Each Sunday, regardless of your background, you are welcome to participate in God's Story/Our Story and communal worship: God's Story/Our Story, a lively conversation where we discover intersections between the biblical witness and our lives at 9:15am and intergenerational worship at 10:30AM . FISH (Faith Intergenerational SHaring) is integrated into worship each week. We are walking through the Bible with a narrative approach, starting with the ancient creation stories, exploring God's pursuit of a faithful relationship with all of humanity and invite you to connect with God's Story/Our Story reflections related to this journey. 

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Matthew 6:5-21 Living a Cruciform Life: Letting Go of the Right to Get Even Feb 3, 2019 TLC

马太福音6:5-21 过着十字架的生活: 放弃获得平等的权利

Kids’ Message: Praying with our bodies…Lord’s prayer…everyone stand together

(Our life of prayer is cruciform, cross-shaped—it’s about dying and rising in Christ together)

We all struggle with how and when perhaps to pray. Some of us may have never prayed out loud. Prayer is something we do when no one else is around and prayer may be silent. We may be self-conscious about using the right words or phrases. Or we may struggle to carve out time in our daily lives to stop, pause and recognize we can talk with God about what is going on in our life. Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. Jesus cuts through all the flowery language or pious efforts we make….saying to us, ‘pray in this way.’ Jesus offers us a cross-shaped framework for all prayer, touching on all the ways we will struggle in our lives.

我们都在为如何以及何时祷告而纠结。我们中的一些人可能从未大声祷告过。祷告是我们在没有其他人在我们身边时做的事,祷告可能就是沉默。我们可能会自我意识到使用正确的单词或短语。或者我们很难在日常生活中留出时间,停下来, 认识到我们可以与上帝谈论我们生活中发生的事情。耶稣比我们自己更了解我们。耶稣切断了我们所做的所有华丽的语言或虔诚的努力.......向我们说,“以这种方式祷告。”耶稣为我们提供了一个所有祷告的十字形框架,触及到我们会在生活中遇到的所有挣扎。

The prayer is first of all communal….we address God together, not as My Father, but as Our Father, with the intimacy of a loving parent, Abba, Daddy. Whenever we pray, we are not alone, we join our voice with a community of voices calling out to their loving parent. God is Love, not gender specific…male or female, but beyond gender…a Bigger than Imaginable Love on the move for us and for the life of the world. The prayer Jesus offers is a table of contents for where we will struggle in life:


• knowing and joining with God’s will to heal and restore the world, rather than seeking our own desires,

• trusting God to provide daily bread (everything we need such as food, drink, clothing, shelter, good friends, good neighbors, faithful family, good government, health) ,

• and forgiving others as we are forgiven.




The ability to live a cruciform or cross-shaped life…

• where we seek God’s will rather than our own,

• where instead of holding grudges for days, weeks or decades, we forgive, we let go of the right to get even…




Living a cross-shaped life is not something we do on our own steam. It is a gift of grace that comes to us from the cross of Christ Jesus, as we enter into his dying and rising.


Listening to the testimony of families whose loved ones were killed in the tragic Humbolt hockey bus accident this week, we know that living a cross-shaped life is not easy by any stretch of the imagination.


As victims’ families spoke about how the accident affected their lives, one mother, sobbing and grasping, looked directly at Mr. Sidhu, the driver of the truck that killed her son, and said, “I despise you for taking my baby away. You crushed my world. You are an arrogant and inconsiderate monster with no regard for life or rules or laws.” Her anger is justified. How can parents forgive the one who owes them the life of their loved one, someone who admits they are clearly at fault?


A cross-shaped life involves naming how we’ve been wronged and then, by the grace of God, letting go of the right to get even. But we do not do this by our own grit and determination…it’s in fact opposite. It’s by opening our clenched fists, and letting go of the righteous hatred, anger, fear, and lost dreams


Mr. Sidhu, the driver of the truck who has pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm, has expressed deep remorse for his actions. His remorse will not bring back any of the lives lost. And he clearly has a record of negligent driving.


Words of forgiveness don’t come easily for those who’ve wronged us: parents or clergy or any trusted adults who abuse or neglect a child, a family member who betrays you, spouse who is unfaithful to their marriage vows. Jesus knows it’s hard to forgive, that’s why he includes it in the prayer…forgive us as we forgive those who’ve sinned against us. Matthew’s gospel seems to indicate a kind of conditional exchange of forgiveness…if we forgive others, then God will forgive us. Sounds like: If you don’t forgive others, then God won’t forgive you.


This prayer is not a contract, like making a deal with God. If I do this, then God will do this….What actually happens when we refuse to forgive others, is that we lock our heart in a room, trying to protect ourselves from further harm and hoping to hurt those who owe us, who are indebted to us. But when we do this, we are the ones who live in agony. Unforgiveness will eat us alive, wasting away our life. Jesus knows this. Jesus knows what happens when we refuse to forgive. Jesus wants to set us free from a living torment.


Jesus knows forgiveness is hard. While he was betrayed by those whom he trusted the most, he was arrested on false charges, given an unjust trial and sentenced to death. But hanging from the cross, he cried out, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing!” God offers to us forgiveness, even when we don’t know what we are doing.


In the twelve steps to living free from addiction, the fourth step involves making a fearless moral inventory of our life, where we take into account all the ways we have failed to live in love, turned against those who needed us distanced ourselves from owning our faults, denied our brokenness. But we don’t stop there, we take the fifth stap…we come with this baggage to a confidant, pastor, someone who can keep what we say confidential, and we pour it out before them. In giving voice to our fearless, moral, inventory before God and another person, our burden is lifted. We hear a word of forgiveness and we are set free. When we come in this way before God, day after day, and hear a word of forgiveness, then we are free to offer it to others. So we pray, Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debters.


One of our 12 year old theologians in our midst here at Trinity asked this question recently: “Mom, it makes sense that we need to ask others for forgiveness but why do we need to ask God for forgiveness?”


Our ability to forgive others is deeply connected to receiving forgiveness from God. We can only offer what we have first received. Every week we are given a chance to bask in the lavish forgiveness God offers, so that we can generously offer it to others.


Holding grudges hurts us, fills us with bitterness and resentment, like Ebenezer Scrooge, rather than getting even with those who hurt us.

抱着怨恨会伤害我们,就像Ebenezer Scrooge一样充满痛苦和怨恨,而不是与那些伤害我们的人相处。

On CBC radio this week I heard one grieving father whose son was killed in the Humbolt hockey team collision say, “Mr. Sidhu didn’t set out to kill anyone…I support the judge giving Mr. Sidhu a lighter sentence so that one less life is cut short by this tragedy.” In witnessing to Mr. Sidhu this week, Christina Haugen, wife of Broncos coach Darcy Haugen, said there isn’t a single way the collision hasn’t had an impact on her family—her boys living without a father, her husband whom she adored and admired. She revealed the wounds her family bears from this unjust act, but then she said something that echoes Jesus’ words from the cross to Mr. Sidhu: “I want to tell you that I forgive you.”

在本周的CBC电台,我听到一个悲痛的父亲,他的儿子在Humbolt曲棍球队的事故中遇害,他说:“Sidhu先生并没有打算杀死任何人......我支持法官给Sidhu先生一个较轻的判决,这样还有一个人的生命没有因为这个悲惨的事故而缩短。“本周见证了Sidhu先生,野马曲棍球队教练的妻子Christina Haugen说,没有什么方法可以让这个事故不对她的家庭产生影响 - 她的孩子没有了父亲,她失去了她所崇拜和钦佩丈夫。她透露了她的家人因这种错误的行为所造成的伤害,但随后她说出了一句与耶稣在十字架上对苏德先生的话相呼应的话:“我想告诉你我原谅你。”

Living a cross-shaped life, we let go of the right to get even and let God. (share kids prayer action)

过着十字架的生活,我们放弃了获得平等的权利。 (分享孩子祈祷行动)

Matthew 3:1-17 Jesus’ Baptism January 13 2019 TLC

God Loves Us First –神先爱我们

When I was 13 years old, my family moved from Montana to Minnesota…because my mother had been offered her first full time job since I was a toddler???. This was a really big deal for our family…my mother was very excited about her job, my Dad resigned his position at as the V.P of operations at the bank, and I had to leave my best friend Ruby. Ruby was like a sister to me…when we loaded up the car, it seems like I cried all across North Dakota on Interstate 94. It was like the skin of my heart was being ripped away and dragged across the pavement behind the car. When we pulled into the hotel parking lot where we would live temporarily until school started the following week, my heart was broken.


