I Corinthians 15:1-12, 51-52, 54b-57 Life After Death May 24, 2020
哥林多前书 15: 1-12, 51 -52, 54b-57 死后的生命
For the last two months we have all been starved to hear some good news. Last Sunday was the eighth and final edition of SGN, John Krasinski’s weekly news show; a counterpoint to the major news headlines, he’s been keen to show how human beings are being raised up during the pandemic by celebrating stories of front-line health workers. In one episode, John surprises a teen with Miranda Lin Manuel and the cast of Alexander Hamilton singing her favorite song, on another he hosts a virtual prom dance with a visit to the astronauts on the international space station and guest Billie Eilish. If you haven’t seen it, just google SGN.
在过去的两个月里，我们都渴望听到一些好消息。上周日是约翰克拉辛斯基（John Krasinski）每周新闻节目SGN的第八期，也是最后一期；与主要标题新闻不同的是，他一直热衷于通过庆祝前线卫生工作者的故事，来展示在大流行期间人类是如何受鼓舞的。在其中某一期节目中，约翰与米兰达林曼纽尔 (Miranda Lin Manuel) 和亚历山大汉密尔顿 (Alexander Hamilton) 的演员一起演唱了她最喜欢的歌曲，而在另一期节目中，他主持了一场虚拟舞会，拜访了国际空间站的宇航员和嘉宾比利艾利斯 (Billie Eilish)。如果你还没看过，可以在网上搜索 SGN.
Around the world we’ve been digging graves. Perhaps you’ve seen the mass graves on Hart Island in NYC is a burial ground for those who’ve died from COVID19 and whose bodies are unclaimed or those whom the overwhelmed funeral homes cannot bury. As businesses open up, we are bracing for a second wave of outbreak. The reality of death surrounds us in the daily reports of infection rates and deaths in our province and around the world.
在世界各地都在挖坟墓。也许你见过纽约哈特岛上 (Hart Island) 的万人坑，那是为那些死于COVID19，尸体无人认领的人，或者那些不堪重负的殡仪馆无法埋葬的人准备的墓地。随着工商企业的开放，我们正准备迎接第二轮的爆发。在省里和世界各地的每日感染率和死亡报告中，我们意识到自己被死亡的现实围绕。
But death is not merely the last breath we take. Death is all those forces that diminish life…that rob all living things of life and dignity. Moving into the third month of physical distancing, we are discovering new ways of being together, of stepping out of overpacked schedules, trying new hobbies, growing vegetables, and listening to artists produce music that lifts us beyond ourselves. But on the whole, we are being robbed of life. Crisis help lines are continuously busy…across Canada this last week, 8000 people have stepped forward to offer support to those who are struggling with mental health. Offering to help others will contribute to our own mental well-being. I know that was the case for me last weekend, as I had the incredible privilege of delivering a few care bags put together by TLC youth. Having a brief conversation outside someone’s home, just seeing another human being whom you know face to face, helps you to breathe more deeply, filling your lungs with life-giving oxygen molecules.
The words of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians stands in stark contrast to the death-dealing pandemic: “Remember the good news in which you stand, through which you are being saved...hold firmly to this message.” What is the good news? Though death is real, it’s all around us, we will not be swept away in the end. We need not fear death; because Jesus Christ died and was raised, we too shall be raised. And raised not only after our physical death, but as the pandemic restrictions are lifted, we are being raised up from all the forces that diminish our lives. In brief, outdoor, face-to-face two-meter distant conversations, we are raised up to new life.
This account of the resurrection in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians is the first one written down…twenty years after the crucifixion, before Matthew, Mark, Luke and John told their versions of the resurrection. Some of the Christ followers in Corinth were teaching that the resurrection didn’t happen. Dead bodies don’t come back to life. They decompose. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. But Paul says the risen Christ appeared to Peter, then the 12 disciples. Then to more than five hundred people at one time, most of whom are still alive. Paul then shares his own account… the risen Christ appeared even to me, the least of all people, unworthy of being chosen and sent by God, for I was hellbent on wiping out the Jesus movement, silencing those who shared good news.
这篇保罗写给哥林多的书信第一次记载了对复活的描述……这写在耶稣受难二十年后，在马太、马可、路加和约翰讲述他们的复活版本之前。在哥林多 （Corinth）的一些基督信徒教导说，基督的复活并没有发生。死尸不会复活，它们会腐烂，尘归尘，土归土。但保罗说，复活的基督向彼得 （Peter）显现，然后向十二个门徒显现。然后在500多人前显现，他们中的大多数还活着。保罗也分享了自己的经历…复活的基督甚至向我显现，在所有人中最不配的，不配被神拣选，因为我一心要消灭耶稣运动，这让那些传讲福音的人哑口无言。
Paul was blinded by a light that brought him to his knees enroute to Damascus to round up Christ followers and bring them bound to Jerusalem. Falling to the ground, Paul, then called Saul, heard a voice: “Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me?” Saul said, “Who are you, Master?” “I am Jesus, the One you’re hunting down. I want you to get up and enter the city. In the city, you’ll be told what to do next.” Though his eyes were open, Saul could see nothing. His companions were dumbfounded, because they could hear the voice but see no one. So they led him by the hand into Damascus…Saul’s old way of walking with God was dying. And his eyes were beginning to open to a new way. Three days he continued blind. He ate nothing. He drank nothing. Until he met Ananias
保罗围捕基督的追随者，要把他们绑去耶路撒冷，在他去大马士革 (Damascus) 的路上，被一道光击瞎了双眼，跪倒在地。保罗，当时的名字是扫罗，仆倒在地， 听见有声音说：“扫罗，扫罗，你为什么逼迫我？”扫罗说，主啊，你是谁？“我是耶稣，你要追捕的那个人。我要你起来进城去。在城里，有人会告诉你下一步该怎么办。”虽然扫罗睁大眼睛，却什么也看不见。他的同伴们目瞪口呆，因为他们能听到声音却看不到任何人。于是他们牵着他的手进了大马士革 (Damascus) ……扫罗旧的与神同行方式结束了。他的眼睛开始有了新的方向。持续三天，他什么也看不见，他不吃不喝直到他遇见亚拿尼亚 (Ananias).
Ananias was called to stand to stand in good news, but it didn’t sound like good news at first. He was called to a rhythm of dying to his own way of doing things and rising to trust God and love his enemies. While praying, Ananias was nudged by the Spirit to go find Saul who’d been blinded. At first, Ananias protests: “Master, I’ve heard about this guy. You can’t be serious. Everyone is talking about this guy and all the terrible things he’s been doing. His reign of terror against those who follow your new way. He’ll carry us off to jail, torture or worse.” But the Spirit says, “Go, for I’ve called him out to bring this new way to all people everywhere.” Dying to his fear, Ananias is left the comfort of his home to risk meeting Saul. As Ananias prays for Saul, something like scales fall from his eyes, and he can see. He gets to his feet, is baptized and sits down to eat with them all.
亚拿尼亚 (Ananias)被呼召为好消息站台，但这在一开始听起来不像是好消息。他被呼召走进一个新的乐章，在旧的生活方式中死去，在相信上帝，爱自己的仇敌的过程中复活。祷告的时候，亚拿尼亚被圣灵带领去寻找那个瞎了眼的扫罗。起初，亚拿尼亚抗议道：“主啊，我听说过这个人。你不可能是认真的。每个人都在谈论这个家伙和他做的所有可怕的事。他对那些追随你新道路的人的恐怖统治。他会把我们送进监狱，折磨我们甚至更糟。”但圣灵说，“去吧，因为我已经叫他把这条新的道路带给世界各地的所有人。” 亚拿尼亚战胜了恐惧，他没有停留在自己的舒适区 ，他冒险去见了扫罗。亚拿尼亚为扫罗祷告的时候，好像有鳞从他眼里掉下来，他就看见了。他站起来，受洗，坐下来和他们一起吃饭。
Paul met the Resurrected Lord on the road, through Ananias, and was raised up to a new way of seeing himself, his fellow human beings, and God’s work in the world. Paul is still amazed that God chose him, and called him to share good news, as he writes: By the grace of God, I am what I am.
Last Friday, I was invited by a friend to kayak out of Steveston harbor around Westham Island…what was thought to be a three hour tour turned out to be a bit longer, so by the time we were ready to cross the Fraser River back to Steveston harbor, I was quite worn out. We watched a couple tugboats pass by with barges before we attempted to cross, we were trying to paddle past an island and into Steveston harbor. Half-way, I discovered that the current was sweeping me quickly downstream, where I would miss the harbor entrance. So I called out to my friend and decided to paddle onto the island rather than around it. For a few minutes, I knew what it would be like to be swept away by forces greater than I could overcome.
上周五，我受一个朋友的邀请，划皮划艇离开西咸岛 (Westham Island) 附近的史蒂文斯顿港 (Steveston Harbor) ……原本以为是三个小时的旅行，结果时间长了一点，所以当我们准备穿越弗雷泽河 (Fraser River) 回到史蒂文斯顿港时，我已经精疲力尽了。我们看着两艘拖船载着驳船经过，然后我们试图横渡，我们试图划过一个岛屿，进入史蒂文斯顿港。半路上，我发现水流很快把我冲到下游，而我会错过港口的入口。所以我向我的朋友喊了一声，决定划到岛上，而不是绕着岛转。在这几分钟里，我知道了被我无法克服的力量冲走是什么感觉。
For many, the pandemic has threatened wash away their hopes and dreams. The retirement funds have decreased in value dramatically. They’ve been laid off from their job or will be forced to close their small business. They struggle to pay their mortgage. Working from home while homeschooling their kids has taken a toll on their mental health. COVID 19 has claimed the life of their loved ones, whom they cannot imagine living without.
Good news lays hold of us, keeps us from being dragged away in the overwhelming current of anxiety, fear, loss of income and meaningful connections… together we stand waist deep in good news. As restrictions lift, Christ Jesus who was raised from death, promises to raise us up day after day, filling us with the breath of life.
I Corinthians 13:1-13 and the greatest is love TLC May 17, 2020
哥林多前书 13： 1- 13 最伟大的是爱 TLC 2020年 5月17日
Welcome: The foundation, cornerstone of our life together in Christ is love. Not a sentimental, romantic or convenient love but what Paul in his letter to the Corinthians called agape: a love freely given for the sake of another. Whoever loves this way is born of God and knows God, for God is love, God is agape.
欢迎词：我们共同生活在基督里的基石，就是爱。不是感性的、浪漫的或随便的爱，而是保罗 (Paul) 写给哥林多 (Corinth) 信中所说的爱：为了他人而自由付出的爱。凡使用这种方式去爱的人，他源于神，认识神。因为神是爱，神是阿加贝。
Message: Like many of you, I’ve been trying some new recipes during the pandemic. And since we only shop once a week, we don’t always have the ingredients we need…so we either ask a neighbour for help or make do without it (improvise). But some ingredients are key; the dish won’t work without it. The other day we wanted to make pizza crust and we didn’t have any yeast. Yeast is a key ingredient in pizza crust. Uschi heard what we needed, she couldn’t find any at the grocery store, but she insisted on sharing some of the yeast she had in her cupboard, dropping it in our mailbox. Thank you Uschi!
The first Christ followers after Jesus died and rose in the ancient Roman city of Corinth were struggling to get along with one another; they seemed to be missing a key ingredient for life together. After Paul had established their community a year earlier, conflicts had erupted about which leader they followed, whether or not to eat food sacrificed to idols, how to worship together. So in his letter to the Christ followers, Paul names the most important ingredient for life together: love.
In the original languages of the Bible: Hebrew, the word for Love is hesed, meaning loving kindness, mercy, faithfulness, loyalty, and steadfast love. And in Greek, there are more than three words describing different kinds of love: philio (brotherly affection…you rub my back, I’ll rub yours), eros (sexual attraction for another) and agape (love willing to give for the sake of the other). Agape and Hesed come from God, poured out on the cross, as a gift to the human family.
I Corinthians 13 is likely the most popular scripture text used for couples getting married…it is quoted as a slogan for weddings, printed on napkins and programs, even engraved on wedding rings. Faith, hope and love abide, but the greatest of these is love. Love never ends. When a couple is standing at the altar, they are overflowing with of all kinds of love…definitely eros, hopefully philio and if the marriage lasts more than a year, they will have discovered agape. But when Paul wrote these words, he was declaring agape as the greatest power in a community that seemed to lack it, seemed it was in short supply as they fought about all kinds of things. The situation in Corinth is a far cry from a young couple gazing at one another with adoration, promising lifelong faithfulness.
《哥林多前书第13章》可能是最受欢迎的圣经文本，用于新婚夫妇……在婚礼上被引用，印在餐巾纸和节目单上，甚至刻在结婚戒指上。如今长存的有信、望和爱，其中最伟大的就是爱。爱永不止息。当一对夫妇站在祭坛上，他们充满了各种各样的爱……当然有性爱 (eros)，希望有兄弟般的爱 (philio)，如果婚姻持续一年以上，他们会发现阿加贝 (agape)。但当保罗写下这些字时，他宣称阿加贝 (agape) 是这个社区里最强大的力量，可这个社区似乎缺乏这种力量，当他们为各种各样的事情而斗争时，这种力量似乎是紧缺的。哥林多 （Corinth）的情况与一对年轻夫妇朝思暮想、承诺终生忠诚的情景相去甚远。
Paul says that human achievements are nothing without love, without agape…you can win awards for your Toastmasters speech but without love, you are a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. You can earn your doctorate in astrophysics, uncovering mysteries of the universe, but if you do not have love, you are nothing. You can even exercise faith to move Mount Seymour but do not have love, you are nothing. You could sell your home worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and give it to the homeless, but if do not have love, you gain nothing. Love, agape, is the missing ingredient; without it, we are nothing.
保罗说，没有爱，没有阿加贝 (agape) ，人类的成就就没有意义……你可以为你的演讲赢得奖项，但如果没有爱，你就是一个嘈杂的锣或铿锵的钹。你可以获得天体物理学博士的学位，揭开宇宙奥秘，但如果你没有爱，你就什么都不是。你甚至可以有信心，挪动西摩山（Mount Seymour），但没有爱，你什么都不是。你可以卖掉价值几十万美元的房子，把它送给无家可归的人，但如果没有爱，你所作的就毫无意义。爱，阿加贝，是缺失的成分；没有爱，我们什么都不是。
I Corinthians is typically heard in a wedding ceremony just before a couple is about to speak their marriage vows, affirming their love for one another. But when Paul first wrote those words, he didn’t write to the Corinthians about agape as a way to affirm what is already happening among them. He introduces a new way of being together that is absolutely necessary if they are to survive as a diverse group with many different worldviews, cultures, and expectations. The Corinthians didn’t come from similar backgrounds. They didn’t share similar values and experiences. Quite the opposite. They needed more than a sentimental, feel good kind of love. They needed a love that gives freely, no strings attached, even at great cost to the giver.
During the pandemic, what does agape look like?
Agape is staying home even when your business is in danger of closing, cancelling your travel plans in favor of backyard BBQ’s, all the while trying not to eat potato chips and ice cream continuously.
Agape/love is staying awake for meaningful conversation past bedtime because that’s the time when a loved one wants to talk.
Agape/Love is wearing a mask in the grocery store to protect your neighbour from the virus.
Agape/Love is buying one package of T.P. so that others will have what they need.
Agape/Love is TLC youth delivering care bags to those who live alone and haven’t had a hug or any caring human touch in 9 weeks, to those who work in essential services, risking infection while everyone else stays home.
What does love look like? A nurse at the bedside of a COVID19 patient in ICU. As we recognize International Nurse week, we lift up 400,000 nurses across Canada who work in the most difficult times of people’s lives. Worried whether or not their PPE will protect them from the virus, nurses are removing all contaminated clothing before entering their home, sleeping in the garage, or an RV in the driveway. Fear of bringing the virus home to infect their families can be the heaviest burden they carry.
As Lutherans, we trust that I Corinthians or any passage from the Bible speaks both law and gospel to us. The law is like a mirror, showing us where we fail to live as God calls us to live. I don’t’ know about you, but while “staying home together” patience may be in short supply. When we hear “Love is patient…we may realize we have failed to love.” That’s the law speaking to us. The law is more than the ten commandments; the law is any portion of scripture that shows us our sin, our need for forgiveness. As we read I Corinthians, we hear that “love is kind, not irritable or resentful” …as I went to buy a special treat of Krispy Kreme donuts for Mother’s Day, I found myself irritable as more than 50 cars waited in the drive through line…drove to Tim Hortons with a shorter line and lost it when someone took forever to order. Seems that comfort food is in demand these days.
作为路德教会的信徒（Lutherans），我们相信哥林多前书或圣经中的任何一段，都会对我们讲律法和福音。法律就像一面镜子，向我们展示了在哪些地方我们没有按上帝呼召我们的去做。我不知道你们的情况，但在“待在家里”的时候，可能会欠缺耐心。当我们听到“爱是恒久忍耐……我们可能会意识到我们没有去爱。”这就是律法对我们说的。律法不只是十诫；律法是圣经里任何让我们认识自己的罪，我们需要宽恕的经文。当我们读到《哥林多前书》时，我们听到“爱是恩慈，是不轻易发怒，是不计算人的恶”……当我去为母亲节买一份特别的Krispy Kreme甜甜圈时，我发现自己很烦躁，因为有50多辆车在开车点餐通道上等着……开到了一个排队短一点的Tim Hortons，当有人花了很长时间点餐时，我就完全失去了耐心。似乎这些天人们都需要简便的食物。
The gospel brings us comfort, reassurance, a word of hope, that despite our failure to love, God will forgive and lead us into a promised future. I Corinthians speaks gospel saying “love never ends” even when everything else does. God in Christ comes to each one of us with a love that is patient and kind, keeping no record of wrongs.
Right now, we live between an outbreak of COVID19 and an unknown future yet to unfold. Together we trust agape flows in the midst of the pandemic as a gift…Christ Jesus, risen from the grave, comes among us, pours out loving kindness, a love willing to give for the sake of the other, breathing into the world a love that not even a pandemic can take away, a love more resilient than we are on our own, holding us with agape when human touch is in short supply.
Acts 18:1-4, I Corinthians 1:1-10, Mark 9:34-35 May 10, 2020 TLC
使徒行传 18：1-4 ，哥林多前书1：1-10， 马可福音9：34-35 2020年5月10日TLC
Early Church in Corinth: Message of the cross
This week Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord invited several religious leaders to check in and have a zoom conversation with him. He wanted to hear how our community is coping, offer support and answer any questions. The Chief takes care of keeping the City of Delta safe, leads those first to respond when anyone calls 911, (whether we are in need of medical care or the stress from COVID19 restrictions at home leads to domestic abuse and a mental health crisis.) Among other things, we talked about how we’ve been physical distancing for eight weeks, as long as summer break typically lasts in Canada. And in the first few weeks of March, police and firefighters were invited to participate in nearly continuous birthday car parades like we did for Horst and Joyce’s 60th wedding anniversary. Regrettably they had to pull out because they were being asked to drive around with sirens to celebrate daily. Chief Dubord praised the creative ways families are adapting, appreciated our bell ringing and prayer in support of essential workers. Of all the community leaders who have a pulse on the community, Chief Dubord knows our full humanity…the desire to find alternate ways to celebrate and the struggle of being broken human beings who in desperation, boredom, stress, and grief can suffer and hurt one another.
This week we gathered for the second Sanctuary small group to share and learn about mental health and how faith communities can promote healing and growth during the pandemic. We listened to a military veteran and pastor named John, who shared his struggle to admit he needed help with PTSD after serving in a war zone. Quoting Richard Rohr, John said, ‘Why are we so surprised in church when we find an actual sinner, when we find someone who’s suffering?’ Martin Luther, 16th century reformer, said church is a hospital for the sick, a place where we gather to find healing for our sin-sick souls. As you gather around a screen in your home, we are here to admit we are sinners, broken and suffering, standing together at the foot of the cross, ready to find healing and hope together. The coronavirus reminds us we are all vulnerable; we are all in need of God’s grace and our neighbour’s help to stay well.
本周，我们庇护小组第二次聚会，我们一起分享，了解精神健康，以及信仰社区如何在大流行期间促进人们的康复和成长。我们听了一位名叫John的退伍军人和牧师的演讲，他分享了他在战区服役后承认自己需要帮助以克服创伤后应激障碍的困扰。John引用Richard Rohr的话说：“当我们发现一个真正的罪人，一个受苦受难的人在教堂里时，为什么我们会如此惊讶呢？16世纪的改革家马丁路德（Martin Luther）说，教堂是一个病人的医院，是一个我们聚集的地方，来寻找治愈我们的病态灵魂之道。当你们聚集在家中的屏幕周围时，我们在这里承认我们是罪人，破碎而受苦，站在十字架的脚下，一起去寻找治愈和希望。冠状病毒提醒我们，我们都是脆弱的；我们都需要上帝的恩典和邻居的帮助来保持健康。
Worshipping from our homes today, in some ways, mirrors how the Jesus movement evolved in the decades after the dying and rising of Christ. The followers of Christ met secretly in homes, hiding from public view. Facing discrimination and persecution, all Jews had been kicked out of Rome by Emperor Claudius. That is how Paul bumped into Aquila and his wife Priscilla…they had been ordered to leave Rome and ended up in the capital city of a Roman province, Corinth. Corinth was like our neighbourhoods: full of people from diverse ethnicities, cultures, and religions with a large, prospering urban center.
Aquila and Priscilla earned a living as tentmakers, a trade that kept them fed and clothed. Paul went to see them and because he was also a tentmaker, he stayed with them and they worked side-by-side. As they worked, they shared stories…undoubtedly Paul talked about how he had been blinded by a light as he walked on the road to Damascus. He had been intending to round up, arrest and torture any followers of Christ. But stopped by a blinding light, Paul met the risen Christ and found himself in the home of Ananias, a follower whom Paul would’ve arrested….but who now prayed for him, scales falling from his eyes. Opening his eyes, Paul realized he’d been fighting against God; his whole life changed direction. Sharing stories about our human frailty, our struggles, gives God space to meet us in our suffering with amazing grace. And share that grace with others. Eventually Aquila and Priscilla began to follow Christ. After some time in Corinth, in modern day Greece, they joined Paul as he sailed for Syria and ended up in Ephesus, along the Mediterranean Sea in modern day Turkey.
One relationship at a time, these communities developed in along the Mediterranean Sea in Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi, Galatia…the names of books in the Bible for the communities that received letters from Paul as he traveled around the Roman empire, planting faith communities who followed Christ. Some of those who’d been drawn to listen to Paul were people of considerable social power and wealth, like Erastus, but most were of lesser means and lower social standing. Throughout the city there were small groups who would come together regularly in homes to share a meal and prayers. As they came together, some were more hungry than others, while some were eating more than their fair share. So Paul urged them to make sure everyone has enough to eat when they gather.
随着关系的建立，这些社区在地中海沿岸的哥林多(Corinth)、以弗所 (Ephesus)、腓立比 (Philippi)、和加拉太(Galatia)发展起来……圣经中的书名是以那些在保罗周游罗马帝国时收到信的社区而命名的，他建立了基督跟随者的信仰社区。有些被吸引来听保罗讲道的人，有一定的社会权势和财富，如伊拉斯托 （Erastus），但大多数人都收入较低，社会地位较低。在城市里有一些小团体会定期在家里聚餐和祈祷。当他们聚在一起时，有些人比其他人更饥饿，而有些人吃得比他们应得的多。所以保罗劝他们聚集的时候，要确保人人有足够的食物吃。
We are no stranger to conflicts in the church for the last two thousand years…from the very beginning…this fledgling community trying to follow the way of Christ in Corinth, started dividing themselves along the lines of whom they follow as a teacher of the Way…some saying, “I belong to Paul”, others to “ I’m all about Apollos”, or “I follow Cephas” and still others, saying “I belong to Christ.” Paul wasn’t encouraging them to bow to the authority of any leader, nor to sweep disagreements under rug, but to bend to the message of the cross.
What is the message of the cross? As I walked through the bog this last week, I noticed several two-inch long salmon fry swimming in the creek, freshly hatched from the eggs laid by spawning salmon whose death yielded new life. Dying yields life. We see this in nature…as composted soil worked into our garden provides nutrients for sprouting seeds. Creation is the first Word of God. Observing new life sprouting, hatching, singing all around us, points us to the message of the cross: the rhythm of dying and rising. Take time this week to notice new life around you as you venture outdoors.
In the midst of human conflict, distress and suffering, the message of the cross comes to break down divisions, to reveal and absorb all human violence into Godself once for all. Whenever we take time to share our own struggles or listen to another human being pour out their heart, we participate in the dying and rising of Christ. Dying to our agenda and rising to enter into our neighbour’s need. As we eat and drink the body and blood of Christ, we participate in our Lord’s dying and rising. We join the life of God, a Greater Love than any human being can fully imagine. Eating and drinking, we are drawn into a living presence, who knows and loves us as we are. On the cross, God gives up keeping track of our sin, enters human pain, absorbs the violence humans inflict on one another, and gives us a way to come together. I continue to be amazed at how the human family is coming together during the pandemic, as I listened to Charlotte talk about her sewing team at Chelsea Gardens is no longer able to gather in person to sew mastectomy pillows for women with breast cancer. During the pandemic, sewing groups across Surrey have been stitching pillowcase bags for Delta hospital staff to carry their soiled PPE garments home from work, and keep their families safe from infection. Charlotte sewed 14 of the total 500 pillowcase bags completed in recent weeks. One stitch at a time, she is joining with the life of God, dying and rising among the human family. The message of the cross frees us from ourselves, so that united we may work together for the common good.
Holy God, in whose presence is known the walls we build, and also in their collapse; establish in us a community of hope, not to contain your mystery, but to be led beyond security into your sacred space, through Jesus Christ. Amen. –Janet Morley
神圣的上帝，我们所建造的城墙和倒塌的城墙，都在你的面前；求你在我们中间建立一个盼望的团体，不是要保守你的奥秘，乃是要藉着耶稣基督，领我们越过安全，进入你的圣所。阿门。— 珍妮特莫利 (Janet Morley)
John 10:1-10, Psalm 23, Acts 17:1-9, I Thessalonians 1:1-10
约翰福音 10：1-10， 诗篇 23， 使徒行传 17: 1-9 帖撒罗尼迦书 1：1-10
The world has been turned upside down by the coronavirus, bringing death and yet, new life for the earth and its creatures, in ways we could not have imagined before. As you exercise around your neighbourhood these days, you may see all kinds of messages hung in windows. The messages mirror the George Mackie Library sign: STAY HOME AND SAVE LIVES. All kinds of colorful hearts, created by young artists adorn windows, sending messages of thanks to essential workers and loving from a safe distance. The one that jumped out at me this week was a huge banner that said: STAY SAFE. Staying safe has become our global mantra for the last many weeks as we learn to practice physical distancing and hand washing. We keep our doors closed for now. No unnecessary coming and going. We will likely continue a whole set of “stay safe” practices for many months to come.
In the midst of learning how to ‘stay safe’, Jesus’ words from John’s gospel talk about the good shepherd who leads the sheep, who calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. We are known by name. As we come and go, a love greater than we can fully understand, leads us.
The families who founded Trinity Norwegian Lutheran Church came from around the world at the turn of the 20th century, drawn to the hope of a new life, drawn to salmon fishing. We gather where they gathered their families from Norway, Finland, Japan along the river. They built homes to stay safe, heading out into dangerous waters to bring home salmon. Weeks and months went by when the fishermen were gone fishing with, can you imagine, no cell phone communication. Families wondered when they would walk back through the door to be home for a while. Coming and going was uncertain. So they built a church where they could gather to live in hope, not fear. A place to grieve when loved ones died, when life didn’t go as they’d hoped, and they could begin life anew. The story of Jesus calling the fishermen to leave their nets and follow, learning how to fish for people, has shaped Trinity Lutheran Church.
创建Trinity Norwegian Lutheran教会的家庭来自20世纪初的世界各地，他们被新生活的希望所吸引，被捕鲑鱼所吸引。他们沿着河流从挪威、芬兰、和日本而来，在这里安家落户，我们现在在这个地方聚会。他们建造房屋以保证安全，他们驶入危险的水域将鲑鱼带回家。几个星期，几个月过去了，渔民们都去捕鱼了，你能想象，当时没有手机通讯的情景吗？人们都想知道家人什么时候才能从门口走回来，在家里待上一段时间。他们来去不定，所以他们建造了一座教堂，在那里他们可以聚集在一起, 生活在希望中，而不是恐惧中。这是一个当爱的人死去可以悲伤的地方，当生活没有如他们所希望的那样结束，他们可以重新开始的地方。耶稣呼召渔夫放下渔网，学习如何为人捕鱼的故事，创建了Trinity Lutheran教会。
Jesus gathered his first followers from the fishing community. When Jesus begins to talk about himself as the shepherd of the sheep, he says to the fishermen, “the gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…the sheep follow him because they know his voice.” Jesus was speaking to fishermen about sheep and shepherds. They didn’t get it.
So, Jesus says: I AM the gate, the door, for the sheep. Whoever enters by me will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. This metaphor invited them and this morning, us, to imagine that Jesus is the gate and those who listen are the sheep. The gate is a way in which the sheep come in and go out. The sheep metaphor does fall apart at a certain point; sheep are not too clever. They are dependent upon their shepherd for their well-being. Sheep, if you’ve ever been around them, do follow the voice of their shepherd, of the one who gives them food…and they will also follow one another to their own destruction without a shepherd to guide them to pasture. But all metaphors or ways of imagining God eventually break down because God is a mystery beyond our full understanding.
The gate is both an opening and a safe keeping. Without a gate, sheep would wander away and get lost. Jesus did not come among us to start a new religion, but to make a way, a gate, an opening, for all to become fully human. We are free to come in and go out and find all we truly need.
Being saved, as we live in the midst of the pandemic, is about grieving, letting go of how life used to be, as we embrace a new way of being together. Many are grieving…loss of contact with grandkids, loss of income, loss of freedom. For many, anxiety has grown over the last several weeks…that what is outside the door, beyond the safety of our home is dangerous. We may actually be anxious about interacting with anyone outside of our home. They may be carrying the virus…whatever public surface we touch becomes suspect, potentially dangerous. So, as the stay home guidelines are lifted, some may be troubled.
Together, we will find new ways of being. Being saved, is about trusting that we are not alone.
A beloved psalm, which Gerry, Diane, Andrea and Larry all sang for you…uses the metaphor of God as our shepherd and we as the beloved sheep. Psalm 23 is a psalm of trust that some scholars say is a response to Psalm 22 a psalm of lament. Lament is a complaint. Psalms of lament give voice to our deepest human pain. We heard Psalm 22 a few weeks ago on the lips of Jesus as he was nailed to the cross, crying out: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Where are you when I need you the most? Have you forgotten me in my pain? I am all alone with no one to comfort me. O my God I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night but find no rest. Words that in some form, are on the lips of the thousands of families whose loved ones have died from the coronavirus…and on the lips of Roanne and Neil and Scottie as their cousin Cindy died last week on Vancouver Island and in the cries of Roanne’s daughter, Krystal, as her boyfriend died here in Surrey a few days ago. With the tragic death of a top emergency room doctor, Dr. Lorna Breen, who laid down her life at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in New York, we cry out for our human family. Before Dr. Breen’s death, she had told her father about patients who were dying before they could even be taken out of ambulances.
Gerry、Diane、Andrea和Larry为大家演唱了一首深受大家喜爱的诗篇……用上帝作为我们的牧羊人，我们作为被爱的羊来比喻。诗篇23是个信任的诗篇，有学者说是对诗篇22的回应，诗篇22是个哀叹的篇章。哀叹是抱怨，哀歌是为我们人类最深的痛苦发声。几周前，当耶稣被钉在十字架上的时候，我们听到从他嘴里喊出的诗篇22，他喊道：我的神，我的神，你为什么离弃我？我最需要你的时候你在哪里？你在我的痛苦中忘记了我吗？我独自一人，没有人安慰我。我的神阿，我白日哀求，你不应允，在夜间也不得安息。这些话以某种形式出现在成千上万的人死于冠状病毒的家庭的嘴边……也出现在Roanne、Neil和 Scottie的嘴边，因为他们的表妹Cindy上周在温哥华岛去世。这些话也在Roanne的女儿Krystal的哭泣中，因为她的男朋友几天前在素里去世。一位顶级急诊室医生Lorna Breen博士在纽约爆发的冠状病毒疫情中献出了自己的生命，不幸去世。我们为我们的人类家庭而呐喊。在Breen医生去世之前，她曾告诉过她父亲有些病人，他们甚至还没来得及被抬出救护车就已经去世了。
Together we cry out and lean into Psalm 23. Though there are many reasons to fear, the psalmist reminds us that, come what may, together we trust: The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. The Lord makes me lie down in green pastures, leads me beside still waters, restores my soul. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me.
This is good news…we never walk alone, even through the darkest valley. Delta school district and staff are coming and going each week, bringing 125 families to pasture: shopping for, preparing and delivering food hampers every week, the majority here in North Delta…Lisa Flemig, whose friend is on staff in Surrey school district. So, Lisa is baking for Surrey families receiving hampers…see photos…this is what it means to be saved during the pandemic. If you contributed to Deltassist by April 30, a matching grant of $2 million was added, supporting families across Canada with food hampers.
这是个好消息…我们从不孤单，即使是在穿过最黑暗的山谷时。Delta学区和教职员工每周来来往往，为125个家庭带来食物：每周购物、准备和运送食物篮，大部分在North Delta……Lisa Flemig，她的朋友是素里学区的教职员工。所以，Lisa正在为素里的家庭烘焙食物…看照片…这就是在传染病大流行期间被拯救的意义。如果你在4月30日前向Deltassist捐款，就会有200万美元的拨款匹配你的捐款，通过食物篮的方式来支持加拿大各地的家庭。
We are all helping one another STAY SAFE. Jesus makes a way, as we learn new practices, so that we find green pastures each day. Coming and going, none of us walk alone.
Kids’ Message: Today is Good Shepherd Sunday, as the fourth Sunday after Easter is every year, with a reading from John’s gospel, chapter 10. Jesus wanted people to know he would always love them and take care of them. He called himself the Good Shepherd…and told people they were like sheep. I brought with me today a sheep skin from my grandparents’ ranch in Montana…I was given this when I was a child. My grandfather was a shepherd who took care of sheep. He used this shepherd’s hook to pull sheep when they needed to stay safe inside the gate.
Some people didn’t understand what Jesus was talking about being a shepherd, so Jesus told them this story.
Act 3:1-10 Peter and John went to pray April 26, 2020 TLC
使徒行传 3：1-10 彼得跟约翰去祷告 2020年4月26日 TLC
Hearing this story, some may ask: ‘Did this really happen?’ This man who was lame from birth, his muscles atrophied because he had never walked, was suddenly able to dance and leap? Science would say such instantaneous healing is impossible. Science would say the resurrection is impossible. It’s accounts like this in the scriptures that call us to find a way to integrate scientific ways of knowing with religious or spiritual ways of knowing; how do we trust in what we can know through science and yet also trust in a way of knowing that allows us to pray, to trust in a mystery bigger than ourselves, to walk by faith.
With so many people struck down by the coronavirus around the world, undoubtedly many are praying for their loved ones as they struggle to breathe on ventilators or deal with complications related to blood clots and kidney failure. What if we pray for a miracle and it doesn’t happen? Does this mean that God isn’t listening, doesn’t care, or doesn’t have the power to do what we’re asking?
Reidun’s niece, Peggy, who was a healthy 61-year-old, was infected with COVID19 and hospitalized in Washington State. We’ve been praying for her, as she was put into a medically induced coma on a ventilator, with a tracheotomy and feeding tube. After three weeks the doctors had given up hope of her recovering, telling her husband that her brain was unresponsive. They advised her husband to pull the plug and resign himself to her becoming a vegetable. So, last week they removed the ventilator, and stopped giving her drugs through her IV. When she started to come out of her coma, she found her cell phone near her bed and called her husband at 3AM, panicking because she was suddenly aware of how sick she had been. Her husband called the nurses who ran into her room, shocked that she was able to communicate. Peggy is due to be discharged sometime this week, cracking jokes and completely alert, while in need of rest and recovery at home. What doctors said was impossible was shifted, life overcoming death.
Peter and John walk by a man, who’s been lame from birth, as he sits near the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, on a mat, begging for his next meal. Every day his friends carry him to there. He’s chosen a strategic spot; a place where those with privilege and wealth pass by on their way to pray, to meet God. The Temple, as it was understood for centuries before Jesus died, was what the Celtic religion calls a ‘thin place’; a place in which heaven and earth meet, a place where the holy one is made known, where human beings meet God. Everyone who prays at the Temple recognizes this man who begs; he’s become a fixture in their mind, so that they no longer see him.
But when Peter and John walk by on their way to meet the One who raises the dead, who is at work to draw all created things together, they stop. They turn to this man being who is begging. And they see him, not as a piece of furniture sitting next to the Beautiful Gate, holding out his hand every day. But as a fellow human being, trying to make his way through the world. They stop and fix their attention on him and they say, “Look at us.” If there’s one thing that COVID19 has done for us, it’s made us stop, push the pause button on economic productivity. Fix our attention on our families, on reconnecting with friends.
Peter and John say to the man: Look at us. We’ve (ain’t) got nothin’…no money, no food, no clothing, nothing that you’re asking for.
Who were Peter and John? Well they first met Jesus as they were fishing on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus called them to leave their nets and follow, saying “I’ll teach you how to fish for people.” For several years, they had walked with Jesus around Galilee. They watched Jesus give sight to those who were blind, give hope to the hopeless, listened to him teach about God coming among and within them right now. When Jesus begins to talk about how he must face suffering, rejection and be killed. And after three days rise again. Peter grabs Jesus in protest. Peter couldn’t imagine this happening to Jesus. And certainly not on his watch. But Jesus tells Peter: you have no idea how God works.
On the night of his arrest, Jesus gathered Peter, John and the rest of the rest of the disciples for the Passover feast and what would be their last meal together, Jesus says, “You will all run away when I need you the most, but after I am raised up I will meet you in back in Galilee, at home.” Peter says, “Even though everyone else will desert you when things fall apart, I will not.” Jesus says, “Don’t be so sure. Today, this very night in fact, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” When he hears the cock crow, Peter weeps, because Jesus knew him better than he knew himself. Three days later he runs to the tomb because Mary says it is empty and angels told her Jesus has been raised. Peter and John touch Jesus’ wounds as he appears to say, “Peace be with you.”
Peter and John were there as Jesus breathed on them, giving them the Spirit…all they need to walk God’s ways in the world.
Since the resurrection, Peter and John have been sharing all things in common with the community following the way of Christ together…they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. They may be entering the Temple through the Beautiful Gate where people of privilege and means enter, but they clearly don’t have either. “Look at us,” they say, to the man begging for his next meal. “We don’t have any silver or gold, but what we have, we give to you.” What do they have?
They have all they truly need, the mercy and forgiveness of God…they have received it from Jesus. When the One who could’ve taken revenge, shows up behind locked doors and offers peace instead. Breathing on them the Holy Spirit, they are given the power to forgive, a power the world desperately needs. After Peter denies Jesus, hears the cock crow, and weeps with regret, he is still welcomed by the community…he touches Jesus’ wounds. And he is forgiven.
Peter and John have realized that life is not about them. They are about life. Life is about participating in a larger mystery. In this pandemic …life as we have known it has stopped. Look around you. The people around you are sitting, walking, standing in a pool of tears. All of our celebrations have been suspended: 50thanniversaries, weddings, birthdays, funerals. Tens of thousands have died and the virus has just begun to infect the continent of Africa where medical care is a privilege reserved for the those with economic means. Twenty-two people have tragically perished from senseless violence in Nova Scotia.
Jesus knows our pain, the pain of the human family. On the cross, Jesus gathered all suffering to himself, carried it on the cross---in a cosmic act of love…pouring out his blood. The blood represents all the violence, injustice and death in the world. The cross means that Jesus, who is also fully God, knows human suffering and gathers it into the heart of the Divine.
As I watched the One World: Home Together event filmed around the world from people’s homes. In spite of President Trump threatening to withhold funds from WHO, One World raised funds to support the global collaboration in the fight against coronavirus across political and cultural differences. In today’s fractured world, this kind of collaboration is miraculous, reminding us we are one human family brought to our knees. We trust that the Spirit of the living God is at work in the collaboration of scientists will find a vaccine eventually, if we work together, sharing what we are learning for the greater good.
In the worst of human suffering, God sees us. God suffers with us. God promises to show us a way through the pain, drawing us into a deeper mystery, the way in which new life is born out of pain and death.
John 20:19-31 April 19 2020 TLC God Still Shows Up
约翰福音 20： 19 -31 2020 年4月19日上帝仍会显现
This week, as I cultivated our raspberry patch, I was chatting with our new next door neighbour who was mowing his lawn. He is part of the team enforcing the new by-laws related to the pandemic: making sure we practice physical distancing from one another, regulating the closure of non-essential businesses and how essential businesses function. Perhaps you saw the viral video of a by-law officer giving a $900 fine to someone who was doing chin-ups in a Vancouver Park this week. The pandemic is setting new boundaries for all of us in order to protect those most vulnerable to infection.
这周，当我种覆盆子的时候，我和正在割草的隔壁新邻居聊天。 他是与疾病大流行有关的新法规的执法团队的成员：确保我们彼此保持距离，确保非基本服务生意的关闭以及基本服务的正常运作。 也许您看过一个视频，视频中说到本周一位市执法人员给在温哥华公园做仰卧起坐的某人处以900加元的罚款。 大流行给我们所有人设定了新的界限，以保护最容易受到感染的人。
The pandemic is also forcing us to face our deepest fear: the fear of death. All of us, no matter what our age, are facing this fear together. For some this fear has resulted in increased anxiety, interrupting our sleep. For the first couple of weeks, my greatest fear was that many of you who are older than 65 would catch the coronavirus, become hospitalized or even die. This caused my mind to race, shortened my breathing, I couldn’t focus or concentrate on anything. My fear manifested as anxiety. Knowing I couldn’t keep in touch with all of you while we cannot worship in person, I was drawn to organize the Caring Call Team. A huge shout out to the Caring Call team of Uschi, Helen, Wendy, Janet, Jocelyn, Jack, Andrea, Liz and Rosa Maria who’ve checked in with you over the last month to make sure you have groceries, family support, and to note any prayer concerns. (The caring calls will now happen every other week or once a month for some of you).
