up for Singapore”.
My family and I have been fortunate enough to attend these celebrations both at the National Stadium and Marina Bay floating platform. Whenever I sing this song together with thousands of other people, a sense of pride and patriotism comes over me.
More recently when I was looking at these lyrics, it struck me that the feelings of patriotism this song evokes for my earthly country can also apply to how I view my heavenly citizenship.
Just as we should “stand up” for Singapore and do our very best, we need to consider how we can defend and give our all for God’s kingdom, as we serve our King and Lord, Jesus Christ.
The next part of the lyrics calls to “reach out” to those around us. Similarly, the Bible teaches us to love our neighbour as ourselves (Mark 12:31). Besides helping people around us through deeds of kindness and love, as Christians, we are called to share the love of Christ, which is basically, the gospel. This is where it gets challenging for me. I’m always hesitant in doing so for fear of turning the other person off, making him or her angry or worse, losing touch with them altogether.
But what if we simply focused on whether our intentions are genuine and sincere and centred on God?
1 Peter 3:15 says,
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”.
When we’re sincere, our efforts will come across as non-judgmental and as people who care. We just need to plant the seeds (the word of God). It is the Lord who causes the growth (1 Cor 3:6).
Another realization I came to was how singing itself can help to inspire, lift, and motivate us—which is probably why I was so moved by the lyrics of the song “Stand Up for Singapore”, in the first place!
Singing is also regularly mentioned in the Bible. The Lord loves to hear us sing. In fact, the whole book of Psalms is made up of songs of praise, prayer, and worship of God.
As Psalm 32:11 says,
“Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.”
When we sing hymns and songs in church, and in our homes, as the case may be in the present situation, do the richness of the lyrics and sweetness of the melody fill us with a sense of wonder, joy, awe and gratitude?
So as we rejoice in our nation’s independence and achievements through songs, let us be encouraged and reminded to also rejoice in our Lord, through songs of praise—not just today but every day of our lives because he is our eternal King and Lord!