在我13岁的时候,我们全家从蒙大拿州搬到了明尼苏达州......因为这是自我两三岁起,我母亲得到的第一份全职工作。这对我们全家来说是一件非常重要的事情......我母亲对她的工作非常兴奋,我父亲辞去了银行业务部V.P的职务,我不得不离开我最好的朋友Ruby。 Ruby对我来说就像我的姊妹......当我们装完车,行驶在横跨北达科他州94号州际公路上时,我觉得我哭了一路。我觉得我的心就像被撕开,由汽车拖曳着穿过路面。当车开进酒店的停车场,我的心都碎了。酒店是我们的临时居所, 我们要在这里住到学校开学。


As ninth grade started, I decided I would try on a new identity…I was tired of being called “the brain” by my peers in school. I wanted to try on some new skin…so I signed up for the basketball team. I don’t remember any try-outs…I think they took every girl who signed up. Unlike most of the other girls, I had never played basketball before. We ran drills, dribbling, lay-ups, passing and I was OK player. But I was really nervous before the first game. Things were going pretty well until half-time. After the referee blew the whistle, I intercepted a pass and made a break for the basket…dribbling all the way down the court with no one trying to stop me. I wondered about that…briefly…but continued down the court, to do a lay-up and make a basket. Only to discover that I had scored two points for the opposing team! You see, I didn’t know the rules for playing basketball like all the other girls and I was too embarrassed to ask the coach. I had messed up big time.  I don’t remember the coach consoling me or my teammates talking with me about it…I felt like an outsider and a failure. After making that basket, I was so humiliated that I quit the basketball team.. Who would choose me to be on the team after that?





In Matthew’s gospel we’ve jumped ahead 30 years from the visit of the magi, the three wise ones to the toddler Jesus. Jesus has grown into an adult, who comes to his cousin, John in the wilderness.  John had been gathering followers in the wilderness of Judea by saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” In other words: “Change your life; God has come near.”(The Message, translation of the Bible by Eugene Peterson) Repentance is a call to change our lives, to turn from the sin that so easily entangles us, to admit we’ve messed up and need a love bigger than ourselves. 




Admitting we’ve messed up, that we need help is one of the hardest things we do as human beings. Something about losing face. And we may wonder if those who are closest to us will walk away if we admit who we really are. But some of the most fully alive human beings I know are those who’ve come to admit how they’ve messed up and been surrounded by a Love that doesn’t walk away.





In the evolutionary process, we may ask what comes first: the chicken or the egg? In John’s message we may ask, what comes first, our change of heart or God coming near? As followers of Christ, does God demand that we clean up our lives before coming to church, before coming to the waters of baptism? I think we get things mixed up…we start to think we need to fly straight, to make good choices, to do the right things, in order to be loved. But John says God has already come near to us, numbers the hairs on our head, knows us and loves us before we are aware of it. This is what the baptism of Jesus by his cousin John is all about: Jesus, divine love in human form, was willing to repent and be baptized in order to walk alongside us as our brother. We are chosen to be on God’s team before we try-out.


在进化的过程中,我们可能会问谁先出现:鸡还是蛋?在约翰的信息中,我们可能会问,什么在先?我们心灵的变化还是上帝的临近?作为基督的追随者,在来到教会之前,上帝是否要求我们在洗礼之前先整理我们的生活?我认为我们把事情搞颠倒了......我们会认为我们需要保证自己不偏离航线,做正确的选择,做正确的事, 才能被爱。但是约翰说上帝已经接近我们了,祂能清楚地数出我们头上的每一根头发,上帝在我们意识到祂之前就了解我们,就爱我们。耶稣,作为神圣的爱的人的化身,愿意悔改并受洗,以便象兄弟一样与我们同行。在我们参见选拔之前,我们就被上帝选进了祂的团队。


John follows a long line of prophets who call for people to change their lives, to turn back and walk God’s way in the world. Prophets like Isaiah who speak for God saying, “I formed you. I will not forget you.” And Zechariah who says, “Return to me and I will return to you.” And Jeremiah who says, “If you turn back, I will take you back. I am with you to save you and deliver you.”




John says that Jesus, who is more powerful than him, will baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Jesus will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.” (The Message, Eugene Peterson, Matthew’s Gospel 3:11-12

约翰说耶稣比他更强大,会用圣灵和火给我们施洗。耶稣将点燃你内在王国的生命,你内在的火焰,你内在的圣灵,从内而外地改变你。他要打扫房子 - 清理你的生活。他会在上帝面前把一切都放在适当的位置;一切假的东西,他会将他们与垃圾一起焚烧掉。“(The Message,Eugene Peterson,Matthew's Gospel 3:11-12


God comes near before we change anything. God chooses us before we try-out.

And will never walk away when we have messed up…in fact when we mess up, and are drowning in humiliation and shame, because we’ve hurt those whom we love. Jesus knows the depth of our humiliation. He bore it on the cross. Instead of walking away, Jesus comes. Dying and rising with us, opening up possibilities we’d never imagined before. Without messing up, meeting Jesus in our humiliation, these possibilities would’ve never opened up. It’s the broken places of our lives that let the light in. Soren Kierkegaard, Danish Existentialist philosopher, expresses how God comes nearer to us each day: “When we awake in the morning and turn our thoughts to you—you are the first, you have loved us first. Even if I arise at daybreak and instantly turn from my thoughts to you in prayer, you are too quick for me; you have loved me first.”


在我们改变任何事之前,上帝就来临了。在我们被试用之前,上帝就选择了我们。事实上当我们失败,陷入困境,因为伤害了我们所爱的人 而淹没在羞愧和耻辱中时,神从来没有走开......,,耶稣知道我们的羞愧有多深。他在十字架上承受着这种羞辱。耶稣没有离开,而是来了。与我们一起死去再复活,开启了我们以前从未想象过的可能性。如果没有失败,没有在我们的羞辱中遇见耶稣,这些可能性永远不会向我们开启。正是我们生活中的破碎才让光照了进来。丹麦存在主义哲学家Soren Kierkegaard表达了神每天如何接近我们:“当我们早上醒来并将思想转向你时 - 你是第一个,你先爱我们。即使我在黎明时分起床并在祷告中将我的思想立刻转向你,你对我来说也太快了; 是你先爱了我。“

Matthew 2:1-15 Epiphany January 6 2019 TLC

Opening treasure chests…home by another road

打开宝箱 --- 另一条回家的路


Three wise men notice a change in the night sky and come searching, looking for something, or someone. As you welcome a new year, what you are you looking for? …… What hopes and dreams do you have for the coming year? ……..What, if anything, are you afraid of? (take time to reflect, or write if so moved)

三位智者注意到夜空的变化,开始寻找,寻找某事或某人。在你迎接新年之际,你在寻找什么? ......对来年有什么希望和梦想? ...... ..如果有的话,你害怕什么? (如果有感动, 花点时间反思,或写点什么)


Where did the wise men get the courage to travel such a long way? They had observed a shift in the heavens and they were drawn to encounter what had caused the shift. So they search. They are willing to travel away from what is familiar and follow a star that appeared on the horizon.  And they land in Judea, a place ruled by a political nightmare, King Herod. We may tend to over-sentimentalize the story of the wise men, visiting the Christ child as we human beings tend to do with times past. The wise men were magi, not three kings as a popular Christmas carol sings, but Zoroastrian astrologists. They studied the movement of the heavens, searching for answers to mysteries we still have not solved.




They left the fire temples of their god Ahura Mazda to travel 100’s of km to pay homage to toddler king of the Jews. We may wonder how did the Zoroastrians living in Persia, modern day Turkey, know anything about Judaism and the promised Savior?  Actually for centuries the Jews had influenced Persian culture…they had lived among the Zoroastrians and developed partnerships across religious borders. We see this with a Jewish woman Esther marrying a Persian King, changing the plight of her people. Another Persian king had supplied the forest wood to rebuild the Jerusalem temple in Nehemiah’s day. And a young Jewish man named Daniel was appointed a leader in the Persian empire. So these Zoroastrians cross religious, political and ethnic boundaries to search for a child born to find all of us.