(Some of you will need to continue to stay at home for several months until a vaccine is available, to protect yourself and your loved ones from infection. This leads to more mental health challenges…Sanctuary small group to learn about mental health…how to take care of ourselves and others in the midst of the pandemic…announcements)
For those who work in essential services or on the front line in health care, the fear of death is very real. One of my dear friends is a family doctor on the East coast of the U.S. With the rate of infection still climbing and Pres. Trump’s eagerness to get the economy going again, another outbreak may be on the horizon. All doctors, no matter what their specialty, are on-call to join the front lines in hospital care. This has caused anxiety affecting my friends’ sleep patterns; not knowing if tomorrow she may be called into the hospital. Several of you work in essential services or have loved ones who do, so you deal with the fear of death every workday. Those who work in hospital have been told to put on all of their protective gear in the parking lot before they enter the building. Even then, the virus has found a way to penetrate protective gear, claiming the lives of health care workers. Some people suffer from social anxiety, so the additional restrictions on interactions with others have thrown them into a paralyzing fear of any interaction. The fear of death is very real for us as a global community. We are all facing it together. Walking through it together will lead to new life.
On the evening of the resurrection, the disciples were stacked upon one another behind locked doors. Because they were terrified. Fearing death, if Roman authorities could find them. This fear was not unfounded. Roman soldiers wanted to eliminate the Jesus movement in the first century. Persecution by Roman authorities against the followers of the Way of Christ in the first century resulted in death.
Huddled together in fear, the disciples had heard unconfirmed rumors about the empty tomb from the women. The women who had gone to the tomb to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. The women met angels where Jesus’ body had been. The angels told them to bring a message from Jesus to the disciples: go to Galilee where I promised to meet you. But instead they went home and locked their doors. Even though Jesus had told them he must die and after three days be raised, they were clueless about the meaning of his death. They were deeply disappointed in the cross; their hopes had been dashed. Their hope of Jesus being the Messiah, the One who would save them from Roman political oppression, making all things right in the world. He had died a humiliating death on a cross where criminals die; though he had done nothing wrong. They are all confused, full of disbelief and overwhelmed with fear. The empty tomb wasn’t enough to convince them that all Jesus taught them was true.
These days, we are all hiding, afraid of infection, afraid of contact with our contagious neighbours, afraid of death. In the simple act of going outside of our house for a walk or grocery shopping, we face the fear of death. We put off errands until absolutely necessary. Some are wearing masks and gloves; we all stay two meters away from other shoppers. Many of you need to stay home continuously and rely on family and friends or grocery delivery.
But we may not realize that facing our fear of death is a chance to meet God…walking through our fear of the last thing becomes an encounter with the One who holds all things together. Once we face our fear of death, we are free to live, often for the first time outside of our head. Living in our head, we overthink everything, trying to manage and control it. But in the face of death, none of us are in control.
On the day of the resurrection, with the disciples hiding behind locked doors, Christ Jesus, who died and rose again, walked through the locked doors to be with them. Jesus shows up. Now talk about fear. The One whom they abandoned when he was arrested. The One who asked them to stay awake while he prayed in agony. Instead, they fell asleep. Now they are in big trouble! They can’t run away; Jesus has come to their hiding place. So they face their fear, thinking Jesus is coming back to take revenge, to pay them back for running away, to bring God’s wrath. But no, The Risen One comes to say: ‘Peace be with you.’ He invites them to come to him: ‘Touch my wounded hands and side.’ Holding their breath in terror, they reach out and touch him…breathing a great sigh of relief; they rejoice!
复活的那天，门徒躲在锁着的门后面，死了又复活的基督耶稣，穿过锁着的门与他们在一起。 耶稣出现了。 现在谈谈恐惧。 当他被捕时，他们抛弃的那个人。 一位在痛苦中祷告时，要他的门徒们保持清醒，相反，他们却睡着了的人。 现在他们麻烦大了！ 他们逃不掉了， 耶稣来到了他们的藏身之处。 所以他们很害怕，以为耶稣会回来报仇，为他们的逃跑复仇，带来神的愤怒。 但是，没有，复活者说：“愿你们平安。”他邀请他们来找他：“触摸我受伤的手和两肋。”屏住呼吸，恐怖地伸出手触摸他…… 大大地松了一口气; 他们很高兴！
This morning we gave thanks for our baptism…a ritual bath where we face our death. In the waters of baptism, we die and rise, drowning our old self, our deepest fear, (our ego), we rise to become a new creatures in Christ…we die to going it alone, and rise to trust God is with us as we walk into our fear, compelling us into the world with love. Martin Luther teaches in the catechism that every day we die and rise in the waters of our baptism; dying and rising is rhythm we enter into, a spiritual practice of owning our fear, walking into it, and discovering God is with us.
What does the resurrection mean? God still shows up. When we face our fear of death, God walks with us. Just as Jesus did with the fearful disciples behind their locked doors. Where are you hiding these days? What causes you fear and anxiety these days? God is looking for you in the midst of your fear.
What does the resurrection mean? In our hiding places, God will find us. In our fear and anxiety, God still shows up, through neighbours who check in, through friends who reach out after losing contact. Jesus, reveals a rhythm to us on the cross, praying in agony that this cup might pass from him, Jesus prays “not my will but yours be done” and goes to the cross. dying and rising, comes to show us the way to life: when we are afraid, Jesus shows up. Jesus says come, raising us to new life.
Mark 14 Unnamed Woman Anoints Jesus at Bethany April 5, 2020 TLC
马可福音 14 无名女子在伯大尼膏抹耶稣 2020年 4月5日 TLC
Extravagant Love Outpoured
I don’t like to waste time. I don’t like to waste anything. When we have leftovers from dinner, I always save them, especially now as we are limiting our trips to the grocery store. And I always eat the leftovers. I’ll eat most anything rather than let it go to waste. Groceries are expensive. We are not going to waste any food. I don’t like to waste time. In fact, many of you have experienced this…when I am in “get it done” mode, I want to make the most efficient use of my time. Before worship on a Sunday morning from 7-10AM, I used to be in this mode. This affects my interaction with people; when you want to be efficient with every moment, you cannot be fully present for people. I don’t like to waste money; perhaps you can relate…Peter can. This week I talked with him because been he’s laid off from work for six months. When I asked him how his family will make ends meet, he said I could share his text: ‘my wife is still working, our mortgage is manageable and we always save money, it’s the Chinese way…always saving for a rainy day. And now it’s raining, pastor, LOL.’
So there’s something about the woman who comes to Jesus at the home of Simon the Leper with the jar of perfume, wasting it, pouring what is worth a year’s wages, on Jesus’ head. There’s something about this that seems wrong. Like the disciples, I complain, this ointment could’ve been sold and the money used to help someone who really needs it, who can’t make ends meet.
有一个女人带着一瓶香膏来到麻风病人西蒙的家中，走到耶稣身边，把它浪费了，把价值相当于一年工资的东西倒在了耶稣的头上。 这件事有点不对劲。 就像门徒们一样，我会抱怨说这香膏本来可以卖掉的，而这笔钱也可以用来帮助那些无法维持生计，真正需要的人。
Scholars would say the unnamed woman doesn’t know that Jesus is about to be crucified, but she comes to him just as the religious leaders were looking for a way to arrest Jesus. This woman comes to anoint his head with an extravagant gift of love. And Jesus is moved by it. Death is all around Jesus now. The shadow of the cross looms. The day is soon when Jesus will be taken from his disciples. Judas is about to go to the religious leaders and betray him. They promise to give him money when he does. Jesus says to the frugal disciples: “leave her alone…she has done what she could, she has anointed my body for burial.” What she has done for me will be told for generations to come. And here we are, 2000 years later, still telling her story.
As the world battles COVID19 many have done what they could, many have given their lives trying to save others. Last December, Dr Li Wen Liang suspected that the virus causing pneumonia was something that could threaten many lives as he treated multiple cases breaking out in Wuhan. He warned many of his doctor colleagues and was told by the government to stop spreading rumors, but as the infection spread, the world began to see what he was trying to say. Dr. Li Wen Liang contracted COVID19 and died. He was the whistle blower, warning that world that a devastating virus was spreading, and we needed to work together to stop it. Since the virus has spread globally, Chinese doctors have flown around the world to consult in Iran, Pakistan, Italy, Europe sharing what they’ve learned, sharing what they know.
在世界与COVID19奋战的过程中，许多人竭尽所能，许多人为拯救他人而献出了生命。 去年12月，李文亮医生怀疑这种引起肺炎的病毒可能会威胁到许多人的生命，因为他在武汉治疗了多起病例。 他警告了他的许多医生同事，并被政府训诫停止散布谣言，但随着感染的蔓延，全世界开始明白他在说什么。 李文亮医生感染了COVID19并去世。 他是吹哨人，向世界发出警告，说毁灭性的病毒正在传播，我们需要共同努力制止这种病毒的传播。 由于该病毒已在全球蔓延，中国医生开始奔赴世界各地，在伊朗，巴基斯坦，意大利和欧洲进行咨询，分享他们的所学，所知。
There’s something about love that involves being wasteful. To waste our time, our attention, our gaze on another. Love isn’t efficient, it doesn’t follow a timetable; in fact, when you try to manage and control it, love die. Love just happens, like the woman who shows up at the home of Simon the Leper. Love is not reasonable; love gives fully, completely, lavishly.
While some are compelled, in the midst of a pandemic, to rip off catalytic converters from three ambulances in Delta a couple of days ago, others have been drawn to work together to love and save the world.
Together we are doing our part, staying home, preventing the virus from spreading. If you are working in essential services, we are praying for you. And we are standing in solidarity with hospital workers…as we zoomed dinner with our Vancouver friends, when the clock struck 7 pm, they ran to the window to bang pots and pans as well as their entire neighbourhood, cheering on hospital workers during their shift change. This movement started in Italy as a way to support medical teams working around the clock with insufficient supplies, under incredible stress in a war zone, with a high risk of contracting the virus themselves. As we enter into holy week, the final days of Jesus’ life on earth, set your phone alarm for 7pm, grab a pot and pan from your kitchen and bang it from your window in solidarity with all those in essential services. Pots and pans replace the palms today and for the rest of the pandemic.
我们共同努力，留在家里，防止病毒传播。 如果你从事的是基本服务，我们正在为你祷告。 而且我们与医院工作人员团结在一起……当我们与温哥华的朋友们共进晚餐时，晚上7点钟时，他们跑到窗户前，跟整个是社区一起敲打锅碗瓢盆，在医院工作人员交接班期间，为他们欢呼 。 这项运动始于意大利，是一种支持医疗队全天候工作的方式。医务人员在战区承受着巨大的压力，他们极有可能因个人防护设备不足而使自己感染该病毒。 当我们进入圣周时，即耶稣在地球上生命的最后一天，将手机闹钟设置为晚上7点，从厨房拿起锅碗瓢盆，透过窗户，敲打它，与所有从事基本服务的人团结在一起。 在当今的疾病大流行期间，锅碗瓢盆取代了棕榈枝。
Last Friday, the governor of Minnesota issued a stay-at-home order that would go into effect at midnight. And Serenity Village, a Minneapolis church based on the step steps of recovery from addiction, mobilized volunteers to reroute semi-trucks loaded with food for local restaurants. Since the restaurants were closing at midnight, all the food supplies for the restaurants were distributed to families in need before the stay-at-home order came into effect. This church organized its people with protective gear, to distribute truckloads of food. Cars lined up for blocks, directed by local police, to stop, open their trunk and receive food. Somehow, in a very short period of time, this church was ready to pour out an extravagant love upon their neighbours.
We are not in control. We are not God. COVID19 has shown us, more clearly than anything else could, we are not in charge of final outcomes. But together we cry out Hosanna, ‘Save us’, show us how to work together. Those working on the front lines pour out extravagant love to sustain life. We are each called to do the same…to do our part, waste our time, energy, and attention on those most vulnerable, allowing two-three meters next to everyone whom we meet, and calling others to do the same. Delta’s call center, just set up to report any group gatherings, will help us keep each other accountable. Together we are participating in a divine love, revealed fully on the cross.
我们无法控制， 我们不是上帝。 COVID19向我们展示了比任何其他事物都更清晰的信息，我们不负责最终结果。 但是我们在一起呼喊Hosanna，“拯救我们”，展示我们如何共同努力。 那些在前线工作的人倾注了奢侈的爱以维系生命。 我们每个人都被要求做同样的事情……尽我们的一份力量，把时间和精力浪费在最弱势的人身上，与我们遇见的每个人都相隔两三米远，并呼吁其他人也这样做。 北三角洲的呼叫中心刚刚成立，可以报告任何团体聚会的情况，这将帮助我们彼此负责。 我们在一起共同经历这份在十字架上彰显的神圣的爱。
The unnamed woman pours out love, without thinking about the waste. She reflects..a love that holds nothing back, a love that is costly, scandalous, giving of itself unto death. A cross-shaped love poured out for you, for me, for the life of the world.
这位不愿透露姓名的女人在不考虑浪费的情况下倾吐爱意。 她反映出..一种爱是无法遏制的，一种爱是昂贵的，是令人震惊的，是将自己献给了死亡。 十字形的爱为你，为我，为世界的每个生命喷薄而出。
Mark 13:1-8, 24-27 Stay Awake March 29 2020 TLC
马可福音 13：1-8 ， 24- 27 2020 3月29日 TLC
What I say to you, I say to all: Stay Awake! We are living in a time when the words of Jesus from Mark’s gospel echo all around us. Over and over, around the world people are hearing: stay alert…for an invisible enemy.Stay home, wash your hands, only go out for groceries, medicine and keep a safe distance between yourself and others. When you listen to Dr. Bonnie Henry’s daily update, people are calling for an even stricter enforcement of lockdown here in B.C. Living in this state of high alert can lead to angry outbursts, sleepless nights, worry about financial well-being. People unable to afford rent and mortgage payments. When people cough or sneeze on other people, fights break out, people run home to wash any potential virus off.
As the infection rate climbs over 450,000 globally, the world is crying out for help. Canadian auto assembly lines are scrambling to adapt to produce ventilators. New York City hospitals need help to care for the estimated tens of thousands of people who will need them in days to come…we are preparing for overwhelming outbreaks here in B.C.
随着全球感染人数攀升超过45万，全世界都在寻求帮助。 加拿大的汽车组装线争先恐后地改为生产呼吸机。 纽约市的医院需要帮助，以照顾未来几天估计数以万计的需要帮助的人……我们BC 省也正在为这里疫情的大规模爆发做准备。
“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars,” Jesus says don’t be alarmed. But today we are alarmed because the world is at war with this: (show covid19 slide). COVID 19 can exist on your mail for 24 hours, 8-9 days on a doorknob, waiting for a host. Keep awake!
We are…wiping down doorknobs with Lysol wipes, bleaching our countertops, sanitizing our homes daily, washing our hands until they are raw. We are living on high alert with anxiety hanging over us like a cloud. I talked with a teacher this week who said, “I’ve worked in a petri dish for decades…I know all about hand washing. I wonder if we’ll be able to convince people it is important.”
Nearly two hundred years ago a German, Hungarian doctor named Ignaz Semmelweiss, was the first doctor to realize that hand washing was essential to preventing the spread of infection. Back in the 1840’s Ignaz was working in a labor and delivery hospital. Back in those days, 25-30% of women died after childbirth. Ignaz wondered why more women were dying in one hospital than another. He speculated that doctors’ hands were carrying something …as they were performing autopsies and then moving directly to the delivery room. Ignaz suggested that doctors wash their hands before entering the delivery room. In that hospital the mortality rate for mothers dropped from 18% to 1% and he was convinced that hand washing was preventing their death. Though bacteria had been discovered a hundred years earlier, no one knew that micro-organisms could harm us. Ordering doctors to wash hands was seen as an insult, as if doctors weren’t being treated with respect that ‘gentlemen’ deserve. Ignaz was blacklisted as a doctor. No one in the medical profession believed him. He was given charge of a hospital overrun with disease in 1851 and in that year, the death rate dropped to 1% for the people in his care. In 1865 he suffered a mental breakdown and died. In the 1860’s Louis Pasteur developed the germ theory that was finally embraced by society. And by 1905, Florence Nightingale was given an award for discovering that being clean was essential in patient care.
大约200年前，一位名叫Ignaz Semmelweiss的德国匈牙利医生是第一位意识到洗手对于防止感染扩散至关重要的医生。早在1840年，伊格纳兹（Ignaz）曾在产科医院工作。那时，有25-30％的妇女在分娩后死亡。伊格纳兹想知道为什么在一家医院中死去的产妇多于另一家。他推测医生的手上有什么东西……医生这边还在进行尸检，然后直接就到产房接生。伊格纳兹建议医生在进入产房之前要洗手。在那家医院，产妇的死亡率从18％下降到1％，他坚信洗手可以防止产妇的死亡。尽管一百年前就发现了细菌，但没人知道微生物会伤害我们。要求医生洗手是一种侮辱，好像医生没有得到“绅士”应有的尊重。伊格纳兹被列为医生黑名单。医学界没有人相信他。 1851年，他因医院疾病泛滥而受到指控，那年，他所照顾的病人的死亡率下降到1％。 1865年，他因精神崩溃而去世。 1860年，路易斯巴斯德（Louis Pasteur）提出了细菌理论，该理论最终被社会所接受。到1905年，弗洛伦斯南丁格尔（Florence Nightingale）因发现清洁对病人的护理至关重要而获得了奖项。
As we listen to nurses and doctors call out for masks, gloves and gowns that will prevent them from getting infected, we know how essential this is. Protective gear is in short supply. We didn’t listen to our friends in China, to learn how to get ready, as the infection started to spread globally. We didn’t start producing gear and ventilators until COVID19 was on our doorstep. How might we respond to the cry of medical staff? I’ve seen pictures of nurses making their own protective gear. First responders who sleep in their garage trying to prevent infecting their families.
我们听到护士和医生呼求，他们需要口罩，手套和隔离服来防止被感染，我们知道这有多么重要， 现在防护装备短缺。 随着感染开始向全球蔓延，我们没有听取中国朋友的经验，学习如何做好准备。 直到COVID19出现在我们自家门口之前，我们才开始生产防护装备和呼吸机。 我们如何应对医务人员的呼求？ 我见过护士自己制作防护装备的照片，看到急救人员 在车库里睡觉以试图防止感染家人。
As I talked with a Save On employee stocking vegetables, he said the reason the shelves are empty of meat, canned and frozen food is because a week ago Thursday people panicked and came in to buy a month’s worth of groceries. The grocery stores will continue to receive food from suppliers; we just need to buy less and trust more will come.
我和一位Save On 的蔬菜上货员交谈时，他说货架上之所以没有肉、罐头和冷冻食品，是因为一周前的星期四人们惊慌失措，进来买了可用一个月的食品杂货。食品杂货店将持续从供应商那里获得食品；我们只需要减少购买量，相信食物会源源不断地送到。
We don’t know what will happen in the days to come. But we are all in this together. When the cloud of anxiety seems to overshadow everything and your mind is racing, you cannot seem to calm down. Turn off the TV, put your phone down, shut down the computer. Go outside for a walk, focus on your breathing and repeat a word or phrase from scripture. This week, I have turned to Psalm 63:7a, 8a: “for you have been my help…my soul clings to you.” Notice the creatures, plants around you. Greet your neighbours with a safe social distance between you. We can still talk from two meters away: say “hello.” If you are more anxious by leaving your home, then sit upright with your back tall, your hands open in your lap….breathe in, hold it, breathe out…try this for 10, 15, 20, 25 minutes each day, twice a day. Doing this can help us name our fear and anxiety and discover God with us.
We are in a war against an invisible enemy; this is not the end of all things. But it may be the end of life as we have known it. All of us have been bumped out of our usual mode of daily life…but we are not alone. None of us know the day nor hour of the end; only God knows. But maybe ‘not knowing’ is the best place to be. It gives God room to work with us, to come alongside us, to be our help. The doorkeeper is on the watch.
As I went to buy cat litter this week, the doorkeeper met me…asked me what I needed as I stood behind tape on the floor. Many stores are regulating social distance as we shop. Keep awake, the doorkeeper is on the watch, for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight or at cockcrow or at dawn.
这周我去买猫砂的时候， ……当我站在地板上的胶带后面时，看门人问我需要什么。 我们购物时，许多商店都规范了社交距离。 保持清醒，看门人在守望，因为你不知道房子的主人什么时候来，是在傍晚，午夜，鸡叫时还是黎明。
As Jesus nears his own suffering and death for the love of the world, his closest friends cannot keep awake. In the evening before his arrest, he gathers them for the Passover meal, and says one of them will betray him. “Surely not I,” they all say. At midnight, in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus takes aside Peter, James and John, saying “Stay awake, watch and pray.” Yet three times, Jesus returns to find them sleeping. After the third time, Judas arrives with the Roman guards who arrest Jesus. All of his friends desert him, running away for their lives. At cockcrow, Peter comes to the painful realization that he has denied knowing Jesus three times, just as Jesus said he would. And at dawn, the chief priests and scribes bring Jesus before Pilate to be tried as a criminal. Jesus stands utterly alone. Not one of his closest friends wait and watch with him.
Today we are all waiting and watching for the infection rate to flatten or continue to rise. PM Trudeau has told us our waiting and watching will be enforced if we don’t stay home. The world is suffering together. God in Christ, knows our suffering, knows the war we are in. The One who was betrayed, denied and forsaken on the cross comes to us who denied the seriousness of COVID19. God in Christ comes to us now, to help us breathe in and out, to lift up our eyes to our neighbours in need, in all these ways, bringing mercy and grace. Even for those sleepy, unprepared, miserably failing disciples, there was hope. Just as Jesus came to them and said, “Peace be with you. My peace I give you.” So too, as we wait and watch, no matter what happens, Jesus comes to us, to the world, to give a peace that the news headlines can’t give, a peace that surpasses human understanding, a peace that not even death can hold down.
今天我们都在等待，等待感染率趋于平稳或继续上升。特鲁多总理告诉我们，如果我们不呆在家里，我们的等待和观望将被强制执行。世界人民在一起受苦。基督上帝，知道我们的苦难，知道我们正在经历的战争。在十字架上被背叛，被拒绝，被遗弃的人来到我们这群没有意识到Covid 19 的严重性的人面前。上帝基督现在来到我们这里，来帮助我们呼吸。用一切的方式，让我们举目关注有需要的邻舍，给我们带来怜悯和恩典。即使是那些昏昏欲睡，毫无准备，惨败的门徒，也有希望。正如耶稣来到他们那里，对他们说：“愿你们平安。“我把我的平安赐给你们。”同样，当我们等待和观望时，无论发生什么，耶稣都会来到我们这里，来到这个世界，给我们一个新闻头条无法给予的平安，一个超越人类理解的平安，一个连死亡都无法压制的平安。
Mark 12:1-17 Give to God what is God’s TLC March 15 2020
马可福音 12： 1-17 把上帝的东西给上帝
There are two things we can be sure of: death and taxes. I just visited with my tax accountant last Friday, getting all the paperwork together. As Canadian residents, paying taxes is not optional; taxes support the common good like public schools, police force, tunnels and bridges, public transit, equal access to health care for all. It’s tax time. But it’s also a time of high anxiety due to the COVID-19 virus being transmitted around the world. And now impacting our local community. Betty and her son are on a 14 day quarantine. Colton's secondary school in Surrey was one of those infected with the virus this last Monday. His mom pulled him out of school early for spring break. In these days, we are more conscious of protecting ourselves from infection because it could lead to grave illness in communities like ours with many over the age of 60. Scientists are working around the clock to create a vaccine; in the meantime, we need to change our social interactions until the vaccine is available. In coming weeks, we may be tempted to panic, like many are doing in the grocery stores with the run on toilet paper and hand sanitizer…I heard of guards at Costco breaking up fist fights that are breaking out between customers, fighting over food. Others are stockpiling the TP and sanitizer so that they can sell it for a profit on-line.
Where is God in all of this?
Maybe it’s appropriate that we have just entered the season of Lent as the COVID 19 spreads. A time of reflection over forty days when we are walk in the wilderness with Jesus, tempted to panic, as we head toward the cross on Good Friday. During Lent, several adult mentors are being asked to engage in a faith talk with youth ages 12-18. This involves intentional listening and sharing their own understanding and experiences of faith out loud. This is something many of us rarely do. And in fact, it has felt more than a bit intimidating, even panic, for several of you who have considered it, and said, “No thank you pastor. This is not for me.” It all starts with a reflection for the both the young people and adults:
随着COVID 19的传播，在这个时间进入四旬斋节也许是合适的， 给了我们四十天的反思时间，当我们在耶稣受难日朝十字架走去时，我们和耶稣一起走在旷野，很惊慌。 在四旬斋期间，一些成年导师被要求与12至18岁的年轻人进行信仰交流。 这涉及到倾听并分享自己对信仰的理解和经验， 这是我们许多人很少去做的事情。 实际上，对于你们中几个曾考虑过的人来说，这感觉有点吓人，甚至有些恐慌，他们说：“不，谢谢牧师。 这不适合我。” 一切都始于年轻人和成年人的反思：
Mentors and youth are using a discussion guide that prompts them with some reflection, which they share with one another: Draw something to show your earliest memory of how you imagined God to be. (take a moment to picture your earliest image of God)
A young person in our congregation recently told me about a conversation with a classmate who attends another church here in North Delta…went something like this: Do you believe in all this God stuff? The fellow student said, without hesitation: 100%! The young person from Trinity said, “Hum….really? All of it?”
Perhaps you can relate to this young person as you wonder where is God as COVID 19 descends upon us?
Then both mentor and youth are asked to draw something to show how you imagine God to be now. Look at the two drawings. What do they represent? How are they different? How has your understanding of God changed over the years?
In Mark’s gospel today, Jesus tells a disturbing parable intended to help us imagine what God is like and who we are in relationship with God. It’s about a vineyard owner and tenants, who both violently lash out, creating destruction of human beings. This parable is not a comfort to us in an anxious time.
The parable turns on this question: What then will the owner of the vineyard do? With this question, we who are listening, can pause…and look at the injustice of the story…the tenants refuse to give what belongs to the owner. The owner sends slaves who are harassed, beaten and killed for being messengers of the owner, asking for what already belongs to the owner. And the owner comes, to destroy the tenants, giving the vineyard to others.
Can you see it? The injustice happening on many levels. The COVID-19 outbreak reveals injustices lurking beneath the surface in the United States. Think about the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. who are afraid to go to a doctor if they have COVID 19 symptoms, because they will be deported. Or those who don’t have medical insurance to cover the cost of a test…as congress is voting soon on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Trump declares a State of Emergency so that money can be directed to those who lack paid sick leave, or need nutritional support for their kids when school is cancelled. Maybe some wrongs will be made right through this health crisis.
Where are you in the story…do you relate with the owner, the tenants, the slaves, the beloved son? Those who heard this parable in the first century would’ve understood the vineyard to be the Israelites…God’s beloved people, God’s pleasant planting. The prophet Isaiah speaks with God’s voice: I will tell you what I will do for my vineyard. The slaves are those prophets, over the centuries, sent to call people back to following God’s ways, who were often stoned to death for their message.
The Bible is dangerous. It has been used by human beings to subjugate women, to justify slavery, to condemn homosexuality. This parable of the tenants has been used by Christians against Jews, blaming Jews for the death of Jesus, calling them murderers. Martin Luther, the reformer of the church that sparked the protestant reformation, who taught us that we are saved by grace through faith, also blamed Jews for the death of Jesus. This parable and other passages in the New Testament, have been used to fuel prejudice, hatred, and discrimination against our Jewish brothers and sisters for centuries. How could this happen?
The parable has been used in anti-semitic, anti-Jewish discrimination because the tenants who kill the owner’s beloved son, are associated with all Jews. It is very important that we understand the tenants to be religious leaders in the first century and not associate the tenants with Jews down through the centuries. Martin Luther blamed Jews for the death of Jesus. In fact, it was Roman authorities and soldiers who killed Jesus… This is a very important distinction. In 1995 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada issued a formal apology to the Jewish community for Martin Luther’s prejudice against Jews that fueled the holocaust and still breeds discrimination today.
The religious leaders who heard Jesus telling this parable in the first century, realized he told this parable against them and their leadership, leading people astray, and they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. This parable is told during the last week of Jesus’ life. Jesus has just recently entered Jerusalem; things are heating up that will lead to his betrayal and arrest by Roman authorities, but not yet.
Still wanting to trap Jesus, some come and ask Jesus if it was lawful to pay taxes to the emperor or not? Jesus asks them to bring him a denarius, a coin of Roman currency. “Whose head is this? Whose title?” “The emperor’s” they answer. Jesus says, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperors and to God the things that are God’s”
他们仍想诱捕耶稣，有人来问耶稣向皇帝缴税是否合法？ 耶稣要他们给他拿来一个硬币，罗马硬币。 “这是谁的头像？ 谁的头衔？” 他们回答“皇帝”。 耶稣说：“把皇帝的东西给皇帝，把上帝的东西给上帝”
What things are God’s? Well, first of all, you are not your own. You belong to God. Your life. The life of your loved ones. Your future. Your hopes and dreams. It is all God’s. If you, beloved of God, are filled with fear, worry and anxiety about what COVID-19 might do to you or to your loved ones, as we sing together, give your life to God. Our very lives are in God’s hands. In both life and death, we belong to God. As you consider going anywhere in your neighbourhood, remember our neighbours belong to God…are we going to transmit a virus as we interact with our neighbours…or are we going to create social distance out of love for our neighbour?
As I stood in line with hundreds of people, who were backed up to the dairy section of Superstore, I struck up a conversation with my neighbour, who had taken a picture of the bare shelves where toilet paper is usually on sale. We talked about the panic-stricken public. He had purchased a bunch of kale, like me. I asked what he was planning to do with it. He said, “my buddy wants me to make Tuscany Kale soup…it’s not panic kale soup.” Could be Jesus calls us to love our neighbour because it’s the best way to deal with our own worry, fear and panic. Loving our neighbour draws us outside of ourselves, gives us a new perspective, reminds us that we are all in this together and we are not alone. As the TLC council wrestled with how to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, they chose to love our neighbours, to suspend worshipping in person until we know the virus transmission will be steady rather than fast like the spread in Italy. The stranger whom I met at Superstore helped me experience God; when he said, “I’m gonna cook Tuscany Kale soup for my buddy.” These days, I find God in random conversations with strangers, who show me something about love. Jesus knows the way to experience God in these crazy times is to love our neighbours.
As world leaders gather to collaborate, stem the tide of destruction, share ideas on how to preserve life, the virus is impartial…all are susceptible…but the virus is the one thing that seems to be bringing us all together across the world. Could be God is at work through COVID-19?
Mark 10:32-52 TLC March 8 2020 马可福音 10：32 – 52 TLC 2020 年3 月8号
What is it you want me to do for you?
If you’ve ever proposed marriage to your beloved and then anxiously waited for their response, or if you’ve put an offer on a house and paced by the phone waiting for the realtor’s call, or if you’ve gotten a call that your son or daughter has been arrested and is awaiting a court date, or if you’ve called 911 for a loved one who’s collapsed and stood by while they went into emergency surgery…
Then you’ve probably pleaded with Jesus to give you just this one thing. As you wait, praying with all your cards on the table, you may have even bargained with God; trying to cut some kind of deal.
In Mark’s gospel this morning, James and John ask Jesus for something, not just anything, but “we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”
So Jesus asks: What is it you want me to do for you?
It’s all about them getting some recognition, status…to sit next to Jesus, one at his right and the other at his left, basking in glory. James and John don’t get it. Following Jesus is not about getting glory. It’s about entering into suffering that yields new life…they didn’t hear what Jesus had just said: “I am heading for Jerusalem, where I will be handed over, condemned to death, mocked, spit upon, flogged and killed. After three days I will rise again.” Jesus is called to walk the road of suffering and death…a seeming failure as Messiah…after three days, he will be raised.
Could it be that we all want some recognition, to know that we are valuable, that we have something to offer another.
You don’t know what you are asking, Jesus says. Can you drink the cup that I will drink? “We are able!” James and John say, but they are clueless. Jesus doesn’t have the power to grant what they ask for. In a short while, two criminals will be hanging on Jesus’ right and left… “Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant,” Jesus says.
This last week, at our Lenten soup supper, we reflected on Judaism…the story is adapted from a Jewish folktale.
A wealthy businessman decided to take a walk and eat his lunch at the same time. As he strolled near a large park, he purchased a hot dog and a soft drink. On two occasions, someone approached him and asked, “Can you help me? I’m hungry.” Each time the businessman looked straight ahead and kept walking.
Later, for dessert, he bought a chocolate éclair from a vendor. Just as he was about to take his first bite of the pastry, he had to jump out of the way to avoid a young boy on a skateboard. The éclair fell to the ground, landing in a puddle. The businessman picked it up and tried to clean it, but it was useless. The pastry was caked with mud.
As he was about to throw the éclair away, an idea struck him. He walked over to one of the beggars and handed him the dirty pastry. “Here, my good man, is something for your hunger.” He smiled to himself and walked back to his office.
That night, the businessman dreamed he was sitting in a large, crowded café with waitresses running back and forth, bringing customers delicious cakes and tortes. The waitresses all ignored the businessman, though he waved at them continually. Finally, he caught the eye of a young woman and asked for something to eat. She returned in a few minutes with a dirty piece of pastry.
The man was outraged. ‘You can’t treat me this way,’ he insisted. “I have the right to be served like anyone else. I expect to get good value for my money.”
这位男士很生气。 他坚持说：“你不能这样对待我。” “我有权得到像其他任何人一样的服务。 我希望物有所值。”
“You don’t seem to understand,” the waitress said kindly. “You can’t buy anything here. We don’t accept money. You have just arrived in heaven, and all you can order here is what you sent ahead while you were on earth. The only item we have listed in your name is this muddy éclair.”
Jesus not only asks James and John: What is it you want me to do for you? But when the blind man, Bartimaeus, calls out to him from the side of the road, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus calls him over and asks: What is it you want me to do for you? The blind man says, “My teacher, let me see again.” Without hesitation, Jesus says, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately the blind man regained his sight and followed Jesus on the way.
耶稣不仅问詹姆斯和约翰：你们要我为你们做什么？ 但是当盲人巴底买得从路边呼唤他时：“大卫的子孙耶稣，可怜可怜我吧！” 耶稣就叫他过来，问：你要我为你做什么？ 瞎子说：“夫子，我要能看见。” 耶稣毫不犹豫地说： 你的信仰救了你。” 盲人立刻看见了，并跟随耶稣。
This week while eating lunch with the quilters, Colleen Evans remembered something that happened to her when she was a young adult commuting from her home just up the road from the church to BCIT. She drove her grandmother’s 1973 Ford Pinto (Ford’s version of the Hibatchi bbq), which Colleen, her Dad, Jack, and his good friend, who was head mechanic at Happy Honda in Vancouver had literally re-assembled over several months each Saturday.
As they stripped down the engine, replaced the cam shaft, the head gasket and all the seals and belts, Colleen remembers standing underneath the hood, inside the engine block, fitting piece by piece together. It was a complete rust bucket and, even though it had been completely rebuilt, the timing was off and it would die while idling in traffic.
本周，科琳·埃文斯（Colleen Evans）在与棉被小组一起吃午餐时，想起了她年轻时从教堂附近的家中到BCIT上下班通勤时发生的事情。 她开着她祖母的1973年福特平托。 实际上科琳，她的父亲，跟他的好朋友杰克，杰克曾是温哥华快乐本田的首席机械师，在这几个月的每个星期六都对这辆车进行重新整修。他们拆下发动机，更换凸轮轴，汽缸盖垫片以及所有的密封件和皮带，科琳回忆起站在引擎盖下方的发动机罩内部，将它们逐块地装配在一起。 发动机缸体都已经生锈了，即使已经重新整修了，如果时机到了，它也会在空转时死掉。
On her commute Colleen carried a screwdriver so that when she was idling in bumper to bumper traffic, the engine sputtering like it was going to die, she could jump out and adjust the timing to keep the car running. One dark, rainy night as she drove home, the engine began to sputter at full throttle and Colleen began to panic as she rolled to a stop…shaking and terrified, she looked up to see that she’d parked in front of a BC Transit garage.
As she stared into the dark, a shaft of light appeared as the garage door started to open and out walked four burly mechanics who came up to her window, asking if she needed anything. They rolled her Pinto into the garage and had it up on the hoist in minutes. One mechanic, wiping away her tears, asked if she wanted to call for a ride home. She called her Dad, who came and picked her up. They kept the car overnight, fixed it, and had her back on the road. Colleen doesn’t remember consciously praying, but she certainly was asking for something she could not do for herself. Her Dad wrote the mechanics a letter, thanking them for looking out for his daughter, stranded by the road. Looking back now, perhaps we can all see that God was at work through those mechanics, giving Colleen exactly what she needed…assurance she was not alone on some scary road, consumed with darkness on all sides.
Jesus can see the bigger picture in a way we never will. Jesus asks you this morning: What is it you want me to do for you? Jesus knows what we need more than we do. Jesus can see the consequences of a decision and actions across time, where we can only guess about how we might influence others or the world around us. Often what we want is not what we need, but Jesus can see both.
When we have exhausted our resources, have nothing left, are not sure what will happen next, God will raise us up.
Mark 10:17-31 March 1, 2020 TLC 马可福音 10：17 –31 2020 年3月1日
You Lack One Thing
As I stopped at Pharmasave this week, while standing in line for the cashier, a woman in front of me was asking about the lottery ticket she wanted…what is the jackpot right now? How much would $5 get me? With maybe a glimmer of hope, she threw some money towards the jackpot. If anyone of us were to win the lottery, what might happen to our lives?
当我本周在Pharmasave买东西，在排队等待交钱时，我前面的一个女人在询问她想要买的彩票……现在的奖金有多少？ 5美元能给我带来多少钱？ 她带着一线希望，用一些钱买了彩票。 如果我们中的某个人中了彩票，我们的生活会发生什么样的变化？
Imagine with me…Gregory Mathieu, 22-year-old who won Loto-Quebec’s biggest jackpot ever this week: $70 million. Picture him entering the sanctuary, he’s gone from bagging groceries to sharing $70 million with his family. He may or may not change the way he dresses, start to think he’s got it all, that he’s got the world by the tail, pulling in a six-digit annual income (well over $100,000) with no need to work. What will the next few years bring for him? His mother says, “We are grounded. We take care of each other….” Winning the lottery has a bad track record for the winners. They tend to focus on living large and struggle to keep what really matters in perspective.
想象一下……22岁的格雷戈里·马修（Gregory Mathieu），本周赢得了魁北克省最大的大奖：7000万加元。 想像一下他进入庇护所的场景，他不再需要打包杂货，而是与家人分享7000万美元。 他可能会，也可能不会改变自己的着装方式，他开始认为自己拥有了一切，已经掌握了整个世界，不需要工作就可以取得六位数的年收入（超过100,000美元）。 未来几年会给他带来什么？ 他的母亲说：“我们着陆了，我们彼此照顾……” 有记录表明中奖对于中奖者来说并不好。 他们倾向于过奢侈的生活，并很难保持关注真正重要的事情。
A young rich man sees Jesus walking by and runs up to him. Stops Jesus by falling on his knees before him: “Good teacher, what must I do to get eternal life? To be at peace when I die?” This young man is not satisfied…though he’s extremely wealthy, something is still missing. There’s still an emptiness in his life that he can’t shake. Something keeps him from trusting that in the end he will be at peace with himself, with God.
Jesus can see his struggle…but instead of answering his question, Jesus says, “Why do you call me good? No one is good, only God is good.” At this point, Jesus doesn’t identify himself as divine…he says…only God is good, implying, “I am not.”
耶稣可以看到他的挣扎……但是耶稣没有回答他的问题，而是说：“你为什么称我为好？ 没有人是好的，只有上帝是好的。” 在这一点上，耶稣不承认自己是神圣的……他说……只有上帝是好的，暗示“我不是。”
The rich young man is a sinner. He’s got a lot of stuff, but instead of trusting God and living generously, he’s become trapped by it. It owns him, his wealth holds him captive, keeps him from being truly alive.
Not only is the rich young man a sinner; I’m a sinner. Did you hear that? Your pastor, the one who you might think is able to follow all the commands of God because I stand up here and preach every week? Some people may think a pastor’s DNA is somehow superhuman? Nope, definitely not. I’m a sinner, standing in need of the same grace all of you are. At times, I lose my temper, killing another with my words and actions…when the guy driving the big truck won’t let me merge onto the Alex Fraser bridge lane, expletives fly off my tongue and I glare at him as I pass. Every day, in my thoughts, words and actions, I fail to trust God and love my neighbours.
不仅有钱的年轻人是罪人， 我也是个罪人。 你听到了吗？ 你的牧师，你可能认为她能够遵循上帝的所有命令，因为我每个星期都会站在这里传道？ 有些人可能认为牧师的DNA某种程度上是超人？ 不，绝对不是，我是一个罪人，跟你们所有人一样需要恩典。 有时，我会发脾气，用言语和行动伤害别人……当驾驶大卡车的人不让我并入上亚历克斯·弗雷泽（Alex Fraser）桥的匝道时，冒犯的话从我嘴里冒出，我经过他时等了他一眼。 每天，在我的思想，言语和行动上，我都不信任上帝，也不爱我的邻居。
Naming our sin…how we are broken, how we fail to trust God and love our neighbours. This is the way to find true freedom. Naming our sin is not meant to burden us with guilt, not something we need to hide from others. When we name our sin, it gives God a chance to set us free. Jesus says, “God is good. No one is good but God alone.” When we name our sin, we admit we cannot save ourselves. Only God can do that.
讲出我们的罪……我们如何破碎，我们如何不信任上帝，如何不爱我们的邻居。 这是找到真正自由的方式。 说出我们的罪并不意味着让我们有负罪感，不是我们需要向他人隐瞒什么。 当我们说出自己的罪时，就给了上帝一次让我们自由的机会。 耶稣说：“上帝是好的。 没有人是善良的，只有上帝一个。 当我们说出自己的罪过时，我们承认我们无法自救。 只有上帝才能做到。
Jesus reminds the rich young man of God’s commands: don’t murder, don’t betray your spouse, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother. We all fall short when we hear these commands…but the young man says he’s kept all of these since his youth. When we know we are sinners, cannot save ourselves, then we give Jesus a chance to look at us, as we are. No more games, no faking it until we make it.
Last month, the world’s biggest manager of financial assets, Blackrock, sent their annual letter to CEO’s of the most profitable companies around the world. The letter stressed the urgency of using their resources to reduce the world’s carbon footprint. Google, Apple and Amazon all announced goals to become carbon neutral, releasing zero emissions into the atmosphere with how they produce and transport goods. Microsoft CEO announced a new $1 billion Climate Innovation Fund “to accelerate the development of carbon reductions and renewable technologies.” And they laid out an aggressive goal of becoming carbon negative or climate positive by 2050. This means they want to remove more carbon than they emit. They intend to remove all carbon emitted directly or by electrical consumption since the company was founded in 1975. This would accelerate global production of technology that reduces, captures and removes carbon from earth’s atmosphere.
上个月，全球最大的金融资产管理公司黑石（Blackrock）的经理向全球最赚钱的公司的首席执行官发送了年度信函。 这封信强调了利用他们的资源来减少全球碳排放的紧迫性。 谷歌，苹果和亚马逊都宣布了实现碳中性的目标，使其生产和运输过程中向大气层达到零排放。 微软首席执行官宣布了一项新的10亿美元的气候创新基金，“以加快碳减排和可再生技术的发展。” 他们提出了一个雄心勃勃的目标，即到2050年实现碳负效应或气候正效应。这意味着他们希望消除的碳比其排放的更多。 该公司自1975年成立以来，一直致力于通过直接方式或间接电力消除碳排放。这将促进全球对减少，捕获和清除地球大气层中的碳技术的研发。
Money is not evil. Money, smartly invested for the sake of the planet, could help turn the tide on the climate crisis. The love of money is the root of evil. When Jesus looks at the rich young man, he can see that his heart is clinging to his possessions above all else. These companies with profits in the billions are choosing to invest their profit in reducing carbon emissions.
Each of us are entrusted with resources…how might we be called to use those resources for the common good? At the AGM last week, we talked about how we use the resources you share through Trinity Lutheran. As a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada we are independent financially; we don’t receive financial support from the larger church. In order to continue to live into God’s dream for our neighbourhood, we now partner with several new user groups in need of affordable space: Fraser Valley quilters, Young People’s Opera and UBC youth Gearing Up STEM camps. But we continue to rely on your generosity in addition to our new neighborhood partners to live into God’s dream. Thank you for the ways you continue to invest money entrusted to you so that we might discover what God is up to in our neighbourhood.
Contrary to what some of us were taught as children, we are not sinners in the hand of an angry God. Rather, Jesus looks at you and loves you. Jesus looks at the rich young man and loves him. “You lack one thing. Go, sell all that you own and give the money to the poor. Then you will have treasure beyond this life. Then come, follow me.” This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.
As we enter the forty days of Lent, we are walking toward the cross with Jesus. The cross says to you, me, our neighbours and the cosmos: I love you so much that I would rather die than keep track of all your sins on some divine ledger. The season of Lent, which began with Ash Wednesday and continues for the next 40 days, is a chance to admit we cannot save ourselves. Christ Jesus has already saved us on the cross.
当我们进入四旬期第四十天时，我们正与耶稣一起走向十字架。 十字架对你，我，我们的邻居和宇宙说：我是如此爱你，以至于我宁愿死也不想在某个神圣的账本上记录你的所有的罪。 四旬期始于灰烬星期三，并持续40天，这是一个机会，承认我们无法自救。 基督耶稣已经救了我们在十字架上。
God is good. We are loved. When you are loved, all things become possible.
Mark 8:27-9:8 Colossians 3:1-4 马可福音 8:27 – 9:8 歌罗西书 3: 1-4
Hidden with Christ in God/ The Story Behind the Story
There’s always a story behind the story…when we meet someone for the first time, we size them up unconsciously, we get an impression…based on what they are wearing or the sound of their voice, or the look on their face, the gaze of their eyes. We don’t know the story that lives behind our first impression unless we ask a few open and honest questions, creating a space where they are free to talk.
In Mark’s gospel this morning, Jesus opens up a space for his closest followers to talk…as they are walking through several villages, Jesus sparks a conversation by asking: Who do people say that I am? This is the safe distance question…not too personal, it’s indirect, not asking them to try and answer it for themselves. So they say, John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the prophets. The prophets are those who are able to imagine the world other than the way it is in front of them. They can see the story behind the story. They can see what God is up to behind the scenes, name it, and perhaps call it out of us. The prophets believe deeply that God is alive, a real agent who acts in the world, who causes endings and new beginnings. Prophets were dangerous because they name human systems that silence and degrade people on the margins, the earth and its creatures. Prophets were often killed, or silenced, for telling the story behind the story.
在今天早上的马可福音中，耶稣创造了一个可以与他最亲密的追随者交谈的空间，……当他们走过几个村庄时，耶稣通过询问来引发对话：人们说我是谁？ 这个问题有一定的安全距离……不是太个人化，而是间接的，不要求他们尝试自己回答。 因此，他们说，施洗约翰，以利亚或某位先知。 先知是那些能够以一种不同于在自己面前所呈现的方式来想象世界的人。 他们可以看到故事背后的故事。 他们可以看到上帝在幕后所做的事情，揭示它，甚至可以从我们内里把它呼召出来。 先知深信上帝是活着的，是在世界上所行之事的真正推动者，会导致结束和新的开始。 先知之所以危险，是因为他们揭露了人类的一套体系让处于边缘的人，地球及其生物静默并退化。 先知常常因为讲故事背后的故事而被杀或消声。
Listening to Prime Minister Trudeau address the Speaker of the House of Commons this week, I realized I don’t know the story behind the story of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief stand off in northern B.C. that’s been preventing Canada Rail transit. In the UN Declaration of Indigenous Human Rights, which you will all get a copy of today as part of our AGM meeting... over 20 nations voted in favor of the declaration in 2007. Canada debated for 10 years before voting in favor. B.C. was the first province to make the declaration into law in November 2019.
What we affirm has not yet been fully embedded in B.C. laws, but we are moving towards it.
After two weeks of disrupted rail transit, the barricades have awakened the entire country to recognizing how Indigenous law is upheld by the declaration…
Affirming that indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples, while recognizing the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be respected as such,
Affirming also that all peoples contribute to the diversity and richness of civilizations and cultures, which constitute the common heritage of hu- mankind,
Affirming further that all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust,
Reaffirming that indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights, should be free from discrimination of any kind,
Concerned that indigenous peoples have suffered from historic injustices as a result of, inter alia, their colonization and dispossession of their lands, territories and resources, thus preventing them from exercising, in particular, their right to development in accordance with their own needs and interests,
Recognizing the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structures and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources,
In the UN Declaration, we agree to live here in Canada together, to make collective decisions. All sorts of laws need to be changed in order to weave this into the fabric of B.C.’s laws. Across Canada, many people support Indigenous fundamental rights. What is far more challenging for people, including governments, is making the changes necessary in how we make decisions. PM Trudeau was speaking in the house of commons about this decision- making process, urging the government to make room for these conversations, while still respecting the rule of law.
在《联合国宣言》中，我们同意共同生活在加拿大，共同作出决定。 为了将其纳入卑诗省法律的架构，需要修改各种法律。 在加拿大各地，许多人支持原住民的基本权利。 对于包括政府在内的民众而言，更具挑战性的是进行决策方式方面的必要更改。 特鲁多总理在下议院就这一决策过程发表讲话，敦促政府为这些对话保留空间，同时仍要尊重法治。
The hereditary chiefs are following Indigenous law, which says they need to protect the lands with which they have a sacred connection, a much larger (22,000 acres) territory than the band of chiefs are responsible for. The world has known since 2011 that at least 80% of all fossil fuels must stay in the ground to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius. This means 90%of U.S., Australian coal, and all Canadian tar sands must stay in the ground. California recently passed legislation banning state agencies from building oil and gas infrastructure. Other states are likely to follow. Could it be the hereditary chiefs are God’s prophets speaking to Canadian power structures? The UN Declaration gives indigenous communities “free, prior and informed consent” in matters that impact them…such as pipeline projects.
世袭酋长遵守原住民的法律，该法律说，他们需要保护与其神圣联系的土地，这比酋长集团所负责的领土要大得多（22,000英亩）。 自2011年以来，全世界都知道，至少80％的化石燃料必须留在地下，以使全球温度保持在2摄氏度以下。 这意味着90％的美国，澳大利亚煤炭和所有加拿大焦油砂必须留在地下。 加州最近通过了一项立法，禁止州政府机构建设石油和天然气基础设施。 其他州也可能随之而来。 难道世袭首领是神的先知在对加拿大的权力机构说话吗？ 《联合国宣言》在会影响原住民的事情上，…诸如输油管项目，赋予了他们“事先知情权和自由决定是否同意”的权利。
On Thursday morning, the RCMP agreed to move away from the barricaded area to a nearby town 22 km away. With the goal of keeping peace, decreasing tension, and making room for the conversation to happen between the hereditary chiefs and the Crown Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett. The RCMP bent to the request of the hereditary chiefs, creating space for a real conversation that leads to compromise. But by Friday, PM Trudeau was calling for hereditary chiefs to remove the barricades, hoping to prevent a forceful interaction with the RCMP no doubt.
星期四上午，加拿大皇家骑警同意从路障区域移至22公里外的附近城镇。 为了维持和平，以缓和紧张气氛并为世袭首领与原住民关系部长卡洛琳·贝内特之间的对话留出空间，我们的目标是维护和平。 加拿大皇家骑警屈从于世袭酋长的要求，为真正的对话创造了空间，从而促成双方的让步妥协。 但是周五，特鲁多总理已要求世袭首领撤除路障，毫无疑问他希望阻止与皇家骑警的武力互动。
The story behind the story has led to this stand-off. After asking his followers to voice the story behind the story of his life, he doesn’t let the conversation drop. He goes on to ask: “But who do you say that I am?” Peter, the courageous one who speaks before he thinks, blurts out what he’s convinced the backstory is for Jesus: “You are the Messiah.” Jesus quickly shuts that down…perhaps Jesus was genuinely surprised and then alarmed by Peter’s insight. Has Peter figured out the story behind the story? Don’t tell anyone about me, Jesus says.
Then Jesus goes on to give them a glimpse. He will suffer, be rejected, killed and after three days rise again. He spoke openly. Peter takes Jesus aside and begins to tell him off. You’ve got it wrong Jesus…Messiah’s don’t suffer…they are conquering heroes…they rise up and defend their people, saving them from the occupying power of Rome. Fighting back is the way Messiah brings God’s beloved people to a place of freedom from oppression. But Jesus says, “Peter you’ve got it all wrong, you are fighting against me…you may know that Jesus is the Messiah, but he doesn’t get the story behind the story. You don’t know how God will work through me to save and heal the world.
然后耶稣继续给他们暗示。 他公开告诉他们，他将历经苦难，被拒绝，被杀，三天后将再次复活。 彼得把耶稣叫到一边，开始告诉他。 耶稣，你错了……弥赛亚没有受苦……他们是正在征战的英雄……他们鼓舞并捍卫自己的人民，使他们脱离罗马的统治。 反击是弥赛亚将上帝所爱的人带到一个不受压迫的地方的方式。 但是耶稣说：“彼得，你错了，你正在反对我，…你可能知道耶稣是弥赛亚，但他没有看到故事背后的故事。 你不知道神将如何通过我来拯救和医治世界。
Jesus invites the crowd gathered around, and says, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves…… take up their cross…… and follow me.” Anyone who wants to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What is Jesus talking about? Denying yourself is the path to reconciliation with ourselves, with God, with creation, between indigenous communities and colonizers. Denying yourself starts with admitting you don’t know everything, and you don’t know what’s going to happen. Like the conversations with the hereditary chiefs, it starts with listening for the story behind the story. When we genuinely listen, we let go of ourselves in order to make room for another. The RCMP arrests and presence needed to stop in order for negotiations to start.
耶稣邀请众人围拢过来，说：“若有人要跟从我，让他们否定自己......背起十字架......来跟从我。”凡是想跟着我的人都必须让我领导。 你不在舵手的座位上；而我在。 不要逃避痛苦； 拥抱它。 跟我来，我会告诉你如何做。 自救根本没用，自我牺牲才是拯救自己的方式，也是我的方式， 是拯救真正的自己。 获得你想要的却失去了自己，一个真正的自己，会有什么好处呢？耶稣在说什么？ 否定自己是我们与上帝，与我们自己，与这个世界，与原住民社区，与殖民者和解的途径。 否定自己始于承认自己一无所知，也不知道会发生什么。 就像与世袭首领的谈话一样，它始于聆听故事背后的故事。 当我们真正倾听时，我们会放下自己，从而为他人腾出空间。 为了开始谈判，皇家骑警停止出面和逮捕。
Take up your cross. Leave behind what you’ve known and enter into the suffering of others. If we really listen to their pain, their protest, we will feel their pain. That becomes our cross. We take on someone else’s burdens… taking up the cross in about choose to enter into the suffering of others. Classmates at Semiahmoo High school are grieving the tragic death of Alexandra Zhai. Many are struggling with Liver’s Regret or Survivor’s Guilt asking …why didn’t I show Alex I cared, why wasn’t it enough to keep her alive, why didn’t I speak up when I needed to, if I spoke up would it have prevented her death. We continue to pray for her friend, Crystal, who was with Alexandra when she died. There are times when people can see no way out of the deep pain in which they are trapped. They refuse to share the story behind the story; in such cases we cannot prevent their death.
Jesus hikes up a mountain with Peter, James and John…a place where you can get a new perspective…in order for them to experience the story behind the story of his life. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their very eyes. His clothes shimmered, covered in stardust…the great prophets Moses and Elijah show up and enter into deep conversation with Jesus. Peter wants to stay there forever, build a place to remember it. And suddenly a brilliant cloud surrounds them, and they hear a Voice telling the story behind the story: “This is my Son, marked by my love. Listen to him.”
耶稣与彼得，詹姆士和约翰一起上山……在这里，你有了新的视角……，以便他们体会自己自己的生命故事背后的故事。 就在他们的面前，他的外貌由内而外发生改变。 他的衣服闪闪发光，布满星尘……伟大的先知摩西和以利亚出现了，与耶稣进行了深入的交谈。 彼得想永远留在那里，建立个纪念的地方。 突然，一团巨大的乌云环绕着他们，他们听到一个声音在讲故事背后的故事：“这是我的儿子，以我的爱为标志。 听他的。”
What is our story behind the story of our lives? Throughout our lives, Jesus invites us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow. In this process of dying, letting God be in the driver’s seat, entering into the suffering of others, we find life. Letting a part of us die, so another part can live. As Paul tells the followers of the way of the cross in the ancient Roman city of Colossae: “for you have died, your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.” The story behind the story for each of us is that our lives are hidden with Christ in God…as we deny ourselves, making room to listen to the other, including those whom we don’t like, struggle to understand, make false assumptions about…we enter into their pain, we carry their burdens and together we are following the way of Christ out into the world.
May all we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings. Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each others’ burdens and walks the way of the cross together. Listen to our hearts’ longing for reconciliation. Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we pray. Amen.
Mark 7 Feb 16, 2020 TLC
马可福音 7 2020年 2月16日 TLC
Kids’ Message: Jesus is frustrated, even angry in Mark’s gospel this morning…what might he be frustrated about? Religious leaders thought that doing certain things was the way to get close to God…like washing their hands before eating….but Jesus says it’s not what comes in through our mouth that pollutes us…it was comes out of our mouth that pollutes…our words can hurt others…when we want what belongs to someone else, when we put down others, when mean words come out of our mouth….When have you experienced the power of words hurting or healing someone…maybe yourself?
I bet you have a story to share…when we share our stories, healing happens…we realize we are not alone, that others understand us, that we have love to share. Here’s one of the stories I’ve heard from a young person: One summer while camping, I met a little person named June at the water spigot as I went to clean some dishes…. June is a wise one in a peculiar, a very special package. Soon to turn four, June had become much more verbal than when I first met her a couple years ago, but she had not grown very much. She wears braces on her legs and moves around on her pink scooter, standing about this tall. As I greeted her, June began to tell me that her family was getting packed up to go home. Then to my surprise she said, “I’m going to start preschool next week.” She was obviously very excited about it and so articulate (her words were so clear and confident); it took my breath away. On a roll, she continued, “My birthday is September 9. And I’m getting two new teeth…see!” showing me with her tongue where her teeth were coming in. I asked if they were sore. She said, “No.” Then her sister, brother and mother joined us, crowding around us and she asked her mom to pick her up, so that she could keep talking with me. June doesn’t talk with very many people. She mostly looks with her eyes. A lot of times, strangers would stare at June because she is very small for a four-year-old. She may get teased at school by other kids. What comes out of us can put down others or build them up with love. The stories that came out of June at the water spigot built me up just when I needed it. This week at school there may be kids who are being put down. Jesus might ask you to be the one to build them up. As you come forward to eat the bread and grape juice, Jesus comes to live in you and wants to speak words through your lips at school this week.
It is Only with God’s help, through the Spirit opening our eyes so that we notice people on the margins (use a piece of paper to talk about people who live on the edges of our neighborhoods: who are the people who live on the edges, forgotten, …not enough money for healthy lunch at school each day, excluded from groups on the playground because they are new kids at school, perhaps don’t speak English fluently or are challenged in how they move their bodies or takes them longer to understand what the teacher is teaching.) and serve them, we become the hands and feet of Jesus (refer to worship bulletin). True religion is about loving people on the margins, noticing, helping, lifting them up…
When you come forward to receive the bread and the grape juice, you meet Jesus who loves and forgives you…come by the font and dip your fingers in it…make the sign of the cross on your forehead and say, “Jesus loves me no matter what I said or did. Nothing could keep me from his love.”
These days we are surrounded with hand sanitizing stations…either they are newly installed or I’ve just been noticing them more…at the entrance to the grocery story, recreation center, in restaurants…in the last few years we’ve installed them all over the church…in the kitchen, bathroom, community hall. During the flu season we are all trying to keep our hands clean, to prevent the spread of infection. In Mark’s gospel this morning the Pharisees, those who are concerned about keeping the tradition of the elders, call out the disciples of Jesus for their grubby hands. Why do they neglect to wash the world off before coming to dinner as their elders taught them?
这些天，我们随处可见手消毒液...有的是新安装的，我刚注意到更多...在杂货店，娱乐中心，餐馆的入口……在过去的几年中，我们在教堂也都安装了...在厨房，卫生间，社区礼堂中都装了。 在流感季节，我们都在努力保持双手清洁，以防止感染扩散。 在今天早晨的马可福音中，法利赛人，那些关心保持前辈传统的人，把耶稣的门徒们叫出来， 因为他们的手很脏。 他们为什么忽视长辈的教导，没有洗净身上的灰尘，再来吃饭？
Reminds me of those who may walk into this sanctuary with a baseball cap on, and someone says, “take that cap off…it’s disrespectful.” Well, it depends…if the person wearing the cap is covering their head because all their hair fell off in chemotherapy treatments, then we may change what we say to them…out of respect for their life-threatening illness and the suffering it has caused, knowing they don’t want their head exposed.
The Pharisees sound judgy, don’t they? Jesus comes back by quoting the prophet Isaiah…is Jesus throwing the Bible at them like a weapon? No…Jesus is saying they regularly confuse interpretation of the law with the law itself. You have rejected God’s command in favor of a human tradition.
If we learn one thing from our Jewish brothers and sisters, whose faith forms the foundation of Christianity, we learn this: interpretation of God’s law is essential and on-going. Laws don’t interpret themselves. They never have. Jewish spiritual practice involves chewing on a text in community—turning it around like a multi-faceted diamond to discover new viewpoints. Sabbath worship for our Jewish brothers and sister today involves digging into the scriptures, the Torah: (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy…first five books of our Christian Bible) considering interpretations from centuries of rabbis in the Mishnah and together finding new ways of understanding God’s teachings for today.
So, Jesus is doing what rabbis do…inviting them to consider what the law means for today: Jesus throws out the example of one of God’s laws given to Moses. Honor your father and mother. What does this mean? It’s not obvious what honoring might involve. Kissing the ground your parents walk on? Not rolling your eyes at them, even when they are being annoying? Letting them influence all your life-altering decisions? Living with them your whole life? Caring for them as they age. Who is included in the category father and mother?
Here at Trinity, many of you are fathers and mothers to the young people from infants to young adults…as you take care of them in the nursery, check in each week and ask them about their lives, share stories from your own life, inviting them into your heart.
Jesus then reminds them of a law from Leviticus…whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die…glad we no longer enforce THAT command, right? Death penalty is an extreme consequence for yelling rude things at your parents! And Jesus goes on to disagree with Pharisees allowing any help you would’ve given to your parents, instead you give it as Corban, an offering to God. So, being ultra-religious with Corban, a way to neglect our closest human relationships, is a misuse of the law, Jesus says.
Mark’s Jesus says, “Whatever you think you are doing to be religious, to get close to God, you’ve got it wrong” …handwashing, odd practice of Corban, and many other things. Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners and was criticized for it because it would make him ritually unclean…like he could get infected by their sinfulness. Jesus didn’t think sinners were contagious, because Jesus knows our heart problem is genetic. We are all full of potential for evil. It is what bubbles up from within us that pollutes us, that creates a sin-sick soul.
We have no wiggle room this morning. We all squirm as Jesus names what we struggle with. When the religious leaders challenge why Jesus doesn’t require the spiritual practice of hand washing, Jesus says “there is nothing outside a person that by going in makes our souls sick, but what comes out of us is what pollutes.”
Jesus goes on to talk about what is clean to eat, “Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot pollute, since it enters not the heart, but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?” A Jewish Rabbi was interviewed a couple years ago. He shared a prayer he offers every time what comes out of his body goes to the sewer…giving thanks that his life is sustained by the source of life. It’s a spiritual practice for him, reminding him that he’s made in the image of God, that he belongs to God. Perhaps Jesus knew this prayer, as he declared all foods to be ritually clean for eating.
The evil intentions Jesus lists, coming out of our hearts, catch each one of us; off the top of your head you may not even know what all these words refer to. I had to google a few of them. But as I reflected, it seems they are all about misplaced desires.
Have you ever wanted what is not yours to have? Wanting what is not ours to have, to hold, to indulge in can pollute ourselves and our interactions with others. A misplaced desire for physical intimacy, a desire for more and more money or power, a desire for someone else’s spouse, house, car or anything else that belongs to them, a desire to pull down someone else’s reputation….all that Jesus speaks of is about following our misplaced desires. Following those desires infects not only our hearts, but all our relationships as well.
When an outbreak erupts from within us: deceiving others, thinking the worst of others, thinking too highly of ourselves, or envying others…we become sick…but we don’t catch this from others. Our heart problem is in our DNA; it’s not contagious. When our souls become sick, Jesus doesn’t leave us alone to wallow in our mess. Jesus doesn’t put us in quarantine, holding cells, or decontamination chambers. Jesus eats with sinners, touches lepers, holds the hand of those who’ve died, lets those suffering touch him.
Those of us who are suffering with a sin sick soul today, Jesus comes to heal, to bind up your wounds. Nothing can keep Jesus away from you.
Mark 6:1-29 Death of John the Baptist TLC Feb 9 2020
马可福音 6：1-29 施洗约翰的死 TLC 2020 年2 月9号
The truth will be made known. What is in the dark will reach
Context: We often sanitize or whitewash the Bible when we
hear passages like the one we are about to hear, because it’s full of blood,
violence and death. But we can’t have peace and love until we’ve faced the
violence and injustice in the world and within ourselves. In Mark’s gospel this
morning, King Herod had heard about Jesus teaching in the villages among the
people and sending out his closest followers in pairs, two by two. They were calling
people repent: to face the violence and injustice within and around them, turn
around to a new way of seeing, hearing and living. People who heard this
message were being healed, set free, made whole…Herod wondered who was this
Jesus and what was he up to?
Every week, as Jenn prepares the powerpoint for worship, we
select a hold slide for my message that depicts the gospel. What image would
you choose as a hold slide for day? A
bloody head on a platter? (cut to “Consider the entertainment Herod arranges
for his birthday party….) I would’ve passed out if I’d been a guest at Herod’s
banquet. I’ve never liked movies with a lot of bloodshed. This is not the kind
of story you design a Sunday school lesson around…or is it?
Jesus lived in a Roman colony ruled with an iron fist, where
King Herod wielded the power to kill and spare lives on a whim. We know about
the kind of rulers who have the power to serve someone’s head on a platter
because it still happens today. Is it possible, in the midst of such violence
that continues today, that God’s good and gracious will is still coming into
Herod had heard about Jesus, but people were all wondering
who is Jesus? Where did he come from? (pause) Why was he here? (pause) As they
wondered, some thought he was a prophet, Elijah raised from the dead but when
Herod heard it, he knew: “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” The more
Herod thinks about who Jesus is, the more guilty he feels about beheading John
the Baptist…the voice that cried out in the wilderness to prepare the way for
Jesus. Herod is convinced John has come back to haunt him. Herod can’t seem to
shake the guilt and regret over what he’s done or failed to do. Guilt has taken
up residence like his shadow…following him wherever he goes. We know what this
is like. To be tormented by guilt and regret… wishing you would’ve held your
tongue or could take back what you’ve done, but it’s out there making a mess of
your life. You try to walk away, but every time you walk outside into the
sunshine it pops out just as close as your shadow.
Herod had arrested John, because his wife, Herodias,
insisted. Herod could not stand up to his wife. She had a death wish for John
because he told everyone her marriage with Herod was against the law. Herod’s
wife was his brother Philip’s wife. So Herod arrested John, in order to protect
Herod liked to listen to John; he was confused, yet
strangely drawn, to his words. Herod wanted to protect John from his wife’s
death wish. But after drinking too much, entranced by his niece/step-daughter Salome’s
dancing, Herod’s senses were dulled, his judgment was impaired, and he found
himself offering Salome whatever she wanted…even half of his kingdom. This
Herod solemnly swore. Salome runs to her mother to give her the news.
Herodias jumps at the opportunity to fulfill her death wish,
to take revenge, and asks for John’s head. Though he’s grieved, Herod goes
against his better judgment, hoping to save face with his dinner guests. And he
regrets it big time. What’s done is done.
Josephus, a Jewish historian who lived in 60 CE, when Mark’s
gospel was written, recorded historical events of his day in what is called
Antiquities of the Jews. Josephus reports that John was executed by Herod for
fear he might inspire political unrest and rebellion in Roman territory.
Josephus doesn’t mention John’s beheading but he stresses the injustice. John
was right with God. Herod was not.
约瑟夫斯（Josephus）是一位犹太历史学家，他生活在公元60年，这也是在马可福音成书的时期。他在所谓的犹太古籍中记录了当时的这一历史事件。 约瑟夫斯（Josephus）报道说，约翰被希律王处死，因为他担心这会激起罗马领土的政治动乱和叛乱。 约瑟夫斯没有提到约翰的斩首，但他强调了事件的不公正性。 约翰与上帝同在， 但希律没有。
Herod used his political power to try and silence John’s
voice, but even death couldn’t do that. We are still hearing John’s voice today
as we live into this violent story. Herod couldn’t silence John’s voice.
There’s a risk when we give voice to what needs to change,
to speak up about what is not right. But the Spirit of the living God is at
work so that our voice won’t be silenced.
As the coronavirus spreads, Jeremy Li, Chinese NBA star,
posted in Instagram that he is saddened by racist comments made in connection
with the coronavirus, as he returned to California with the basketball season
postponed due to the outbreak. In the wake of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash,
Jeremy has lost a Ducks teammate to the virus and says we cannot take life for
granted and instead of discriminating against those who look like carriers of
the virus, “we need to lift up the heroes on the front lines of the virus
outbreak working around the clock to prevent it’s spread and treat those
suffering.” Wong-Tam, leader of the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto
said back in 2003 during the SARS outbreak, “people of Chinese backgrounds were
shunned at schools, harassed in the streets, taunted on public transit, and
many more felt ostracized and isolated from the rest of the city.” Such actions
are evidence of discrimination driven by fear and misinformation. Despite the
low risk of transmission of the coronavirus in Canada, news of the virus has
led to a rise in racist accusations. If someone appears to be Chinese, the
assumption is that they are virus carriers. With social media spreading the
virus of discrimination, we as followers of Christ are called to think
critically about all the messages fighting for our attention. And to speak up
rather than be silenced when we witness discrimination happening around us.
Canadian National Council Toronto）的领导人黄谭（Wong
In speaking up, we take some risk. When John the Baptist
took the risk of calling people to repent, Herod and those in authority tried
to silence him, but they failed. His message and story are still alive today. Jesus
took the risk of teaching a new way of relating with the God of the Cosmos, and
authorities tried to silence him. Opposed by religious and political leaders,
Jesus was a threat to the first century Roman status quo. But even the grave
couldn’t silence his voice. The voice of Jesus is heard through Jeremy Li and Wong-Tam as they speak up about the virus
of discrimination infecting us in Canada and the United States.
The truth will be made known. What is in the dark will reach
Last Sunday, Peter Xiao told us that because his wife and
daughter had just returned from a trip to China, he would not be attending
worship here for the next two weeks. He has decided to quarantine himself for
14 days rather than risk spreading the coronavirus to the TLC community. Out of
love for you all, Peter is making sure he is not carrying the virus. Delta
school district is telling parents the risk of getting sick from the virus is
very low here; what Peter is doing is the best course of action.
One way we can stand with our brothers and sisters in China,
who are at much higher risk of contracting the virus, is to help Vivian Jost.
Vivian’s family has postponed a trip to China for a family wedding, as her
family waits for the virus to be contained. Vivian just purchased a box of 600
masks on Amazon which she sent to China this week. If you would like to help
her purchase more masks, let me or Vivian know.
Jost。 薇薇安（Vivian）的家人已经推迟了到中国参加家庭婚礼的行程，因为她一家正在等着该病毒得到遏制。 薇薇安（Vivian）刚刚在亚马逊上购买了一箱600只口罩，并于本周寄往中国。 如果您想帮助她购买更多口罩，请告诉我或Vivian。
Herod’s wife tried to silence John, demanding his death from
her drunken husband Herod. Roman soldiers tried to silence Jesus, hanging him
on a cross. But their voices are still heard among us today. As the virus
spreads across China, and people are scrambling for hand sanitizer and masks to
prevent infection, we are called to stand with our brothers and sisters, to
speak up against discrimination here in Canada, and prevent the virus of racism
希律的妻子试图让约翰保持沉默，要求他醉酒的丈夫处死约翰。 罗马士兵试图使耶稣沉默，将他吊在十字架上。 但是今天在我们中间，我们仍然能听到他们的声音。 随着该病毒在中国蔓延，人们争相购买洗手液和口罩以防止感染，因此我们被呼召与兄弟姐妹站在一起，反对在加拿大的歧视，并防止种族主义病毒传播。
Jesus stands among us this morning, inviting us to let go of
guilt and regret. Jesus knows it is agonizingly difficult. Herod was haunted by
regret for failing to protect John and wondered what it might mean for his
life, perhaps even eternally. Perhaps you have things you regret, hanging onto
them, hoping they will somehow become sweet if you harvest them. When we pick
up our regrets and examine them, giving them a place in our heart again,
wondering what it means that we messed up. Then we fail to trust the One in
whom all things hold together, things in heaven and things on earth.
耶稣今天早晨站在我们中间，邀请我们放下罪恶和遗憾， 耶稣知道这非常痛苦。 希律因未能保护约翰而感到遗憾，并想知道这对他的生命可能意味着什么，他甚至终生都会如此。 也许你有遗憾的事，难以释怀，希望有一天当你回想时，会感到一丝甜蜜。 当我们重拾遗憾并审视它们时，再次让它们在自己的心中占有一席之地，思考着这错误到底意味着什么时，我们其实是没有相信这唯一的能把天上的一切和地上的一切团结在一起的神。
May you cultivate a daily practice of letting go of regret,
like I tossed those overripe raspberries back into the earth. Trusting that God
in Christ chose you in your baptism, to be set apart for God’s purposes, a
beloved child marked with the cross of Christ forever. This God, revealed in
Christ, is at work through all things for good. So that when you look back ten,
twenty, or fifty years from now, you can say, God is gathering all things,
things we regret, things we are proud of, into Christ. This is the mystery of
God’s will. God is drawing all things together for good. All things. Things we regret. Things we wish
hadn’t happened. All things in heaven. All things in earth. In spite of us and
because of Christ, all things together
Mark 5:21-43 TLC Feb2 2020
马可福音5：21 -43 2020年2月2号
Telling Our Whole Truth
With the tragic helicopter crash killing basketball legend
Kobe Bryant, his 13 year old daughter Gigi as well as many of her
teammates/coach and the pilot, we’ve all been drawn into the media coverage,
with fans, NBA players, and the Bryant family in shock. Those recovering their
bodies reported that Kobe died with his daughter in his lap, an image that
breaks your heart and somehow brings comfort.
Perhaps now we know then how Jairus, a generous benefactor
of the local synagogue, Jewish place of worship, feels. He is desperate to help
his dying daughter and at the same time, feeling helpless. It seems that it is
too late for Jairus’ daughter because Jesus took time to hear the whole truth
from another desperate woman. Mark’s gospel embeds these stories of desperate
people seeking healing and we are hooked into their lives, creating a pendulum
swinging between fear and faith.
也许现在我们知道了犹太教堂的慷慨捐助者睚鲁的感觉。 他迫切希望能帮助自己快要死了的女儿，同时他又感到无助。 看起来对睚鲁的女儿来说，已经来不及了，因为听另一个绝望的女人讲出全部实情花费了耶稣很长时间。 马可福音讲述了这些绝望的人们寻求医治和康复的故事，而我们也陷入了跟他们一样的生活，在恐惧和信仰之间摇摆不定。
The woman who’s been bleeding for 12 years, approaches Jesus
as a crowd presses in on him. In our blood is our life, as we learn about
dietary laws in the Hebrew Bible, which all faithful Jews followed…drain the
blood from the meat before you eat it, so that you do not consume the life of
the animal. For 12 years, the life has been drained from this woman’s body. The
hemorrhaging woman has used up all she had on treatments that were a wasted
effort…in fact she was worse. As a last resort, she is drawn to Jesus,
thinking, “If I could just touch his clothes, I will be made well.” And what’s crazy is when she reaches out to
touch Jesus, she is healed. And even more crazy, Jesus knows something has
happened…that power has gone out from him. So he asks, “Who touched me?” and
his disciples put him down…there’s a huge crowd around you, how can you ask
such a stupid question?
这位已经患血漏12年的女人，被人群拥挤着，向耶稣靠近。 在希伯来圣经中，我们了解到犹太人的饮食规矩，……在吃肉之前将肉中的血放掉，因为血液中流淌的是我们的生命，所有虔诚的犹太人都遵循这一饮食规定，以免于消费动物的生命。 十二年来，生命从这个女人的身体中逐渐流失。 这位血漏的妇女尝试了所有治疗方法，都是白费力气，……事实上，她的病情更糟。 作为最后的办法，她找到了耶稣，想着：“如果我能摸一下他的衣服，我就会好起来的。”不可思议的是，当她伸手摸到耶稣时，她就被治愈了。更疯狂的是，耶稣知道发生了什么事……觉得有能力从自己身上出去。 所以他问：“谁摸了我的衣裳？”他的门徒让他小声点……周围有很多人，你怎么能问这样一个愚蠢的问题？
But the woman, knowing she has been healed, comes before
Jesus in fear and trembling….she doesn’t come in faith, but in fear. What keeps
us from exercising faith is not doubt, but fear, because faith is about
trusting another fully. When we are afraid, we cannot trust. But once she opens
her mouth and tells her whole truth, fear dissipates/fades away, making room
for trust, room for healing. There is a vital connection between telling our
whole truth and being healed of our dis-ease, no matter what form it takes. After
listening to her whole truth, Jesus says, “Daughter, your faith has made you
well; go in peace and be healed of your dis-ease.” Being in the presence of
Jesus, someone who makes space for her to be herself, who takes time even
though a desperate father is begging for Jesus to hurry before his daughter
dies. Jesus stops and listens to this woman’s whole truth. Jesus gives her what
she needs to let the words tumble out. Mark’s gospel doesn’t tell us what her
whole truth is, but we know she has suffered and found no one to help.
Bleeding, all of her neighbours would avoid contact with her, because she is
This week Washington Post reporter was temporarily suspended
from her job by tweeting about Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault trial resolved with
an undisclosed amount of money back in 2004. Social media responded with a
deluge: NOT NOW. Then when? Jill Filipovic responded…she wrote: “all of our
lives leave ripples. Some leave tsunamis. Compassion is not summarizing the
beauty of the wave; it’s picking through the wreckage, reckoning with who was
hurt….if we want our heroes to be better men, and if we want more of our heroes
to be women, and if we want a world in which our stories are more honest than
the framework of heroes and villains allows, well---we have to start by telling
the whole truth. (When are we supposed to grapple with, and tell the whole
truth about, the lives of people many admire? We can grieve a life lost and
also address that life honestly.)”
Mark knows that telling our whole truth and trusting in God
is not easy for us. We grasp it, we lose it. We reach again. We trust, God
replenishes our lack of trust. After years of suffering, we reach the end of
our rope. We have nothing left. So Jesus creates space for the hemorrhaging
woman and the father of a dying daughter to trust. Trust undermines fear, so
that it falls away and we are held in faith.
If we want to know how hard it is to trust God, listen to
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, pouring out his heart as he prays for a
chance to run away from the cross, from his suffering and death. Jesus tells
his closest friends, “sit here while I pray.” Taking Peter, James and John with
him, he plunged into a deep pit of dreadful agony. He told them, “I feel bad
enough right now to die. Stay here and keep awake with me.” Going a bit ahead
of them, he fell to the ground and prayed for a way out: “Papa, father, you
can---can’t you? Get me out of this. Take this cup away from me. I cannot drink
this cup of suffering and pain…… But please not what I want---what do you
如果我们想知道要信靠上帝有多么困难，就在客西马尼园中听听耶稣怎么说，他在那里倾诉他的心声，祈求有机会摆脱十字架，痛苦和死亡。 耶稣告诉他最亲密的朋友们，“我祈祷时坐在这里。”他带着彼得，詹姆斯和约翰，他陷入了可怕的痛苦深渊。 他告诉他们：“我心里甚是忧伤，几乎要死了，你们在这里等候，警醒。”他就稍往前走，俯伏在地，祷告说：“阿爸，父啊！在你凡事都能，求你将这杯撤去；然而不要从我的意思，只要从你的意思。”
Jesus came back and found them all sleeping. He said to
Peter, “You went to sleep on me? Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour?
Stay alert. Don’t be naïve. Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God;
but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.” Jesus went
away and prayed…came back again and found them asleep. They couldn’t keep their
eyes open..”time’s up! Get up. Let’s get going…my betrayer has arrived.”
耶稣回来，见他们都睡着了。 他对彼得说：“你睡着了？ 你不能陪我一个小时吗？ 保持警惕。 不要天真。 你们中的一部分渴望为上帝的一切做好准备。但另一部分却像睡在火炉旁的老狗一样懒惰。 耶稣又去祷告， ……再次回来，发现他们又睡着了，因为他们无法睁开眼睛。够了，时候到了！ 起来，我们走吧……那卖我的人近了。”
At three o’clock in the afternoon on a hill outside of
Jerusalem, Jesus shrieks his abandonment…where are you God when I am in agony?
Why have you forsaken me? Have you forgotten me?
Mark knows that trust in God is elusive…we grasp it, we lose
it. We reach again…and God gives us space to tell our whole truth to another
who actually listens. And fear becomes trust…becomes faith. This is what
happens in Alcoholics Anonymous home groups week after week…people struggling
to trust, find a place in which they can tell their whole truth. I wonder what
might happen if church became such a place every time two or more are gathered?.
马可知道，对上帝的信任是难以捉摸的……我们有时把握住了，有时又失去了。 我们再次努力……上帝给了我们空间，让我们的全部实情告诉另一个真正能倾听的人。 恐惧变成信任……成为信仰。 这就是一周又一周的戒酒小组家庭聚会中发生的事情……人们努力去相信，找到一个可以说出全部真相的地方。我不知道如果我们的教会成为这样的一个地方，每次有两个或更多的人来到这里聚会，会发生什么？
Jairus’ friends respond callously, without compassion for
his desperation: “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” But
overhearing what they said, Jesus said to Jairus, “Do not fear, only
believe…only trust, tell your whole truth. When Jesus arrives seemingly too
late, the crowd laugh at his hopeful words…the child is not dead but sleeping.
Putting the crowd outside, Jesus whispers to the 12 year old girl, “Talitha
cum” literally, “get up, little lamb.” Jesus does exactly what God does for him
on Easter morning, “Get up!” From the grave, from death…. So that by the time
the women arrive, they hear: “He has been raised. He is not here…go tell his
friends that Jesus is going ahead of them…
睚鲁的朋友们的反应很冷酷，没有同情他的绝望：“你的女儿死了。 为什么还要再麻烦夫子呢？”但是耶稣听了他们的话，对睚鲁说：“不要害怕，只要信……只要相信，说出你的实情。 当耶稣到的时候，似乎已经来不及了，众人嘲笑他饱含希望的言辞……孩子不是死了而是睡着了。 耶稣把人群撵出去，低声对12岁的女孩说“ 大利大，古米”，翻译过来就是，“起来，小羊羔。”耶稣做了在复活节早晨上帝为他做的事，“起来！” 从死亡中，从坟墓中…。 这样，当妇人们来到时，她们听到：“他已经复活了。 他不在这里……告诉他的朋友，耶稣在他们前面前行……
Trust disarms fear for all of Abraham’s children…Jewish,
Muslim and Christian sacred texts speak of this…for the Koran: “For whoever
believes in Allah and the Last Day and does what is right…Jews, Muslims, or
Christians—no fear shall come upon them. And the Hebrew prophet Isaiah: Surely
it is God who saves. I will trust and will not be afraid.”