他们离开他们的神Ahura Mazda的火神殿,跋涉100公里,向还在蹒跚学步的犹太人的国王致敬。我们或许想知道当时生活在波斯,现代的土耳其的琐罗亚斯德教徒,对犹太教和应许的救主有什么了解?实际上几个世纪以来,犹太人一直影响着波斯文化......他们生活在琐罗亚斯德教徒之间,并跨过宗教的界限与他们形成伙伴关系。我们看到犹太裔女子Esther嫁给了一个波斯国王,改变了她的人民的困境。另一位波斯国王在尼希米时代提供了用于重建耶路撒冷圣殿的木材。一位名叫丹尼尔的年轻犹太人被任命为波斯帝国的领袖。因此,这些琐罗亚斯德教徒跨越宗教、政治和种族的界限,寻找一个为找寻我们而生的孩子。


These three travelers arrive up to two years after Jesus’ birth, to a country torn by bloodshed and the murderous rage of their political ruler. King Herod, loyal to Rome, is threatened by the birth of a Savior and deceives the travelers by sending them to Bethlehem, saying “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” Herod’s leadership of Judea was unstable; many religious leaders believed he wasn’t sufficiently Jewish to rule the people. He was a monstrous leader who had killed his own wife and several children. In asking the magi to report on the whereabouts of Jesus,  all Herod intends is to issue an order for genocide of all children under the age of 2 years (show second slide) David Jaffe depicts this horror in his painting. Warned in a dream, Joseph flees danger in his own country with Mary and Jesus to become refugees, crossing borders to find safety. Jesus is born into a world in which people are forced to become refugees, where the innocent suffer, where equality and justice for all is fleeting.


这三个人在耶稣出生后两年来到这个充斥着流血事件,被暴戾统治者统治的国家。忠于罗马皇帝的希律王受到救主诞生的威胁,把这三个人骗到了伯利恒,对他们说:“努力寻找那个孩子;如果找到就给我带个话,我也可以去向他致敬。“希律王对犹大城的统治是不稳定的; 许多宗教领袖认为他不足以统治人民。他是一个可怕的领导者,杀死了自己的妻子和几个孩子。在要求法师报告耶稣的下落的同时,希律王一心盘算的是下达杀死所有2岁以下儿童的种族灭绝令(显示第二张幻灯片)David Jaffe在他的画作中描绘了这种恐怖情景。约瑟在梦中被警告,他与玛丽亚和耶稣从自己的国家逃离以躲避危险,他们为寻求安全而越过边境成为难民。耶稣诞生于一个人们被迫成为难民的世界,在那里无辜的百姓遭受苦难,所有的公平和正义正在消亡。



The Vancouver Sun shared the story of Sharmarka Dubow, newly elected city counselor in Victoria, BC. When Dubow was 8 years old, his mother put him and his sister on a boat fleeing war-torn Somalia, saying “hold onto your sister’s hand.” Dubow and his sister crossed the Indian ocean by moonlight and landed in Kenya. He built a bed of bamboo sticks and remembers camp life being one of daily struggles and frightened people looking for their next meal, trying to make a living. The United Nations stepped in to ensure the refugee camp was permitted to exist. “For twenty years,” Dubow says, “I didn’t have a home, I didn’t have a country. I grow up in a refugee camp in Kenya.  In Ethiopia I was undocumented, not registered under the UN Human Rights Commission. In Egypt, I was a refugee and they never gave me a chance to become a citizen and be part of society,” Dubow says. He was an outsider without rights until he came to Canada in 2012. “Canada gave me that chance. Victoria lifted me up. People have lifted me up and given me that chance….I want to give back to Canada, to make Victoria more inclusive and affordable, …. to bring people together.” Dubow has discovered the best way to do this is to have tea and sit with people from all walks of life. Sounds like something Jesus would do. No wonder the magi were drawn to him. No wonder we are drawn.

温哥华太阳报分享了BC 省维多利亚市新当选的市议员Sharmarka Dubow的故事。当Dubow 8岁时,他的母亲将他和他的妹妹放在逃离战火纷纷的索马里的船上,说 “握住你姐姐的手。” Dubow和他的妹妹趁着夜色越过印度洋来到肯尼亚。他用竹竿做了一张床,并记得难民营的生活每天都在挣扎,恐惧的人们寻找着下一顿饭的着落,想着如何生存。联合国的介入确保了难民营的存在。 “二十年来,”Dubow说,“我没有家,没有国家。我在肯尼亚的一个难民营长大。在埃塞俄比亚,我没有证件,没有在联合国人权委员会注册。在埃及,我是一名难民,他们从未给我机会让我成为公民, 成为社会的一份子,“Dubow说。在2012年来加拿大之前,他是一个没有权利的局外人。“加拿大给了我这个机会。维多利亚扶我站起来,人们把我举起来,给了我这样的机会......我想回馈加拿大,让维多利亚更具包容性和可负担性......将人们聚集在一起。“Dubow已经发现,最好的方法就是与各界人士坐在一起喝茶。听起来像耶稣会做的事情。难怪法师会被他吸引,难怪我们也被他吸引。


Dutch painter Peter Paul Rubens, from the late 1500’s, depicts what happens when the magi arrive: In the foreground, one of the magi is thoroughly moved by meeting the child in Mary’s lap. He kneels in deep respect and adoration, staring open-mouthed and opens his treasure chest, sharing his gift as Jesus reaches out to him. Another magus above him steps back with his hand on his hip, eyes wide open, not sure what he has found. And the third magus, with a flowing white beard, furls his brow in contemplation, realizing how important this meeting is.


荷兰画家彼得保罗鲁本斯(Peter Paul Rubens),从1500年代后期开始,描绘了当法师到达时会发生什么:在前景中,其中一个法师见到在玛丽的膝上的孩子而彻底感动。他在深深的敬意和崇拜中跪在地上,张着嘴,打开他的宝箱,在耶稣向他伸出手时分享他的礼物。在他之上的另一个法师背着手后退,睁大眼睛,不确定他发现了什么。第三个法师留着飘逸的白胡子,在沉思中皱起眉头,意识到这次见面的重要性。


They opened their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh…pouring out the best they had to share. I wonder, do we realize the treasure chest entrusted to each of us? Or are we like the little drummer boy who underestimates what he has to offer the newborn king?




One of my favorite Christmas Carols is the Little Drummer Boy because it speaks of a boy who thinks he has nothing to share with the baby Jesus that’s fit to give a king, but realizes he can bring himself, play his drum...that is enough. (play :25-2:50 seconds)


我最喜欢的圣诞颂歌之一是Little Drummer Boy,因为它说的是一个男孩认为他没有适合给国王的什么东西,可以拿来与婴儿耶稣分享。但是他意识到他可以把自己带来,敲鼓......这就足够了。


A child has been born, the shepherds hear of his birth and find him in a manger. The magi travel from afar seeking more than they can imagine. We are gathered here this morning, to let go of regrets from 2018, name our hopes and dreams for 2019, and wrestle with fears of what tomorrow might bring. But this child, born to find us all, invites us to come… bring our whole selves, the broken and bruised parts, the not-yet-fulfilled parts, and kneel. Together we offer  all we are, all we hope to become, before the One who gives us more than we will ever need.


Christmas Eve, December 24, 2018 Luke 2:1-20

圣诞前夜 路加福音2:1-20

In-car-nation…enfleshment of Divine Love. Love in human form An Audacious Claim we make as Christians every Christmas is that God took human form in the birth of Christ.




Since we’ve been bathed in song, prayer, and candle lighting as we gather together, I trust none of you are anxious or afraid right now…unless I were to ask you to come and join me for a conversation up here right now. Then your palms might start to sweat and your heart race. If I didn’t have my thoughts worked out on paper in front of you, I may be doing the same.




Tonight, I invite you to walk into Luke’s Gospel with me and step into the shepherd’s muddy boots, breathe in the pasture, manure, hear the baaaaaa-ing of the flock of sheep, some milling around others bedded down in a ravine with a watering hole near-by. The shepherds are reclining on a rock near-by, half awake, yet minding their business of tending sheep under both the cover and threat that darkness brings. Suddenly, a flash of light appears, like the refrigerator sized meteor that pealed across the MN sky a few days ago, shaking houses and awakening people from sleep with a sonic boom. God’s glory blazed around the shepherds and they were terrified. When we are afraid, we zone in on the perceived threat. Our body is flooded with adrenaline as we prepare to face the threat. Neuroscientists know that the part of the brain activated is the Amygdala. It’s been called our reptilian brain…reflexive and reactive. So that we function more like instinctive animals than conscious human beings, when our amygdala is activated. We are in fight or flight mode…trying to defend ourselves or get away from whatever is frightening us. Teachers use the insights of neuroscientists to nurture a classroom environment conducive to learning.  Students are taught how to regulate themselves so that they move beyond the amygdala and activate the parts of their brains that experience new insight, new awareness, and learn. Gathering here in worship, we nurture a space that allows for reflection, self-awareness, being honest with ourselves and with God, and together encountering the mystery of the incarnation….a theological word referring to God taking human form…as a babe born to Mary and Joseph, coming to embody divine love




For years I’ve been an avid bird watcher, but not the kind that keeps a record of all the birds I’ve seen and who books vacations just to watch birds, YET…those days are coming. But one of the challenges of watching birds is seeing them without frightening them away or catching a glimpse of them before they notice you. On these rainy and chilly winter days, we’ve successfully attracted and feeding humming birds, chickadees and juncos to our deck. They seem to arrive while we eat breakfast…and feast until they notice a threat…our black kitten window hunting.




Did you hear about Rocco, the Cheeky Parrot who has learned how to use Amazon’s latest home-based AI device, called Alexa, to order snacks? In the Huffington Post, David Barden reported on this African grey parrot who was kicked out of an animal sanctuary for his foul mouth, was rescued by Marion in the UK and has learned how to befriend Alexa, an AI device that can do many things for you all through voice activated control. Rocco is using Alexa to play his favorite music, tell jokes and even order snacks (The Times of London). His owner who rescued him has set parental controls on Alexa to prevent this clever boy from purchasing items, such as strawberries, ice cream and even a kettle. Rocco was taught how to curse by a previous owner which got him kicked out of the animal sanctuary. But smarty pants has fallen in love with his owner, Marion, and apparently Alexa, his new BFF (best friend). Rocco interacts with the AI device up to 40 times a day while Marion is at work. Rocco can imitate many household sounds such as the microwave, squeaking fridge door, ice cream van in the summer and “a truck reversing so loud you think it’s in your living room,” Marion says. But Rocco is not conscious of himself and reflective about why he’s here, like we human beings but he’s established a relationship with an AI (artificial intelligence) device that accomplishes a significant number of tasks we human beings would ask of Alexa. As scientists create algorithms in AI devices and robots, can they develop a conscious awareness like we human beings? Is there an algorithm that teaches them to wonder, to be curious, to develop a relationship with parrots and human beings and God?


您有没有听说过Rocco,一只厚脸皮地鹦鹉已经学会了如何使用亚马逊最新的家用人工智能设备Alexa来订购零食?在赫芬顿邮报中,David Barden报道了这只非洲灰鹦鹉因为他的臭嘴巴而被赶出动物保护区,后来被英国的马里昂救了,并学会了如何与Alexa成为朋友,这是一种可以通过语音识别系统做很多事情的人工智能设备。 Rocco正在使用Alexa播放它最喜欢的音乐,讲笑话甚至点小吃(伦敦时报)。它的主人救了它,为Alexa设置了家长控制,以防止这个聪明的家伙购买草莓,冰淇淋甚至水壶等物品。Rocco因被它的前一任主人教导讲脏话而被赶出了动物保护区。但这个聪明的家伙已经爱上了他的主人马里昂,Alexa显然是他的新BFF(最好的朋友)。当Marion在工作时,Rocco每天最多与AI设备互动40次。Rocco可以模仿许多的声音,比如夏天的微波炉,吱吱作响的冰箱门,夏天的冰淇淋车,以及“一辆卡车倒车的声音,声音大到你认为它就在客厅,”马里昂说。但Rocco并没有自我意识, 也不会象我们人类一样反思它为什么会在这里,但它与人工智能设备建立了关系,完成了人类会向Alexa提出的大量任务。当科学家在人工智能设备和机器人中创建算法时,他们能否培养出像人类一样的自主意识?是否有一种算法可以让他们疑惑,好奇,想要与鹦鹉,人类和上帝发展关系?


The shepherds were not looking for God, on their knees praying beneath the star-lit sky, or reading the Book of Psalms out in the pasture…they were doing what shepherds do, keeping watch over their flocks so that a wolf wouldn’t snatch them.




When the shepherds are startled by an angel, a messenger from God, they are terrified…their amygdala kicks into full gear. And…the story could’ve ended right there if they’d followed their (reflexive reptilian brain) instinct, fleeing for their lives. So the first thing the angel says is “Do not be afraid.” The shepherds let those words sink in, Do ….not….be …. afraid….expanding their brain capacity to press a pause button, allowing time to listen and take in something new.




They were interrupted by something that they were willing to consider. What they heard was mind blowing (action) And it compelled them, out of curiosity, to go NOW to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place. When we are afraid, our brain doesn’t have any room to be curious. All the neurons are shooting towards fight or flight in order to stay alive. In fact, if we are terrified, our bodies can freeze, unable to do or say anything.




But living by faith involves being curious, open to wonder. And being in touch with our bodies, our senses, our fellow creatures.  On Christmas, we celebrate the love of God revealed in human form. As the early Christian communities were figuring out who Jesus was and what it meant to follow the way of Christ, some of them developed a way of living by faith that elevated the mind over the body. Gnostics believed that our perfect souls were trapped in the decaying flesh of an evil, physical world. They rejected the body and sought to rely solely on the mind as the primary communicator with the soul. If their minds could access higher knowledge (gnosis) they would find the way to salvation.




Catherine Woodiwiss (deputy web editor of Sojourners Magazine) suggests we are at risk of becoming gnostics today: “In our technology driven world, we are at risk of elevating the mind with our phones acting as extensions of our brain, reminding us what we are is a mind detached from our body. Youth (today increasingly) interact through virtual reality in video games” instead of face-to-face, running together, knowing one another through bodily human contact.



Catherine WoodiwissSojourners杂志的副网站编辑)表示,我们今天面临成为诺斯替主义的风险:“在我们的技术驱动的世界中,我们有可能通过我们的手机作为我们大脑的扩展提升我们的思维,提醒我们 ”我们是什么“是一种脱离我们身体的思想。今天越来越多的青年人通过视频游戏中的虚拟现实进行“互动,而不是通过面对面,一起跑步,身体的实际接触来相互认识。


“For many tech pioneers, including Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, the ideal future for humanity is a constantly stimulated mind. Virtual reality as the ultimate escape for our brains, away from the brutish limits of our bodies.” (Catherine Woodiwiss, Bodily Prayer, Sojourners Magazine June 2018)  


“对于许多科技先驱,包括Facebook创始人马克扎克伯格来说,人类理想的未来是一个不断激励的头脑。虚拟现实是我们大脑的最终逃脱,远离我们野蛮身体的极限。“(Catherine WoodiwissBodily PrayerSojourners Magazine20186月)


Tonight, we enter into the mystery of God’s saving love revealed in, with and through a physical, human body. Jesus, divine love in human form, born to save the cosmos, meets us tonight as the bread touches our lips…Christ’s body broken for you, filling our body with the indwelling presence of God. As we eat and drink we are given the freedom to become fully human: loved, whole, sinewy-connected brain to body. Let us go NOW to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place….




Kids’ Message basis….



The incarnation is at the heart of Christian theology…we have reinterpreted the winter solstice celebration of the ancient Romans, focused on the everlasting presence of love through evergreen trees and bows. Santa is based on a real person, Nicholas, bishop of Myra, who helped create the Nicene Creed p. 126 ( we believe in one God, who made the whole universe…everything we can see and not see…one Lord, Jesus…God from God, light from light, of one being with the Father…through him all things were made…He came down to love us, forgive us, set us free to be fully human and we believe in the Holy Spirit, giver of life) and, according to tradition, rescued three girls from poverty and prostitution. Gift giving is an expression of love and generosity, reflecting the homage paid Jesus by the Magi. Dec 25th may not be the date of Jesus’ birth, but it’s near the darkest day of the year…to celebrate the light of the world, which the darkness cannot overcome.