信任消除了亚伯拉罕所有孩子的恐惧……犹太，穆斯林和基督教的经文谈到了这一点……对于古兰经：“对于相信真主和最后一天并做对了事的人……犹太人，穆斯林或基督徒—他们没有惧怕。 希伯来先知以赛亚：当然，上帝才是救赎。 我会相信，就不会惧怕。”
Mark 5:1-20 January 26, 2020 TLC 马可福音 5：1 -20 1月26日TLC
No longer bound/My chains are gone
With the Spring Festival beginning this week, panic is escalating in Wuhan and the city shuts down all transit, trying to prevent people from traveling to visit family in what is the greatest holiday migration of millions of people annually. People were scrambling to get out of Wuhan to visit family before the transit was shut down, undoubtedly bringing the virus with them. With 17 deaths and hundreds of people infected, the World Health Organization warns this could be more lethal than the SARS epidemic 17 years ago. Infected people are queued up for treatment in Wuhan and fever clinics are overwhelmed. Two hospitals are being constructed right now, due to be completed in 10 and 15 days. When I took the Skytrain for a pastor’s regional gathering, I noticed one woman wearing a mask and as we stopped to pick up a few groceries, all the cashiers at T and T wore masks and gloves. I wondered if we may all be doing the same as the virus spreads to Vancouver.
Jesus meets a tormented man, who lives among the tombs in Mark’s gospel this morning. The man suffers from a Legion of demons living within him, overpowered and desperate, he howls on the margins of the city, where only the dead accompany him. Abusing himself with stones, the community has tried to restrain him with chains and shackles, but the Legion is so strong they cannot hold him down. The man exists in social isolation, suffering a terrifying trauma. Modern psychiatry may diagnose him with multiple personality disorder, but that doesn’t change his torment. It seems he is beyond help, that he will never find relief from his suffering.
But when the man meets Jesus he falls down before him, begging at the top of his voice: “What business do you have, Jesus, Son of the Most-High God, messing with me? I swear to God, don’t give me a hard time!” For Jesus had said, “Out! Get out of the man!” When Jesus asks, “Tell me your name.” The man says, “My name is Mob. I’m a rioting mob.” Then he begs Jesus not to banish him from the country. The mob begs to go live in the pigs rooting around nearby.
As the crazed pigs race down the hill into the sea and drowned, the pig herders are scared to death. They bolt and tell their story in town and country. Everyone wanted to see what happened…so they go and find Jesus and the man sitting up and in making sense, no longer a rioting mob. Entire community was afraid…seeing what had happened to the man who used to howl amongst the tombs and the death of 2000 pigs. In their fear, they beg Jesus to leave their neighbourhood.
So, Jesus gets back into the boat and the man who’s been set free begs to go along. But Jesus refuses to let him. Why does Jesus refuse? Unlike the disciples who stay near Jesus, hoping to understand what he’s teaching, Jesus sends the man back to his home and to the Decapolis….10 Gentile cities in ancient Rome. Jesus says: “Tell them your story…what the Master did, how God had mercy on you.”
What is your story…how has God had mercy on you?
The man controlled by a riotous mob calls himself Legion. A Legion is a Roman military term for 6000 soldiers. To be named Legion is a way to say, “I am controlled by a riotous mob and cannot break free.” In his right mind, the man knows that Jesus does what humans cannot do on their own. Jesus has power to heal the trauma, to send the Legion of diabolical power packing down the hill to their destruction.
受魔鬼控制的那个人称自己为军团。 军团是一个罗马军事术语，意为6000名士兵。 被称为“军团”是一种表达方式：“我受到恶魔的控制，无法挣脱。”在那个人正确的思想中，他知道耶稣做了人类自己无法完成的事。 耶稣有能力医治创伤，将恶魔般的军团赶下山崖，摧毁他们。
Have you seen the YouTube videos of Australians rescuing koalas in the midst of the bushfire consuming their habitat? The koalas are particularly vulnerable because when they are in crisis they climb to the highest point on a tree and cling to it for dear life, which in a bushfire is sure to lead to their destruction. Australians are taking wounded animals into their homes…becoming pop-up vet clinics…a couple of teen boys rescued a carload of koalas. Seeing their compassion for the vulnerable koalas moves me to tears. Koalas cannot help themselves in the midst of a fire. Compassionate humans are saving them from extinction, risking their own lives for the sake of the koalas.
Jesus does what we cannot do on our own. This includes believing in God. On our own power, we try to climb up to God and end up climbing to our own destruction. On our own power, we cannot trust that God is love, that God is for us and not against us, that God comes to each of us in mercy when we are overwhelmed and laid low. Believing is something God’s Spirit does for us; we do not have the power to do this on our own. In fact, if we start to think that we can believe on our own, we are lying to ourselves. I have discovered, as Luther teaches about God’s Spirit, that I cannot by my own human reason or understanding believe in Jesus Christ or come to him. Believing is something God’s Spirit does for us, through us, with us. God’s Spirit calls us, woos us, to trust…with a power we cannot muster up no matter how hard we try.
Karen Armstrong in her insightful book called The Case for God, writes about what believing meant for Jesus. Jesus does not ask us to believe in him. Jesus asks us to pistis, the Greek word in the original manuscripts of the Bible, which we have come to translate into English as ‘believe’, but pistis means trust, loyalty, engagement, commitment. Jesus asks us to follow, to take care of the poor, the hungry, the desperate. Jesus asks us to refuse to be hindered by family ties, to lay aside our self-importance and sense of entitlement, abandon our pride, and live like the birds of the air, the lilies of the field, children who trust God is our father. Living into pistis, following in this way can move mountains and unleash unsuspected human potential.’ (Karen Armstrong, The Case for God) We see pistis at work in the Australian bush fires as wounded koalas, kangaroos, and birds are brought into human homes to recover.
After Jesus dies and rises, his closest followers come to realize that they would continue meeting Jesus’s resurrected presence in one another, in scripture and in the ritual meals they ate together. Gathered here this morning, a power comes from outside of us, to live in us, as we eat and drink together the real presence of Christ comes to make a home in us.
When we realize this power to commit to something bigger than ourselves, comes from God and not from us, Jesus asks us, like the man healed from a riotous mob, to share our story. The story of how God’s mercy came, found us and rescued us from ourselves, from climbing to our own destruction. This morning we have a chance to hear how Nina experienced God’s mercy in her life… after coffee and conversation teens, parents, all who are drawn by the Spirit, are invited to stay and hear Nina’s story.
Mark 2:1-22 January 12 2020 TLC 马可福音2：1-22 2020 年1月12日
Stand up, take your mat and go
As we listen to the news this week, we know that something
is not right in the world. We see the result of polarization globally…extremism
leading to hate crimes, including the assassination of Iran’s military general
Soleimani by a US drone strike. Something that several previous presidents
chose not to do, because of the potential for escalating violence, until now.
This results in a vow from Iran to take revenge…and on Wednesday, the shooting
down of a commercial airliner outside of Kjiv, killing 176 people, 63 of them
Canadians returning from family visits in Iran over the holidays. We grieve the
loss of life including children, students, doctoral candidates…all people with
so much life yet to live.
More and more, our world is polarized by extremism. We live
in a world where there’s hate on the extreme right and hate on the extreme
left. We see this hatred played out between countries, like the U.S. and Iran.
Canada has been drawn into the conflict with the airline crash. We become
polarized when our thinking is either/or, black and white; we begin to think we
are right and everyone else is wrong.
When the community brings a paralyzed man to Jesus’
home…they notice the crowds blocking the door, so they lift him down through
the roof to get him what he needs. They are pleading together for his healing.
Jesus surprises them by offering the paralyzed man forgiveness. The crowd
protests, “Who can forgive sins but God alone? You are overstepping your power,
Jesus.” But then Jesus asks, which is easier to say to the paralytic, “your
sins are forgiven’ or to say, ‘Stand up, take your mat and walk?’ So that you
may know the Son of Man has the power to forgive sins on earth, Jesus says to
the paralyzed man, “Stand up, take your mat and go to your home.”
当人们将一个瘫痪的人带到耶稣的家中时，…发现拥挤的人群挡住了门，人们从屋顶把他垂吊下来，将他需要的东西送给他， 人 们为他的康复而恳求。让人惊讶的是， 耶稣赦免了那个瘫痪的人的罪。 人群中有人抗议说：“除了上帝谁能赦免罪呢？ 耶稣，你僭越了。”但耶稣问，对瘫痪的人说：“你的罪得到了宽恕”，或者说：“站起来，拿着你的垫子，走吧？”哪一样更容易呢？耶稣对瘫痪的人说“站起来，带上垫子回家吧。”这样你就知道人子有能力赦免世人的罪。
Polarization paralyzes us, individually and globally, so
that we are no longer flexible, no longer able to see another’s point of view
and value them as a human being…we become immobilized, fearful, suspicious. More
than a set of things we do, polarization is a condition, a societal sickness,
affecting all of us. The families of those traveling back to Canada from Iran,
have been devastated by this sickness, infecting our global relationships. This
way of thinking affects our relationships across cultures in our
neighbourhoods…how could anyone value boys over girls, what does gender have to
do with a human being’s fundamental value…we cannot understand our different
world views and assume others are wrong and we are right on a whole set of
两极分化让我们个人以及全球陷入瘫痪，使我们不再灵活，不再能够看到他人的观点，并不再将他人视为人类而珍视……我们变得顽固，恐惧，多 疑。 两极分化不仅是我们所做的一系列事情，它更是一种状况，一种社会疾病，正在影响着我们所有人。 从伊朗返回加拿大的那些人的家庭被这种疾病摧毁了，我们的全球关系正被这个疾病所感染。 这种思维方式影响着我们在社区中不同文化之间的关系……为何要重男轻？性别与人类的基本价值有何关系？……我们无法理解与我们不同的世界观，并假设别人是错误的，我们是完全正确的。
Last weekend, the Vancouver Sun reported a “Disturbing New
Normal.” In an article about hatred fueling anti-Jewish violence, Canadian
Rabbi Bulka, traveled to New York to celebrate a family bar mitzvah and
Hanukkah and received a disturbing text from his daughter about the machete
wielding man who stabbed five people in a home next to a synagogue. There have
been a string of verbal and physical attacks on orthodox Jews in the U.S.
Canada is not immune to such hatred fueled by extremism and intensified by the
internet. The number of hate crimes reported nationally in Canada have
increased…and in Metro Vancouver more hate crimes per person than any other
urban centre across the country. In 2019, 2041 incidents of anti-Jewish hatred
in Canada, an increase of 16 percent from the previous year.
上周末，《温哥华太阳报》报道了“令人不安的新常态”。在一篇有关仇恨助长反犹太暴力的文章中，加拿大犹太教教士布尔卡前往纽约，庆祝家庭礼拜仪式和光明节，他从他女儿那里收到了令人不安的短信。 挥舞着大刀的人，在犹太教堂旁边的一个房屋中刺伤了五个人。 在美国，正统犹太人承受着一系列口头和身体攻击。加拿大也无法从衍生于极端主义的仇恨中所幸免，这种仇恨又通过互联网而激化。 在加拿大全国范围内，仇恨犯罪的数量有所增加……在大温哥华地区，人均仇恨犯罪比全国任何其他市中心都多。
Since the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in
October 2018, Jewish communities have created security teams…across the US and
Canada…situational awareness training, and active threat training and trauma
first aid for staff and volunteers.
In December after we ordered beeswax Hanukkah candles for
Christmas Eve, we realized they were not suitable, and decided to offer them as
a gift to Jewish communities in Vancouver, getting ready to celebrate Hanukkah.
As I dropped off candles at the Jewish Community Center on 41st and
Oak, I was greeted by a security guard at the entrance, posted to monitor who
enters the building. I told him why I was there and he directed me to the staff.
In a community on alert for violent attacks during their holiday, they were
surprised and grateful for our gift.
The crowd who witness Jesus healing the paralytic, follow
Jesus beside the sea, where he calls out to Levi, a tax collector, whom
everyone hates because he takes advantage of people when he collects taxes,
pocketing some for himself. He is greedy, so people hate him and avoid him. But
Jesus chooses to hang with these people. He even eats with them…he is willing
to say “you are my family” to tax collectors and sinners…and is criticized for
it: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus says, “Those who
are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have come to
call not the righteous but sinners.”
目睹耶稣医治瘫痪者的人群跟随耶稣来到海边，在那里他召集了一个税吏李维（Levi），每个人都讨厌他，因为他在收税时利用了人们，为自己谋取私利。 他很贪婪，所以人们讨厌他，躲避他。 但是耶稣选择与这些人同住。 他甚至和他们一起吃饭……他愿意对税吏和罪人说“你是我的家人”……并为此遭到批评：“他为什么跟税吏和罪人一起吃饭？”耶稣说：“那些健康的人不需要医生，但是有病的人需要。 我来不是呼召义人，而是呼召罪人。”
Are we sick? In the interaction with the community that
brings the paralyzed man and those criticizing why he eats with tax collectors
and sinners, Jesus draws a line connecting sickness with sin. So sin is not
simply what we think, say and do, but it is a condition, a sickness that infects
the human family.
From what do we need to be healed?
Two theologians from the 1950-60’s taught about sin as a
condition. For Reinhold Niebuhr, the root condition of sin is pride. Aware of
our limits and vulnerability, we become anxious, self-concerned and we live out
of that root sin. For Paul Tillich, the root condition of sin is our sense of
separation. We are cut off from that to which we belong. We live in exile and
this leads to centering in ourselves or in the world rather than clinging to
God with all our being. Others describe the root condition of sin as lack of
trust in God…we cannot love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, so
we cling to something or someone else.
Niebuhr）来说，罪的根源是骄傲。 当我们意识到自己的局限性和脆弱性，我们就会变得焦虑不安，自我关心，我们生活在这种原罪当中。 对于保罗蒂利希（Paul
Tillich）而言，罪的根源是我们的分离感。 我们与我们所属的世界隔绝了。 我们生活在流亡当中，这导致我们以自己为中心或以世界为中心，而不是全身心地依靠上帝。 其他人将罪的根源归结为对神缺乏信任……我们不能全心全意地爱神，所以我们只能依附于某件事或某个人。
Whether our human paralysis is rooted in pride, separation,
or lack of trust, Jesus says sin is a condition, a sickness that keeps us from
living fully as human beings. So we sing an African American spiritual that
describes our sin-sick souls: Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s
in vain, but then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again…there is a balm in
Gilead to make the wounded whole, there is a balm in Gilead to heal the
sin-sick soul. We become trapped in ourselves, unable to move, stuck in our way
of seeing the world, ourselves, and God. We tend to separate the physical from
the spiritual, but Jesus comes to restore our entire being, to heal our
Shimon Fogel, president and CEO of the Centre for Israel and
Jewish Affairs, said “From white supremacists to ISIS, it is increasingly clear
that online hate and radicalization can fuel and foreshadow offline violence.”
When his faith community was spray painted by vandals in 2016, more than 1000 neighbours
turned out for a gathering…
for Israel and Jewish Affairs）总裁兼首席执行官希蒙福格尔（Shimon
When I contacted Or Shalom synagogue, a much smaller
community than the one on 41st and Oak, to offer Hanukkah candles, they
were overjoyed to receive them. I noticed on their website that they were
hosting a community candle lighting for the first day of Hanukkah, including a
pop-up choir and potluck with fried potato pancakes (latkes). So I asked if a
TLC inter-generational group could join the gathering. “Yes! Just let us know
how many and please bring food to share.” Hearing Bruno Olson, Jeremy and
Nathan Wu, Gerry Mackie, Hilde Abt, Eva and Chris Pedersen sing: ??????? gives
us hope that we can all stand up, take our mat, and go. When faith communities
stand together, our sin-sick souls will be revived.
Shalom犹太教堂，一个比41街夹橡树街上的犹太社区小得多的社区，为他们提供光明节蜡烛时，他们高兴地接受了。我在他们的网站上注意到，他们在光明节的第一天举办了一个社区烛光晚会，有临时合唱团的演唱， 还有炸土豆煎饼聚餐。所以我问TLC跨代团队是否可以参加这个聚会。 “可以！只需告诉我们有多少人，带上食物跟大家一起分享。” 听到Bruno
Olson, Jeremy and Nathan Wu, Gerry Mackie, Hilde Abt, Eva and Chris Pedersen 他们在唱：给我们希望，让我们都能站起来，拿着我们的垫子，走吧。当信仰社区站在一起时，我们那些生病灵魂就会康复。
From what do you need to be healed? Jesus sees us, knows how
we are trapped, unable to move as a full human being. Jesus knows the shape of
our sickness, the mat on which we are lying. Jesus releases us, “Stand up, take
your mat, and go.”
你您需要医治什么？ 耶稣看见我们，知道我们被困住了，无法作为一个完整的人行动。 耶稣知道我们病症所在，就是我们所躺的垫子。 耶稣释放了我们，“站起来，带上垫子，走吧。”
Luke 2: 1-22, Isaiah 9: 2-7
Christmas Eve 2019
路加福音 2：1-22 以赛亚书 9：2-7 2019年平安夜
Stumbling in the dark--在黑暗中蹒跚而行
Every night that I tuck my
daughter in bed, I stumble around in the darkness like an old woman in
desperate need of a cane or walker. Crouched over, with each step, I nudge
objects with my feet, hoping to leave her room without twisting an ankle,
bumping into a wall or spewing some expletive as my parting word.
Have you ever found yourself stumbling
around in the dark?
Over the last couple weeks,
we have walked through endlessly bleak days, heading towards and beyond winter
solstice, the cloud-filled sky covering us all like a blanket, hiding the sun.
I don’t know about you, but
it seems that part of being human involves stumbling around the darkness. Wondering
if God is with us, at work behind the scenes as we stumble around. For those
whose loved ones have died, you move into Christmas without the sound of their
voice, the warmth of their embrace. Others stumble around, trying to figure out
who you are, what you have to offer the world, how you might find work that
provides meaning and a livable wage. Young students, learning how to think
through a new concept in math or science or master a musical piece, can be like
feeling your way around a darkened room…you have no idea where you are going,
much less how to get there. The struggle to understand feels overwhelming, you
wonder if you will ever figure it out. Others struggle with mental or physical wellness, and the stress overshadows each day. Around
the world, millions of refugees struggle to find a way to provide for their
families. Citizens in northern Syria are under attack, crying out for
humanitarian aid. A million of our Uighur Muslim brothers and sisters are
imprisoned in re-education camps in China, thousands more Muslims are
prohibited from gaining the rights of full citizens in India. Darkness also lives
within us, as we struggle to control impulses that lash out at others with our
words or actions, injuring and separating us from those whom we love.
Sometimes the darkness seems
unyielding; we wonder when will it ever end? There is no light here, we think.
There is no reason to trust, as we stumble in the dark, that things will every
change, that the darkness will give way to light.
And yet, on this Christmas
night, we hear the prophet Isaiah say, “The people who walked in darkness have
seen a great light; those who lived in the land of deep darkness, on them light
has shined…” We Christ-followers reach back to Isaiah’s words and find a
promise fulfilled with a child born to Mary and Joseph: a child born for us,
for a darkened world…
Stumbling around in the
darkness is part of what it means to walk by faith. Could it be that we won’t
recognize the light in the form of a child unless we have struggled in the
darkness within and around us?
Scientists who study atoms,
galaxies and the nature of space and time, know what it is like to stumble
around in the darkness. In the last century, astrophysicists who study
everything from black holes to dark matter to neutrinos, must move into the
darkness and embrace a reality that cannot be proven by the scientific method.
Neutrinos are a subatomic particle with mass so small it was long thought to be
zero. Richard Rohr tells us: Neutrinos “cannot be measured or known, except by their
effects. Neutrinos are invisible and weightless and yet necessary to keep
matter and anti-matter from cancelling one another out. They have to be
there in the dark, but no one can prove it. Scientists these days have to be
willing to work with various theories and move ahead ‘as if’ an idea were true,
until more of the mystery can be understood.” (Richard Rohr, Naked Now
Rohr）告诉我们：“中微子”只能通过其作用来衡量或认知。 中微子是看不见的，它没有重量，但是对于防止物质和反物质相互抵消是必需的。 它们必须在黑暗中存在，但是没人能证明这一点。
如今，科学家们必须愿意运用各种理论并“假设”某个想法是正确的，直到更多的奥秘可以得到解释。”（Richard Rohr，Naked Now p.152）
The shepherds are keeping
watch over their flock by night, doing what shepherds do under cover of
darkness. Suddenly the glory of the Lord shone around them, a light they cannot
explain or prove, appears; they hear about a child, born to bring good news of
great joy to all people. And they are terrified…but they listen. “Do not be
afraid” the angel says. Instead of freezing in terror. They decide to go to
check it out in Bethlehem. They are willing to move deeper into the mystery of
what they heard, so they go in the darkness to find the child. A child born to
be the light of the world. Isaiah says the people who walked in darkness have
seen a great light. Eight centuries later, John’s gospel says there is a light
that shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. The light
becomes a child, full of grace and truth.
牧人在夜间守夜，在黑暗的掩护下做牧人的事。 忽然有耶和华的荣耀照在他们周围，这光是他们无法解释，也无法证明的。 他们听到一个孩子将要出生，这个孩子会为所有人带来极大的喜乐。
他们很害怕……但是他们静静听着。 天使说：“不要害怕”。他们没有陷入到恐惧之中，而是决定去伯利恒看一看。 他们愿意更深入地去了解所听到的事，因此他们在黑暗中去寻找那个孩子。 一个天生就是世界之光的孩子。
以赛亚说，在黑暗中行走的人们已经看到了光明。 八个世纪后，约翰福音说，有一道光在黑暗中照耀，而黑暗并没有战胜它。 光变成了一个孩子，充满了恩典和真理。
What gives us reason to trust
the light will come to us, as we stumble around in the darkness?
Life is about stumbling
around in the darkness again and again, until the light finds us, the same
light that Isaiah spoke of, that shone on the shepherds that dark night,
guiding them to a reality they could not yet imagine: a child born for you, for
me, for the world.
We cannot prove it through
scientific method but we see the effects of the light…. when respect overcomes
prejudice, when the hungry are fed, when a parent responds tenderly to their child’s
tantrum, when a married couple finds a way to begin again. “No matter how bleak
the place of darkness is, (the light will find you). Life begins again on the
other side of darkness. Another life. A new life. After the death, the loss,
the rejection, the failure, (the light will find you).” Joan Chittister Embracing
the Contradictions of Life, p. 19-20.
“无论黑暗的地方多么凄凉，（光都会找到你）。 生命从黑暗的另一面重新开始。 另一种生活，一种在死亡，失去，拒绝，失败之后的新生活（光会找到你）。琼基蒂斯特（Joan Chittister）拥抱生命的矛盾，第40页。 19-20。
Remembering that it happened
once by Wendell Berry
记得那曾发生过一次 作者 –温德尔贝里
Remembering that it happened
We cannot turn away the
As we go out, cold, to our
barns 在寒冷中， 我们走向马房
Toward the long night’s end,
Ourselves are living in the
It happened in when it first
That we ourselves are opening
a stall 我们打开自己
(A latch thrown open
Before), might find them
breathing there, 之前），可能会发现他们在那里呼吸，
Foreknown: the Child bedded
in straw, 先知：孩子躺在稻草里，
The mother kneeling over Him, 母亲跪在他旁边
The husband standing in
He scarcely can believe, in
That lights them from no
source we see… 光从我们看不到的地方照亮他们…
We stand with one hand on the
Looking into another world 看着另外一个世界
That is this world, the pale
Coming just as before, our
To do, the cattle all awake, 牛犊都醒了
Our own white frozen breath
In front of us; and we are
As we have never been before,
Sighted as not before, our
Holy, although we knew it
Tonight we have stumbled
through the darkness, to be together in this holy place, to welcome the light
shining in the darkness, born as a child.
Luke1:5-25， 57-80 Advent 4, December 22 2019 TLC
路加福音 1：5-25 57-80
耶稣降临季 4， 2019年12月20日TLC
No Dead Ends
What would driving
around Vancouver be like without google maps? I mean, every time I get ready to
set out on a trip to somewhere I’ve never been, I just pop in the location on
google maps to find out the best route without a traffic jam and I know
instantly how many kilometers I will travel and when I will arrive. Satellites
orbiting the earth give this data to google maps instantly. But the other day I
decided to go to a new location without google maps and you know what you run
into? All over the neighbourhoods in North Delta and Surrey, there are signs
like this (show the U turn curve shape) that tell you this route is a dead end.
Don’t waste your time. Find another route. It takes a bit longer to arrive at
your destination when you hit multiple dead ends, doesn’t it?
如果没有谷歌地图，在温哥华开车会是怎么样的？ 我的意思是，每当我准备出发去从未去过的地方时，我都会在Google地图上定位这个地址，以查找最佳路线，避开交通拥堵，而且我立刻就知道我将行驶多少公里，何时到达。 绕地球运行的卫星将这些数据实时提供给Google地图。 但是有一天我决定不使用谷歌地图去一个新地方，你知道你会遇到什么情形吗？ 在北三角洲和素里的所有社区中，都有这样的路标（显示U形转弯曲线形状），告诉你这条路是死胡同。 不要浪费时间，寻找其他路线。 当你多遇到几个死胡同时，到达目的地的时间一定会更长一些，不是吗？
Elizabeth had reached what seemed to be a dead end. Elizabeth’s womb was
barren; she was unable to conceive a child and both of them were getting on in
years. They had cried out to God in prayer to change this dead end into new
life but nothing had happened for years. Zechariah was a priest living in the
hill country near Jerusalem and his group of priests had been chosen by lot to
serve their two weeks out of the year in the Temple. Going about his priestly
temple duties, he goes into the sanctuary to offer incense and something
unexpected happens, something that catches him off guard. A messenger from God,
an angel appears, and he is terrified. But the angel says, “Do not be afraid,
Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. What has seemed like a dead end your entire
married life is about to change. Your wife’s barren womb will bear new life.”
But Zechariah doubted; he was skeptical. How can these words be trusted? How
will I know this is going to happen?
撒迦利亚和伊丽莎白似乎走进了死胡同。 伊丽莎白的子宫是贫瘠的。 他们俩已经在一起很多年了，但她却怀不上孩子。 他们向上帝祷告，求上帝将死胡同变成新生命，但是多年以来什么也没发生。 撒迦利亚是一位牧师，住在耶路撒冷附近的丘陵地带，他所在的那组牧师被抽签抽中，每年要在圣殿里服务两个星期。 在执行牧师的职务时，他进入圣殿提供香火，意外的事情发生了，这使他措手不及。 来自上帝的使者，天使的出现，让他感到恐惧。 但是天使说：“撒迦利亚，不要害怕，因为我们已经听到了你的祷告。虽然看似已经走到了尽头，你的整个婚姻生活将会发生变化。 你妻子贫瘠的子宫将重获新生。”但撒迦利亚对此表示怀疑。 他很怀疑，这些话有多可信？ 我怎么知道这会不会发生？
We know what this
is like…we want assurance that our dead ends will yield new possibilities. We
want a sign, some kind of indication that things will get better. Because Zechariah
doubts, he is struck mute, unable to speak…and the angel says he will be that
way until the child is born. Because Zechariah doesn’t trust the angel’s words,
which will become real in God’s time, he will be unable give voice to his own
words. Full of doubt, wondering how could this happen… with Zechariah, we look at the dead ends in
our own lives, in the lives of those whom we love, at a world full of
injustice, where millions of people are detained, tortured and killed as a
result of prejudice and discrimination. The New York Times aired interviewed a
man named Farcat last month, who has immigrated to the US and was unable to
bring his mother. Farcat is determined to free his mother from a re-education
camp in China. She is one of a million Uighur Muslim detained whose health is
failing due to conditions and torture in a the camp.
我们了解这种感觉……我们希望确保我们的穷途末路会带来新的可能性。 我们想要一个迹象，某种表明事情会好起来的迹象。 因为撒迦利亚怀疑，他被惩罚失语，无法说话……而天使说，直到孩子出生之前，他都会是这样。 由于撒迦利亚不相信天使的话（在神的时代这些话会成为现实），他将无法用语言表达自己。 充满怀疑，想知道这将如何发生……，与撒加利亚一起，我们审视自己和我们所爱的人生命中的穷途末路，在一个充满不公正待遇的世界中，成见和歧视使数百万人被拘押，遭受酷刑和被杀害。作为儿子，法卡特（Farcat）决心将其母亲从中国的再教育营中解救出来。 他母亲是被拘押的一百万维吾尔族穆斯林中的一员，她因营地的恶劣条件和折磨而健康状况日益恶化。
This story of
Zechariah and Elizabeth echoes another story of a couple who have been unable
to conceive a child and are getting on in years. God’s story begins with choosing
unlikely candidates to bring about God’s purposes. God’s loving pursuit of us
started with another couple. Abraham and Sarah heard God call them to leave
their home and go, without google maps, to a place God would show them. God
promised to bless them with a child and with more descendants than stars on a
darkened sky. But the promise seemed unlikely, even absurd, as they struggle to
conceive, so they both laugh when God promises them a child. All they could see was a dead. Against all
odds, God chooses to work through Sarah’s barren womb to bring life. They had
long given up hope. But the promise to bless all families on the earth is made
possible with the birth of Isaac, whose name means laughter.
撒迦利亚和伊丽莎白的故事也发生在另一对夫妇的身上，他们在一起已经好几年了， 却一直怀不上孩子。 上帝的故事始于选择不太可能的候选人来实现上帝的目的。 上帝对我们的爱始于另一对夫妇。
亚伯拉罕和撒拉听说上帝叫他们离开家，没有谷歌地图，就去上帝指示给他们的地方。 上帝应许会祝福他们，给他们一个孩子，让他们的子孙后代比黑暗天空中的繁星还要多。 但是就在他们努力受孕均告失败之际，这个诺言似乎不太可能实现，甚至是荒唐的。因此当上帝应许给他们一个孩子时，他们俩都笑了，他们所能看到的只有死亡。出乎所有人的预料，上帝选择通过撒拉贫瘠的子宫来带来生命。 他们早就不报希望了。 但是，以撒的诞生使祝福地球上所有家庭的承诺成为可能。以撒这个名字的意思就是欢笑。
The laughter echoes
down through the generations, coming full circle today in the story of
Zechariah and Elizabeth. God chooses the old and childless, once again, the
most unlikely candidates. Against all odds, their son, John, will prepare the
way for the birth of Christ Jesus, the child who brings good news of great joy
for all people. Telling everyone by writing on a tablet ‘His name is John.’ All
of them were amazed. Immediately, Zechariah’s mouth was opened and tongue freed
and he begins to speak, praising God.
欢笑声在几代人间回荡，今天又在撒迦利亚和伊丽莎白的故事中轮回。 上帝再次选择了年老无子女的，最不可能的候选人。 出乎所有人的预料，他们的儿子约翰为耶稣基督的诞生做准备，耶稣基督这个孩子为世上所有人带来了充满喜乐的好消息。在一块木板上，他们写下“他的名字叫约翰” 。所有人都很惊讶。马上，撒迦利亚的嘴被打开了，舌头也被解开了，他开始讲话，赞美上帝。
You know what it’s
like to wait for God to bring life out of our barrenness: As you pray for a
loved ones going through chemotherapy, Kathryn and Charlotte both starting
another round in the coming week, we all pray that the treatments might yield
new life for years to come. Or you struggle with new responsibilities at
work, more stress than you can manage, causing
insomnia and elevated blood pressure. Or you put money down on a new condo,
prepare to move and wait while the building crew delays and delays, causing
more angst than you bargained for.
你知道等待上帝将生命从我们的贫瘠中解放出来的那种感觉：当你为正在接受化疗的亲人祷告时，凯瑟琳和夏洛特都将在下周开始化疗的新疗程，我们都在祷告这种治疗方法能会在未来几年内带来新的生命。 或者当你在工作中要承担新的责任，承受的压力超出了你的承受能力，而导致失眠和血压升高时。 或者当你把钱投在一个新的公寓上，准备搬进新家，可是交房日期却被建筑工人一再地拖延，这造成了比你预想的更大的焦虑。
Across rural China,
63 million young people are left behind with the grandparents or other
relatives while their parents seek factory jobs in other cities. About 3
million youth are left completely alone to fend for themselves. Many of these
left-behind students are destined to drop out of school, find low-paying,
menial jobs that bind them to a lifetime of poverty. Through China Service Ventures,
85 % of students sponsored stay in school and graduate. Many qualify for
college or junior college or special trade school. This year, Lucy Qian served
on a CSV summer camp team for left behind youth. TLC supported her work with
$990. Next summer, will some of our teens and adults unexpectedly decide to
serve on a team? It could be that God, against all odds, is going to work
through you, to bring life in a barren place. Will someone unexpected in Canada
respond this year through CLWR’s Gifts from the Heart…choosing to give a
scholarship that allows a young woman to gain skills that transform her world,
invest in a small business for a single mother in Uganda or buy a soccer ball,
as a way to honor their loved one, rather than fill up our landfill with more
stuff. What a way to celebrate new life coming into our barren world by giving
a Gift from the Heart through CLWR.
tongue is loosened, he sings about how God is coming among us. Zechariah’s song
is for you, for me, for the left-behind youth in China, for single displaced
mothers in Uganda, for young women on the West Bank, as we wait for God to act
against all odds. In God’s time there are no dead ends…Zechariah sings “by the
tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give
light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our
feet into the way of peace.”
当撒迦利亚的舌头松开时，他歌颂上帝如何来到我们中间。 撒迦利亚的颂歌是给你的，给我的，给中国的留守儿童的，也是给乌干达流离失所的母亲和西岸的年轻妇女们的，我们都在等待上帝的出乎预料。 在上帝的时代，没有穷途末路……撒迦利亚歌唱“因我们神怜悯的心肠，叫清晨的日光从高天临到我们，要照亮坐在死荫里的人，把我们的脚引到平安的路上。”
God is at work to
stir up life in our barrenness when we least expect it. We often don’t
understand God’s ways or God’s timing; we are filled with doubt and tempted to
despair. But with God there are no dead-ends. God will prove faithful by
working in unexpected ways through unlikely people, including you and me. God
works against all odds, despite our weakness, our doubt and resistance. God
comes to give birth to new life in our barren places.
在我们最没有期盼的时候，上帝却在我们的贫瘠中激发我们的生命。 我们常常不了解上帝的方式或上帝的时机； 我们充满了怀疑，并感到绝望。
上帝会通过意想不到的方式， 通过不太可能的人，这包括你也包括我，一起工作来证明自己是信实的。 尽管我们软弱，会怀疑和抵抗，上帝仍出乎我们预料地在工作，上帝在我们贫瘠的地方诞生了新生命。
Isaiah 40:1-11 Mark 1:1-4 Dec 15 2019 TLC
以赛亚书 40：1-11 马可福音 1： 1-4 2019年12月15日 TLC
A Living Word: Coming Among Us
Historical Context 历史背景
Whenever we hear the prophets like Isaiah, of the Hebrew
Bible, what we call the Old Testament, it is important that we remember these
words were spoken as a particular message to a particular people in a
particular historical situation. The prophet Isaiah spoke from 742-701 B.C.E
(eight centuries before the birth of Jesus). In this time, a coalition of Syria
and the northern kingdom of Israel invaded the southern kingdom of Judah. And
then a dominant power of Assyria invaded. Isaiah’s message in Ch 1-39 was
calling people to remain steadfast, refusing to bear arms in favor of trusting
God. This included strong warnings about the consequence of turning away from
the Lord. In the end, Isaiah’s warnings became reality: God’s beloved people
were conquered and taken away from home, into exile in Babylon. By chapter 40,
where our reading begins this morning, a huge shift has taken place. They have
experienced a total destruction of their way of life and lived in exile for
well over a century. But Babylon has just been conquered by King Cyrus of
Persia. King Cyrus is good news for God’s people, bringing them home from exile
in Babylon, building a highway in the wilderness from Babylon back to
Jerusalem. King Cyrus has become their good shepherd, who gathers them in his
arms, gently leads them home. So Isaiah’s words of comfort are announcing their
long bondage in Babylon is over. They have served their term of exile, their
sin is forgiven, and they are coming home. The reading is poetry, written in
verse form. As you listen, pay attention to how Isaiah answers the question: What
shall I cry?
Mark’s gospel intro: In Mark’s gospel, listen for how Jesus
Christ is introduced to the world in these opening words. We don’t hear
anything about Mary’s visit from the angel Gabriel, Joseph’s reluctance to take
a pregnant woman as his wife, the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by
night or the star over Bethlehem. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus Christ is introduced
to the world by quoting Isaiah. Isaiah’s words point to John the Baptist who
prepares the way for the world to meet Jesus the Christ:
Kids’ message: reflection on skit
My grandmother lived until just shy of her 100th birthday;
she would’ve turned 108 this coming Wednesday. Viola Sadie Carr (Hill) was born
on a homestead in the central plains of Montana…a brutal place to homestead in
which the winters killed most who tried. Very few seeds planted would actually
yield plants. Trees were few and far between. If you didn’t freeze to death
from the winter, you may have starved in a landscape where huge herds of
buffalo used to roam freely, a landscape that barely allowed rabbits, coyotes,
deer and elk to thrive. But somehow her family survived…likely because her Dad
was a cattle rustler…meaning he stole other people’s livestock (cows). Being
both sinner and saint, as are all of us human beings, Tom Carr also built the
majority of highways in Petrolia County, pulling a grate behind a team of horse
Because she grew up and lived her entire life on the plains,
when my grandfather had a debilitating stroke and moved into town, she moved
into a near-by apartment and insisted that she have a room with a view of the
plain. The plains are a level place, where you can see for miles and miles,
room to run, dance, plant, build. Perhaps my grandmother’s preference for
access to a view is part of my DNA, since my favorite place in our neighborhood
is the zigzag of streets just up the hill from Burns Bog, where I take a weekly
run. From right here in North Delta you can see all the way to the sand dunes
of Boundary Bay along Point Roberts. My spirit is renewed, anxious thoughts
fall away, and become prayer as I run, taking in the view.
因为她从小到大都在平原生活，所以当我的祖父因中风搬进城镇时，她也搬进了附近的公寓，并坚持要给她有一个可以欣赏到平原景色的房间。 平原是一个平坦的地方，在这里你可以看到几英里以外的地方，你可以尽情的奔跑，跳舞，可以随意种植，随便搭建。 也许我祖母对景色的偏爱也成为我DNA的一部分，因为我最喜欢的地方是我们社区在Burns
The prophet Isaiah speaks of God creating a plain, a broad
place with a view, a place that offer a new perspective “A voice cries out: In
the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
The uneven ground shall become level,
And the rough places a plain.”
In the wilderness of Babylon, King Cyrus prepared a highway
all the way home to Jerusalem…the valleys were lifted up. The mountains and
hills made low…in the wilderness a plain, a spacious place opens, creating a
way for those living in exile to come home. Centuries before the birth of
Jesus, Isaiah’s words spoke of hope; change was coming that would bring a new
way of being. As Christians in the season of Advent, we are looking for the
coming of Christ among us. Advent means coming. The coming of Christ is announced
in Mark’s gospel by quoting Isaiah, “the voice of one crying out in the
wilderness: prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” What might
need to be leveled or raised up in your life in order for you to be ready for
Christ to come to you, with you, for you? When Christ comes, life-giving change
在巴比伦的旷野，国王赛勒斯准备了一条通向耶路撒冷的公路……沟壑被填平，山脉和丘陵被夷平……在这个旷野，这片辽阔的土地，为流亡者提供了回家的路。 在耶稣诞生前几个世纪，以赛亚的话给人们带来了希望。 即将到来的变化将带来一种新的生存方式。 作为基督降临节时期的基督徒，在我们中间，我们正在寻找基督的到来。 降临意味着到来。 马可福音通过引用以赛亚的话来宣告基督的到来，“以赛亚的声音在旷野中呼喊：预备主的道路，使他的道路平直。”
A couple weeks ago, Lyle Griner, our Peer Ministry
Leadership trainer, led 55 youth and adults in a series of relationship skills
building exercises. We practiced the skill of listening so that we can come
alongside others with the love and mercy of Christ. This involved a lot of
storytelling…not only from Lyle but each of us, as we learned how listen not
only to what people say but what their body is saying…how they move their eyes,
their hands and feet as they speak can tell us more than what their words might
be saying. We practiced this skill by sitting in groups of three with one
person telling their story (what is was like to immigrate to Canada from the
Philippines), another person listening and another observing body language.
Then the observer offered feedback to both the storyteller and the listener.
And then we traded places. During this exercise, Colton Evans observed that the
hair on the storyteller’s arm raised up as he spoke about a deeply painful
death in his life. Our young people have much to teach us about how to listen
to one another.
Lyle shared this story. One of the young people who had been
to Lyle’s training years ago, and then was part of a Peer Ministry team at her
church while she was in high school, recently went to university. During the
first week, she walked into the cafeteria and noticed another student eating
alone at a table. Noticing this isolated student, she said to herself, “well,
I’ve taken all this peer ministry training. Now is the time to practice it in
real life.” So she walked up to her and started a conversation, using WHEAT, a
peer ministry tool for starting a conversation with a stranger, as her
guide….asking her where she was from, what she liked to do in her free time,
finding some common ground. She invited this student to join a group of students
at another table. Later that week, after they had become closer friends, the
student confided in her. She said, “you remember how you walked up to me in the
cafeteria, started talking and invited me to join your friends for lunch? You
saved my life. I was actually sitting there thinking about how I was going to
As our Peer Ministry team is formed in the new year with our
sister church St. Cuthbert Anglican, youth will continue to build skills for
such friendships. Youth will also learn when to connect a friend with a
counselor or crisis phone line who can address the depression and anxiety that
can lead to suicidal thoughts. This could save someone’s life, bringing Christ
to them through a few words spoken, one human being to another.
Cuthbert Anglican组成我们的同伴团队时，年轻人们将继续增强这种缔结友谊的技能。 青少年们还将学习何时将朋友与辅导员或紧急电话服务中心联系，以应对可能导致自杀念头的抑郁和焦虑。通过一些话语或某个人将基督引入他们的生活，很可能会挽救一个人的生命。
A voice says, “Cry out!” and Isaiah said, “What shall I
有人声说“你喊叫吧！” 以赛亚说， “我喊叫什么呢？”
All people are grass…their constancy, this word is chesed in
Hebrew, meaning faithfulness, is like the flower of the field. Though we may
try to be faithful or constant, we waiver. As Lindsey a high school student in
Minnesota involved in a Peer Ministry team at her church asks, “Why does my
faith go from being really strong to being weak, like a roller coaster?” We are
up and down, hot and cold. Our ability to be faithful, trustworthy, reliable,
to walk in God’s ways is like grass that withers, flowers that fade. But, in
stark contrast, the Word of our God will stand forever.
所有人都是小草....象小草一般坚韧，这个词源自希伯来语， 意为忠诚，就像田野上的小花。 尽管我们可能会尝试做到忠诚不二，但我们会放弃。 当明尼苏达州的一个高中生林赛（Lindsey）在参加教会的同伴事工时，她问道：“为什么我的信仰会从非常坚定变成非常脆弱，就像过山车一样？”我们的信心忽高忽低，忽冷忽热。 我们的忠实守信，诚实可靠的品格，按照上帝的方式行走的能力就像枯萎的小草，凋谢的花朵一样。 但是，与之形成鲜明对比的是，我们上帝的圣言却恒久不变。
What is the Word of our God? Young or old, we may wonder like
Melissa, high school student from Texas, on a Peer Ministry team in her church,
asks, “Is the Bible the word of God or the word of human beings?” Or as Kara
from New Jersey asks, “Is the Bible all really true? Why doesn’t that st
A Bible sitting on a shelf is not the Word of God, just like
a steak in the freezer is not your dinner. Just like you thaw and grill a steak
so that you can eat it, so the Word of God needs to come alive as we hear it
speaking to us in our particular situation and a particular time with a message
that changes our heart, our way of seeing and hearing.
Other Christians (more conservative) would say God dictated
the Bible, humans were just puppets, and through human reason we can determine
truths that must be accepted: doctrines that we must believe, moral laws we
must obey and steps of “the way of salvation” that we must experience in order
to be saved.
Some Christians (more liberal) may say that human beings
wrote the Bible and through human reason we can find eternal truths valid for
all time like: all human beings are brothers and sisters or all should follow
the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do to you.)
But both of these ways of understanding the Bible are
influenced by Greek philosophy, because they understand truth to be found in
ideas we arrive at through logical thinking, relying on human logic to
understand. Greek philosophers would package truth in debatable propositions,
which the church adopted down through the centuries, but this is not how the
Bible is meant to be understood. As Lutherans, we rely on a Hebrew way of
thinking. Where the truth is a living, creative powerful “address” of a loving
God. The truth is a living word which breaks into our lives, into our history,
shattering old ways and creating new life, new values, and new commitment.
但是，这两种理解圣经的方式都受到希腊哲学的影响，因为它们认为真理是在我们通过逻辑思维获得的想法中找到的，需要依靠人类的逻辑来理解。 希腊哲学家会将真理包装在有争议的主张中，教会在数百年的历史中采纳了这些主张，但这并不是理解圣经的正确方式。 作为路德派，我们依靠希伯来的思维方式来理解圣经。 真理是充满爱心的上帝给我们的富有生命力和创造力的话语。 真理是一个有生命力的词，它闯入我们的生活，写进我们的历史，粉碎旧的生活方式并创造新的生活，新的价值观和新的承诺。
The Bible becomes the Word of God when a we hear a Living
Word that breaks upon us, leveling mountains and raising up valleys that
separate us from a loving God…making a highway in the desert of our heart. What
might need to be leveled or raised up in you to receive the coming of Christ
The Word of God took human form in Jesus the Christ…the same
Word of God was present in the beginning of all things, speaking creation into
being… “let there be light” and there was light. The Word of God is alive. It
breaks open hard hearts, so that we can love again. It gives us new eyes to see
that we are accepted in spite of our faults. That we are forgiven in the midst
of our failure. That we are loved without strings attached, without conditions.
The earth at the beginning was a formless void, full of chaos and darkness, and
a wind from God swept over the waters; the people in exile in Babylon lived in
chaos and darkness, wondering if they would ever go home. In Genesis 1, the
Word of God speaks creation into being; in Isaiah, the Word of God builds a
highway in the wilderness stretching from Babylon to Jerusalem. For the student
sitting alone in the cafeteria, the invitation to join a table full of new
friends became the Word of God for her, a Living Word, pulling her out of
isolation and darkness, opening her heart to receive love. In her own words,
‘you saved my life.’ The young woman trained in peer ministry didn’t walk up to
her saying ‘hey, Jesus died for you. Do you believe it? Then you can be saved.
Just pray this prayer.’ The peer minister noticed she was alone, took the risk
of saying hello and came alongside her as a fellow human being, leveling the
mountain separating her from new friends.
This small but courageous act is how the Word of God comes to us, a
Living Word that changes everything.
上帝的话语在耶稣基督中以人的形式出现……在万物的开头也出现了同样的上帝的话语，实现了神的创造，……“要有光”世界就有了光明。 上帝的话语是有生命力的。 它打开我们坚实的内心，让我们可以再次相爱。 它使我们拥有一双新的眼睛，让我们看到尽管我们有过错，我们还是被接纳，我们在失败中被宽恕。 我们无条件地，无任何附带条件地被爱着。 世界之初，地球是一个无形的虚空，充满了混乱和黑暗，来自上帝的风吹过水面。 在巴比伦流亡的人们生活在混乱和黑暗之中，想知道他们是否能回家。 在创世记第一章中，神的话语完成了创造。 在以赛亚书，上帝的圣言在旷野中建造了一条从巴比伦到耶路撒冷的高速公路。 对于独自一人坐在自助餐厅里的学生来说，接受邀请加入到一桌新朋友当中是她的上帝的话语，一个有生命力的话语，使她摆脱了孤立和黑暗，敞开内心去接受爱。 用她自己的话说，“你救了我的命。”接受同伴事工培训的年轻女孩并没有走过去对她说：“嘿，耶稣为你而死。 你相信吗？ 只要按着这个祷告，你就会得救。” 同伴事工注意到她很孤独，冒着风险去打招呼，并作为同伴与她并肩同行，把她与新朋友分开的那座山被削平了。 这个微小而勇敢的举动就是神的话临到我们的方式，这是能改变一切的有生命力的话语。
Salvation is a word for the divine spaciousness that comes
to human beings in all the tight places where our lives are at risk, regardless
of how we got there or whether we know God’s name. Sometimes it comes as an
extended human hand and sometimes as a bolt from the blue, but either way it
opens a door in what looked for all the world like a wall. This is the way of
life, and God alone knows how it works.” Barbara Brown Taylor, 1951-
救赎这个词，是指在我们生命受到威胁的所有狭窄地带，无论我们如何到达那里或我们是否知道上帝的名字，神都会带我们来到辽阔的旷野。 有时它是别人伸出来的手，有时它是晴空霹雳，但无论哪种方式，它都会在象一堵墙一样的世界中打开一扇门。 这就是生活，只有上帝自己知道它是如何运作的。”芭芭拉布朗泰勒（Barbara
In our eating and drinking this morning, the Living Word of
Christ comes among us, creating faith in us, to fill us with unconditional love
and acceptance. God alone knows how it works. Leveling the mountains, lifting
up the valleys, building a highway to bring us home.
Jeremiah 33:14-18, Mark 8:27-29 Advent 1, Dec 1, 2019 TLC
耶利米书 33：14-18， 马可福音8：27 -29 2019年12月1日TLC
Context: Since he was a young
boy, now in midlife, Jeremiah had been speaking God’s truth to the ruthless,
oppressive power of the king: telling him act with justice, looking out for any
who have been robbed of human dignity. Do no wrong or violence to the immigrant,
homeless or those with family support. Shed no innocent blood, or I will hand
you over to your enemies. Woe to you who make your neighbours work for nothing
and give them no wages. Your eyes and heart are on dishonest gain. And the
king, like any of us when we hear a hard truth about ourselves, didn’t want to
hear it. So Jeremiah has been thrown in the palace prison because he angered
the King. The King wanted to shut Jeremiah up. All around them the city of
Jerusalem was being attacked by the brutal Babylonian armies. The siege lasted
over a year and the people were trapped, suffering in a city running out of
food and water, sickness and disease spreading.
Jeremiah has been crying out to God that the city will fall and God is
doing nothing to help. Today’s reading is God’s response to Jeremiah’s deep cry
Kids’ Message: 给孩子们的讯息
Hello Streamkeepers and Friends,
Just a quick update: 145 spawner sightings so far, in Cougar Creek!
All of them coho (no chum), and all but a few of them wild (no clipped fin).
Our Stream Monitors are careful to avoid double-counting of the same fish --
and we're still expecting spawners to continue arriving through November.
Hopefully we'll reach last year's count (192), despite difficult ocean
conditions for fish.
(kids ask Deborah) How do salmon find their way back to their natal
stream. Their sense of smell is really important! The more
rainwater infiltration & underground seepage into Cougar Creek, the more
that water carries the signature scents that fish use to identify
"home". Piped stormwater smells of, let's see, tire dust?
brake dust? diesel particulate? littered cigarette butts?
Infiltrated water smells right, so let's bring on more rain gardens!
（孩子们问黛博拉（Deborah））鲑鱼如何回到自己的原生水域。 他们的嗅觉真的很重要！ 雨水渗透到Cougar Creek的次数越多，地下渗入的水越多，水所携带的特征性气味就越浓，鱼类通过这些气味来识别“家”。排洪管道的气味，让我们看看，轮胎的灰尘？ 刹车的灰尘？ 柴油的微小颗粒？ 乱扔的的烟头？ 渗入地下的水气味是对的，让我们建更多的雨水花园吧！
Rain Gardens Coordinator
Cougar Creek Streamkeepers.ca (North Delta/Surrey BC)
This week a letter came in
the mail to all of our North Delta neighbours from Leeann Graham, City of Delta
Environmental Officer. She said that the salmon have been swimming in foamy
water…filled with soap…this keeps their gills from getting the oxygen they need.
The salmon choke on the soap and can’t smell their way up to the place where
they lay their eggs. Sounds like someone washed their car in their driveway and
let the water run right into the street and down the storm drain instead of
into their own yard. This is why my neighbour, who is a water scientist, always
washes his car on his front lawn. Or someone else dumped old paint down the
storm drain instead of passing it on to someone who could use it or taking it
to the Product Care Depot. I wonder what Jesus would do if the salmon were
choking in the stream, struggling to lay their eggs? Maybe send a letter to all
the neighbours in North Delta to remind them to take care of the salmon? Maybe
speak through Deborah and the Cougar Creek Stream keepers who reported what was
Jeremiah’s experience of
standing alone… Who is Jesus Christ for us today? The neighbour who says, soapy
water needs to be directed towards a vegetated area, filtering into the ground
to protect the 145 salmon spawners struggling to survive in Cougar Canyon. How
can we take our part in caring for the earth, the creatures and plants who
share our breath, our water? Maybe it means speaking up when a neighbour lets
soapy water go down the storm drain on a sunny day
耶利米孤军奋战的经历告诉我们……今天谁是我们的耶稣基督？ 邻居说，充满肥皂的水需要被引流到一个植被茂盛的地方，经过土壤的过滤，以保护145只挣扎求生的鲑鱼在美洲狮峡谷溪流中的繁殖场所。 我们该如何参与到照顾地球，照顾各种生物和植物的工作中？它们与我们一起共享空气与水源。也许这意味着当看到邻居在晴朗的一天让肥皂水流入排洪管道时，我们要敢于大声制止。
Have you ever awakened from a nightmare overwhelmed with
gratitude that it was just a dream and not really happening? Jeremiah talked
like a man who had awakened from a nightmare convinced it was coming true…his
city was in danger of collapsing with the advance of the Babylonian army.
Jeremiah’s words, aimed at political leaders, were sledgehammer blows designed
to break the hardest scull. Called as a young boy to share a message with
nations and kingdoms, to pluck up and pull down, to destroy and overthrow, to
build and to plant with the words of his mouth. Jeremiah protested with God,
saying “Ah Lord God, truly I don’t know how to speak. I am only a boy.” Though
he protested, didn’t want the job, was lacking confidence on the inside, he
started to speak God’s truth to those with more power than himself.
你是否曾从噩梦中惊醒，不禁庆幸那只是一个梦，没有真正发生？耶利米的话就像一个从噩梦中惊醒的人，发现这都是真实发生的……他所在的城市正处在被巴比伦军队攻陷的危险之中。 耶利米（Jeremiah）针对政治领导人的言论就如为敲碎最硬的骨头而设计的大锤一般锤击着他们。 耶利米还是孩子的时候就被呼召在各个国家和民族之间传播神的话语，他用他口里的言辞去拔除和拆毁，去打破和推翻，去建造和播种。 耶利米向上帝抗议说：“上帝啊，我真的不知道该怎么说。 我只是个孩子。”尽管他抗议，不想做这份工作，内心缺乏信心，但他还是开始向那些比自己更有权力和力量的人宣讲上帝的真理。
Anne Lamott in a recent Ted talk, shared about the 10 things
she, now in her 60’s, has come to know as true. Anne Lamott is the author of
several books about becoming a real human being in relationship with the living
God. Anne said in her Ted talk: “everyone
is screwed up, broken, clingy and scared—even people that seem to have it most
together. So don’t compare anyone’s outside to your inside.” Inside Jeremiah
felt frightened and insecure. While outside, Jeremiah spoke confidently for 40
years because in his heart he burned with a message. He couldn’t keep quiet. And
so Jeremiah stood alone against the crowd.
Lamott）写了几本书，讲述了如何在与上帝的关系中成为真正的人。 安妮（Anne）在特德（Ted）演讲中说：“每个人都搞砸过，都曾破碎，都会固执和恐惧，甚至那些看似非常完美的人也是如此。 因此，不要将任何人的外在与自己的内在进行比较。” 耶利米内心感到恐惧和不安，而耶利米的外在表现是他自信地传道40年，因为他内心深处燃烧着一条信息。 他无法保持沉默。 耶利米就这样独自站在人群面前。
I wonder if this echoes how young people in Hong Kong have
felt these last several months as they began peaceful pro-democracy protests
that have now turned violent, seeking to be recognized and heard by Carrie Lam
and leadership in Beijing. In recent weeks, Canadian exchange students were
sent home to avoid the increasingly violent clashes between police and
protesters. One pro-democracy candidate, Dr Andrew Chiu, was campaigning the
day after his ear was bitten off in a violent clash. But the courageous student
protests have empowered the voice of the people. With this week’s election, the
people have spoken with over 70% turn-out, 3 million people cast their vote. Will
Carrie Lam and Beijing listen? Will the courage of these young people lead to
change? They are living into hope, that things will be set right.
我想知道这是否回应了在过去的几个月，香港年轻人在支持民主和平抗议活动中的感受。现在这些抗议活动已演变成暴力活动，试图求得林郑月娥和北京领导人的认可和倾听。 最近几周，有些加拿大交换生被送回国以避免在日益加剧的警察和示威者之间的暴力冲突中受到波及。 一名支持民主的候选人赵安德（Andrew
Chiu）医生在一场暴力冲突中被咬伤，他第二天就参加了竞选。 但是，勇敢学生的抗议活动代表了人民的声音。 在本周的选举中，人民的投票率超过70％，有300万人投票。 林郑月娥和北京会听吗？ 这些年轻人的勇气能带来改变吗？ 他们充满希望，希望一切都会好起来。
Have you ever felt like you stand alone?
Jeremiah hated standing alone against the crowd. He told God
how he felt. He barely hung on. He wanted out of the job. He wanted to walk
away and ignore what was happening in his city. At times, he wished he were dead.
But he couldn’t stand by when innocent blood was being shed. When people were
suffering at the hand of injustice. And the king could do something about it,
but refused. From the outside, it seemed that Jeremiah was confident, talking
about what will happen if people don’t change their ways. On the inside, he was
a wreck, frightened.
But God says, “I for my part today have made you a fortified
city, an iron pillar, a bronze wall, against the whole land.” He was arrested
and imprisoned…nearly killed.
耶利米不愿意独自一人站在群众对面。 他跟神讲出他的感受，他几乎撑不下去了。 他想走开，想忽略他的城市正在发生的事。 有时，他希望自己已经死了。 但是，他无法忍受无辜者流血，他无法忍受人们遭受不公。 国王可以对此做点什么，但他拒绝了。 从表面上看，耶利米似乎很有信心，谈论如着如果人们不改变自己的方式，将会发生什么。可是在他内心深处，他就像一个残骸，有很多恐惧。 但是上帝说：“就我而言，今天我已经使你成为一座以整个土地为依托的防御工事，一根铁柱，一面铜墙铁壁。” 他被捕入狱……几乎被杀。
Young people around the world are speaking up about things
that need to be made right, not just in Hong Kong. With the recent UN report showing scientific
evidence that the world is woefully short of the two degree goal to avert the
climate nightmare, we all need a wake up call, starting with political
leadership. I wonder, how would Jeremiah respond to the need for leading
countries to reduce carbon emissions much more significantly than scientists
thought. Could it be that God has called Greta Thunberg, teenage climate crisis
advocate, who is speaking truth to powerful political leaders around the world.
I’m sure there are times when she wants to walk away, when the hate e-mails the
flood her inbox threaten to take her down. But she continues to speak God’s truth
to those in power.
不仅仅是在香港，世界各地的年轻人都在谈论需要做正确的事情， 联合国最近的报告显示，科学证据表明，很不幸，世界远远没有达到为避免气候噩梦所需要的两度目标，因此以政治领导们为首，我们都需要警醒。 我想知道，对发达国家需要减少比科学家认为的还要显著的碳排放，耶利米会如何反应。 可能是上帝召集了青少年气候危机倡导者格雷塔滕伯格（Greta
Thunberg），她正在向世界各地的政治领袖们讲真话。 当仇恨通过电子邮件象洪水一般涌来，威胁要把她拉下马时，我敢肯定有时候她想走开。 但是她继续向当权者宣讲上帝的真理。
On the inside, all of us struggle…lacking the confidence to
do what needs to be done, angry at those who’ve wronged us, or just consumed
with our own worries, fear and anxiety. Jeremiah has been crying out to God in
his struggle and God responds…the days are surely coming when I will fulfill
the promise I made to Abraham….to be a blessing to all families on the earth,
to make all things right in the world. I have not forgotten you. I did not
promise you life would be easy. I did not promise to make you wealthy. I did
not promise you days without worry and fear. But God promises to raise up a
righteous branch who will bring justice and righteousness in the land. God
promises to be with us.
在我们内心，我们所有人都在挣扎……缺乏信心去做需要做的事，为那些让我们受委屈的人感到气愤，或者只是因为我们自己的担心，恐惧和焦虑而精疲力尽。 耶利米在他的斗争中一直在向上帝呼求，上帝做出了回应……那天一定会到来，我将履行我对亚伯拉罕所作的承诺……为地球上的所有家庭祝福，使世界上所有的事情都变得正确 。 我并没有忘记你。 我没有保证你的生活会很轻松；我没有承诺让你富有； 我没有承诺你过上没有担心和恐惧的日子。 但是上帝应许要建立一个正义的分支，将公平与正义带到这片土地上。 上帝的应许与我们同在。
In Jeremiah’s day, the city of Jerusalem was under attack…it
seemed that everything was being destroyed as the unrelenting armies of Babylon
leveled their homes. The city and the land were laid waste. It seemed that God
had abandoned them. In this place which is a waste without human beings or
animals. All this was happening, Jeremiah said, because the people had failed
to follow God’s way in relationship with their neighbours, robbing the poor,
even sacrificing their own children to other gods, hurting not only the human
community but the land, air, water.
在耶利米时代，耶路撒冷城受到攻击……巴比伦的军队坚持不懈地将房屋夷为平地，一切似乎都被摧毁了， 城市和土地都被荒废了， 看来上帝已经抛弃了他们。 这个地方没有人类或动物，成了废墟。 耶利米说，所有这一切的发生都是因为人们没有遵循上帝的方式去爱你的邻舍，掠夺穷人，甚至把自己的孩子献给了其他神灵，这不仅危害了人类社区，也损害了土地，空气，水。
As we enter into the season of Advent, a time in our
community over the next four weeks, when we live in hope, when we recognize
that God is at work to set things right. With the flood of Christmas
preparations starting to wash away all the spare time in our calendar, we pause
with those who are suffering devastating loss: the Gillrie, Robertson, Haave
families, Kathryn and little Charlotte undergoing intense chemotherapy
treatment, the young people of Hong Kong demonstrating to preserve democracy at
great cost, the salmon spawners struggling in Cougar Canyon Creek, all those
who struggle with overwhelming anxiety and depression, isolating them from the
In the midst what seems like a wasteland, God promises to
make things right, to cause a righteous branch to spring up who will bring
righteousness and justice in the land. Righteousness…what is this about? It’s
God’s work in the world…making all things between humans, animals, plants and
God right. God promises that Jerusalem, once a waste land, unlivable for all
living things, will be saved. The Hebrew word for saved is “yasha”. Five
hundred years after God saved God’s beloved people from the Babylonian exile, a
child would be born and his parents would name him Yeshua or Jesus, meaning ‘God
在这片荒芜的土地上，上帝应许会纠正这一切，他使正义的分支兴起，为这片土地带来公平和正义。 公义……这是什么意思？ 这是上帝在世界上的工作……使人，动物，植物和上帝之间维系一个正确的关系与秩序。 上帝应许耶路撒冷，这座一度曾是废墟的城市，对于所有生物来说都是无法生存的，它将得到拯救。 希伯来语中保存的单词是“
As Jesus began to travel into villages, cities or farms,
people brought those who were sick mentally and physically and laid them before
him. They begged Jesus to allow them to just touch the fringe of his cloak…and
all who touched it were healed. Having just healed a blind man by laying his
hands on his eyes, Jesus walked on with his disciples to the next village and
on the way he asked: “Who do people say that I am?” If Jesus were to ask you
this question, how might you respond? His disciples said he was one of the
prophets…Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist. Then he asked ‘Who do YOU
say that I am?’ Peter answered: “you are the Messiah, which is the Hebrew word
for Christ. For Peter who is Jewish, Messiah is the One who saves.
耶稣开始在乡村，城市或农场游历，人们将那些身心受到伤害的人带到了他面前。 他们恳求耶稣允许他们触摸他披风的边缘……所有触摸它的人都被治愈了。 耶稣把手放在瞎子的眼睛上，就治好了他的眼睛。耶稣和门徒一起走到下一个村庄，问道：“你们说我是谁？”如果耶稣要问你这个问题， 你会如何回答？ 他的门徒说他是先知之一……以利亚，以赛亚，耶利米，施洗约翰。 彼得问道：“你说我是谁？”彼得回答：“你就是弥赛亚，这是希伯来语对基督的称呼。 对于犹太人彼得来说，弥赛亚是拯救的那一位。
So what does it mean to be saved? Some of us humans might say “going to heaven
when you die.” But salvation comes in all shapes and sizes, here and now, in
this life. For the young people protesting in Hong Kong, salvation comes in
having their voices heard to effect real change in a government system that
protects human rights, that values the power of the people who genuinely elect
their leadership, that hold police accountable. For the salmon spawners
struggling to follow the scent that creates new life in Cougar Canyon Creek,
salvation comes in the form of a letter from Leeann, City of Delta
Environmental Officer, that was sparked by those counting the salmon who
noticed the polluted water and reported it. Salvation will continue to come
through neighbours who tell one another not to wash contaminated water into the
storm drains, like my neighbor did on a sunny day last week while washing her
car. At the time it didn’t occur to me that soapy water in our storm driveway
could affect salmon swimming in Cougar Canyon Creek. Now I know and can be part
of God’s saving work in my neighbourhood.
Jesus, Jeshua, God saves, born among us as a child, in dying
and rising, has become our righteousness. Righteousness is a relational word…we
who are estranged have been brought back (show with hands); it’s about being
brought into right relationship with the God of the universe, with ourselves,
with our fellow human beings, with all living creatures, with the air, water
and land. The One who makes all things right comes in an unexpected way: as a child
born to an unwed mother, who narrowly escaped being stoned to death, in order
to give birth in a stable. This child born to us is called Immanuel,
God-with-us, comes to save us in the midst of our grief and pain, bringing
comfort, in our anxiety and fear, becoming our peace and courage…to be with us
when life is not going right. So that we become part of making all things
right. O Come, O Come Immanuel….
耶稣，约书亚，上帝的拯救，在我们中间降生，通过死亡和复活，成就了我们的公义。 正义是一个表达关系的词……被我们疏远的被带回（用手展示）； 它是要与宇宙之神，我们自己，人类同伴，所有生物，空气，水和土地建立正确的关系。 凡事都做对的人以一种意想不到的方式来了：作为一个未婚母亲所生的孩子，他母亲为了能够平安生下他，而险些被石头砸死。这个为我们而生的孩子被称为以马内利，上帝与我们同在，在我们的伤痛和痛苦中拯救我们，在焦虑和恐惧中给我们带来安慰，成为我们的平安与勇气……在我们不正确的生活中与我们同在。 使我们成为让事情变得正确的一部分。 噢，来吧，以马内利……。
Sunday, November 24th, 2019 – Christ the
King/Reign of Christ Sunday – Year C
Written by: Pastor Karen Stepko
Written on: Luke 23:33-43 路加福音 23:33-43
ago, I finally watched the movie Gladiator. The time period of this film is about 150
years after Jesus lived, but it still takes place during the height of the Roman
Empire. Although the plot of the movie
is fictional, it contains real historical characters, such as Emperor Marcus
Aralias and his son, Commodus, and it reflects factual Roman culture and
practices from that time period – primarily, the deadly combat that took place
within the Colosseum to amuse the Roman people.
几年前，我终于看了电影《角斗士》。 这部电影讲述的大约是耶稣死后150年，在罗马帝国的鼎盛时期发生的事。 尽管这部电影的情节是虚构的，但它包含了真实的历史人物，例如皇帝马库斯阿拉利亚斯（Marcus Aralias）和他的儿子康茂德斯（Commodus），并且真实地反映了当时罗马的文化和习俗--主要是通过斗兽场内发生的致命战斗 来取乐罗马人民。
As I watched this film, I was struck by the absolute power
that ancient rulers had. The Romans
believed that the Caesars ruled by divine right, meaning that the king was
never subject to any authority on earth.
They believed that to attempt to limit the emperor’s power in any way was
to oppose the will of the gods.
当我观看这部电影时，我被古代统治者的绝对权力所震撼。 罗马人认为凯撒的统治是神所赋予的，这意味着国王不受世上任何权威的约束。 他们认为，试图以任何方式限制皇帝的权力就是反对众神的意志。
If anyone disagreed with or showed disrespect to Caesar – even
if it was a high ranking general or senator or even a member of his own family
– that person was to be swiftly and harshly punished. The Emperor did not hesitate to hand out
death sentences for something as simple or as minor as turning your back to him
while he was speaking to you.
At the conclusion of a combat between two gladiators in the
Colosseum, the Roman peasants would begin chanting for the winner to kill the
loser. The emperor alone was the one who
would make the final choice, based solely on how he felt in the moment.
Thumbs up, and a defeated gladiator would be spared to fight
Thumbs down, and the loser was immediately put to death for
all to see.
It’s easy to forget, due to the many rights and freedoms that
our society grants us, that this is the way that the entire world once worked –
and that, in some places and situations, it still remains the case. Careless words or actions might still result
in consequences if they cause others harm, but all Canadians have been granted
freedom of expression: meaning that every
single one of us can feel free to disagree with or to show our displeasure with
our rulers without the fear that we will be jailed or executed for it.
However, even today, we continue to have a distant relationship
with those in power over us. The closest
that most of us will typically gets to a member of the royal family or the
leader of a political party is a handshake, a wave, a selfie, or a brief greeting
at a planned public appearance or a campaign event.
Even when other world leaders meet Queen Elizabeth, they are
asked to follow rules about who can speak first, where to look, what to call
her, how they should stand, and when they should sit. If they don’t, she won’t demand, “Off with
their heads!” like the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, but it will be
frowned upon … and potentially also reported upon in the newspapers as a major
social faux pas.
即使是世界上其他领导人与伊丽莎白女王见面，他们也被要求遵循相应的规则：谁先发言，看哪里，如何称呼她，应该怎样站立以及何时坐下。 如果他们不这样做，虽然她不会像《爱丽丝梦游仙境》中的“红心皇后”那样要求“斩下头颅！”，但他们也会让人觉得窘态毕露……并有可能作为重要的社交失礼被报纸大肆报道。 。
None of us are invited – or welcome – to unexpectedly pop over
to Rideau Cottage for a coffee with Justin and Sophie the next time we are in
Ottawa … or maybe to swing by Stornoway and catch up with Andrew, Jill and the
kids, if that is our personal preference.
For the past twenty years, the general public hasn’t even been
allowed to drive down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, let alone visit the
White House without obtaining security clearance and an invitation from the
president of the United States.
Our rulers might be much less fickle and hostile in their
treatment of us than they used to be, but they are still not very approachable.
Have you ever noticed how rarely other
people in the Gospels refer to Jesus by His first name? To us, it doesn’t seem to be the least bit
unusual to refer to Jesus this way: we
do that all the time. Jesus – or in
Hebrew, Yeshua – was the name that was given to Mary by an angel and to Joseph
in dream before God’s son was even born to them: “You will bear and give birth
to a son, and you are to call Him Jesus”.
That was the name that his parents, friends, and neighbours likely
called Jesus as he grew from a boy into a man.
大家有没有注意到福音书中很少有人用耶稣的名字来称呼耶稣？ 在我们看来，这样称呼耶稣似乎并没有什么不同寻常：“我们一直这样做。 耶稣（或在希伯来语中的耶稣）是天使给玛丽亚的名字，在上帝的儿子还没有出生之前就在梦中给约瑟发了名字：“你要生一个儿子，你要称呼他 耶稣”。 那是他的父母，朋友和邻居在耶稣从一个男孩成长为一个男人时可能使用的名字。
However, Jesus closest friends and
followers – the very people whom you might expect to be on a first name basis
with Him – never seem to call him that.
Mary and Martha, feeling overwhelmed
by feelings of anger and grief because of their brother Lazarus’ death and totally
let down by their close friend because he has shown up four days too late, both
confront Jesus by saying, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not
They don’t call Him “Jesus”.
Shocked to realize that Jesus is no
longer dead, but rather standing right in front of her in the Garden on Easter
morning, Mary Magdalene doesn’t shout the name “Jesus!”
Instead, she addresses him as “Rabboni”,
which means ‘teacher’.
The demons and some of the people
who are in need of healing are not afraid to use the name “Jesus”, but the
disciples never seem to. Even after
three years of travelling together throughout Galilea, witnessing miracles and
hearing Jesus teach and preach about God’s coming kingdom, the apostles seem to
always refer to Jesus as “Teacher”, “Master”, or “Lord”.
Yet, in the final moments of both
of their lives, a stranger turns to God’s one and only Son and boldly says, “Jesus
… remember me when you come into* your kingdom”.
A convicted criminal who, is desperately in need of forgiveness, turns
to Jesus Christ and feels free to speak to Him in the most personal, intimate
way – in the same way that His own mother might – and to him, Jesus earnestly 43promises in reply, “Truly I
tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise”.
然而，在俩人一生的最后时刻，一个陌生人转向上帝的独生子，大胆地说：“耶稣……进入你的王国时要记住我”。 一位极度需要宽恕的被定罪的罪犯，求助于耶稣基督，并以最私密，最亲密的方式与他说话-就像他自己的母亲可能会做的那样-耶稣恳切地答应他 ，“我实在告诉你，今天你将在天堂与我同在”。
Christ is the king who is not just approachable. He is the king who approaches us.
In a place that was solely dedicated to death, in the midst of
His greatest suffering, Jesus Christ fulfilled a promise of life and hope, not
only for the thief on the cross, but for every one of us: because of His death, to which we are joined
in baptism, we can too have the hope of a place with Jesus in Paradise.
If anyone had the right not to forgive, to lash out in anger,
or to feel unjustly persecuted, it was Jesus, especially as he hung helpless
and suffering for the sake of our salvation.
Jesus was forced to carry his own cross in through the streets in a
parade of shame. The crowds and the leaders taunt him. The soldiers showed him no remorse as they
mocked and beat Him.
如果有人有权不去宽恕，有权发怒或有权不公正地迫害别人，那这个人就是耶稣，尤其是他为我们的救赎而受苦，被无助地钉在十字架上。 耶稣被迫羞辱地在街道游行，被人们和宗教领袖嘲笑。 士兵们嘲笑并殴打他时，没有表示任何悔恨。
However, Jesus not only forgives them, but prays for
He sees beyond the hateful things which they are doing to Him
in that moment. He sees beyond the
crimes which this thief has committed during his lifetime.
He sees beyond our own sin – and His love for us remains.
As people sarcastically taunted Him on Calvary saying, “If you
are a King, save yourself!” Jesus chose instead to save them – and us.
“Today you will be with me in
Even death has no dominion over Jesus Christ the King, who chose
not to rule from a distance, but instead to meet us in the midst of our
weakness and our need. He is the same
Jesus who is willing to embrace all, forgive all, and redeem all – because our
God is a god who we can simply, intimately, and with confidence call on Him all
We have the great privilege of being on a first name basis
with our Lord, our Savior, and our King – Jesus, name above all names.
The lamb who was slain has begun his reign. Hallejulah! AMEN
Isaiah 5:1-7 and 11:1-5 Nov 17 2019 TLC 以赛亚书5：1-7和11：1-5 2019年11月17日 TLC
A Shoot Grows from
Context: The prophet Isaiah lived at a crucial time, midway
between the founding of the nations of Israel and Judah in the days of King
Saul and David…and their eventual destruction in 722 B.C.E by Assyria. Isaiah
wrote these words about the time that Homer was writing The Iliad and the
Odyssey; Isaiah regarded as the Shakespeare of Hebrew literature. Isaiah’s
book is full of profound insights about the nature of God and God’s hopes for
the world. When Isaiah began to speak, the united nation seemed strong and
healthy. But Isaiah saw signs of grave danger as civil war broke out between
the north and the south. People were using their power to harass the poor. Men
walked around drunk; women cared more about their clothing than the hunger of
their neighbours. People gave lip service to God and kept the outward
appearance of being religious but didn’t seek social justice, love kindness and
walk humbly with God. The armies of neighboring nations of Assyria and Egypt
were rattling their swords; Israel and Judah were caught in the middle…would
they choose a bigger nation as ally? Isaiah had harsh and unyielding words
about what changes needed to take place within their community; he moved in
royal circles but was not a yes-man in politics. His name means “The Lord Saves”
and he warned kings that relying on military power and wealth or any force
other than God would lead to disaster. Let’s listen to Isaiah 5:1-7 and 11:1-5.
经文背景：先知以赛亚生活在一个关键时期，是介于扫罗和大卫王时代之后，以色列和犹大王国建立之前的那段时间。以色列与犹大国最终于公元前722年被亚述摧毁。 以赛亚写下这些文字的时间大约就是荷马写《以利亚德与奥德赛》的时间。 以赛亚被视为希伯来文学的莎士比亚。 以赛亚书充满了对上帝本质和上帝对世界的期望的深刻见解。 当以赛亚开始讲话时，联合王国显得非常强大。 但是，随着南北两国之间爆发内战，以赛亚看到了严重的危险信号。 人们利用自己的优势逼迫穷人。 男人醉醺醺地走来走去； 比起邻居的饥饿，妇女们更关心自己的衣服。 人们对上帝赞美有加，并保持宗教信仰的表象，但并未真正做到行公义义，好怜悯，谦卑地与上帝同行。 邻国亚述和埃及的军队正挥舞着刀剑，虎视眈眈，以色列和犹大国被困在中间……他们会选择一个更大的国家作为盟友吗？ 以赛亚为他们的社区需要作出改变发表了严厉而坚定的讲话。 他虽混迹于皇室的圈子，但他并不是一个政治强人。 他的名字的意思是“上帝拯救”，他警告国王，依靠军事力量和财富或除神以外的任何力量都将导致灾难。
Helga Manz told me last week that she, in her eighth decade
of life, just finished planting hundreds of bulbs in her front yard. She was
sore because she had knelt down to dig in the soil, carving out a dark moist
pocket where the bulbs could hibernate. Dropping them into darkness with hope
that they will find the light and be transformed. Helga planted bulbs as an act
of faith, with hope that in the spring the tulips will bloom in glorious color
before her very eyes. She hopes that the warm rays of the sun will still burn
several months from now, sustaining all life on this revolving planet in a vast
universe. Helga lives in hope, so she digs. Helga lives in hope that not only
will the star burning in our solar system still be emitting photons converted
into heat and light, but Helga lives in hope that one day she will awaken next
spring to see those tender green shoots sprouting in her front yard. Science
tells us that when you plant a bulb, a process ensues over the dormant winter
months that becomes new life in the spring…a red bulb will always produce a red
tulip, given the right conditions.
赫尔加 曼兹（Helga Manz）上周告诉我，在她生命的第八十年，她刚刚在前院种下了数百株郁金香。 她腰酸背痛因为她要跪在地上挖土，挖出一个黑暗潮湿的坑，郁金香球茎可以在那里冬眠。 将它们丢入黑暗中，希望他们能找到光明并被转变。 赫尔加（Helga）种植鳞茎植物是一种信仰实践，希望在春天，郁金香能够在她的眼前绽放出绚丽的色彩。 她希望，从现在开始的几个月后，太阳的光芒依然温暖，从而在广阔的宇宙中，在这个旋转行星上的所有生命得以维系。 赫尔加（Helga）将希望寄托于生活，所以她开始挖掘。 赫尔加（Helga）不仅希望我们的太阳系中燃烧的恒星仍会发出光粒子，这些粒子会转变成光和热。赫尔加（Helga）也希望明年的某一天当她醒来，能看到那些嫩绿的新芽在她的前院里破土而出。 科学告诉我们，当您种植郁金香时，在种子冬眠的几个月中会发生一个变化，在春季变成新的生命……只要有适合的条件，红色郁金香球茎会长出红色郁金香。
This week as we listen to opening testimony in the
impeachment trial for U.S. President Trump, we wonder, will justice be served?
Will the truth determine the outcome? We cannot predict at this point what will
happen. (Court proceedings are not like planting bulbs…)
本周我们在听取针对美国总统特朗普的弹劾案的开庭证词时，我们想知道正义是否会得到伸张？ 真相能决定结果吗？ 我们目前无法预测会发生什么。 （法院程序并不像种郁金香…）
Isaiah’s love song for his vineyard sings of one who had a
vineyard (show image) on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of
stones, and planted it with choice vines, expecting it to yield grapes. Grapes that
would taste good, suitable for making wine, so that he could indulge in sweet
juicy bites. God expected one thing and got another. To expect something is to
live in hope of a future outcome. It is reasonable for Helga to expect her
bulbs to yield tulips. The dead of winter brings green shoots. So Yhwh, God is
bewildered by what the planting produces…wild grapes, taste bitter, not edible,
to be thrown away.
以赛亚为他的葡萄园献上的情歌演唱的是一位在非常肥沃的小山上拥有葡萄园的人（显示图片）。 他挖了沟，清除了石头，然后用精选的葡萄藤种植，期望它能产出优质的葡萄。 口感好的葡萄可酿造葡萄酒，可以尽享香甜又多汁的美味。 上帝期待一个结果却得到了另一种结果。 期待是生活在对未来结果的希望当中。赫尔加（ Helga）期望她的郁金香种能长出郁金香是合理的。 冬天的死寂带来的是绿色的新芽。 因此，耶和华对这种种植的结果感到迷惑……野葡萄苦涩，不能吃，只能废弃。
What more could I have done for my vineyard? God had a dream
for human beings living together, taking care of one another, looking out for
those who fall on tough times. Eight centuries before the birth of Christ, God
was looking for justice but saw bloodshed in the human family. Instead of right
relationship between human beings, God hears a cry. Has anything changed? God has a dream for human beings living in
our world today…a dream of us understanding one another across cultures,
building genuine friendships, working together for the common good. But war
still breaks out among us as we hear of violence erupting on the Gaza strip,
Palestinian children and adults are again casualties. God’s dream of a just
social order where all, including the poor and neglected, the abused and
overlooked, are provided what they need, in order to thrive. God wants the
vineyard to produce grapes. God wants human beings to thrive together, to reach
across conflict and division along economic, racial, political and religious
我能拿葡萄园怎么办？上帝有一个梦想，希望人类共同生活，互相照顾，关爱那些处境艰难的人。 上帝对当今世界的人类有一个梦想……希望我们跨约文化的差异去相互了解，缔结友谊，为共同的利益一起努力。 但是，当我们听到本周加沙地带爆发暴力事件，巴勒斯坦儿童的伤亡时，我们知道战争仍在我们中间爆发。 基督出生前的八个世纪，上帝一直在寻求正义，但却看到了人类世界的流血事件。 上帝没有看到人与人之间正确的关系，他听到的是哭泣。 有什么改变吗？ 上帝的梦想是一种公正的社会秩序，在这个社会秩序中，所有的人包括贫困的，被忽视，被虐待的都能获得了其蓬勃发展所需的一切。 上帝希望葡萄园结出葡萄。 上帝希望人类共同成长，跨越因经济，种族，政治和宗教差异所造成的冲突和分裂。
are not like plants, are we?
When we compare the destiny of human society with the plant
world, which is more predictable? Helga plants bulbs that sprout into tulips. But
we human beings more often than not fail to produce the fruit of love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control. Apart from God’s grace poured out on the cross, we can do nothing but tear
one another down, cut one another off, worry about our own well-being and turn
in upon ourselves.
但是人类不是植物，不是吗？ 当我们将人类社会的命运与植物世界进行比较时，哪个更可预测？ 赫尔加（Helga）种下郁金香球茎会发芽长成郁金香。 但是，我们人类常常没能结出爱，喜悦，和平，耐心和仁慈的果实。 背离了十字架上所彰显上帝的恩典，我们什么也做不了，只能彼此撕毁，互相割断，担心自己的幸福并转身依靠自己。
Isaiah sings of God’s dream: not just for the salvation of
individual souls but for human beings to establish a way of being together
without bloodshed and cries from those on the margins. Jesus tells a story to show us what human beings
are like apart from God’s grace. A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around
it, dug a pit for the wine press, built a watchtower and leased it to tenants. Who
are the tenants, entrusted with care of the earth and one another? We are you
and I, young, old, from many different places gathered here together The owner
of the vineyard goes to another country. Then
sends a slave to collect what belongs to the owner…and the tenants grab him,
beat him and send him away empty-handed. Is it really possible for human
communities to fulfill God’s deepest hope of social justice where all human
beings live in right relationship with one another?