道成肉身是基督教神学的核心......我们重新诠释了古代罗马人的冬至庆典,通过用常绿树木和弓箭来表达永恒的爱。圣诞老人源于一个真实的人,尼拉斯,迈拉的主教,帮助创建了尼西亚信条。 126页(我们相信一个上帝,他创造了整个宇宙......我们能看到的一切,而不是看到......一个主,耶稣......来自上帝的上帝,来自光明的光,与父同在......通过他所有的事物都被制造出来......降至人间爱我们,原谅我们,让我们自由地成为完全的人,我们相信圣灵,生命的赐予者),并按照传统,救出三个女孩免于贫困和卖淫。送礼是爱和慷慨的表达,反映了贤士对耶稣的敬意。 1225日可能不是耶稣诞生的日期,但它接近一年中最黑暗的日子......庆祝黑暗无法克服的世界之光。

Matthew 2  Advent 4 Dec 23 2018 TLC

God IS with us



Here we are in the fourth week Advent, waiting, watching and hoping for the coming of God among us. As we wait, some travel down roads they never anticipated, being resuscitated on the operating table twice, hearing test results that reveal a life-threatening cancer diagnosis, recovering from radiation treatments, losing mobility and independence to rely on a nurse and a wheel chair, or looking for a way through broken family relationships.  Together we look for God’s coming and ask…is God with us now?




When our lives, our families or our international partnerships are unraveling, we ask….is God with us now? This Christmas our brothers and sisters in Syria seek to rebuild their lives in war zones, where peace is still fragile and the US military is pulling out. This week a mother in Mosul, who survived the war along with her husband and children, is trying to start over. During the fighting, they  were used as human shields by ISIS fighters. But they escaped and they can no longer afford the rent of their temporary housing. Tired of waiting, with her own hands, she is rebuilding a home for her family in the rubble of her former neighbourhood.  Is God with her?




Asking this question together, we listen once again to the Christmas story told from Joseph’s point of view. Matthew’s gospel doesn’t tell the story of shepherds, a host of angels, and the child born in a manger. Only Luke’s gospel introduces Jesus to the world in this way.




First century Jewish fathers would promise their young daughter to her future husband as soon as she reached puberty. So Mary had been promised to Joseph; but before they lived together, Mary conceived a child. For Joseph, this was bad news. It dishonoured him, was grounds for divorce and even the death of Mary by stoning. According to Deuteronomy 22, without evidence of her virginity through soiled bed sheets, shown to the elders at the city gate, then a young woman could be stoned to death by the men of her town. Joseph had decided to spare Mary’s life and dismiss her quietly, because he wasn’t seeking revenge or even punishment under the law. He had chosen to walk away without making a scene.


在一世纪的犹太族裔中,父亲们会把到了青春期的女儿许配给她们未来的丈夫。所以玛利亚曾被许配给约瑟; 但在他们住在一起之前,玛丽亚怀了个孩子。对于约瑟来说,这是个坏消息,使他受到了羞辱,他可以据此离婚,甚至可以用石头将玛丽亚打死。根据申命记22章,如果没有向城门口的长老展示有血迹的床单,作为证据来证明自己的童贞,这名年轻女子就可以被她镇上的男人用石头砸死。约瑟决定饶了玛丽的性命,并悄悄地休了她,因为他并不是在寻求法律规定的报复甚至惩罚,他选择不露痕迹地离开。


But just as he had made up his mind, in a dream an angel, a messenger from the Lord, appears to him and changes his mind, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” The name Jesus, Joshua in Hebrew, means: One who saves. This dream changes the entire direction Joseph is headed. Instead of walking away quietly, Joseph breaks with his religious tradition, that says Mary must suffer punishment, and accepts Mary as his wife. Life can turn on a dime,  through what appears when we are unconscious, asleep, dreaming. For Joseph, love was greater than being right according to the religious tradition.




I was wrong, you were right could be Joseph’s song. When he fell asleep Joseph was determined to say “no” to Mary, to the direction his life might take with her and the shame associated with her pregnancy. When he wakes up, he says “yes” to the angel and “yes” to Mary. In saying “yes” Joseph discovers God is with him, God is with us…the infinite expanse of love compelling the universe into being is contained in a finite human being.


我错了,你说得对,可能是约瑟的脑子里的想法。当他睡着了的时候,约瑟决心对玛丽亚说“不”,对接受玛丽亚和未婚先孕带来的耻辱的生活方向说不。 当他醒来时,他对天使说“是”,对玛丽亚说“是”。在说“是”的时候,约瑟发现上帝与他在一起,上帝与我们在一起......创造宇宙的大爱被包含在了一个有限的人类的身体里。


“You shall name him Emmanuel; God is with us.” Isaiah 7




Matthew’s gospel is quoting the prophet Isaiah: You shall name him Emmanuel. These ancient words have multiple levels of meaning, so that they come alive among us today. The first level of meaning is 800 years before the birth of Jesus, when the prophet Isaiah lived. When the prophet Isaiah first spoke these words to the people, the kingdom was divided between north and south, north was allied with the King of Assyria, and they attacked the south. Isaiah and his oldest son go to the southern king and tell him to request a sign that things will work out for his kingdom. The king refused, so Isaiah offers a sign: Look, a young woman would give birth to a child. Before the child is old enough to know right from wrong, the kings that threaten you will be in ruins. According to Rashi, a medieval Jewish commentator, the child born was likely Isaiah’s second son, whose birth did remind the people that even though they were attacked, their people killed and enslaved, Emmanuel, God was with them. Devastation surrounded them, but in the midst of the devastation, God’s saving love was at work.


马太福音引用了先知以赛亚的话:你应该把他命名为以马内利。这些古老的词语具有多层次的意义,因此它们今天在我们中间仍然是鲜活的。第一层意义是在耶稣诞生之前800年,先知以赛亚活着的时候。当先知以赛亚第一次向人们说这些话时,犹太国分裂成南北两国,北国与亚述王结盟,他们袭击了南国。以赛亚和他的长子去见了南方的国王,并告诉他向上帝求一个记号,表明他的王国将会安然度过这一切。国王拒绝了,所以以赛亚提出一个记号:看,一个年轻女人会生一个孩子 。在孩子长大,知道是非之前,威胁你的国王的国土将成为废墟。根据中世纪犹太评论员拉什的说法,出生的孩子很可能是以赛亚的第二个儿子,他的出生确实提醒人们,即使他们遭到袭击,他们的人民被杀害和奴役,以马内利,上帝与他们同在。毁灭包围着他们,但在毁灭之中,上帝的拯救之爱正在发挥作用。


The second level of meaning is 80 years after the birth of Christ, when Matthew’s gospel is written to a mostly Jewish audience. After his death and resurrection, this was a Jewish community seeking to follow the way of Jesus in a time of violent persecution. We know this, in part, because the gospel introduces Jesus to the world with a genealogy connecting Jesus to his Jewish ancestors in faith: Abraham, Noah, Moses, Rahab, Ruth, King David: 42 generations of Jewish families leading to Joseph and the promised child.




The original hearers of Matthew’s gospel had just survived the Roman invasion of Jerusalem. The Romans had attacked the Temple, the dwelling place of God on earth, turning it to rubble.  Thousands of Matthew’s readers and friends had been brutally killed, hundreds by crucifixion, just as Jesus had been killed. The world and future seemed hopeless, beyond repair for both the Jewish community and the small but growing Jesus movement.




So Matthew’s gospel writer points to Joseph’s dream as the fulfillment of what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah in a different yet similar time of devastation. Just as a child born in Isaiah’s day reminded people: God is with you.  So will the child conceived in Mary’s womb; name him Emmanuel, God is with us.  Even though the Temple has been destroyed…this child, a limited, finite being, holds the infinite, limitless love of the universe.