以赛亚歌颂上帝的梦想：这不仅是为了救赎个人灵魂，而且是为了建立公正的人类社会，大家在一起不会有流血与哭泣。 耶稣讲了一个故事，向我们展示了除了上帝的恩典之外人类是什么样的人。 耶稣说，一个人种了一个葡萄园，在它周围围上篱笆，挖了榨葡萄酒用的坑，建了一座守望塔，并将其租给租户。谁获得了主人的信任，来照顾地球和我们彼此。是我们，你，我，年轻的，年老的，来自不同地方的我们聚到一起。葡萄园的主人去了另一个国家。 然后，葡萄园的所有者派遣了一个奴隶来征收他的财产……而租客则将他抓住，殴打并两手空空地将他送走。 人类社会是否真的有可能实现上帝对社会公义的最深切期望？即所有人都生活在正确的关系中？
Maybe the plant and animal kingdom can show us the way grace
works in the world. Caber, (show photo) DPD victim services trauma dog, retired
last month after nine years on the job. In those years, Caber, a yellow lab,
directly supported 2,132 victims of crime and trauma (including house fires,
domestic violence, sexual assault, sudden death, suicides and murders). Caber was
the only one who could comfort a boy who learned of his father’s death and a
young girl who was only able to testify against her abusers because of Caber’s
unfaltering support in court. He responded to the Fort McMurray residents when
they returned to their community after the wildfires. And he traveled to Las
Vegas in 2017 after the mass shooting of 58 people at the Route 91 Music
festival. Caber was the first dog trained in this way in Canada, known as the ‘Dogfather’
on social media. Now there are 46 justice facility dogs working coast to coast
in Canada. Caber was raised by human volunteers from Pacific Assistance Dog
Society who provide dogs for people with diverse abilities. Caber meets people
on their very worst day, helping them face it with hope as a gentle friend.
也许动植物界可以向我们展示恩典在世界上的运作方式。 三角洲警察局受害者服务犬Caber在工作了9年后于上个月退休。 在那些年里， Caber，一只黄色的拉布拉多犬，直接为2132名犯罪和创伤受害者提供了支持，其中包括房屋火灾，家庭暴力，性攻击，猝死，自杀和谋杀的受害者。 Caber是唯一一个可以安慰一个得知父亲去世的男孩，以及一个年轻女孩，因为Caber在法庭上的坚定支持，这个女孩才可以指证虐待者。麦克默里堡山火之后，Caber 为返回家园的居民提供服务。在导致Route
91音乐节58人死亡的枪击案之后，它于2017年前往拉斯维加斯提供帮助。 Caber是加拿大第一只接受这种训练的狗，在社交媒体上被称为“狗狗”。 现在，加拿大境内有46只司法机构的狗在全国各地工作。 Caber由太平洋援助狗协会的志愿者抚养长大，他们为有不同需要的人提供服务犬。 Caber在人们最糟糕的时候遇到他们，象一位温柔的朋友一样帮助他们能充满希望地面对一切。
We know that even plants or trees that are brutally cut down
can grow again.
With violence erupting on the Gaza strip this week, violence
that has torn down homes and precious human life for decades, listen to an
Israeli soldier, Yehuda Amichai, share what it means to live in hope: The Place
Where We Are Right
From the place where we are right
Flowers will never grow
In the Spring.
The place where we are right
Is hard and trampled
Like a yard
But doubts and loves
Dig up the world
Like a mole, a plough
And a whisper will be heard in the place
Where the ruined
House once stood.
Hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is
seen? If we live in hope, we wait, for what we do not yet see, what we do not
yet hear. We wait in patience…Caber was meant for this work. “He is extremely
calm and comforting. He could sit for long periods of time in a courtroom and
provided unconditional affection to those he served.” (North Delta reporter Oct
17, 2019.) Tulip bulbs can be counted on to bloom into tulips when you plant
them in the dark soil. But we human beings need something more to realize what
we are meant to become. We see this in Isaiah’s words spoken in the midst of
civil war, a time when no leader could be trusted: A shoot shall come out from
the stump of Jesse (King David’s family line). This shoot is an image of hope.
(show stump with shoot) This is a photo taken by Wendy and Rod McKenzie’s trip
to Haida Gwaii. This stump has become fertile
ground for over 35 species of plants. What seems to be a dead end in the forest, our life, a cut-off relationship, a
deceased loved one, neighbours cut off from one another by culture and politics,
a dead region of bloodshed and war, with
God’s grace, all of this can become new. The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
Spirit of counsel and might, Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord will
rest on this shoot growing out of a stump. We pray Isaiah’s words with everyone
who is baptized, infants, teens and adults…that this Spirit would blow in, with
and through them as they walk wet into the world, a world that cries out for
justice, for an end to bloodshed, for an end to racism, for an end to
everything that keeps human beings at odds with one another. As we pray for a
Spirit of the fear, fear doesn’t mean terror in the face of God’s wrath and
punishment, but fear meaning awe: we all stand together amazed and humbled by
看到的希望并不是希望。谁会希望已经见到的东西？如果我们生活在希望中，我们就要等待我们尚未看到的，我们尚未听到的。 我们耐心等待... Caber是为这项工作而设计的。 “它非常镇定和具有安慰。 它可能会在法庭上长时间坐着，为它所服务的人提供无条件的情感支持。”（北三角洲记者2019年10月17日）。当你把郁金香种在黑色土壤中时，郁金香鳞茎就可以生长成郁金香，开花。 但是我们人类需要更多的东西来实现我们的本性。 我们从以赛亚在内战中所说的话中看到了这一点，那是一个没有可信任的领导人的时期：杰西家（大卫王的家族）的枝干上应发出嫩芽。 这张照片是希望的图像。 （发出嫩芽的树干）这是Wendy和Rod McKenzie的Haida Guai之旅的照片。 这个树桩已经成为超过35种植物的沃土。 破碎的关系，亲人的故去，因文化和政治原因而相互割裂的邻里关系，流血和战争带来的死寂，这些看似我们生命中的死胡同，因着上帝的恩典，可以成为新的生命。圣灵的洞察与睿智，圣灵的启示与力量，圣灵的感动和对主的敬畏将立足于从树干上发出的那颗嫩芽。 我们用以赛亚的话为每个受洗的人，婴儿，青少年和成人祷告……当他们走进这个世界，这个世界在呼唤正义，结束流血， 结束种族主义，结束一切使人类陷入歧途的事物，所有人都有机会成长。 当我们为了恐惧而祷告时，恐惧并不意味着面对上帝的愤怒和惩罚时会感到恐怖，而是意味着敬畏：我们所有人都因上帝的恩典而感到震惊与谦卑。
years ago, Carl Sagan (November 9, 1934 –
December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer,
and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences. )
both chided and encouraged
us in this way:
二十五年前，卡尔萨根（Carl Sagan）（11934年11月9日至1996年12月20日）是美国天文学，天体物理学家，天体物理学家，天体生物学家，作家，科普工作者以及天文学和其他自然科学领域的科学传播者。 ）呵斥同时也鼓励了我们：
How is it that hardly any
major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we
thought! The universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more
subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed.” . . . A
religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as
revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence
and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a
religion will emerge. 
May that happen among us at TLC. Yesterday, we hosted Peer Ministry
Leadership Training at TLC for nearly 60 youth and adults we saw green shoots
sprouting among us, giving a new shape to the TLC community through young
几乎没有哪个主要宗教对科学进行过总结并得出结论：“这比我们想象的要好！ 宇宙比我们的先知所说的要大得多，它更宏伟，更微妙，更优雅。 上帝也一定比我们想象的更大。” 一个宗教，无论新旧，如果它强调了现代科学所揭示的宇宙的宏伟性，这个宗教也许能够引起人们的敬畏之情，而这种敬畏是传统宗教所没有的。 迟早会出现这样一种宗教。 愿这种情况在我们TLC发生。 昨天，我们在TLC举办了面向60位青年和成年人的同行领导培训，希望上帝的恩典在我们中间发芽，并通过年轻人给TLC带来新的气象
Hosea 11:1-9 The more God calls, the more we run away
何西阿书 11：1 – 9 上帝越发呼召我们，我们越发走开
Nov 10, 2019 TLC 2019 年11月10 日 TLC
Context for Hosea’s reading: The prophet Hosea was active during the reigns of five kings who ruled Judah (northern kingdom including Ephraim) and Israel (southern kingdom) from around 769-697 B.C.E. When Hosea and his wife give birth to children, Hosea names them as living sermons to speak to God’s beloved people who are wandering away from God’s ways of love and mercy with those who are marginalized. The first he names Jezreel, for the place where kings of Judah committed a grievous sin. The second child he names Lo-ruhamah, which means not pitied, referring to how God will not have mercy on people if they fail to show mercy to their neighbours. The third child he names Lo-ammi, which means “not my people.” These sermons spoke to God’s beloved people who were tempted to engage in worship practices of their Canaanite neighbours… which included sexual activity with sacred prostitutes at outdoor shrines to manipulate the Canaanite gods to give them a productive harvest, livestock and families. God’s heart is broken in relationship with God’s beloved people as we hear in Hosea’s poem.
Kids’ message: 孩子们的讯息
In the last while, many of you have gone through photo albums of loved ones, to put together a slideshow for a funeral service, or to move out of a home in which you’ve lived for decades…so you know what it’s like to come across photos of your children as infants, toddlers. Close your eyes with me for a moment and picture some of those images of days gone by: family celebrations, vacations at the lake, fishing in your boat, Hosea uses this kind of language to talk about our relationship with God: teaching your child to walk, your spouse cradling them in their arms, raising an infant to your cheek. Such images warm our hearts, bring tears to our eyes as we remember those who’ve gone before us or simply days when life seemed simpler. The relationships with those whom we live…parents, spouses, children…have the greatest potential for both joy and pain. The prophet Hosea uses the relationship between a parent and child to express God’s heart toward human beings.
在最近的一段时间里，你们中的许多人翻看了亲人的相册，以为葬礼制作放映幻灯片，或者搬出自己居住了数十年的房屋……所以你知道那种感觉，当看到自己的孩子婴儿或幼儿时的照片时的感觉。跟我一起闭上眼睛，想像一下过去的那些日子,家庭庆祝活动，在湖边度假，在船上钓鱼，何西阿用这样的语言教导我们与上帝的关系：教孩子走路，配偶将他们抱在怀中，抚摸婴儿的脸颊。 这些图像温暖着我们的心，让我们想起那些曾经在我们眼前的人，或者以前生活似乎更简单的日子，这也让泪水充满我们的眼眶。 与跟我们一起生活的人的关系……父母，配偶，子女， 最有可能带来欢乐和痛苦。 先知何西阿利用父母与子女之间的关系来表达上帝对人类的心。
When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the more they went from me….sacrificing to Baal’s, offering incense to idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
I took them up in my arms,
But they did not know that I healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness,
With bands of love,
I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks,
I bent down to them and fed them.
BUT my people are bent on turning away from me….
Like when you give your son/daughter the keys to the car and you watch as the taillights peal out of the driveway, wondering if they will stay out all night and what might happen to them along the way.
The Holy One in our midst is not like an abusive parent who punishes the people just to scare the crap out of them, way beyond what they deserve…but the Holy One punishes God’s beloved people in Hosea’s day because they were neglecting people on the margins…widows who had no pension from their husband’s death to live on, kids who had been neglected and left for dead, those who had nowhere to turn when times were tough.
Hosea tries to get their attention saying… if you are bent on turning away from God, you shall return to the land of slavery: Egypt…and Assyria will rule over you. Because Israel and Judah were small nations in the ancient world, this meant they entered into alliances with more powerful nations like Assyria…they had treaty oaths to fulfill where in exchange for military protection, they would “love” their overlords by paying steep annual tributes to Assyria. When Israel rebelled and refused to pay, their overlords brutally retaliated. By 722 B.C.E Israel was completely destroyed by Assyria. Hosea says it is God who hands Judah and Israel over to destruction, as the sword rages in their cities.
何西阿试图引起他们的注意……如果你们要背离上帝，你们应回到被奴役之地：埃及……亚述将统治你。在古代由于以色列和犹大是世界中的小国，这意味着他们要与更强大的国家（如亚述）结盟……他们宣誓要履行条约，以换取军事保护，他们会通过缴纳巨额年费去“爱”他们的霸主--亚述。 当以色列国内发生叛乱并拒绝付款时，他们的霸主残酷地报复了他们。 公元前722年，以色列被亚述彻底摧毁。 何西阿说，是神将犹大和以色列交付给毁灭，因为剑在他们的城市中肆虐。
Fatherhood in ancient Israel demanded absolute obedience. In Deuteronomy 21, fathers could stone to death any son who rebelled. Now that’s abusive, right? This is an example of why we continue to re-interprete scripture for the 21st Century and don’t just follow the words in the Bible literally. But the Holy One is not wanting to stone to death this rebellious people. The Holy One grieves for the broken relationship with people who fail to love their neighbours, whom God loves. As Hosea gives voice to God’s heart: “My people are bent on turning away from me…..but how can I give you up? How can I hand you over?....I will not execute my fierce anger…I will not come in wrath.”
古代以色列时期的父亲要求绝对服从。 在申命记21章中，父亲可以将任何叛逆的儿子杀死。 现在这被称为虐待，是吧？ 这就是为什么我们在21世纪要重新诠释经文，而不仅仅是沿袭圣经中字面意思的一个例子。 但是上帝并不想把这个叛逆的人杀死。 上帝为与无法爱邻人，爱上帝的人的关系破裂而感到悲伤。 当何西阿向上帝的心发出声音时：“我的子民一心想离开我……..但是我怎么能放弃你呢？ 我怎么能弃绝你呢？……我必不发猛烈的怒气，我必不在怒中临到你们。”
Do we really believe this about the Holy One in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible? That God will not come in wrath…the God made known through Hosea, before the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus is the same God…a God who does not come toward us with an abusive wrath, but rather raises us like an infant to the cheek, with warm and tender compassion. The question is do we trust this God revealed in Hosea, made known in Christ Jesus. The question is not “do we believe a set of truth claims about God” but “do we trust we are loved?”
我们真的相信关于希伯来圣经，旧约中的圣者吗？ 上帝不会发怒；这位在耶稣的出生，死亡和复活之前，通过何西阿被大家认识的上帝是同一位上帝……那位上帝不会以怒气向我们靠近，而是像怀抱婴儿一样抚摸我们的脸颊，充满温暖而温柔的同情心。 问题是我们是否相信在何西阿书中启示的这位上帝，在基督耶稣里广为人知。 问题不是“我们是否相信一整套关于上帝的真理”，而是“我们相信我们被爱吗？”
Last month, Mark Parson, Gerry and Diane’s young adult son, was driving outside of Rossland, B.C. at night in blizzard conditions on a hairpin curve in the mountains. No other cars were on the road. As Mark spun out of control, he couldn’t see where he was going as his car slid down backwards in the blinding snow storm the mountain. So he just grabbed the wheel and said to himself, with his dog as a witness, “This is it.” Together they slid 80 feet down the mountainside, when his car was stopped by a tree. Mark was able to get out with his dog and hike back up to the road. They stopped a passing truck and were taken to a hotel in the next town, where Mark called his parents. When the highway patrol came to retrieve his car the next day, they discovered that if the tree hadn’t stopped his car, he would’ve continued to slide down 250 feet and vanished…no one would’ve known where he was. There was no cell service on that portion of the road. I wonder, how might God’s tender compassion be at work in Mark’s life, calling out to him?
Soren Kirkegaard said living a life of faith, is not about intellectually agreeing with a set of truth claims about God, but like floating in 30,000 fathoms of water. At a certain point, in my twenties, when I was struggling with believing a whole set of things: how could God take human form in Jesus, and how in the world could I ever believe that? Does God work in the world, in my life and how would I know it’s God at work? I somehow gave up trying to wrap my brain around answering these questions and began to float in 30,000 fathoms of water, sticking my toe in Christian community to trust that I would be held by a love bigger than I will ever understand. I committed to hearing God’s Word with others on a regular basis, to being part of a community trying to follow the way of Christ in the world: receiving bread and wine, the life of God broken for me, learning how to pray, singing with and listening to God’s Word spoken in community, confessing my sin, serving my neighbours. I began to float not because someone had argued with me to convince me that Jesus was God in human form, or because I agreed with a set of truth claims about God. It happened when I was at a concert listening to a music artist. The song he sang broke through to me and I fell on my knees. “OK, God, I let go of trying to figure you out. Keep me afloat. I’m yours.”
索伦·柯克高（Soren Kirkegaard）说，过有信仰的生活，不是要在理智上同意一系列有关上帝的真理主张，而是要像漂浮在3万英寻的水中。在二十岁的某个时候，当我在努力相信一整套理论时：上帝怎么能在耶稣里以人的形式出现？我怎么会相信呢？上帝在这个世界上，在我的生活中工作吗？我怎么知道上帝在工作？我莫名其妙地放弃了试图全神贯注地回答这些问题，并开始在3万英寻的水中漂浮，立足于基督徒社区中，以相信我会被比我所能理解的更大的爱所环绕。我致力于定期与其他人一起聆听神的话语，成为一个试图跟随世界基督之路的社区的一部分：接受面包和酒，神的生命为我而破碎，学习如何祷告，与人一同唱歌并听取社区中说出的神的话语，承认我的罪，服务于我的邻居。我之所以开始漂浮，并不是因为有人与我争辩并说服我耶稣是人类形式的上帝，也不是因为我相信了一系列关于上帝的真理主张。而是发生在我在音乐会上听音乐家的演唱时。他唱的歌打动了我，我跪下来。 “好吧，上帝，我不再试图去理解你。让我漂浮。我是你的。
Gradually over the years, I came to trust …Lauren Daigle sings what it means to trust. When I hear her sing this as I drove around in the car, I weep. Tears are a gift of the Holy Spirit, washing away the pain and lies in our heart. I’ve wept many tears of surrender as God transforms my heart to trust in a love bigger than myself, a love that reaches beyond our understanding and holds us.
多年以来，我逐渐建立了信任…Lauren Daigle唱出信任的含义。 当我开着车听到她唱歌时，我哭了。 眼泪是圣灵的恩赐，洗去我们的伤痛，在我们的心里流淌。 当上帝使我的心转变成对比自己更大的爱的信任时，我流下过许多降服的眼泪，这种爱超越我们的理解，一直扶持着我们。
Play short clip from ‘You Say’ by Lauren Daigle
I Kings 18:17-39 How Long Will You Limp Along? Elijah on
Mount Carmel TLC Nov 3 2019
列王纪上 18：17- 39 心怀两意到几时？以利亚在迦密山上 TLC 2019 年11月3日
Context for scripture reading from I Kings: King Ahab and
Queen Jezebel had been ruthless and wayward rulers of Israel, encouraging the
people to worship Baal, Canaanite god of the weather, who was portrayed as a
lightning bolt. The prophet Elijah had showed up three years earlier, out of
nowhere, a wild, startling mirage out of the desert. He stalked the terraced
streets of Samaria, a wealthy city. Clothed in camel’s hair, he was a striking
contrast to the white robed priests of Baal. Elijah had a simple message of
doom that no one wanted to hear. “It’s not gonna rain; you won’t even see dew
on the ground, for three years.” This was a direct challenge to the priests of
Baal who believed their god controlled the weather. Elijah told about the
coming drought and then disappeared three years. He was the most wanted man in
Israel. He alone held the power to bring rain. He appears again in Samaria
today. Elijah, whose name means, “The Lord is my God.”
读《列王纪上》经文的背景：亚哈王和耶洗别女王是以色列残酷无情的统治者，他们鼓励人们敬拜迦南的气候之神巴力，巴力被描述成闪电的闸门。 先知以利亚在三年前突然出现在荒野中，简直就像是海市蜃楼突然出现在沙漠中。 他在富裕的城市撒玛利亚梯田状的街道上行走。 身披骆驼毛，与身穿白袍的巴力教神父形成了鲜明的对比。 以利亚带来了没人想听到的坏消息。 “不会下雨， 连续三年干旱，地上甚至连露水都见不到。”这直接对巴力教的神父们提出了挑战，他们相信他们的上帝控制了天气。 以利亚预言了即将到来的干旱，然后消失了三年。 他是以色列最想找到的人。 他个人拥有降雨的能力。 他今天再次出现在撒玛利亚。 以利亚（Elijah）这个名字的意思是：“耶和华是我的上帝”。
Kids’ Message…skit reflection and song Kum Ba Ya
小品反思和歌曲津巴亚 （Kum Ba Ya）
Message: How long with you go limping with two different
opinions? Elijah asks the people. If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal,
then follow him. This confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Baal on
Mount Carmel is certainly not a model for us to follow in 21st
Century inter-religious dialog (as we gather to cook middle eastern food with
the women of the Ahmadi Muslim community this afternoon). It seems a bit like
kids taunting one another: my dad is stronger than your dad. Nanner, nanner! But
Elijah’s question could speak to us today…as we struggle with whom to trust
with all our being…is the God revealed on Mount Carmel and in Christ on the
cross, indeed God? Will we ever know for certain? Is that kind of certainty necessary
in order to follow?
讯息：你们心怀两意要到几时呢？ 以利亚问人民。 如果信奉耶和华是上帝，就跟随他。 如果信奉巴力，那就跟随巴力。 以利亚与巴力的先知在咖密山上对抗，显然不是我们在21世纪宗教对话中所要效仿的榜样（今天下午我们与艾哈迈迪穆斯林社区的妇女们聚在一起学习烹饪）。 好像孩子们之间的互相嘲弄：我父亲比你父亲厉害。 欸！ 欸！但是，以利亚的问题今天也启发了我们……当我们与所有人一同纠结于我们该相信谁时……在咖密山上和在十字架上的基督里显现的神真的是上帝吗？ 我们总是这么肯定吗？ 这种肯定是我们追随耶稣所必需的吗？
Elijah sets up a contest with the sacrifice of bulls…common
practice in the worshipping community of God’s beloved people in ancient
Israel…the altar was a bloody pool…not at all like our altar, with a hand
sanitizer for those distributing bread of wine. Baal, the Canaanite storm god,
was believed to control the weather…wonder what it took to get on Baal’s good
side? People would do whatever the prophets of Baal requested in order to get
rain to shower their newly planted fields so that they could yield a fruitful
harvest. They wanted to stay alive and feed their children afterall. For the
past three years, Elijah’s warning of drought had become a reality in Samaria. King
Ahab and Queen Jezebel served and worshipped Baal, building altars and temples
in Samaria, but it had not yielded rain from the storm God for three years.
King Ahab and Queen Jezebel had been gathering grass to feed their royal herds.
Meanwhile, the bellies of the people living as their subjects cried out for
food. Everyone was desperate.
So Elijah asks: “How long will you go limping with two
different opinions?” He is saying pick the God behind whom you can walk with a
steady gait…and no one responds. I first started to wrestle with who was indeed
God when I was a teenager…around 14 years old. I began to wonder what kind of
power God could use in the world, in my life, and if there was a love bigger
than my parents’ love, which seemed to be on shaky ground. I was afraid they
might not weather the storms they were facing and then who would I turn to? I
wasn’t sure who I was and what I had to offer the world…I had just moved to a
new school and didn’t have any friends, so I joined band and my band director
and a couple other teachers were leading an FCA (Fellowship of Christian
Athletes) group. Some friends invited me to a Bible study at the Lutheran
church next door to my school. That’s how our family connected with the Lutheran
church; my parents still worship in that same church, nearly four decades
later. As a teen, I used to wonder if God was like the bumbling gray haired guy
behind the screen in the Wizard of Oz…some kind of fake, ominous power tricking
all of us. This small group was the first safe place where I could begin to ask
who is indeed God? Have you found such a place yet?
In this contest, Elijah declares, the god who answers by
fire is indeed God. What does it mean to be declared indeed God? A
demonstration of power over the natural world. A lightning strike, igniting a
bull drenched in water, was to be proof that this god is indeed God.
以利亚宣称，在这场比赛中，以火回应的神是真的神。 被宣布为真神意味着什么？ 他展现的是影响自然界的力量。 闪电击中点燃了一头浸在水中的公牛，这就证明这个神的确是神。
Suspense builds as Elijah mocks the prophets of Baal limping
around the altar: “cry aloud! Surely he is a god; either he is meditating, or
he has wandered away, or he is on a journey, or perhaps asleep and must be
awakened.” Have you ever cried out with
your whole heart to God in the midst of a desperate situation and felt like God
was not listening, that you might as well be beating your head against a wall? You pray and wonder if God is sleepin on the
job, doesn’t give a rip, or worse yet, is trying to punish you? You double down
on righteous living, try to make good choices, keep your nose clean, thinking
that will get God’s attention. But in Christ, dying and rising, we trust that
we don’t need to do anything to get right with God. Christ Jesus has made all
things right for us and all people on the cross. The question is are we living
as if that has already happened or are we trying to manipulate God by our
actions, hoping for an answer to our prayer. (Whenever we cry out, God listens,
God hears our cry, and God responds. Do we listen for God?)
The prophets of Baal cried aloud, as was their practice,
cutting themselves with swords until they bled, raving on until midday but no
voice, no answer, no response. Then Elijah said to all the people: Come closer
As they drew closer to one another, Elijah acted out the
story of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob being their faithful, forgiving
God who delivered them from everything that trapped and enslaved them. Elijah
called on the name of the Lord, Yahweh, revealed to Moses: “I am who I am. I
will be what I will be. That’s for me to know and you to find out.” Elijah
gathered 12 stones (put around the
baptismal font), according to the tribes of Israel, the sons of Jacob. This
reminds the people of the twelve stones pulled from the Jordan river as they
entered the freedom of the promised land (behind the ark of the covenant). Elijah uses the words God spoke to Jacob
after he wrestled beside the river all night, terrified of meeting his brother
Esau, fearing revenge. “Your new name is Israel, one who wrestles with God, and
lives to tell about it.”
当他们彼此靠近时，以利亚表现出了象亚伯拉罕，以撒和雅各那样对神的忠心，宽恕的上帝，使他们摆脱了捆绑和奴役他们的一切。 以利亚呼唤耶和华的名，亚威，这是神对摩西显现说的：“我就是我。 我将成为我的样子。这是我知道的也是你要寻找的。 ” 根据雅各的儿子以色列12支派的说法，以利亚收集了十二块石头（放在洗礼的周围）。 这使人们想起了以色列人进入应许的自由之地时，从约旦河（约柜后面）捡出的十二块石头。 以利亚引用了当雅各惧怕与哥哥的会面，害怕被报复，与上帝整夜在河边摔跤后，上帝对雅各说的话， “你的新名字是以色列，一个与上帝搏斗并活着讲述这件事的人。”
Elijah then asks that the trench around the altar be filled
with water, three times, so that the trench is completed drowned. Wanting to be
certain that the fire is divine and not human action. What does Elijah pray? (wait
for responses) Burn it up, Lord, I know you can! No, Elijah calls out…God of
Abraham, Isaac and Israel (no longer Jacob but now God wrestler) let it be
known that you are indeed God…answer me so that this people may know that you,
O Lord, are God, that you have turned their hearts back.
以利亚随后要求在祭坛周围的沟中浇水三次，以使沟完全充满水。 想要确定火是神圣的，而不是人类的行为。 以利亚祷告什么？ （等待回复）快点燃烧，主，我知道你可以！ 不是的，以利亚呼唤…亚伯拉罕，以撒和以色列的上帝（不再是雅各，现在是上帝的摔跤手）让人们知道你的确是上帝……请回答我，以便这些人可以认识您，上帝啊， 求你让他们的心回转。
What might it take to turn your heart back to God? When all
the people saw the lightning strike, consuming the bull, the wood, the stones,
and the dust, even licking up the water in the trench, they fell on their faces
and said, “The Lord is indeed God; the Lord is indeed God.”
Over the last couple of weeks our dear friend, Helen
Gillrie, cried out to God after suffering a debilitating stroke. What you might
not know is that Helen was 85 years old; you wouldn’t know that because she
could run circles around us…beating the drum for social justice, for loving the
unlovable…calling us to walk in the Coldest Night of the Year to raise money
for feeding homeless people at Surrey Urban Mission, guiding The Way small
group with Wendy for the past two years, making sure lunch is ready each week,
encouraging us to be involved with the wider church by participating in
regional and national gatherings. Bedridden since her stroke, Helen asked us to
pray that she might let go and let God bring her home. Those of you involved in
Helen’s memorial know this and knowing you all, news has likely spread: Helen
as she was approved for MAID (medical assistance in dying) one week ago. I
realize this may cause some of you distress, anxiety or comfort. But for Helen,
waves of thanksgiving and peace washed over her when she heard she was
approved. Pastor, she said, this is an answer to Trinity Lutheran Church’s
prayers for me. Please thank them. So
thank you, for praying for Helen. Dear Helen, who lived by grace through faith,
a sinner fully forgiven in Christ, trusting that God is indeed God. Yesterday,
she let go and let God take her home. The One who is indeed God claims Helen
and all of us in love, so that throughout our lives we live by grace through
faith. In dying we are raised to life everlasting.
Gillrie）在中风后，向上帝大声哭求。大家可能不知道，海伦（Helen）已经85岁了。大家不知道是因为她会在我们周围跑来跑去……为推动社会公义，为爱不爱的人而战……呼吁我们参加年度最冷的夜晚健步活动，为萨里市宣教会的无家可归者筹集资金。在过去两年中，与文迪（Wendy） 一起带领The Way小组，确保准备好每周的午餐，鼓励我们通过参加区域和全国性聚会来参与到更广阔的教会活动中。海伦自从中风以来就卧床不起，她希望我们为她祷告，让她可以放手，让上帝带她回家。参与海伦追悼会的人们都知道这一点，而且大家都知道，消息很可能传开了：一个星期前，海伦（Helen）获准接受医疗辅助死亡(MAID)。我意识到这可能会引起你的某些困扰与焦虑，或需要安慰。但是对于海伦来说，当她听到这个消息时，感恩与平安充满她的内心。她说，牧师，这是三位一体教会为我祷告的结果，请谢谢他们。所以，谢谢你们为海伦祷告。亲爱的海伦，她凭借信仰活在恩典当中，一个在基督里完全被赦免的罪人相信上帝是真的神。昨天，亲爱的海伦，放手了，让上帝带她回家。这个唯一的真神用爱拥抱海伦和我们，因此我们一生可以依着信仰活在他的恩典之中。在死亡中，我们复活并获得永生。
I Kings 12:1-17, 25-29, Mark 10:42-45 Freedom of a Christian/Reformation Sunday Oct 27 2019 TLC
列王纪上12：1-17 ， 马可福音 10：42-45 基督徒的自由/ 改革 10月27日TLC
Context for scripture reading: King David reigned over a united nation of the 12 tribes of Israel for forty years. When David’s son, Solomon became king, he built cities to store chariots, horses, cavalry and other military resources. Making shields and goblets of gold, Solomon built a magnificent temple in Jerusalem to house the ark of the covenant in the inner sanctuary of the temple. But Solomon also built worship sites for the gods of his foreign wives, of whom he had hundreds. All of this accumulated wealth for royalty grew on the backs of slaves, many Israelites were employed as forced laborers, allowing extravagant lifestyle for the royal family. Solomon appointed Jeroboam to manage all the forced labor in the north. And his son Rehoboam was managing affairs in the south, the city of Jerusalem. Jeroboam comes to Rehoboam with a request from the people.
经文阅读背景：大卫王统治了由以色列的12个支派组成的联合王国长达40年。 大卫（David）的儿子所罗门（Solomon）成为国王后，他建立了城市来储存战车，马匹，骑兵和其他军事资源。 所罗门制作了盾牌和高脚杯，在耶路撒冷建造了一座宏伟的庙宇，在其圣殿内部安置了约柜。 但是所罗门也为他的外邦妻子建立了外邦神的崇拜场所，他的妻子有数百个。 皇室积累的所有财富都是建立在奴隶制基础之上，许多以色列人被强迫劳动，以保证皇室奢侈的生活方式。 所罗门任命耶罗波安来管理北部的所有奴隶。 他的儿子罗波安（Rehoboam）在南部耶路撒冷城管理事务。 耶罗波安应人民的要求来到罗波安。
Message: Last Spring, Canada Health asked parents across Canada for help responding to the vaping epidemic amongst teens. Jami Sheetz’s 15 year old son, Devon, who has severe asthma, kicked a brutal vaping habit over the summer, with help from a nicotine patch. But as soon as school started and he was around kids who were vaping at school, his habit returned. On Sept 12, Devon vaped at school and immediately began sweating and vomiting. Jami says her son is fine now, but the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports almost 400 serious lung illnesses and six deaths linked to vaping in recent months. In January 2019 study, the increase in vaping was “the largest ever recorded for any substance in the 44 years” that the National Institute on Drug abuse has tracked adolescent drug use.
讲道：去年春天，加拿大卫生部要求加拿大各地的父母提供帮助，以应对青少年中流行的电子烟。 贾米·佩茨（Jami Sheetz）15岁的儿子德文（Devon）患有严重的哮喘病，在尼古丁贴片的帮助下，他在夏天戒掉了吸烟的坏习惯。 但是，一旦学校开学，他的周围都是在学校里抽烟的孩子，他的坏习惯又回来了。 9月12日，德文在学校抽烟，立即开始出汗和呕吐。 贾米（Jami）说她的儿子现在已经没事了，但是美国疾病控制与预防中心（US Center for Disease Control and Prevention）报告说，近几个月来，有近400例严重的肺部疾病和6例死亡病例与使用电子烟有关。 在2019年1月的研究中，吸电子烟人数的增加是“美国毒品滥用研究所追踪青少年吸毒有史以来的44年间最高记录”。
High schools across US and Canada have been swept away with vaping crisis among students. In an attempt to control the illegal vaping amongst those under 19, schools have installed electronic vape detectors and removed bathroom stall doors making it harder to vape in secret. The vaping crisis has erupted at high schools in Delta along the same timeline…administrators are scrambling to prevent students from vaping at least within the school building. With 4 million American teens and thousands more Canadian teens addicted to vaping, we are called to act.
电子烟危机已遍及美国和加拿大的高中学生。 为了控制19岁以下的孩子非法吸烟，学校安装了电子烟探测器，并拆除了浴室的档位门，这使得偷偷吸电子烟变得更加困难。 在三角洲的高中，在相同的时间也爆发了电子烟危机…学校管理员正在竭力防止学生至少在学校大楼内吸电子烟。 有400万美国青少年和成千上万的加拿大青少年沉迷于电子烟，我们被呼召要采取行动。
Growing up is not easy. In fact, it involves suffering. But this suffering is necessary in order to become a responsible adult who lives not only for themselves but for the sake of others, someone who seeks the common good, even at cost to themselves. Addictive substances like vaping, are a way to avoid the pain of growing up, or the pain of a broken household, the pain of disappointing a teacher.
长大并不是件容易的事。 实际上，这会涉及痛苦。 但是，要成为一个负责任的成年人，这种痛苦是必要的，知道自己活着不光是为了自己，也为了他人，为了寻求共同利益，甚至愿意为此付出代价。 令人上瘾的物质，如吸电子烟，是避免各种痛苦的方式，长大的痛苦，家庭破裂的痛苦，让老师失望的痛苦。
Rehoboam is a sons of King Solomon who has grown up with royal privilege, in the lap of luxury, with all his needs AND wants provided for. It seems he hasn’t suffered the pain of growing into maturity. When we are raised in a privileged environment, we may be shielded from suffering. And this does us no favor in becoming adults. Suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope. ??? hope that does not disappoint us, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts. Suffering can teach us how to have compassion for our fellow human beings who suffer. Rehoboam inherits his father’s kingship, but he has yet not suffered the pain of growing up. We see this when he hears Jeroboam speak for the slaves.
罗波安（Rohoboam）是所罗门国王（King Solomon）的儿子，他在皇室特权下长大并享有皇室特权，他的所有需要和想要的都得到满足。 看来他没有经历过成长的痛苦。 当我们在特权环境中成长时，我们可能会免受痛苦。 这对我们成长没有任何帮助。 苦难让人学会忍耐，忍耐早就性格，性格产生希望。 ???不会使我们失望的希望，因为上帝的爱已经注入我们的心中。 痛苦可以教会我们如何同情遭受痛苦的人。 罗波安（Rehoboam）继承了父亲的王权，但他尚未遭受成长的痛苦。 当他听到耶罗波安为奴隶说话时，我们会看到这一点。
Jeroboam was put in charge of forced labor for hundreds of people. People who supported the royal projects of his father, Solomon, as they supplied crops, animals and bore the heavy burden of Solomon accumulating wealth and military resources. Jeroboam, though a slave master, goes with God’s beloved people and represents their voice as he approaches King Rehoboam. “Your father made our yoke heavy. Now, lighten the hard service and the heavy yoke your father placed upon us and we will serve you.” Rehoboam sends them away and consults first with the older men who had served his father Solomon. How do the older men advise him? Exercise good management skills…be a servant, speak good words when you answer them and they will be your servants forever.
耶罗波安负责数百人的强迫劳动。 这些人为他父亲所罗门王室的人们提供支持，他们提供农作物，动物，并承担所罗门沉重的积累财富和军事资源的重担。 耶罗波安虽然是奴隶主，却与上帝所爱的人同行，他在接近罗波安国王时代表他们的声音。 “你父亲让我们的轭变得沉重。 现在，减轻您父亲给我们的工作和沉重的负担，我们将为您服务。 老年人如何建议他？运用良好的管理技巧……当仆人，用好话回答他们，他们将永远做你的仆人。
Instead, Rehoboam goes to his peers, who have grown up in the lap of privilege. They advise him to make a joke about the size of his genitals…yes, that is in the Bible! That is a sign of maturity, right? My father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.”
相反，罗波安（Rohoboam）去找他的同龄人，他们都在特权圈中长大。 他们建议他开一个关于自己生殖器官大小的玩笑……是的，在圣经中！ 那是成熟的标志，对吗？ 父亲给你们沉重的轭，我将给你们更重的轭。 我父亲用鞭子责打你们，但我要用蝎子鞭责打你们。”
We see how Rehoboam assumes the way to use his power and privilege is to demean, dominate and degrade people. He mocks the people and no one has the power to resist his demands.
The US government has cracked down on Juul, the company with $38 billion profit from producing vape products, making it more difficult for young people to buy illegally on-line and in stores. The states of New York and Michigan, have banned e-cigarettes as well as the city of San Francisco, home to the Juul company. But thousands of young people are already enslaved to vaping. Adults still find that with doctor-controlled potency, vaping can help them break their nicotine addiction; in six months e-cigarette companies will be trying to convince the FDA that the benefits are greater than the risks. New York city mothers, Meredith Berkman, Dorian Furman and Dina Alessi formed Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes in 2018. It has grown to a dozen chapters across the US.
美国政府已开始打击Juul，该公司通过生产电子烟产品获利380亿美元，政府出台措施使年轻人更加难以在网上和商店内非法购买电子烟商品。 纽约州和密歇根州，和JUUL公司所在的旧金山士已经已禁止电子烟。但是成千上万的年轻人已经上瘾了。 成年人仍然认为，通过医生控制的药效，使用电子烟可以帮助他们戒除尼古丁成瘾； 在六个月内，电子烟公司将试图说服FDA电子烟的利益大于风险。居住在 纽约市的几位母亲Meredith Berkman，Dorian Furman和Dina Alessi于2018年成立了抵制电子烟父母联盟。在美国各地，这各联盟的加入者已经遍及12个州。
These mothers are testifying at congressional hearings about an entire generation of youth becoming nicotine addicts, seeking to bend the arc of history toward justice by reigning in Juul, a $38 billion company. Such servant love comes at a cost. Jesus compares rulers who lord it over the people as tyrants. Juul targets young people with mango and strawberry flavored e-cigarettes in easily concealed pens; is Juul lording it over us? NYC mothers think so. Jesus teaches us: their great ones are tyrants but it is not so among you; whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant…
这些母亲在国会听证会上作证说，整个一代的年轻人都成为尼古丁上瘾者，他们试图通过统治一家市值380亿美元的公司Juul来改变正义的历史。 这种仆人的爱是有代价的。 耶稣与其他统治者比较，其他统治者象暴君一样统治人民。 Juul用易于隐藏的钢笔样式的芒果和草莓味的电子烟瞄准年轻人； Juul统治了我们吗？ 纽约市的母亲是这样认为的。 耶稣教导我们：他们的国君们是暴君，但在你们中间他们并不伟大。 希望在你们中间成为伟大的人必须先做你们的仆人…
This morning we recognize the Lutheran Reformation, a time in the 16th century when the church had lost sight of Jesus’ teaching. In trying to finish building St. Peter’s Cathedral, the church tried to sell forgiveness, extracting wealth from the poor peasants. Luther protested the way the church was “lording it over the people.” Martin Luther, reformer of the church, talked about the shape of the Christian life. In Christ, through his dying and rising, we have been set free from the ultimate power of sin. Luther taught that we are perfectly free Lord of all, subject to none and at the same time perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all….meaning we are called to a servant love in the face of tyrants.
今天早上，我们认识到路德教会的改革，这是16世纪教会不了解耶稣的教导的时期。 为了完成圣彼得大教堂的建造，教堂试图出售宽恕，从贫穷的农民中获取财富。 路德（Luther）抗议教会的这种方式是“统治人民”。教会改革者马丁·路德（Martin Luther）谈到了基督徒生活的形态。 在基督里，通过他的死与复活，我们已经脱离了罪恶的最终力量。 路德教导我们，我们是完全自主的，不附属于任何人，同时我们又是忠实的仆人，为所有人服务……。这意味着面对暴君，我们被呼召献出仆人的爱。
This morning we recognize the Lutheran Reformation, a time in the 16th century when the church had lost sight of Jesus’ teaching. In trying to finish building St. Peter’s Cathedral, the church tried to sell forgiveness, extracting wealth from the poor peasants. Martin Luther protested the way the church was “lording it over the people.” Luther, great reformer of the church, talked about the shape of the Christian life. In his essay, called the Freedom of a Christian, Luther said through Christ we are perfectly free Lords of all, subject to none and at the same time perfectly dutiful servants of all, subject to all….meaning we are called to a servant love in the face of suffering. This is made possible in Christ. Through his dying on the cross and rising, we have been made right with God by grace through faith. Through the cross, we have been set free from the ultimate powers of sin, death and evil. So we are perfectly free Lords of all, subject to no one, free in Christ…we need not fear God’s judgment for what we do and fail to do. Forgiveness is ours over and over again through the cross. BUT that doesn’t mean we are free to do whatever we want. We are bound to our neighbours who need to be set free in Christ. When we see suffering in the world, when we become aware of injustice, when we hear creation and creatures crying out, we are perfectly dutiful servants of all, subject to all. We are bound to respond with a servant-hearted love. We are set free FOR the sake of our neighbours, for the love of the world.