因此,马太福音的作者指出,约瑟的梦是在不同却又相似的毁灭时期对先知以赛亚的预言的实现。正如在以赛亚时代出生的孩子提醒人们:上帝与你同在。孩子也将在玛丽的子宫中孕育; 将他命名为以马内利,上帝与我们同在。尽管圣殿已经被摧毁了......这个有限存在的孩子拥有宇宙无限的爱。


For those whose lives are unraveling around and within them, tell the old, old story again…of Joseph, who had resolved to dismiss his betrothed out of public shame…he had a dream that woke him up. He realized that God could work through what seems to be a public disgrace. No matter how your life is unraveling, a child has been born whose name is Emmanuel, God is with us. This is what Christmas is all about: discovering God is with us. God loves you. God is for you. Broken and poured out right here, right now, for you.


Matthew’s way of introducing Jesus says, God is still with you, even now, even as your very life seems to fall away, God will catch you.






Questions for youth on Instagram:


In what ways are people connected with Trinity struggling? In what ways are you or your friends struggling? (no need to name names here…just anonymous examples)


What does the name Emmanuel mean?


What did Emmanuel mean for the prophet Isaiah, for Matthew’s Gospel, for Joseph?


Does it matter if God is with you, with your friends, with your family, with your enemies? Why or why not?


If God is with you, no matter where you are or what you are doing or thinking, how might that make a difference?

Isaiah 42 Dec 16 2018 Advent 3 TLC

以赛亚书42   2018 年12月16 日 耶稣降临期3 TLC


The prophet Isaiah uses poetic language to speak bringing justice to people who are like bruised reeds and dimly burning wicks. The recent detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, from China’s point of view, is a human rights abuse, straining relations between China, Canada and the US. Meng is seen by China as a bruised reed, mother of four, unjustly intercepted at YVR and detained. With the yellow vest protests in France resulting in violent clashes for the last several weeks, those protesting see themselves as dimly burning wicks, unable to afford the high cost of living. I wonder how the prophet Isaiah might respond, as these nations seek justice.In hearing about the tenants in New Westminster who are being enticed out of their affordable housing by landlords making a money grab.  I wonder if Isaiah would name them as bruised reeds and dimly burning wicks…some of these 74 year old tenants have been sent to the hospital with the stress, just because their landlord wants to renovate their building. They are being offered buyouts to move or else face the threat of eviction. But the Vancouver Tenants Union is bringing justice in our communities by reminding tenants of their rights….they cannot be forced out of their home if they are willing to accommodate the renovations. And the landlords cannot succeed in their money grab for tenants who would pay higher rent for a renovated apartment. The prophet Isaiah might say these frightened and desperate tenants are bruised reeds and dimly burning wicks. If so, then both Isaiah and Jesus are working alongside the union as they teach tenants how to exercise their rights.


先知以赛亚通过用诗意般语言的演说, 给那些弱势群体带来正义,这些人就如伤痕累累的芦苇和昏暗燃烧的灯芯一般软弱无力。最近华为CFO孟晚舟的被捕,从中国的角度来讲,是对人权的侵犯,伤害了中国与美国和加拿大的关系。对中国来说孟是受伤的芦苇,是四个孩子的母亲,不公正地在温哥华机场遭到逮捕和羁押。法国的黄马甲运动导致过去几周发生暴力冲突,这些抗议者视自己为昏暗燃烧的灯芯,无法负担昂贵的生活成本。我想知道以赛亚如何回应,因为这些国家都在寻求正义。在听到新西斯敏的房客被抢钱般的房东诱骗搬出可负担的住房后,我想知道以赛亚是否会将他们称为伤痕累累的芦苇和昏暗燃烧的灯芯......这些74岁的租户中的一些人已经因精神压力而被送往医院,仅仅是因为他们的房东想要翻新他们的楼房。他们被提供了一次性费用搬出居所,或面临被赶出住所的威胁。但温哥华租户联盟通过提醒租户他们的权利来为我们的社区带来正义......如果他们愿意配合装修,他们不能被强迫搬走。而房东想通过翻新公寓收取更高租金的愿望也不能得逞。先知以赛亚可能会说这些受到惊吓和绝望的房客就如伤痕累累的芦苇和昏暗的灯芯。如果是这样,那么以赛亚和耶稣就站在租客联盟一边,因为他们教导租户如何行使他们的权利。


Seeking dignity and respect for all human beings was sparked when Niki Wong was in sixth grade. As a young person she discovered how to follow Christ through several mission trips. In sixth grade she went on a mission to Texas and first learned about inequality and God’s call for us to work towards the common good. With more service trips to Kenya and Uganda in high school, she saw the injustice of the slum neighborhoods in Africa in contrast to the privilege of her suburban neighborhood in the U.S. While on a mission trip to the Philippines in college, Niki realized that Jesus calls us to be in mission, not by dropping in for a couple weeks, volunteering and leaving, but by transforming a whole community as a member of it. So she changed her major from biochemistry and microbiology to urban studies. And instead of applying to medical school, she pursued a master’s degree in public health. She wanted to help whole communities rather than just one patient at a time. She and her husband began looking for college courses that would allow them to “tie (their lives) and (their) future to the experience of the community.” (Sojourners Magazine June 2018 p.15-18) Niki’s growing understanding of what it meant to follow Jesus shaped her post-secondary education so that she would have the tools, experience and courage to see injustice and build up communities wherever she lived. So when Niki Wong and her husband relocated to Los Angeles neighborhood four years ago, they began organizing their neighbors to oppose an oil company which is operating an active oil drill site within their neighborhood. Niki recognized bruised reeds and dimly burning wicks in her new neighbours and has been working to renew and restore her neighbourhood.


Niki Wong上六年级的时候,开始为所有人寻求尊严和尊重。作为一个年轻人,经过几次服侍旅行,她发现了如何跟随基督。六年级时,她前往德克萨斯州,首先了解了不平等,上帝要求我们为共同利益而努力。在上高中时,她参加了去肯尼亚和乌干达的服侍,她看到了非洲贫民窟的不公正,这与她在美国郊区享有的特权形成了鲜明的对比。在上大学时她去菲律宾从事服侍,Nikki意识到耶稣要我们完成的使命,不是仅仅投入几周时间去做志愿者,然后离开,而是通过作为其成员去改变整个社区。因此,她将自己的专业从生物化学和微生物学转为城市研究。她没有申请医学院,而是攻读公共卫生硕士学位。她想帮助整个社区,而不是一次只帮助一个病人。她和她的丈夫开始寻找那些可以将他们的生活和他们的未来与社区经历紧密联系在一起的大学课程。”(Sojourners Magazine2018615-18页)Niki对跟随耶稣的理解日益加深,这塑造了她所接受的高等教育,这样她就拥有了工具,经验和勇气去正视不公正,在她所住的地方组建社会团体。四年前,当Niki Wong和她的丈夫搬到洛杉矶社区时,他们开始组织他们的邻居反对一家石油公司,该公司在他们附近经营着一个活跃的石油钻井场。Nikki在她所居住的新社区看到了受伤的芦苇和昏暗地燃烧着灯芯,并一直致力于更新和恢复她的社区。


Matthew’s Gospel is looking back at the prophet Isaiah’s words, crafted for a community facing injustice. Living 600 years before the birth of Christ, God’s beloved people were taken from their homeland to Babylon where lived as exiles, foreigners living in a place in which they didn’t have the same rights and privileges as they did at home…Matthew’s gospel remembers the words of the prophet Isaiah as a way to say, “This is who Jesus is and why he is doing what he’s doing.”




Jesus was healing on the sabbath, but this was considered “work” and not allowed on the seventh day of the week.  Sabbath is the holy day, “holy” meaning “set apart” every seven days for rest and restoration in relationship with the Living God.  God had made a promise to Moses, saying “I am the Lord who rescued you from slavery in Egypt…remember the sabbath and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath…the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it, and spirit to those who walk in it… rested the seventh day, so shall you.” Each human being is made in God’s image, called to rest every seventh day, to cease being productive, to focus on relationship with one another, with the Living God who knows us and loves us, restoring what has been eroded away by endless days of work.



But Jesus was healing a man with a withered hand on the sabbath, and allowing his disciples to glean the fields of grain on the sabbath when they were hungry. So Jesus was questioned: Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath?...Jesus says, if your sheep falls into a  pit on the sabbath, wouldn’t you rescue it? How much more valuable is a human being than a sheep! . Jesus seemed to be disregarding the teaching of Moses by healing on the sabbath…so that some were conspiring against him, how to destroy him.


但是耶稣在安息日用自己干枯的手治愈了一个病人,并允许他饥饿的门徒在安息日收集田地里的谷物。所以耶稣受到了质疑:在安息日治疗是否合法?......耶稣说,如果你的羊在安息日掉进坑里,你不救它吗?人比绵羊更有价值! 耶稣似乎无视摩西的教训,在安息日医治......所以有些人正在密谋反对他,如何毁灭他。


Aware of this plot, Jesus departed, crowds followed, and he cured all of them, ordering him not to make him known. Don’t post this on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. Keep this secret. Why?





Matthew’s gospel writer says all of this healing on the sabbath and keeping it hidden from public view was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah who spoke of a servant in the future who “would set everything right among the nations. He won’t call attention to what he does with loud speeches or showy parades. He won’t brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won’t disregard the small and insignificant….He won’t tire out and quit. He won’t be stopped until he’s finished his work—to set things right on earth.” (Eugene Peterson’s translation of the Bible: The Message p.1287 Isaiah 42) Matthew’s gospel says the servant whom Isaiah imagined has come in Christ.


马太福音的作者说,安息日所有的这些治愈,都被隐藏在公众视野之外,这是为了实现先知以赛亚所说的话,以赛亚谈到将来的一个仆人“会在各国中设置一切。他不会用大声的演讲或炫耀的游行来引起人们的注意。他不会撇开伤痕累累的伤口,也不会忽视那些微不足道的小事.......他不会厌倦而退出。在他完成工作之前,他不会被阻止 - 在地球上把事情做好。“(尤金彼得森的圣经翻译:信息第1287页以赛亚书42章)马太福音说以赛亚所想象的仆人已经以基督的样式来到了。


In 2014 while looking for a new community in which they could live, work and build up the common good as a way to follow Christ, Niki and her husband met Richard Parks. Twenty years before, Parks was a student at the University of Southern California who felt uncomfortable with all the poverty surrounding the campus. Seeking to follow Christ, he was compelled by much that Jesus taught until he heard Jesus words: “love your neighbour as yourself” and he thought, “Wow, I know who my neighbours are and I don’t love them, and I’m not sure I want to.” He knew he was faced with a decision. Would he trust Jesus’ call to love his neighbours and do something about it? He and a few friends took the risk to follow Jesus by moving off campus into the neighborhood. They opened their doors to homeless people, tutored youth and closed liquor stores. They started Redeemer Community Partnerships, which Parks is now president. For 20 years he’s lived blocks away from the Jefferson oil drill site.  As he shared with Niki and her husband about the strong fumes, fires and oil spraying on homes and cars from the oil drill sight. He said the community had just showed up at a recent public hearing to deny a new permit to drill three new oil wells and operate them 24/7. Niki says, “all these alarms went off in my head” as I listened to Richard. With her background in biochemistry, urban studies and public health, Niki knew how toxic this land-use was and its impact on residents. And she heard God’s call to “set things right” in her new neighbourhood.


2014年,Nikki 和他的丈夫正在寻找一个可以生活,工作和建立共同利益的新社区,作为他们跟随基督的方式,他们遇到了理查德帕克斯。二十年前,帕克斯是南加州大学的一名学生,他对校园内的所有贫困感到不安。为了跟随基督,他一直感受到耶稣的教导所带来的压迫,直到他听到耶稣的话:“爱你的邻居如同自己”,并且他想,“哇,我知道我的邻居是谁了,我不爱他们,而且我不确定我是否愿意爱他们。“他知道他面临着一个决定。他会相信耶稣的呼召,爱他的邻居并为此做些什么吗?他和一些朋友冒着风险跟随耶稣搬离了校园,住进了附近的社区。他们向无家可归者,问题青年敞开了大门,并关闭了卖酒的商店。他们创办了“救主社区合作伙伴”这样一个组织,Parks是现任总裁。 20年来,他住的地方离在杰斐逊石油钻探工厂只隔几个街区。他与Nikki和她的丈夫分享关于油井所散发出的强烈油烟,火焰,以及石油喷洒在附近的房屋和汽车上的事情。他说,社区刚刚在最近的一次公开听证会上表示否决了钻三口全天候运做新油井的许可。Nikki说,当她听到理查德所讲的,“所有警报在我脑海中响起”。凭借她在生物化学,城市研究和公共卫生方面的背景,Nikki知道这种土地使用的毒性及其对居民的影响。她听到上帝的呼召,让她在新社区“做正确的事”。


When the prophet Isaiah spoke these words generations before the birth of Christ, Isaiah was speaking to the Jewish community living in exile. They were grieving…feeling cut off from the Lord, disoriented, wounded. Any individual or community living in chains in a foreign land would naturally become preoccupied with themselves, grieving their fate. This is what has happened for the people living in exile. Through Isaiah’s words, the Lord changes the subject and calls grieving Israel out beyond its self-preoccupation to other work. The Lord called them to look up, pay attention to others who are vulnerable…other bruised reeds and smoldering wicks.




Israel was called to practice vulnerability and pay attention to others who are vulnerable…the bruised reeds and dimly burning wicks. As Christmas draws near, may our hearts become a manger for his birth, making room for those who are bruised, those whose wick is dim. In doing so, Christ comes alive in us, for our neighbour, bringing light to the nations.




Discussion Starters for Youth Rap on Instagram:


What stories did you hear in my message?


How does Matthew’s gospel identify who Jesus is and why he is doing what he’s doing?


How are Niki and her husband following Jesus in their Los Angeles neighbourhood?


Do you see any bruised reeds or dimly burning wicks at school, in your neighbourhood, in Vancouver, or in the world? How might TLC youth respond together with mentors?


Habakkuk Dec 2 2018 TLC: Wait For It 等待


Welcome: Today marks the beginning of the church year, the season called Advent. Advent means appearing or coming. In the season of Advent we practice waiting by lighting candles. This morning we light the first candle of HOPE. And we light an additional candle each Sunday until Christmas Eve when we celebrate the Light of the World shining anew in our midst by lighting the Christ candle.

欢迎词: 今天是教会年度的开始, 我们称之为基督将临期(圣诞节前的四个星期)Advent的意思是出现或到来。在这个季节,我们通过点燃蜡烛来练习等待。今天早晨, 我们点燃第一支希望的蜡烛。我们每个星晴天都会点燃一根蜡烛直到圣诞前夜,我们通过点燃基督蜡烛来庆祝世界之光再次闪耀在我们中间。



This week I had the incredible privilege of accompanying Grade 7 students to the Surrey Food Bank to volunteer. Before we assembled diaper bags and distributed food to hungry guests, Shamina helped us walk in the shoes of a mom who comes to the food bank by giving one of the students a pile of play money. We learned about a single mother whom Shamina knows. She works full time, 40 hours a week, at Walmart as a cashier, earning $2100/month, at $13.50/hour. Another student was her landlord who collected her rent for a two bedroom basement suite of $1100; another was the CRA. After paying her taxes, BC Hydro, car insurance, childcare, phone, basic cable, she has $220 left for gas and food to feed her two children, ages 6 months and 5 years. So in order to make ends meet, this mother comes to the food bank every month. But the food bank only covers 3-4 days of groceries for her family of three. $13.50/hour is not a livable wage, is it, if this family cannot meet their basic needs each month. She may cry out with Habakkuk: O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen?

本周,我得到一个令人以置信的特,陪同七年学生到素里食品行做志愿者。在我们组装尿布袋和为饥饿的客人分食物之前,Shamina通过给学生们一叠游戏货币,来帮助我们了解一位来到食物银行的妈妈的生活。我们了解到Shamina 认识的一个单亲妈妈 她有一份全的工作, 在沃尔玛做收银员,每周工40 每小$13.50, 每月收入$2100。她租了一个两室的地下室 ,另一个学生作她的房,每月收取$1100 的房租。有一个学生代CRA(加拿大国税局),在她付完税,电费,汽,托儿电话费电视络费之后,她手中只剩$220 可以用来汽油和食物。她有两个孩子,一5,一个才6个月。 持生妈妈每个月都来食物行。但是食物行也只能个三口之家提供三到四天的食物。如果个家庭每个月的基本生活需要都不能足,13.50的小是不能持生活的。她或会向哈巴谷(犹太人的先知)哭求:主啊,我要向你哭求了多久,你是不听 


As the migrant caravan from Central America arrived at the US border the last couple weeks, seeking an end to violence and corrupt rule of law in their homeland, we’ve heard mothers lamenting. The US Border Agents released tear gas a couple weeks ago on the migrants who tried to charge through the border and it landed on children, who passed out. The shelter housing migrants in Tijuana, Mexico is at three times capacity with 5000 migrants waiting to seek asylum in the U.S.  How long will they be waiting for their applications to be processed? I’ve heard some of them asking God to help them as they migrate towards the U.S. How long O Lord, must we live with violence at our doorstep, they cry, finally deciding to leave their homes. 