Rehoboam wanted to burden God’s beloved people with a heavier yoke, so that the rich few live even better, so that he can build more places to store his chariots and war horses. This yoke was unbearable. It caused division amongst the people. Under whose yoke do the millions of teens addicted to vaping walk? Under whose yoke do you walk? Jesus has come to carry our burdens, so that we are free to love young people as they grow up, to walk with them as they support their friends, lifting their burdens. If you are not sure how to support young people, sign them up, sign yourself up, to come to the Peer Ministry Leadership training this month. Jesus says, “Come to me all you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens. I will give you rest. Come and learn from me. My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
罗波安想用沉重的轭来压迫上帝所爱的人，使有钱的人生活得更好，建造更多的地方来存放战车和战马。 这轭是令人无法忍受的，它导致了人民之间的分裂。 你在谁的轭下行走？ 在成千上万的电子烟上瘾的青少年又在谁的轭下行走？ 耶稣来了，背负了我们的重担，以便我们伴随着年轻人的成长，可以自由地爱他们，在他们支持他们的朋友时与他们同行，减轻他们的负担。 我们可以做到这一点的一种方法是参加下月的同行事工领导能力培训。 耶稣说：“凡劳苦担重担的人，可以到我这里来，我就使你们得安息。你们当负我的轭，学我的样式。因为我的轭是容易的，我的担子是轻省的。
II Samuel 5:1-5, 6:1-5, Psalm 150 Oct 20 2019 TLC
撒母耳记下 5：1-5 ， 6：1-5 诗篇 150 10月20日TLC
Where is God?
Kids’ Message…Who was King David… long before he became king, he grew up as a shepherd boy taking care of sheep (show sheep skin). Out in the pasture, he learned how to play the harp. So when King Saul when he was struggling with his thoughts, depressed, sad, angry, anxious… David played harp (Gerry pluck guitar strings) for the king. When King Saul’s army is facing the Philistines and the giant Goliath, David shows up. King Saul says, “you’re only a boy. Goliath has been warrior since he was a teenager. You cannot fight him.” But David says, “your servant has killed both lions and bears. I catch them by the jaw, strike them down and kill them. The Lord God who saved me from the paw of bears and lions will save me from the hand of Goliath.” King Saul gives David his armor…straps on a bronze helmet, coat of mail, and a sword. But the armor was so heavy, David couldn’t even walk. So he took it off and with his shepherd’s staff and five smooth stones from the river wadi, and his sling shot, he drew near to Goliath. When Goliath threatened him saying, “am I a dog that you come to me with sticks? Come to me and I will give your flesh to birds and wild animals.” David says, “So that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that the Lord doesn’t save by sword or spear, the battle is the Lord’s, God will give you into my hand with these smooth stones.” With one stone in his sling shot, David struck the giant Goliath in the forehead and he fell face down on the ground. This morning, all the tribes of Israel, God’s beloved people, gather to make David their king…and they bring the ark of the covenant…a golden box that symbolized God’s throne on earth, into the city of Jerusalem…David leads them singing and dancing…pass out instruments…we are marching in the light of God.
Message: Where is God?
As families gathered last weekend for Thanksgiving dinner, I wonder, how many of us try to keep the peace by avoiding two conversation topics: politics and religion. Well, today as we reflect on King David’s inauguration, we cannot avoid talking about both. Listening to round four of U.S. Democratic presidential debates this last week and Federal Canadian candidate debates, we are all called to learn about the candidates and cast an informed vote in upcoming elections, as a spiritual practice. Voting is an act of faith, one way we follow God’s way in the world. Here in Canada with a constitutional monarchy, through the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms passed in 1982…guarantee rights including the freedom of expression, freedom to gather for religious practice. The relationship between religious practice and political rule was intertwined in ancient Israel as we see King David bringing the ark of the covenant into the new capital city of Jerusalem. King David was charged with creating and keeping a space for religious practice. The ark of the covenant symbolized the presence of God in the midst of the people.
King David is a towering figure in Israel’s national identity, as all the twelve tribes of Israel, the descendants of the twelve sons of Jacob, gather around David at Hebron. David is the second king anointed, after Saul, to be shepherd over Israel. There are 1100 references to King David in the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament. His is the longest personal narrative in the whole old testament. Shepherd was a way of describing the role of king in ancient Israel. Without understanding David’s role as king of a united Israel, we cannot understand Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the one anointed King of the Universe. There are important differences between King David and King Jesus; both shepherds but in very different ways.
大卫王在以色列的民族形象中是高大的，因为以色列的十二个支派，即雅各十二个儿子的后裔，都聚集在希伯仑的大卫周围。 大卫是继扫罗之后第二位受膏抹的君王，要在以色列作牧羊人。《希伯来圣经》（旧约）中有1100次提到大卫王的内容，他在整个旧约中有着最长的个人叙述。牧羊人描述了国王在古代以色列中的角色。如果不了解大卫作为统一的以色列国国王的角色，我们就无法理解耶稣，一位好的牧者，一位受膏抹的宇宙之王。大卫王和耶稣王之间有重要区别； 两个都是牧羊人，但方式却截然不同。
David had grown up shepherding sheep, the youngest son of Jesse. When King Saul is tormented by an evil spirit, struggling with depression, rage and anxiety, David was brought in to play the harp for him. Arriving with freshly baked bread, a skin of wine, and a goat kid, Saul loves David and makes him his armor-bearer. When Saul’s army is faced with defeating giant warrior Goliath, David steps up as a warrior in his own right and becomes a war hero, winning battle after battle, surpassing Saul in military victories. David marries Saul’s daughter, Michal and develops a deep friendship with Saul’s son, Jonathon. So David has become family for Saul. But in a jealous rage, King Saul ends up seeking to destroy David, hunting him down. By the time the tribes of Israel gather around David to anoint him king, Saul and his son, Jonathon have been killed in battle and a civil war has erupted between northern tribes of Judah and southern tribe of Israel. David’s inauguration unites the divided kingdom.
In the ensuing battles that lead to David’s kingship, the ark of the covenant has been captured by the Philistines. And the ark of the covenant (show image) The ark was a large golden box which functions as God’s throne, a visible place for God’s invisible presence. For the Philistines, the ark had proven disastrous; they wanted to get rid of it. So they hitch it to two oxen headed for Beth Shemesh and enroute, 70 men were killed because they looked at it. The ark arrives at Abinidab’s house, and his son, Eleazor, guards the ark. David has grown greater and greater in power, taking multiple concubines and wives, who give birth to many sons and daughters. Gaining one military victory after another, David seeks God’s guidance about military and government decisions, asking if he should enter into battle. But David is uncertain about the power of the ark, leaving it at Abinidab’s farm.
在随后导致大卫王权的战斗中，非利士人俘获了约柜。 约柜（显示图片）是一个大的金色盒子，代表上帝的王权，是看不见的上帝的显现之处。 对于非利士人来说，约柜是灾难性的， 他们想摆脱它。 因此他们把约柜抬上了去柏示麦的牛车，途中，有70人被害，因为他们看到了神的约柜。 约柜抵达亚比拿达（Abinidab）的家，由他的儿子以利亚萨（Eleazor）守护。 大卫的权势越来越大，他娶了众多嫔妃和妻子，生了许多儿子和女儿。 大卫取得了一次又一次的军事胜利，他在军事上和政事上寻求上帝的指引，询问他是否应该参战。 但是大卫不确定约柜的力量，他把它留在了亚比拿达的农场。
After David’s army defeats the Philistines, he gathered all of his chosen men, 30,000 of them, and all the people, setting out to bring up the ark of God on a new cart out of the house of Abinidab. David and all his household dance before the Lord, with songs, lyres, tambourines and cymbals.
The ark is not a statue of God, but a place for keeping the Word. The ark contains the Torah, the teaching, what we call the 10 commandments. But no human being, not even King David, controls the power housed in the ark.
约柜并不是神的雕像，而是存放诫命的地方。 约柜里存放着律法，教导，我们称为十诫。 但是没有人能够控制约柜所具有的力量，即使是大卫王，也不能。
So where is God now? In King David’s day, God’s beloved people gathered around a tent which housed the ark of the covenant. The ark symbolically represented the presence and power of God, making God visible. The ark contained the Word, spoken to Moses on Mt. Sinai for the community. The word about practising sabbath, helping our neighbour keep what belongs to them, speaking well of our neighbour…words about how to live together in community, seeking the common good. Words that tell the story of God from Genesis to Deuteronomy seeking to be in relationship with us, calling us to trust God and love our neighbours, so that we are a blessing to all families of the earth.
那么上帝现在在哪儿？ 在大卫王时代，上帝敬爱的百姓聚集在一个安置约柜的帐篷周围。 约柜象征性地代表了上帝的存在和力量，使上帝成为可见的。 约柜装载着神的约，是神在西奈山上对摩西所讲的。 这是关于谨守安息日，帮助我们的邻居保持属于他们的东西，对我们的邻居说好话……关于如何在社区中共同生活，寻求共同利益的教导。 从创世纪到申命记，里面讲述上帝故事的语言试图与我们建立联系，呼吁我们信任上帝并爱我们的邻舍，以便我们成为地球上的所有家庭的祝福。
King David was a mixed bag, as we all are. King David not only loved his wife Michal, his friend Jonathon, but also God，passionately enough to dance in his underwear in public as the ark is brought out of Abinidab’s home. But David also misused his power to call Bathsheba from her rooftop bath to his bed, then murders her husband Urah by throwing him into the front lines of battle. And when David’s son, Amnon, rapes Tamar, King David does nothing. God can work through any body if God can work through David. Does God work through deeply flawed human beings? YES.
就像我们所有人一样，大卫王也是具有多面性的。 大卫王不仅热爱他的妻子米甲（Michal），爱他的朋友约拿单（Jonathon），他也爱上帝，当约柜被带出亚比拿达（Abinidab）家时，他热情地在公共场合穿着内衣跳舞。 但是，大卫（David）也滥用了自己的权力，他把在屋顶沐浴的拔示巴（Bathsheba）带到自己的床前，然后将其丈夫乌里亚（Uriah）派往战争前线，设计谋害了他。 大卫的儿子暗嫩（Amnon）强奸她玛（Tamar）时，大卫王也没做什么。 如果上帝可以通过大卫工作，那么上帝就可以通过任何人工作。 上帝会通过有严重缺点的人工作吗？ 是的。
Where is God now? We confess together that God’s presence has been revealed in physical form as Jesus Christ, as love for the cosmos. As we eat and drink bread and wine, a word of forgiveness in physical form of bread and wine, that we can see, taste, smell, touch and hear in the word: this is the body of Christ broken for you. In this word we meet the real presence of Christ by faith, as God comes to live in us, forgiving and healing our brokenness.
上帝在哪里？ 我们都承认，上帝已经以耶稣基督的身体形式显现，以对宇宙的爱的方式显现。 当我们吃下面包，喝下葡萄酒时，我们了解面包和葡萄酒就是宽恕这个词的物理表现形式，我们可以真切地品尝和感受到，听到这是基督的身体为你舍得。 通过这个词，我们凭借着信仰而感受到基督的真实存在 ，因为上帝跟我们生活在一起，宽恕并治愈了我们的破碎。
Where is God now? As many of you call, e-mail and go to visit people recovering in hospital, at home, God’s presence is at work through your words, through you to heal and restore those who suffer. Gathering here week after week, we are fed, filled, encouraged so that we become bread broken for others. What we do every Sunday morning is about discovering how to meet God OUT THERE everyday with everyone. On Nov 16, we are flying Lyle Griner out to lead us in a workshop that helps us become bread broken for others, to discover God’s presence at work everyday with everyone.
上帝现在在哪儿？你们中的许多人打电话，发送电子邮件，甚至亲自去拜访正在医院中康复的病人。在家中，神通过您的言语做工，通过您来治愈和安慰那些受苦的人。 一个星期又一个星期我们在这里聚会，我们领受圣餐，我们的灵魂得以饱足，我们受到鼓励，所以我们可以成为别人的面包。我们每个星期天早上做的事情都是有关发现如何每天在跟每个人的互动中遇见上帝。 11月16日，我们Lyle Griner将带领我们参加一个工作坊，该工作坊将帮助我们成为他人的面包，以发现上帝每天都与我们同在， 与我们每个人一起工作 。
Where is God ? Could it be that God is bigger than we may have imagined? That God cannot be housed in a golden box or in this wooden and cement box called Trinity Lutheran Church. The Gospel of John introduces Jesus Christ as the Word present at the beginning of all created things: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….all things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.” Through this Word, all things from rocks to water, plants, organisms, human beings come to exist. Jesus is the Living Word, creating life, the light of all people. This light is shining in you. As we eat and drink, the light comes alive in us. Everywhere you go, with everyone, this light shines in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome it. Richard Rohr in his book The Universal Christ says “God’s presence has been made known through everything we can see for 13.7 billon years…everything visible is the outpouring of God…seeing in this way could be Christianity’s unique contribution among the world religions.” Christ Jesus, who lives in you, is the Word through whom all things came into being.
Ruth 1:1-17, Oct 13 2019 TLC 路得记 ：1-17 2019
Friendship; when your cup runneth over 友谊； 当你的福杯满溢
Setting for scripture reading: Ruth is set
in the period of the judges, a brutal time in the history of Israel, when
everyone did what was right in their own eyes. The Israelites, God’s beloved
people, have been set free from slavery in Egypt and journeyed 40 years in the
wilderness, losing an entire generation on the journey. They were led by Moses,
who died enroute and then Joshua, into the land of Canaan but live in a chaotic
time politically. The judges were local, tribal leaders who arose in this time
of crisis. The book of Ruth is set in our Christian Bibles, chronologically,
right before the monarchy, when God’s beloved people insisted on anointing
first King Saul, then King David, the great grandson of Ruth. (show map) A
famine in Bethlehem leads Naomi and her husband to migrate to Moab. Moab is the
country east of the Dead Sea, between Amon and Edom, bordering the vast Arabian
desert. Moab, land of the sworn enemy. The entire book is highly symbolic
because the names all carry significant meanings. The animosity between
Moabites and Israelites was a long held grudge. The Moabites trace their
lineage to incestuous relationship between Lot, Abraham’s brother and his two
daughters. Moabites had refused to offer food and drink to the Israelites as
they fled slavery in Egypt, wandering through the land of Moab. Deuteronomy prohibits any Moabites from
entering the worshipping community even to the 10th
generation…that’s bearing a grudge, isn’t it. But Ruth, a Moabite, extends
friendship to Naomi, an Israelite, that overcomes this grudge and runs deeper
than blood. Listen for how this friendship develops.
读经的背景：路得记是写的士师时期，这是以色列历史上的一个很残酷的时期，当时每个人都做自己眼中正确的事。以色列人，上帝挚爱的子民，从埃及的奴隶制中被解救出来，在旷野流浪了40年，在这个过程中失去了整整一代人。他们先由摩西率领，摩西在途中去世后，又由约书亚（Joshua）带领进入迦南地。当时，以色列人的政治生活处于混乱的状态。士师是在这次危机中崛起的地方部落首领。路得记是按时间顺序编入我们基督教圣经的，正好在君主制之前，那时上帝敬爱的人民坚持要先膏抹扫罗王，然后是路得的曾孙大卫王。 （显示地图）伯利恒的饥荒导致拿俄米和她的丈夫迁移到摩押。摩押（Moab）是死海以东的国家，位于阿蒙（Amon）和以东（Edom）之间，与广阔的阿拉伯沙漠接壤。摩押，是仇敌的土地。整本书具有高度的象征性，因为名称都具有重要的意义。摩押人与以色列人之间的仇恨是由来已久的。摩押人的血统源于亚伯拉罕的弟弟罗得和他的两个女儿之间的乱伦关系。当年以色列人从埃及的奴役中逃离，在摩押的土地上流浪时，摩押人拒绝向以色列人提供食物和饮料。申命记禁止任何摩押人进入礼拜团体，甚至直到第十代……这都是很深的积怨，不是吗？但是，摩押人路得（Ruth）向以色列人拿俄米（Naomi）展示了友爱，这个爱跨越了积怨，超越了血缘。 听听这种友爱是如何发展起来的吧。
This week we heard a mother cry out, as she
witnessed him attacked in front of his high school in Hamilton: “Everyone
failed my son!” Shari-Ann Selvey said, “even I did. I tried to save him, and I
couldn’t get to him in time.” Her 14 year old son, Devan, was being bullied
since school began in September and it culminated in his death this week. The superintendant
of schools is working with investigators to consider the connection between bullying
and the attack. The book of Ruth begins with disaster. The death of Naomi’s
husband and her two sons. If we were to translate the meaning of the names into
English from Hebrew, here is the story would sound. Follow with me in your bulletins: In the days when the
judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man from house of
bread went to live in the land of his sworn enemy, he and his wife and his two
sons. The name of the man was my God is king and the name of his wife,
sweetness and light, and the names of his two sons, sickness, and death and
disease. They went into the land of their sworn enemies and remained there. But
my God is king, the husband of sweetness and light, died, and she was left with
her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was back of the
neck and the name of the other my cup runneth over, abundant friendship. If we
spoke Hebrew we might even find some humor in how this family is named, but the
question the book of Ruth asks is serious. When bad things happen, where do we
go? Who goes with us? When Devan was being bullied, his mother went to the
principal, but didn’t get support. Everyone
本周，我们听到一位母亲的哭喊，她亲眼目睹自己的儿子在汉密尔顿高中前遭到袭击：“每个人都让我儿子失望了！” Shari-Ann Selvey说，“连我自己都是这样。她的14岁儿子Devan自9月份开学以来就一直受到欺负，而最终导致他本周去世。学校的督导员正在与调查人员合作，调查霸凌与袭击之间的关系。路得记从灾难开始。娜奥米的丈夫和两个儿子都去世了。如果我们将希伯来语中的名称的含义翻译成英文，就知道这就是一个故事。大家跟我一起读公告中的经文：在士师统治的日子里，这片土地上发生了饥荒，一个开面包店的人跟他的妻子和两个儿子住在仇敌的土地上。这个人的名字是“上帝是我的国王”，他妻子的名字，“甜蜜和光明”，他两个儿子的名字，病患，疾病与死亡。他们进入了仇敌的土地，并留在了那里。但是“上帝是我的国王”，甜美而光明的丈夫死了，他留下了两个儿子。这俩人娶了摩押人为妻。一个人的名字是“在脖子后面”，另一个人的名字是“福杯满溢，充满友爱”。如果我们讲希伯来语，我们甚至可能会觉得这个家庭成员的名字很幽默，但是路得记中所问的问题是严肃的。当糟糕的事情发生时，我们要去哪里？谁跟我们一起去？当德万被欺负时，他的母亲去找了校长，但没有得到支持。每一个人都令我儿子失望了。
When you’re down and troubled and you need
a helpin hand, (James Taylor sang) and nothin, oh nothin is going right. You
just call out my name, and you know where ever I am, I’ll come runnin, oh yeah,
to see you again. Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you need to do is call
and I’ll be there….you’ve got a friend. (sing with Gerry)
当你情绪低落，遇到麻烦时，需要有人伸出援手，（James Taylor的演唱） 噢，什么事都不对劲。 你只要呼唤我的名字，你知道不论我在何方，我都会赶过来看看你。无论春夏秋冬，你只需要呼唤我，我就会出现，因为你有个好朋友。（和格里一起唱歌）
Last weekend, Helen Gillrie was going to
meet Vanessa and I at the church parking lot to carpool to Vancouver. When she
didn’t arrive, I called Helen. No answer. Left a message. Then called Vanessa
and found out that she had talked with Helen and they had decided to drive
separately. I headed for Vancouver because I thought, “Helen is probably
already driving there; she is very reliable.” When I arrived, Helen wasn’t there so I
called her again. No answer. Left a voicemail. It did occur to me that she
might be in the hospital where she was being taken care of, since that has
happened before without my knowing, but it did not occur to me that she might
be incapacitated in her apartment. At 11:30PM when the phone rang and it was
Suzie Stacey, I knew immediately that Helen was in trouble. Suzie and Helen
have been friends for one another in times of trouble for many years. Having
not heard from Helen for over 24 hours, Suzie went to check on her. Helen’s car
was parked and there was no answer when knocking on her apartment door. I said,
“call 911. Helen needs help.” Waves of regret rolled over me as I waited for
Suzie’s call at 12:30AM confirming my fear that Helen had suffered a
debilitating stroke, but she was very much alive. Vanessa and Johanna were
walking near-by and noticed the first responders and Suzie, coming over to be
with her, as Helen was taken to hospital.
Gillrie）和我和凡妮莎（Vanessa）约好在教堂停车场见面，拼车前往温哥华。她没来的时候，我打电话给海伦，没人接电话，就留了言。然后打电话给凡妮莎（Vanessa），知道她与海伦（Helen）通过话，她们决定各自开车走。我决定前往温哥华是因为我想：“海伦可能已经在开车了；她一直都很可靠。”当我到达时，海伦还没到，所以我再次给她打电话。仍然没有人接电话，给语音信箱留言。我确实想到她可能正在医院里被照顾，因为这种情况的确在我不知情的情况下也发生过，但是我没有想到她在自己的公寓里，已经丧失了活动能力。晚上11:30，电话铃响了，是苏西斯泰西（Suzie Stacey），我立刻知道海伦出事了。苏西和海伦是多年的朋友，她们在遇到困难时彼此帮助。苏西（Suzie）超过24小时没有海伦的消息，就去看看她。海伦的车停在停车位，敲门时没有任何回音。我说：“打911，海伦需要帮助。”当我在等待苏西的电话的时，一连串的遗憾笼罩着我 ， 12:30am苏西的电话确认了我的担心，海伦中风了，身体不能动了，但她还活着。凡妮莎（Vanessa）和约翰娜（Johanna）在附近散步，见到了最早赶到人和苏西，海伦（Helen）被送往医院，她们一直陪着海伦。
When bad things happen, where do we go? Who
goes with us? When Naomi suffers the death of her husband and her sons, she
says to her daughters-in-law: “Turn back, why will you go with me. There
is nothing for you. I will have no more sons....go your way back to your
families and your gods…it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because
the hand of the Lord has turned against me.” How easily we fall into this
rabbit hole of abandonment and rejection, thinking God has forgotten us or is
punishing us. What did I do to deserve this, we cry out silently or aloud, to
God. Naomi feels as though the pain of losing her husband and sons has been far
more bitter for her than for her daughter’s in law; “the hand of the Lord has
turned against me,” she tells them.
当糟糕的事情发生时，我们要去哪里？ 谁跟我们一起？ 当娜奥米（Naomi）遭受失去丈夫和儿子的伤痛时，她对她的儿媳说：“你们回去吧，为什么要和我一起呢？走你们自己的路吧，我什么都给你不了你们，我不会再有儿子了……回你们的娘家去吧，去找你们的神吧。 这对我比对你们更痛苦，因为主的手已经反抗了我。 当生活没有朝着我们希望的方向发展时，我们多么容易陷入被遗弃或被拒绝的漩涡里，认为自己被遗弃或遭受惩罚。我究竟做了什么，要遭受这些，我们默默地或大声地向上帝呼喊。 拿俄米（Naomi）感受到失去丈夫和儿子的痛苦，对她来说，她的痛苦远比儿媳要痛苦得多； 她告诉儿媳：“上主的手反抗了我。”
When I arrived at emergency to visit Helen,
she was amazingly lucid and said, “Pastor Jennifer, I’ve been blessed. How was
church? How many people came?” Through tears, I said worship went well. We
missed you. And I had no idea how many people came. Words of regret tumbled out
of me as I apologized for not going to check on her at 8:30AM Saturday, knowing
full well that immediate medical attention after a stroke allows the patient to
recover significantly. . But Helen kept saying, “Pastor, I’ve been blessed.”
As Naomi returns to her homeland, her
daughters-in-law both cling to her, weeping aloud. Can you hear their wailing?
They say, “No we will return with you to your people.” But Naomi refuses their
friendship. Orpah kisses Naomi and walks away, the back of her neck the last
thing Naomi sees. But Ruth, my cup runneth over, clings to Naomi…and says, “Do
not press me to leave you or turn back from following you!” Ruth’s persistence
is the Lord’s pursuit of Naomi who feels abandoned, left for dead by the Holy
One. If not for Ruth, Naomi would’ve been stuck in her bitterness.
When you’re down and troubled and you need
a helping hand, where do you go? Who goes with you?
The NDRP team of four North Delta churches,
Andrea Reyes from TLC…pull out the green insert… has
invited us to refuse to turn away from strangers who are down and troubled,
persecuted and left for dead in their homeland…seeking refuge in Canada. In
June 2019, our formal sponsorship ended after raising $42,000 to financial
support Suzy, Kefah and their children, but the friendships cultivated live on.
They have integrated well into their new home; their son and daughter have been
thriving in school, just joined the inter-cultural youth band that meets at
Crossroads United each Sunday afternoon.
Reyes）…抽出绿色插页…邀请我们不要拒绝那些在自己的家园遭受重创，迫害，遗弃的，到加拿大寻求避难的陌生人。 2019年6月，在我们筹集了42,000美元为Suzy，Kefah和他们的孩子提供了经济资助之后，我们正式的担保关系就结束了。但我们的友谊不断发展， 他们已经很好地融入了自己的新家。 他们的儿子和女儿一直在学校里朝气蓬勃，参加了每个星期天下午在Crossroads United举行的跨文化青年乐队聚会。
The NDRP has recently learned of a refugee
seeking asylum. In just a few weeks, due to a partnership between Rainbow
Refugee society and the Canadian government providing full financial support,
the NDRP will welcome Baz, a single man from Uganda, who arrives on November
13. The NDRP invites the TLC community to reach out in friendship once again. We
will need people willing to say, “Where you go, I will go, where you lodge, I
will lodge, your people will be my people.” The NDRP is looking for a shared
housing arrangement for Baz and will be asking for volunteers to help Baz learn
the transit system, get comfortable with accessing all the amenities in our
neighbourhood, set up his apartment, and build friendships that cultivate
confidence and assurance that Baz is not alone here in Canada.
NDRP最近了解到一名难民正在寻求庇护。 在短短的几周内，由于彩虹难民协会和加拿大政府之间的合作，为其提供了全面的财政支持，NDRP将欢迎一位来自乌干达的单身男子Ba， 他将于11月13日抵达。NDRP邀请TLC社区再次缔结友谊的纽带。 我们需要人们愿意说：“你去哪儿，我就去哪儿，你住哪里，我就住哪里，你的人民就是我的人民。” NDRP正在寻找巴兹的共享住房安排，希望有志愿者帮助巴兹学习使用公交系统，学会使用我们社区的所有设施，帮他布置他的公寓，建立友谊，从而培养信心并确保巴兹在加拿大并不孤单。
Could it be that this small but robust TLC
community is a school of love? Not a classroom, textbooks and homework kind of
school, but way for each of us to learn through friendship. Bonds beyond blood
can be stronger than death. “Where you die, I will die---there I will be
buried.” A place where friendships like that
between Suzie and Helen are cultivated, where we can both speak the truth to
one another and be there when help is desperately needed. A place in which we
are safe to share our hurts and hopes. Too often churches can be places where
people need to fake it until they make it. But each week, we gather to confess
our broken places in need of healing, we allow our rough edges to be honed, and
together we learn the power of forgiveness, gain the strength to persevere when
we are down and troubled. So that like Helen says, “when the going gets tough,
the tough get going.” In the last week, a team of family, her friend Suzie, and
rehab staff rally around her.
难道这个小而健壮的TLC社区不就是一所爱的学校吗？不是教室，教科书和家庭作业类的学校，而是我们每个人通过友谊来学习。血缘以外的纽带可以比死亡更强大。 “你在哪里死去，我就在哪里死去---也葬在那里。”一个可以建立象海伦和苏西之间这种友情的地方，一个可以坦诚相待，彼此扶持的地方，一个我们可以安全的分享伤害和希望的地方。教堂经常是人们在做到之前需要伪装的地方。但是每个星期，我们聚集在一起忏悔我们需要治愈我们的破碎，我们需要磨掉我们的棱角，在这里我们学会宽恕的力量，在沮丧和困扰中获得坚持的力量。就像海伦所说的那样，“当艰难时，艰难前行。” 过去的一星期，由家人，她朋友苏西以及康复服务人员组成的团队在海伦身边。
In a school of love, when conflict arises,
we may feel as though church is the land of the enemy, we practice resolving
conflict with one another, speaking the truth instead of running away. Church
can be a place where we learn to love even our sworn enemies rather than walk
away and never come back. We does not exist for ourselves, but we are a
community continually called outside of ourselves to live generously. To share
ourselves, our time and our possessions with our new friend Baz, with our
brother and sister Neil and Roanne as they move into their new home.
Ruth’s insistent friendship in the face of
Naomi’s bitterness is the voice, hands and face of God the Holy One that clings to her. Ruth’s presence in Naomi’s life
saturates her with abundant friendship. Through such friendships, we realize
our cup runneth over. Helen is overflowing with abundance as she recovers in
hospital; Suzie’s friendship fosters this abundance, making healing possible. Such
friendship is an expression of agape…the love rooted in God’s grace; love that
allows us to become fully human. We love as we have first been loved; a love
born on the cross for you, for Helen and Suzie, for Baz, for Roanne and Neil, for
all those who are down and troubled, in need of a helping hand. Jesus says, “I
have called you friend…love one another as I have loved you.” When we befriend
another, we meet the face of God.
路得面对拿俄米（Naomi）的苦难始终坚持的友爱是上帝，神的声音，神的手和脸，神圣的上帝一直与她在一起。 路得在拿俄米生活中的存在使她充满了友爱。 通过这样的友谊，我们意识到我们的福杯满溢。 当海伦在医院康复时，她的生命是丰盛的。 苏西的友情表明了这种丰盛，使康复成为可能。 这种友谊是爱的表达，爱源于上帝的恩典； 爱使我们成为完整的人。 我们爱，因为我们先被爱； 一种源于十字架的爱，一种为你，为海伦和苏西，为巴兹，为罗安和尼尔，为了所有那些因为苦难而沮丧而需要帮助的人而生的爱。耶稣说：“我称你们为朋友……你们要彼此相爱，就像我爱你们那样。”当我们与他人成为朋友时，我们就见到了上帝。
Deuteronomy 5:1-20, 6:4-9 Oct 6, 2019 TLC
2019 年10月6日 TLC ，申命记5: 1-20 , 6: 4-9
We love because God first loved us
Introduction to scripture reading: This morning we build on the story of God’s beloved people moving from slavery to freedom. The Israelites have been set free from slavery in Egypt and begin to wander in the wilderness. As they wander they come to Mt Horeb where they receive the covenant with Moses and God’s beloved people, what our Jewish brothers and sisters call the 10 words, the Torah, which means teaching, what Christians call the 10 commandments. 40 years later, the generation that was enslaved and first received the teaching, has died. Now their children and grandchildren stand on the edge of the promised land. These 10 commands are repeated (deutero/nomos), by Moses, saying “Not with our ancestors did the Lord make this covenant, but with US, who are all of US here ALIVE today.” As we listen together, these words are with US, we, are all of US, the living. The scripture is not about Abraham and Sarah, Jacob and Rebekah, Moses…the scripture we are about to hear is about God setting US free so that we can love others.
经文阅读简介：今天早上，我们以上帝所爱的人从奴隶制走向自由的故事为基础。以色列人从在埃及被奴役的状况中被解放出来，开始在旷野流浪。当他们流浪时，他们来到了何烈山，在那里他们与摩西和上帝所爱的人达成了盟约。我们的犹太兄弟姐妹称之为十言，即《律法》，意思是教导，基督徒称之为十诫。 40年后，那些曾被奴役并首先接受《摩西五经》的这一代人已经去世了。现在，他们的子孙后代站在应许之地的边缘，摩西重复了这10条命令（申命记/ nomos），他说：“不是主与我们的祖先订立了这个盟约，而是主与我们，与今天在这里活着的我们订立了这个盟约。”我们听到的这些话都是为我们这些活着的人说的。这段经文与亚伯拉罕和撒拉，雅各布和利百加，摩西无关……我们将要听到的经文是关于上帝让我们获得自由，以便我们可以爱别人。
Kids’ Message: Tell the story…play Simon says with congregation, led by youth
孩子们的讯息: 讲个故事….. 西蒙对教会会众说，由青少年带领
Globally, people spend $11 billion US dollars every year on self-help books. Books that hold out a promise: if you do this and this and this you will live the good life. Marianne Power, as a writer, knows that fear of rejection which has prevented her from getting what she wants out of life. Marianne, who lives in London, set out to overcome her fear of rejection by following a self-help book on rejection therapy. She did this by experimenting with rejection; she set out to purposely get rejected every day for a month. It was a painful month.
在全球范围内，人们每年在自助书籍上的花费是110亿美元。 这是有承诺的书：如果你做到这一点，做到那一点，你就会过上美好的生活。 作为作家的玛丽安·鲍恩（Marianne Power）知道，害怕被拒绝使她无法从生活中获得她想要的东西。住在伦敦的玛丽安（Marianne）开始阅读一本有关克服被拒绝的恐惧的自助书。 她通过体验被拒绝来做到这一点。 她开始尝试每天有意被拒绝，持续一个月。 那是很痛苦的一个月。
She walked into a coffee shop and asked if she could have a cup for free. The owner began to talk about how hard it is to make ends meet and the challenges of being a small business owner. She felt horrible as she walked away empty handed. She smiled at strangers on the street and in London they pretty much arrest you for that. Even though she didn’t know these people it hurt when they didn’t smile back or worse. We are hard-wired to seek acceptance from others; as humans evolved our physical survival depended upon getting along with others. There’s still a part of us that feels like death to be rejected by someone. One day, she walked into the post office and was going to ask to bump ahead in line, but all these elderly folks were lined up to get their pension and young mothers with children mailing packages and she couldn’t do it. She almost gave up that day. But then she mustered her courage and went to the local pub, where she asked a jazz player if she could play his double bass…to her surprise he said, “yes!” She approached a table of women laughing, having a good time, and said, “My friends are boring me, can I join you?” They welcomed her and shared dessert with her.
She learned that most people welcome interaction and don’t keep their walls up. She learned that ‘notching up the no’s’ eventually leads to a ‘yes.’ (One day she was just walking near a basketball court in her neighbourhood…every time she had walked by a court, she had always thought I’d like to have a go at that…so she asked the teenaged boys if she could have a go…they took 2o minutes to teach her how to take a shot at the hoop. The boys shared about how intimidating it is to approach a girl they like )
But Marianne didn’t stop there. Marianne really believed that if she just tried hard enough, she could live the perfect life. So she read one self-help book after another and tried to reshape herself with their advice. In the end she realized that the harder she tried, the more of a mess she became. The more she looked at her problems the more they consumed her. At one point a friend said, “you’re not becoming better, you’re becoming obsessed with yourself.” Marianne says, her friend was 100% right. She was consumed with analyzing herself and lost sight of her day job. Instead of making her happy, the more she looked at herself, they more she could see to get lost in. Of all the books, Marianne found wisdom in Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now…Tolle says, “When you walk down the street, you see someone talking to themselves and you think they’re mad, but actually we are all talking to ourselves in our head. And it’s usually a really critical voice”…worrying about what we said or didn’t say, did or didn’t do, comparing ourselves with others, making our life a kind of hell. We all struggle with self-talk that beats us down….how could you say that, what made you do that? Oh, now, look what you’ve done. That can never be repaired. You have screwed up again. When will you ever learn? Listening to our self-talk…we become trapped. Enslaved…
但是玛丽安并没有就此打住。玛丽安（Marianne）真的相信，只要她尽力，就能过上完美的生活。因此，她接连读了另一本自助书籍，并试图根据书中的建议重塑自己。最后，她意识到自己越努力尝试，越会陷入困境。她越看重自己的问题，自己就越被问题所消耗。有一次，一位朋友说：“你并没有变得更好，而是变得迷恋自己。”玛丽安说，她的朋友100％正确。她沉迷于分析自己，看不见自己的日常工作。玛丽安没有让自己开心，她越关注自己，自己就越会迷失在这些关注中。玛丽安在埃克哈特·托勒（Eckhart Tolle）的《当下的力量》（The Power of Now）一书中找到了智慧。在大街上，你看到有人在自言自语，你以为他们很生气，但实际上在我们的头脑里，我们所有人都在自言自语。而且这通常是一个非常挑剔的声音”…担心我们说了或没说的话，担心我们做了或没做的事，将自己与他人进行比较，使我们的生活变得如同地狱。我们所有人都在与我们内在的那个声音斗争，这使我们感到沮丧…。你怎么这么说，是什么让你这么做的？哦，现在，看看你都做了什么。这永远无法修复了。你又搞砸了。你什么时候才能长点记性？……我们的自说自话把我们困住了，就如同我们被奴役...
Wandering in the wilderness, God’s beloved people, no longer enslaved to a human being, the king of Egypt, are given a promise by the God who set them free. I will be your God; have no other gods before me. This is good news; because they were enslaved to a human king but now they are free. The 10 commands are given only after they have been set free from a way of life they were trapped in are figuring out how to live in freedom. The 10 commands are given only after they have been set free. Unless we have been set free, none of what Moses says matters. No one builds a house without a foundation. The foundation is love. Out of love, through Moses, the Lord set the slaves, sets us, free from bondage, free from everything that threatens to trap us, including ourselves. The Lord God made a covenant, a promise rooted in love, to the Israelites on Mt. Horeb. The promise was of a Lover to the Beloved: You are family, you belong to me. I am the Lord your God who brought you up out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.
上帝挚爱的人民在旷野中徘徊，他们不再被埃及国王所奴役，上帝给了他们应许。 我将成为你的上帝； 在我面前没有其他神灵。 这是个好消息； 因为他们曾被人类的国王所奴役，现在他们自由了。 他们刚刚从奴役中被解放出来，上帝就给了他们10条诫命，让他们去寻找如何自由地生活。除非我们也从奴役中被解救出来，否则摩西所说的毫无意义。没有人在没有地基的情况下就盖房子。 这个基础就是爱。 出于爱，主通过摩西，使奴隶，使我们摆脱被奴役，摆脱一切威胁要困住我们的东西，包括我们自己。 神跟何烈山上的以色列人立约，一个根植于爱的约定。一个爱人对被爱的人的承诺：你们是一家人，你们属于我。 我是耶和华你的神，把你从奴役中领出来。 除我之外，你将没有其他神灵。
This promise to be with us, to pick us up, to walk with us through all things, unto our last breath was made not with our ancestors but with US who are all of us ALIVE here today, gathered in this hundred year old sanctuary on the banks of the Fraser River. I brought YOU up out of the house of slavery.
Unless we have been set free, none of this matters. So from what have you been set free or do you need to be set free? What shape does your house of slavery take? Living here in Vancouver with endless cultural, music, art, and outdoor ventures at my doorstep…I easily get trapped in FOMO. Fear of Missing Out. Or I look around and easily get trapped in wanting what others seem to have…new hybrid car, a mortgage on a house. Living in a suburban neighbourhood, with our primary mode of transit a private car and single family homes, we may be enslaved by social isolation.
除非我们从被奴役中解脱出来，否则什么都无关紧要。 那么，你是从什么中被解救出来？又或者你需要被解救吗？ 你所受到的奴役又是什么形式？ 就在我家门口，我尽享温哥华各种各样的文化，音乐，艺术和户外活动……我很容易被FOMO困住—“害怕错过什么”。我环顾四周，很容易被困在想要拥有别人似乎拥有的东西……如新混合动力汽车，房屋抵押贷款。 生活在郊区附近，我们的主要的生活方式是在私家车和独立屋之间穿行，我们可能会觉得自己处于孤立的社会个体状态。
The ten commands are not a self-help guide for becoming perfect. The 10 commands show us what a life of freedom looks like. If we work continuously without taking sabbath rest, we are not free, we are enslaved and exhausted. If we want everything our neighbour has, we are not free, we are enslaved. True freedom is found in relationship with our neighbours, helping them keep what is theirs, building them up with our words rather than tearing them down. Trusting we will have all we truly need, we find true freedom, joy and peace.
十个诫命不是让人变得完美的自助指南。 这10条命令向我们展示了自由生活的式样。 如果我们不休息，不停地工作，我们就没有自由，我们就会被奴役而变得精疲力尽。 如果我们希望得到邻居拥有的一切，我们就没有了自由，我们就被捆绑了。真正的自由存在于我们与邻舍得关系中，让他们保持他们所拥有的，用我们的话语鼓励他们，而不是毁损他们。 相信我们将拥有我们真正所需要的一切，找到真正的自由，喜乐与平安。
As I traveled by skytrain downtown last week for the climate change march, I overheard two women speaking. They clearly knew and cared about one another. They spoke candidly, with a refreshing openness, which is what caught my attention. One was mentoring the other, sharing out of her own place of freedom. The mentor said, “I find the best time to practice meditation is first thing in the morning. I read several devotions from Alcoholics Anonymous and take 2o minutes to reflect on them. I listen for a word or phrase that I can carry with me throughout the day. Then throughout the day, I turn to that word or phrase, speaking it in my mind. When I’m struggling or distracted, I turn to that word. Practicing meditation doesn’t mean you sit in silence all day; as you go about your daily tasks you bring to mind the word for the day, a word you chewed on that morning.. Meditation is like chewing cud…bringing to conscious awareness a word that brings you life and chewing on it. That word sets you free; brings you back to yourself, back to God.