在过去几周 ,来自中美洲的移民大篷车抵达美国边境,寻求结束在他们家乡所受到的暴力和腐败的法治,我们听到了母亲们的感叹。几周前,美国边境特工向那些试图越过边境的移民释放了催泪弹,这些催泪弹落到了孩子们的身上, 孩子们昏了过去。墨西哥蒂华纳的移民是住房容量的三倍,有5000名移民在等着在美国寻求庇护,他们等待处理申请的时间有多长?我听说有些人在向美国迁移时要求上帝帮助他们,主啊,我们在自己的家门口不得不忍受暴力,我们还要忍受多久?他们哭诉,最终决定离开家园。 


We have friends in California who just posted a picture on Facebook of their newborn son. They’ve suffered through five years of infertility, investing thousands of dollars for specialized treatments just to conceive a child. I wonder how many times they cried out for help, how this unmet longing stressed their marriage. 




When was the last time you cried out to the Lord for help and it seemed God wasn’t listening? Habakkuk is giving voice to a complaint, crying out to God for help. We call this lamenting. Waiting for something to change in your life.  



We all live through seasons of suffering, perhaps simply as a result of growing older. When we are overwhelmed we search for words to voice our pain, whatever is threatening our well being. In these times, we struggle to live by faith, to trust that God is at work in spite of the pain. Living by faith is not clear, often puzzling. We rarely know what’s coming next, and not many things turn out the way we anticipate. We may naturally think that because we are God’s beloved children, or because we go to church or give generously of our time and our financial resources, we will get favorable treatment from God. We won’t have to walk down dead end roads, through muddy detours, waiting for a favorable outcome that seems to delay and delay. 




Habakkuk, a prophet who understands our long wait, comes alongside us this morning, gives us words to express our complaint: “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen?” The prophet Habakkuk lived 600 years before the birth of Christ, a time when the Assyrian army had just destroyed one city after another, brutally killing people. Not long after Habakkuk was written, the Babylonians attacked and destroyed the sanctuary where Israelites would gather to meet with God and leveled the city of Jerusalem, taking Israelite leaders and skilled citizens into exile. Violence was all around. 




So Habakkuk helps his people give voice to their pain, to cry out at the injustice surrounding them on every side. Like many of the psalms, Habakkuk provides words for our lament: O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, before you listen? How many times do I have to yell, “Help! 911! I cannot handle this alone!” before you come to the rescue? 


 因此,哈巴谷帮助他的人民表达他们的痛苦,并为他们四面八方的不公正而呐喊。像许多诗篇一样,哈巴谷为我们的哀歌提供了一些话语:主啊,在你聆听之前,我要求多长时间寻求帮助呢?在你来救援之前,我要喊多少次 “救命! 911!我自己处理不了这个问题! 

The prophet Habakkuk looks around and is overwhelmed by all the violence and injustice he sees, like the Central Americans at the US border, single Mom cashiering at Walmart, and asks why is God tolerating all of it? At many points in our life of faith, we are waiting for things to change, hoping, pleading for God to act. 



Habakkuk keeps watch to see what the Lord will say concerning his complaint. And the Lord says, there is still a vision for the appointed time…if you don’t see it now, wait for it. It will come to be. No easy answers, no quick fixes which we human beings crave, especially those of us raised in North America. Over five years ago, when I said “yes” to God’s call to lead the TLC community, worship was a faithful group of 35 people…I came knowing there were no easy answers for this community to grow.  I wasn’t sure if I would be helping you all die gracefully, and close the doors of this church, making it into a tourist site for heritage buildings…but it seems there is still a vision for the appointed time…we may see glimpses of it now, a multi-cultural, multi-generational faith community reflecting and partnering with our local changing neighbourhood…wait for it. It will come to be. No easy answers…instead I see each of you courageously reaching beyond yourselves, making new friends, listening to our neighbours, reflecting on what we are learning together. 




On Remembrance Day I was astounded by the community response to come and ring the Bells of Peace on Remembrance Day…all because Les Starheim approached the ND Reporter and Joyce Flemig contacted the editor in chief of the Vancouver Sun. Well over 100 local neighbours gathered in this sanctuary and parking lot to ring in peace. On Remembrance Day, we saw a glimpse of the Lord’s vision for this neighbourhood…if you don’t see it now, wait for it. It will come to be. 


 在纪念日,我对社区的响应感到震惊,他们在纪念日敲响了和平之钟......所有这些都是因为Les Starheim找到了ND报道,而Joyce Flemig联系了温哥华太阳报的主编。超过100个当地邻居聚集在这个敬拜的地方和停车场等着敲响和平之钟。在纪念日,我们看到了主对这个街区的愿景的一瞥......如果你现在没有看到它,那就等着它。它会成就。 


Together in the season of Advent, we wait for the Christ child to be born once again, to appear among us, within our hearts, in the midst of our pain. The Love made known in Christ is a love that meets us in our pain, knows the agony of the night in which he was betrayed. That night in the garden, Jesus, Love in human form, asked his closest friends to stay with him, to wait while he prayed. As he became deeply agitated, anticipating his arrest and coming death, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “Father, if it’s possible let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” As the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, his closest friends betrayed him, one was paid off with 30 pieces of silver to lead the soldiers there, another became violent, cutting off the ear of a soldier. Jesus says “Put your sword back into its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” By his arrest, all of Jesus’ friends hid in the darkness, but that didn’t stop the Light of the World from loving to the point of death and rising to meet us here today….bread broken, wine poured out for you. Love in human form, born among us, willingly entered into the violence and pain of human rejection. 

 在降临的季节里,我们等待基督婴孩再次降生,出现在我们中间,出现在我们心中,出现在我们的痛苦之中。在基督里所知道的爱是一种在痛苦中与我们相遇的爱,知道他被背叛的夜晚的痛苦。那天晚上,在花园里,耶稣,爱的肉身体现,要求最亲密的朋友留在他身边,等待他祈祷。当他与预知自己的被捕和即将到来的死亡时,他变得非常激动,他扑倒在地,并祈祷说:父亲,如果有可能,让这个杯子从我身边经过;但这不是我想要的,而是你想要的东西。当士兵来逮捕耶稣时,他最亲密的朋友背叛了他,其中一人受收了30块银子带领士兵到这里,另一人变得暴力,斩断了士兵的左耳。耶稣说:把你的剑放回原处,因为所有拿剑的人都会被剑杀死。在他被捕时,所有耶稣的朋友都藏在黑暗中,但这并没有阻止世界之光去爱,直至死亡的那一刻,继而复活,今天在这里与我们相遇.... ..面包掰开给你, 酒倒给你。爱的肉身降临在我们中间,心甘情愿地走进暴力,走进被人拒绝的痛苦之中。


When we consider the cry of our Central American neighbours, waiting in Mexico, or a single mom cashiering at Walmart, none of us wields the power of actual, substantial political authority to change their situation, but each of us has the potential to transform a life. Perhaps you’ve weathered the violence of addiction and can offer support for those struggling right now in our neighbourhood, in this sanctuary. Perhaps you hear the cry of the families around the world in need, their stories shared in the Gifts of the Heart catalog…crying out for kidney dialysis for a child, hive of honey bees, cooking classes, soccer ball and pump, vocational training in auto mechanics for young person. Or you hear the cry of our local families listed  on our Christmas Hamper, and want to respond. 




As we wait for God’s vision to unfold among us, we hear the cries of the world, we may underestimate how Love is taking shape in the darkness. Through us…. 



And the Lord says, there is still a vision for the appointed time…if you don’t see it now, wait for it. It will come to be. 


seeks to take human form through us to change lives.