This public conversation between AA sponsor and her friend built me up. They were being neighbours to one another, set free for the sake of their neighbour. And they were living into the first command: you shall have no other gods before me and eleventh step in AA: We sought by prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood God, praying for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out。
戒酒担保人和她朋友之间的公开对话令我很受启发。 她们是彼此的邻舍，她们为着邻舍的缘故而获得了自由。 她们生活在第一条诫命中：除了我以外，别无其他神灵；她们将戒酒的第十一步活了出来：我们通过祷告和冥想，从意识上改善与上帝的关系，随着我们对上帝的理解，祷告上帝让我们理解上帝在我们身上的意愿，赐给我们力量让我们能够实现上帝的意愿。
These friends were setting one another free by being honest, practical, encouraging. Not judgy, not nagging, just love.
The same God who brought the Israelites out of slavery meets us this morning and says: I am committed to you, no matter what I have your back. I will not leave you, forsake you or reject you. When you fall, I will pick you up. When you mess up, I will forgive you. When you are empty, I will fill you. I have set you free so that you can love your neighbours.
将以色列人从奴役中解放出来的这位神今天早晨与我们相遇，对我们说：我们之间有约定，无论怎样，我都支持你。 我不会离开你，抛弃你或拒绝你。 当你跌倒时，我会扶起你。 当你做错了，我会原谅你。 当你空虚时，我会充实你。我让你得自由，让你可以爱你的邻舍。
Exodus 1:8-2:10; 3:1-15 Sept 29 2019 TLC
God hears the cries of all creation
In the latest Experience Delta magazine, I was reminded that pioneering immigrant families from Norway, Finland, Japan built homes, canneries, fishing boats, as well as Trinity Lutheran Church and Sunbury one room school house on land and water which had been inhabited by Coast Salish peoples for four thousand years. Like most families in this neighbourhood, Les Starheim’s family was involved in the fishing industry. “On the Starheim creek,” right down here below Trinity, “we had steelhead salmon spawning,” Les says. The families who established themselves in the neighbourhood around Trinity in the early 1900’s planted huge vegetable gardens, canning vegetables as well as salmon in order to feed their growing families. Some of you grew up with these vegetable gardens and canned salmon. Until the 1950’s there was no medical services, library or grocery store this side of the Fraser River. Making ends meet for families like Starheims wasn’t easy; they raised vegetables, fished for salmon, and caught a ride on a fishing boat to New Westminster to buy groceries. Driving by Scott road with Betty Mackie this week, she said she remembers when there were no traffic delays on Scott Road and the first grocery store was built in the late 1950’s this side of the Fraser River.
在读最近的《体验三角洲》杂志时，我想起了来自挪威，芬兰，日本的先驱移民家庭，他们在河岸上建造房屋，罐头厂，及Trinity路德教会 , 在河上建造渔船，海岸萨利是(Coast Salish)民族曾在这片土地上生活了四千年。像该地区的大多数家庭一样，莱斯·斯塔海姆（Les Starheim）的家庭也从事渔业。 Les说：“在 Trinity教堂的下面的Starheim小河里，有硬头鲑来产卵。” 18世纪初, Trinity附近社区的家庭种植了一个很大的菜园，他们罐装蔬菜和鲑鱼，以供养自己的家庭。你们当中有些人就在这些菜园，吃着鲑鱼罐头长大。直到20世纪50年代，弗雷泽河沿岸都没有医疗服务，图书馆或杂货店。像Starheims这样的家庭想要谋求生计并不容易。他们种了蔬菜，以鲑鱼为食，并乘着渔船到新威斯敏斯特去买杂货。本周与贝蒂·麦基（Betty Mackie）在斯科特路（Scott road）上开车时，贝蒂说她记得在斯科特路（Scott Road）曾毫无交通拥堵，50年代后期，第一家杂货店就建于弗雷泽河（Fraser River）河畔。
It was hunger that brought Joseph’s family, the Israelites, to Egypt 400 years before Moses was born. The youngest of Jacob’s 12 sons, Joseph, sold off by his jealous brothers to slave traders bound for Egypt. Rising to a position of power in Pharaoh’s court, Joseph had established a huge supply of groceries to feed thousands in a famine. Caught in the desperation that famine creates, Joseph’s father, Jacob, goes to where his son Joseph will supply them with groceries; he loads his wives, sons, daughters and little ones, into wagons the Pharaoh provided…heading to Egypt to make a new home.
正是由于饥饿，才让约瑟的家人也就是以色列人在摩西出生约400年前来到了埃及。 雅各的12个儿子中最小的儿子约瑟（Joseph）被心存嫉妒的兄弟卖给了去往埃及的奴隶贩子。 约瑟（Joseph）升至法老王宫廷中的高官，建立了庞大的食品供应体系，以供饥荒时期数千人食用。 约瑟的父亲雅各（Jacob）陷入了饥荒造成的绝望之中，他的儿子约瑟（Joseph）将为他们提供食物。 他将妻子，儿子，女儿和小女儿装上法老王提供的马车……前往埃及建立新家。
Four hundred years later, a new king comes to power who does not remember Joseph, the story that brought his family, the Israelites, to live in a strange new land. In Egypt, they had been living into God’s promise to make them a great nation…they had been fruitful and multiplied. This immigrant minority had grown so large and powerful that the king of Egypt came to dread the Israelites, fearing that if war broke out, the Israelites would turn against the Egyptians. This fear stifled any possible options such as including the Israelites in shared life with Egyptians, as they had done for 400 years. Instead, the king’s fear led to suspicion, which led him to become ruthless imposing tasks on the Israelites. Forced labor, the king figured, would make the Israelites too tired to revolt and to conceive more children.
四百年后，一位新国王上台，他不记得约塞的这个故事，这个故事使他的家人以色列人可以生活在一个陌生的新大陆。 在埃及，他们一直生活在上帝的应许中，使他们成为一个伟大的民族……他们繁衍生息，人口倍增。 这个移民来的少数民族已经变得越来越强大，以至于埃及国王惧怕以色列人，担心如果战争爆发，以色列人会反对埃及人。 这种恐惧扼杀了所有可能的选择，例如就像过去的400年那样，让色列人同埃及人共同生活。 相反，国王的恐惧导致了怀疑，这使他无情地向以色列人强加任务。 国王认为，强迫劳动会使以色列人过于疲倦，无法起义，也无法生育更多孩子。
Fear does such things, doesn’t it? It leads to suspicion, defending ourselves against our enemies, circling our wagons. Fear can lead to vengeful acts. Fear blinds us to all the options…all the possible directions we could go, how we could invest our lives for the common good.
恐惧会令这样的事情发生，不是吗？ 恐惧导致怀疑，为了捍卫自己而抵御敌人，严阵以待。 恐惧会导致报复行为。 恐惧使我们无法选择……失去所有可能的方向，我们不知道如何为了共同利益而努力。
Somehow after learning about the human impact of climate change, rather than falling prey to paralyzing fear, 16 year old Greta Thunberg wanted to learn more. Her voice has sparked a movement of hundreds of thousands of youth across our planet to wake up to the climate emergency and challenge political leaders to act to preserve life. Refusing to fly and burn more fossil fuel, Greta traveled fifteen days on a solar powered sailboat across the Atlantic Ocean from Sweden to NYC for the UN Assembly. With the United Nations Assembly this week in NYC, Greta captivated the attention of world leaders with her five minute speech.
16岁的Greta Thunberg在了解了人类对气候变化的影响之后，她没有成为被恐惧吓倒的牺牲品，而是想了解更多。 她的声音激发了全球成千上万青年的运动，以唤醒人们对气候紧急情况的认知，并挑战政治领导人，呼吁采取行动挽救生命。 格蕾塔拒绝飞行和燃烧更多的化石燃料，她乘坐太阳能帆船从瑞典到纽约参加联合国大会，航行了十五天。 在上周于纽约举行的联合国大会上，格雷塔（Greta）的五分钟演讲引起了世界领导人的注意。
Delta school district Superintendent, Doug Sheppard, sent a letter to all parents this week, encouraging us as families to participate in the school strike for climate change on Friday. He cited the ways the district has worked alongside students in local and global environmental efforts such as rain gardens and recycling school waste. Student advocacy and involvement in civic issues is a key to our future …political engagement is the only way to changes the global economic system we rely on, turning the tide of climate devastation. Friday, I joined students taking transit from Sands Secondary, met families who said Langley school district bused students downtown to march with the crowd of over 80,000.
三角洲学区负责人道格·谢泼德（Doug Sheppard）本周向所有父母写了一封信，鼓励我们作为家庭参加星期五针对气候变化的学校罢课。 他列举了Delta学区如何与学生一起参与到本地和全球的环境工作中，例如建设雨水花园和回收学校垃圾。 学生的倡导和对公民问题的参与是我们未来的关键……政治参与是改变我们所依赖的全球经济体系，扭转气候破坏浪潮的唯一途径。 星期五，我跟学生们一起从金沙中学（Sands Secondary）乘车，我遇到了一些家庭，他们说兰里学区（Langley school district）为学生们去市中心游行提供公车服务，当天游行人数超过80,000人。
At the UN Assembly, Greta spoke to those with the power to make systemic change in our global economic system, which is built on fossil fuels: “World leaders, we are watching you….you have shattered my dreams…how dare you…you are not mature enough to recognize the crisis and act now. 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 is not enough…entire ecosystems are collapsing. For 30 years scientists have been telling us what is happening. Stop acting like children. Change is coming whether you like it or not.”
在联合国大会上，格蕾塔（Greta）向有能力在以化石燃料为基础的全球经济体系中进行系统性变革的人们发表了讲话：“世界领导人们，我们在注视着你们……你们粉碎了我们的梦想……你怎么敢……你们还不够成熟，无法认识到危机并立即采取行动。 到2050年，将碳排放量减少50％是不够的……整个生态系统正在崩溃。 30年来，科学家们一直在告诉我们正在发生的事情， 别再像孩子一样行事。 无论您是否喜欢，变革都将到来。”
Rather than falling into a paralyzing fear, Greta Thunberg wanted to learn more about the human impact on climate change. The more she learned, the more she heard the cry of all creation, the more she rose up. Greta is on the autism spectrum; but rather than hiding from social interaction, she says autism gives her a singular focus, allows her to speak bluntly to world leaders and not worry about being rejected. “I don’t care about being popular,” she says, embracing autism as her superpower. (show FEAR slide)….my Grade 8 daughter says when we are afraid we have two choices: Forget everything and run OR face everything and rise. Greta has embraced the second. The second option is only possible with God’s help.
Greta Thunberg在了解了人类对气候变化产生的影响之后，并没有因为恐惧而不知所措，她反而想了解更多。 她学得越多，就越能听到所有生命的呐喊，她越愿意挺身而出。格雷塔（Greta）患有某种自闭症； 但她说，自闭症并没有让她躲避社交互动，反而给了她一个独特的焦点，使她可以直言不讳地与世界领导人对话，而不必担心被拒绝。 她说：“我不在乎是否受欢迎，”她拥抱自闭症并将其作为自己的超级能力。 （显示FEAR幻灯片）…。我的8年级女儿说，当我们害怕时我们有两种选择：忘记一切，逃跑；或者面对一切，迎难而上。 第二种选择只有在上帝的帮助下才有可能。
When Israel groans under their slavery, their cry for help came up to God. This phrase (came up to God) doesn’t just mean they directed their prayers to God, it means that God was paying attention in a new way. God heard their groaning, and was now ready to respond. God remembered the covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; doesn’t mean that the divine memory was jogged but that God was bound to act with steadfast love, to bless all families of the world through keeping this covenant. God saw the Israelites; ra’ah does not refer to eye contact. Ra’ah is to begin to move toward the other with kindness or compassion. God knew the Israelites; not simply a matter of “head knowledge” as if God gained some new info but yada’(to know) is to share an experience with another, so that the other’s experience can be called your own. God knew their sufferings and acted on their behalf through Moses. Though not enslaved himself, he returned to help those who were. If you listen to Greta speak to the UN, the groaning of creation has become her own cry.
当以色列人在奴隶制度下呻吟时，上帝听到了他们的呼救声。这句话（出现在上帝面前）不仅意味着他们向上帝祷告，还意味着上帝正在以一种新的方式关注。上帝听到了他们的呻吟，正在准备回应。上帝记得与亚伯拉罕，以撒和雅各的约；这并不意味着神的应许来得缓慢，而是意味着上帝要通过遵守这一盟约来祝福世界上所有家庭，坚定不移地凭着祂的爱心而行。上帝看到了以色列人， ra’ah不是指眼神交流。ra’ah的意思是心怀仁慈或同情走向对方。上帝了解以色列人， 这不仅仅是上帝头脑里简单的“知识”，就好像上帝获得了一些新信息一样，而yada（要知道）是要与他人分享自己的经历，以便他人的经验可以为自己所用。上帝知道以色列人的痛苦，并通过摩西为他们效力。尽管摩西自己并没有受到奴役，但他回去帮助了那些曾经被奴役的人。如果您听到格蕾塔（Greta）在联合国讲话，那么所有生命的呻吟已成为她自己的呐喊。
What is it that moves us beyond fear to act for justice? Compelled by fear, the king of Egypt lashed out at the immigrant minority by ordering the death of all baby boys. But two women stood tall in the face of violence. Shiphrah and Puah refused to obey the king’s death-dealing rampage. Their refusal marks the first act of civil disobedience recorded in the Bible. Rising, they preserved life, the life of baby Moses. They claim that the Israelite women are too vigorous and give birth before they arrive. When his mother, Jochobed, gave birth to Moses, the midwives preserve his life. And his mother hid him for three months, then floated him in a basket down the river where Egyptian royalty typically bathed. His sister, Miriam keeps watch over him. Crying, the king’s daughter is drawn to the baby boy and lifts him out of the water. Miriam, big sister, comes out of hiding to offer her mother as a nursemaid. The king’s daughter names him Moses, which means “drawn out of the water.” These five women rise to conspire against the king’s fear-based strategies, to preserve life. Could it be that God not only called out to these five women to preserve life, but is calling out to all of us through the words of Greta Thunberg, to compel our political leaders to act now to preserve life, prevent climate collapse?
As parents and kids met the last two weeks to learn more about the Bible, (who wrote it, how we understand and use it, how it speaks to us,) we learned about prophets…those people called at particular times and places to give voice to God’s heart for the world. Moses is one of those prophets, called to speak truth to power, called to say to the king of Egypt: Let my people go! But Moses would never have survived if Shiphrah and Puah had not refused to obey the king’s order to kill baby boys, if his mother Jochebed had not hidden him three months and floated him in the basket while his sister Miriam watched over him, and if pharaoh’s daughter hadn’t been willing to love a baby born to slave woman. When Moses encountered the burning bush, he has excuses, he’s afraid to speak in public saying “Who am I?”, but the Lord said, “I will be with you.” Tell the people “I AM who I AM” has sent you. This means regardless of who we think we are, a power greater than us is at work in the world who says, “I will be whom I will be…that’s for me to know and you to find out.” But go and set free all who are bound. “I will be with you.”
当父母和孩子们在过去的两周里聚在一起来了解更多有关圣经的知识时（谁写了圣经，我们如何理解和使用圣经，以及圣经如何对我们说话），我们了解了先知……这些人在特定的时间和地点被呼召，宣讲上帝对世界的爱心。 摩西就是其中一位先知，被呼召对当权者讲真话，对埃及国王说：请放开我的子民！ 但是，如果希普拉和普亚不拒绝服从国王杀害男婴的命令，如果他的母亲约瑟贝德没有将他藏匿三个月，或没有把他放进漂浮的篮子里，后者姐姐米里亚姆没有看着他，又或者法老的女儿不愿意爱一个女奴生下的孩子，那么摩西将永远无法幸免。当摩西遇到燃烧的灌木丛时，他有理由拒绝，他害怕在公开场合说“我是谁？”，但是主说：“我将与你同在。”告诉人们“是自有永有的神差遣你。 这意味着无论我们以为自己是谁，一个远比我们更强大的力量在这个世界发挥着力量，他说：“我将成为我将要成为的人……这是我知道的，也是你必须寻找的。”但是，去释放所有被束缚的人吧。 “我会和你在一起。”
God heard the cry of the Israelites and sent Moses. Whom do you hear crying out for help today? As the oceans struggle to absorb the CO2, and cool the earth, God hears their cry. As eecosystems collapse, God hears their cry. Who will God send?
上帝听到了以色列人的呼喊，差遣了摩西。 您今天听到谁在呼救？ 当海洋努力吸收二氧化碳并冷却地球时，上帝听到了它们的呼喊。 随着生态系统的崩溃，上帝听到了它们的呼喊。 上帝会差遣谁？
Will we look back 10, 20, 30 years from now and say, “Thanks to Greta Thunberg for rising to focus global political will on the climate emergency, preserving life.” The same God who was at work with Moses as he spoke truth to power, is at work with Greta, with hundreds of thousands of young people around the world, and with you as together we face everything and rise.
我们是否会回顾现在的10年，20年，30年，并说：“感谢格雷塔·滕伯格（Greta Thunberg）挺身而出，将全球政治意愿集中在气候紧急情况上，从而挽救了生命。” 与摩西一同向当权者讲真理的上帝，也在与格列塔（Greta）一起工作，与世界上成千上万的年轻人一起工作，与你，与大家一起面对一切，迎难而上。
Genesis 32: 9-30 and Mark 14:32-36 Wrestling with God Sept 22 2019
2019 年 9月22日 创世纪32：9-30 和马可福音 14：32-36 与上帝角力
With the federal candidate debates on television recently, both US and Canadian, the campaigns are in full swing, the lives of candidates are being exposed: they cannot hide the truth about themselves. With images of Justin Trudeau dressed up in brown face for an Arabian Nights party while he was a 29 year old teacher in Vancouver splashed all over social media, we heard he face a painful truth about himself with his public confession. Trudeau cannot hide the truth about his action, he admits that he messed up, causing pain in our multi-cultural communities, he is asking Canadians for forgiveness.
最近在美国和加拿大的电视节目，正在进行有关联邦候选人的辩论，竞选活动如火如荼地进行，候选人的私人生活也被暴露无遗：他们无法掩盖有关自己真相。 当29岁的贾斯汀·特鲁多（Justin Trudeau）在温哥华做老师时，他把脸涂成棕色参加阿拉伯之夜聚会的照片在社交媒体上大肆宣传，我们看到他直面自己痛楚的过去，公开承认自己的错误。 特鲁多不能掩饰自己的行为，他承认自己搞砸了，给我们的多元文化社区带来了伤害，他请求加拿大人的宽恕。
It is easy for us to see where political candidates fall short. How about ourselves? Some of us may have been told lies growing up or in significant relationships; that we didn’t matter, that we were voiceless, powerless, or helpless. And as adults we are trapped in shame by those lies. We all have parts of ourselves that we try to hide, we are ashamed of, parts of us that we think may disqualify us for being fully loved. So we present a better-than-that self for the world to see. This has been called the false or shadow self. Our shadow self keeps us from facing the truth about ourselves, a truth hidden in God…the awe-some truth that each one of us are beloved of God. This core identity may elude us for much of our lives, but it is our deepest, true self.
我们很容易看到政治候选人的不足。 但我们自己呢？ 我们当中有些人可能就是伴随着谎言长大的，在一些重要的人际关系中被告知， 我们无足轻重，我们没有话语权，我们无能为力，或我们很无助。 作为成年人，我们被困在谎言所带来的羞愧之中。 我们每个人都有自己试图隐藏的一部分，我们对此感到羞愧。我们认为我们可能会因此失去被爱的资格。 因此，我们向世界展示了一个超越自我的自己， 这被称为虚伪或影子自我。 我们的虚伪使我们无法面对隐藏在上帝中的真理……一个令人敬畏的真理-----我们是上帝所爱的人。 这种核心身份在我们一生中的很多时候可能都是难以捉摸的，但却是我们最深刻的，最真实的自我。
Jacob had every reason to be afraid of facing the truth about himself, as he anticipated meeting his brother, Esau, many years after they’d had a falling out. Jacob knew he had messed up. Jacob, whose name means ‘cheater’ and ‘deceiver’, had fully lived up to his name since the day he was born, grabbing the heal of his first-born twin brother Esau, as they struggled out of their mother’s womb. Jacob had grown up as Mama’s favorite. With his mother Rachel’s help, Jacob stole his brother Esau’s birth rite by covering himself in animal skins and deceiving his father into blessing him as first born. He fled for his life, family inheritance in hand; thankfully he hadn’t run into his brother until now.
当雅各预见到自己要跟多年不合的兄弟以扫见面时，他有充分的理由害怕面对真实的自己。 雅各知道自己错了。 雅各（Jacob）的名字的意思即是“骗子”和“欺骗者”，自他出生那天起，他就完全配得上这个的名字。 雅各长大后成为妈妈的最爱。 在母亲雷切尔（Rachel）的帮助下，雅各用动物毛皮遮住自己的身体，骗过了父亲，偷走了哥哥以扫长子的身份，得到了父亲对长子的祝福。 他继承了家族的产业，他一生都在逃亡。 幸运的是，他直到现在才遇到他的兄弟。
When we mess up, we try to get as far away from it as possible. Larry McBride, beloved of God, who was raised in a Catholic home in Ireland, said to me last Sunday, “Pastor, where did that come from? As he pointed to this crucifix hanging in our community hall. Lutherians don’t usually display Jesus on the cross do they? (We don’t. We tend to display an empty cross, emphasizing the resurrection…that in the dying and rising of Christ, we are forgiven. so that we can all become fully human, fully beloved.) This crucifix appeared on our notice board in the community hall in the last while…gazing at the crucified one helps us to see the lie we all live and the deepest truth telling us who we are: beloved of God. Thomas Merton wrote in Seeds of Contemplation, “the secret of my identity is hidden in the love and mercy of God…(shown here on the cross) there is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace and my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find God, I will find myself, and if I find my true self, I will find God.” We all have a true self that is one with the love of God, but we are also shadowed by false selves. We need to recognize and embrace our shadows, but our shadow self is often hidden from our conscious awareness. Like Jacob on the river bank, Jesus cried out in the garden before being arrested, wrestling with himself and God: “Abba, if it be possible, remove this cup from me.” In the end, it’s not about what we want, but what God wants for and with and through us. Going to the cross, where he surrenders himself to the mercy of God, Jesus cries out for us: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. Jesus is naming our inner struggle. Our struggle to realize who we really are. And who we are not. Spotting the lies we tell ourselves. (Religion’s word for this is forgiveness.)
当我们犯错时，我们会尽量逃避。拉里·麦克布赖德（Larry McBride）是上帝所爱的人，他在爱尔兰的一个天主教家庭长大，上周日他对我说：“牧师，那是哪儿来的？他指着那个挂在我们的社区礼堂中的耶稣受难像问。路德教派通常不在十字架上展示耶稣，不是吗？ （我们是这样的，我们倾向于展示一个空的十字架，强调复活……在基督的遇难和复活中，我们被饶恕，因而我们可以成为完全的人，完全地被上帝爱着。）后来，耶稣受难像出现在社区大厅的告示板上。凝视着被钉在十字架上的人，这让我们看到我们所有人都生活在谎言之中，最深刻的真理告诉我们，我们是谁。托马斯·默顿（Thomas Merton）在《沉思的种子》中写道：“我的身份的秘密隐藏在上帝的爱与怜悯之中……（显示在这里的十字架上），我生存的全部，我的平安与幸福都取决于一个问题：在发现上帝的过程中发现自己。如果我找到了上帝，我就会找到自己，如果我找到了真实的自我，我也会找到上帝。我们需要认识并拥抱我们的影子，但是我们虚伪的一面常常被我们的意识所掩盖。就像河岸上的雅各一样，耶稣在被捕之前在花园里大喊，与自己和上帝争战：“阿爸，如果可能的话，把这杯从我身上拿走。”最终，这与我们想要的无关，这是上帝想要的， 是为了我们，要与我们一起经历的。耶稣走向十字架，向上帝屈服，耶稣为我们呼喊：父啊，请原谅他们，因为他们不知道自己在做什么。耶稣喊出了我们的内心挣扎。我们努力要认识自己的真实身份，我们是谁，我们不是谁，意识到那些自欺欺人的谎言。 （宗教的话是宽恕。）
Jacob finds his true self on the bank of the river in the dark of night. God has commanded him to go meet his brother, but every fiber of his being wants to run away as he did years ago. Jacob is tense with fear. So he prays. As he pours out his heart, there’s no indication that Jacob feels any remorse for the way he has treated his father and brother as a young man, no awareness of the anguish he caused them. he needs to appease his brother’s anger so he has sent droves of animals ahead as a gift trying to soften Esau’s rage。This is not Jacob’s typical MOA (Mode of Action)…we would expect him to assert himself and get his way. We are “carried along the tortured and risky way” to mending his broken relationship with his brother. Walter Brueggemann says “because Jacob is shrewd, he can plan; because he is afraid, he must pray.” As he prays, Jacob places himself in the flow of the generations…you, Yahweh, have promised to my grandfather Abraham, father Isaac, to bless us with as many grandchildren as stars in the sky, so that we will be a blessing to all families on the earth. So Yahweh, the One Promise Keeper, you cannot pull back your promise now and let my wives and children be killed by my brother Esau. Jacob also recognizes that when ran from his family, fleeing for his life, he left with nothing. Now, he has accumulated wealth and good fortune. But he clearly attributes this to Yahweh’s steadfast love and faithfulness.
Sending his family across the river, Jacob is left alone on the bank of the river for the night to face his demons. Full of fear, carefully calculating his every move to prevent his family’s destruction, distrusting his brother, Jacob wrestles with a mysterious man until daybreak. Was this a dream? Was this opponent the physical presence of God? Regardless, Jacob’s story is our story; the inner struggles each of us engage in as human beings. Realizing who we are and admitting who we are not. Jacob seems to meet his match in the darkness and the man gives him a new name: Israel, meaning one who wrestles with God and humans. Jacob receives both a blessing and a wound, humbling him, giving him a new place from which to set foot towards his brother. Jacob names the place where this happens Peniel, which means face of God, because in this wrestling match, Jacob has seen the face of God and lived. This wrestling with God somehow prepares him to meet his estranged brother. The wrestling prepared Jacob to approach his brother from a new place.
During sabbatical, I wrestled with our call， TLC’s call here in North Delta/Surrey to live in authentic multi-cultural community; a call from God that means some parts of us must die, must own up, must yield. While in Minneapolis, I met a young mother, Christina Combs, who like Jacob, had a disturbing set of dreams, where in the night, she wrestled with God, with herself. And she realized she was called to face a truth about herself, something kept hidden from her consciousness. A truth that keeps us all from living in authentic multi-cultural community. Though both Canada and the U.S. are full of multi-cultural cities, here in Delta/Surrey we tend to self-segregate rather than build inter-cultural friendships, where we are humble and honest.
在我休假期间，在北三角洲/素里（Surrey）我也与生活在真实的多元文化社区的呼召角力。 来自上帝的呼召，意味着我们中的某些部分必须死亡，有时必须坦白，有些时候必须屈服。 在明尼阿波利斯的时候，我遇到了一个年轻的母亲克里斯蒂娜·科姆斯，克里斯蒂娜·科姆斯像雅各一样，有着令人不安的梦魇。夜晚，她与自己与上帝搏斗。 她意识到自己要面对一个关于自己的真相，她的意识中隐藏着某些东西， 一个让我们所有人都无法生活在真实的多元文化社区中的真相。 尽管加拿大和美国都充满了多元文化的城市，但在三角洲/素里，我们倾向于自我封闭，而不是建立跨越不同文化的诚实谦和的友谊。
Christina is a licensed mental health professional in Minneapolis, MN. Back in 2006 she was working on her graduate degree in social work. She had been meeting with African American and Latina mothers. Christina began having dreams of an alternate universe in which these amazing women were acting as her therapists. They were challenging her about how her whiteness was getting in the way of their connection with her. In her dreams these mothers would say, “Hey, Christina, did you notice how the condescension in your voice was impacting our relationship? I want you to think about that before our next appointment.”
克里斯蒂娜（Christina）是明尼苏达州明尼阿波利斯（Minneapolis）有资质的精神卫生执业人员。 早在2006年，她就开始攻读社会工作研究生学位。 她一直在与非裔美国人和拉丁裔母亲会面。 克里斯蒂娜（Christina）开始梦到有一个另类的宇宙，在这个宇宙中，这些神奇的女人充当着她的治疗师。 她们正在质疑她的白皮肤如何影响她们与她的联系。 这些母亲在梦中说：“克里斯蒂娜，嘿，您是否注意到自己声音中的优越感如何影响我们的关系？ 我希望您在下一次会见之前考虑一下。”
Christina reflected on her dreams with the words of Albert Einstein who, in 1946, said, “The separation of the races was not a disease of colored people but a disease of white people.” Christina shared from a 2014 interview, Ta-Nehisi Coates, journalist and senior editor at The Atlantic. He reflects on racial injustice embedded in America: “We talk about race a lot, we do. You know, I think it’s wrong to say we don’t talk about it...we do. I don’t think we talk about it in depth as much as we should. Part of the problem is that, when you start talking about it in depth...when you say everything we are, everything we have, is built on past sins—that the things are tied...when we start recognizing that there’s something congenital: It’s as if I had a problem with alcohol. And I could say, ‘OK, but I’m just gonna go into the bar and not have a drink. I’m gonna be OK. I don’t need to have any sort of a conversation.’ That’s a different conversation in that I have to confess to the fact that I’m an alcoholic...that there’s something in me...that that’s here...that I will always have to cope with that...that I will always have to deal with that. The honesty that that takes, the courage that takes, the strength that takes is pretty profound.”
克里斯蒂娜（Christina）用阿尔伯特·爱因斯坦（Albert Einstein）的话来反思自己的梦，他在1946年说：“种族的分离不是有色人种的疾病，而是白种人的疾病。”克里斯蒂娜（Christina）分享了她在2014年的对中塔·纳西西·科茨（Ta-Nehisi Coates） 的一次采访 ，他是《大西洋》杂志的记者兼高级编辑。他回顾了植根于美国的种族不平等现象：“我们经常谈论种族，我们这样做。你知道，我认为说我们不谈论是不对的……我们确实谈论。但我认为我们没有像我们应该的那样深入地讨论。有一部分问题是，当您开始深入讨论时……当您说我们所有的事，我们所拥有的一切时，都是建立在过去的罪之上，事情是捆绑在一起的……这时我们开始认识到有某种东西是先天性的：就好像我喝酒有问题。我可以说，‘好的，我只是去酒吧，我不喝酒，我会没事的。我不需要进行任何对话。”但那其是另一种对话，因为我不得不承认我是个酒鬼……我里面有些东西……就在这里……我将永远不得不面对……我将永远不得不应对。所需要的诚实，所需要的勇气，所需要的力量是非常深远的。”
In wrestling with her whiteness and how it has shaped her way of interacting with others, Christina has developed a twelve step model, like Alcoholics Anonymous, that allows us to move into true multi-cultural relationships. Step 1:We admitted that we had been socially conditioned by the ideology of white supremacy…that our minds were subject to racial biases, often unconsciously so.
克里斯蒂娜（Christina）纠结于自己的白人身份，思考着她的肤色如何影响自己与他人的互动的方式，她开创了十二步骤模型，正如戒断酒瘾的十二步骤（Alcoholics Anonymous），这使我们能够真正融入多元文化关系。 步骤1：我们承认白人至上的意识形态已成为一种社会固有的状况……我们的思想受到种族偏见的困扰，通常是在不自觉的情况下。
The first step to any kind of recovery is admitting that we have a problem. Individuals not ready to acknowledge a problem may be unable to pursue and receive the help they need. Becoming aware of a problem—and admitting it to others—can be challenging, but it is a fundamental step on the recovery journey.
任何康复治疗的第一步就是承认我们的问题。 没准备好承认问题的个人可能无法寻求和获得他们所需要的帮助。 意识到问题的存在并向他人承认可能是具有挑战性的，但这是康复过程中的基本步骤。
2.) We came to believe that we could embrace our ignorance as an invitation to learn.
We acknowledge that we, as white people, will never know what it feels like to walk in the world as a person of color. We embrace our “not knowing” as a powerful reminder of our ongoing need for new learning, and we abandon white supremacist traditions of “knowing” how others should feel, think, and act.
It is not easy; it involves wrestling with our shadows but it holds out the hope of becoming fully human together. With deep insight, my Grade 8 daughter said this week, “Scientists know from studying DNA that we all came from Africa, so we carry all races within us; if we discriminate against another race, we are hating ourselves.”
这不简单; 它涉及到与我们自己的影子搏斗，但这却让我们拥有了成为完全人类的希望。 我的八年级女儿这周很深刻地说：“科学家们通过研究DNA知道我们所有人都来自非洲，因此我们身上具有所有种族的基因。 如果我们歧视其他种族，我们就是在恨我们自己。”
Jacob wrestles with himself, with God until morning. He walks away changed: limping with a new name, a reminder of his on-going inner struggle. He crosses the river and sees his brother Esau coming, along with four hundred of his men. Leading his family, Jacob bows himself to the ground seven times, until he comes near his brother. But Esau runs to meet him, and embraces him, falling on his neck and kissing his brother. And they both weep. Esau refuses the extravagant gift Jacob offers, saying “I have enough, my brother, keep what you have for yourself.” Jacob, like a good Canadian or Minnesotan, says, “ No, please; take my gift.” And then Jacob says something that seems to be the result of the wrestling match: Seeing your face, my brother, is like seeing the face of God.…in his brother’s eyes he sees a chance to begin again. Richard Rohr says, “Jesus did not come to change God’s mind about us. It did not need changing. Jesus came to change our minds about God---and about ourselves。
Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7 Sept 15, 2019 TLC
9月15日2019 年 TLC 创世纪18：1-15，21：1-7
For six years we have lived in a multicultural neighbourhood here in North Delta. Last summer, along with my neighbours Kevin and Jane, we hosted our first pop-up neighbourhood BBQ in decades. We passed out invitations door-to-door the day before and nearly everyone showed up with a dish to share: 20 households. For many, this was the first time they had shared a conversation that ventured beyond “hello” or a passing nod. One family took pictures of all of us and printed out a montage so that we could remember one another’s names. Everyone wanted to have a BBQ next summer. I was intending to do that with Kevin and Jane in August before my sabbatical ended. But, when we returned from visiting family and friends in Minnesota the end of July, my neighbours Kevin and Jane announced they were moving…cashing out on their ND home of 30 plus years and buying their dream home in the Okanagan. This has not been good news. Kevin and Jane have been like extended family for us, sharing tools, car and home maintenance, cat care, apples and raspberries, and just regular “what’s new with you?” conversation in the driveway, often making me laugh with gratitude. It’s the kind of interaction that says: “I see you and like you.” I cannot tell you how much we will miss them. Since they have been getting ready to sell their home, I couldn’t ask them to host the neighborhood BBQ. But their departure has finally pushed me to invite strangers to help host; Kelli, Julie, Lucie, and in particular Sukhi, who has walked by our home, smiling and saying “hello” countless times, but whom I have never invited into my home for tea.
六年来，我们一直住在北三角洲一个多元文化的社区。去年夏天，我和邻居凯文和简一起，举办了几十年来的第一次弹出式社区烧烤活动。我们前一天挨家挨户地递了邀请函，几乎每个人都来了，也各自带了一道菜：一共有20个家庭。对于许多人来说，这是他们第一次交谈，而不仅仅是“你好”或点头示意。一个家庭拍下了我们所有人的照片并剪辑打印出来，以方便我们记住彼此的名字了。每个人都希望明年夏天能继续这个烧烤活动。在我的休假结束之前，我打算在八月与凯文和简一起做这件事。但是，当我们7月底从明尼苏达州的家人和朋友那里回来时，我的邻居凯文和简宣布他们准备搬家......把他们那栋住了30多年的北三角洲的房子卖掉后搬到Okanagan 的梦想家园。由于他们已经准备要出售他们的房子，我不能要求他们来举办邻里烧烤。但他们的离开终于促使我邀请陌生人来帮忙举办; Kelli，Julie，Lucie，尤其是Sukhi，他经过我们的家，微笑着说过无数次“你好”，但是我从来没有邀请他到我家来喝过茶。
In the heat of the day, Abraham sits at the entrance of his tent, looks up and see three strangers standing near him….he runs to greet them, bows down on the ground before them and invites them to stay and eat.
Karen Armstrong in her book, A Case for God, examines the history of religion across cultures and faiths…how religious ideas and practice developed alongside the evolution of human civilization. Karen says that religion has not been something people think but rather something we do. Its truth requires practical action. Just like you cannot learn to cook by reading recipes. You have to actually chop up some onions, crush garlic, turn on the stove and try to saute them with olive oil.
凯伦阿姆斯特朗在她的著作“上帝的案例”中，探讨了跨越文化和信仰的宗教历史......宗教思想和实践如何随着人类文明的进步而发展。 凯伦说，宗教并不是人们的思想，而是我们所做的事情。 它的真谛需要我们去实践。 就像你不能通过阅读食谱来学习烹饪。 你必须切碎一些洋葱，压碎大蒜，打开炉子，尝试着用橄榄油炒。
This week, we got a screaming deal ($40 off) on Hellofresh.ca…where you order three meals/week with fresh ingredients ready to be cooked. When the refrigerated, compostable box arrived, I had forgotten I had ordered it. But I realized it is a great way to teach my daughter to cook with me because the ingredients are ready to be chopped, grated ready to eat in 25 minutes. Together, we all seek to follow the way of Christ with a set of things we practice, over and over, like gathering for worship with one another, eating and drinking, noticing and welcoming strangers.
本周，我们在Hellofresh.ca上获得了一个很好的折扣（40加元折扣券）...在那里，您可以每周订购三餐的提前备好的烹饪食材。 当冷藏的，可降解的盒子送到时，我忘记了我订购了这个。 但我意识到这是教我女儿和我一起做饭的好方法，因为这些食材已经切好，在25分钟内即可做好。 我们一同遵循基督的道路，我们一遍又一遍地练习一些东西，比如彼此聚会，一起领受圣餐，关注和欢迎陌生人。
Abraham is sitting at the entrance to his tent, in the heat of the day, by the oaks of Mamre. Looking up he notices three strangers and runs to them. By doing this Abraham is living into the truth; a promise the Lord gave to him and his wife Sarah decades earlier. when they were young. Now they are old. It all started when the Lord, Yahweh, called them: “Go from everything familiar to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you so that you will be a blessing……in you all the families on the earth shall be blessed.” And yet as the years have gone by, Abraham and Sarah remain childless, barren; no evidence of Yahweh’s promise coming true. Empty words Yahweh seemed to speak, yielding nothing. Abraham proposes Plan B…since we have born no child, so a slave, Ishmael, born in my house, will be my heir…but the Lord takes him outside: “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able….so shall your great, great grandkids be.”
亚伯拉罕正坐在他帐篷的入口处，在炎热的天气里，靠着幔利的橡树。他抬起头注意到三个陌生人，他朝他们跑去，这表明亚伯拉罕活在真理之中; 那是几十年前他们还年轻的时候，主赐给他和他的妻子撒拉的应许。现在他们老了。 这一切都始于上帝耶和华呼召他的时候：“你们要从你们熟悉的地方到我指示给你们的地方去。 我将使你成为一个伟大的国家，我会祝福你们，使你们成为一个祝福......所有的家庭都将得到祝福。“然而随着岁月的流逝，亚伯拉罕和撒拉仍然没有孩子 ， 没有证据显明耶和华的应许成真。 耶和华似乎说了空话，什么都没有。 亚伯拉罕提出了B计划......因为我们没有孩子，所以出生在我家里的奴隶，以实玛利将成为我的继承人......但是主将他带到了外面：“如果你能够......望向天空，数数星星......” 你的子孙也会象天上的繁星般如此众多。“ “
Over and over throughout his adult life, Abraham has heard the Lord’s promise to open Sarah’s womb, to bring life out of what looks like death, to bring laughter out of tears, and yet Sarah and Abraham’s experience has become bleak…As you face death-dealing circumstances in your life, when does faith become fantasy, when is resignation to the inevitable the appropriate response? This week I have come alongside people who are determined to act on the promise of God to bring life out of death, to trust that God is at work when the future seems bleak. The promise of God challenges our human compulsion to give up and give in to what seems to be the status quo, the way things will always be.
Sitting at the entrance of his tent, Abraham lives into the Lord’s promise to bring life where there is death, as he looks up and sees three strangers standing near him. When he sees them, he doesn’t look away and tend to his own business. He runs from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bows down to the ground. He humbles himself before them, acknowledging their presence as a divine visit. Next thing you know Abraham jumps up to get the finest grain, the most expensive and have Sarah grind it into flour to bake bread. And he finds a young calf, only the best veal, asking his servant to prepare an extravagant feast. While these strangers are eating Abraham stands nearby under the tree and the divine visitors ask: Where is your wife, Sarah?
亚伯拉罕坐在帐篷的入口处，遵守主引领生命走出死亡之地的承诺。他抬起头看到三个陌生人站在他身边。 当他看到他们时，他没有把目光移开，去做自己的事。他从帐篷的入口处跑来迎接他们并向他们鞠躬。 他在他们面前谦卑自己，承认他们的到来是一次神圣的访问。 接下来的事情你知道，亚伯拉罕拿出最好的，最贵的谷物，让撒拉把它磨成面粉烤成面包。 他发现了一只年轻的小牛，是最好的小牛肉，要求他的仆人准备一场奢侈的盛宴。 当这些陌生人享用着盛宴，亚伯拉罕站在树下时，神圣的访客问：你的妻子撒拉在哪儿？
Martin Luther taught that from Genesis to Revelation, the sacred stories of people of faith seeking to be in relationship with the divine collected together in a library we call the Bible are the manger holding Jesus…that means this encounter between Abraham, Sarah and the strangers who appear at the entrance to their tent are a manger holding Christ, holding the gospel, the good news of God raising us from death to life. When we hear these old testament stories, Christ Jesus comes to meet us, to change us from the inside out. How does this happen in this encounter with the three strangers? What is the good news here?
马丁·路德教导说，从创世纪到启示录，这些有信仰的人寻求与圣洁建立关系的故事组成了圣经，这其实就是装着基督的马槽......这意味着亚伯拉罕，撒拉和出现在帐篷入口处的陌生人之间的相遇是一个装着基督，承载着福音的马槽，就是神让我们从死亡中复活，拥有新生命的好消息。 当我们听到这些旧约的故事时，基督耶稣来迎接我们，从内而外地改变我们。 在与三个陌生人的相遇中，这是怎么发生的？ 这里有什么好消息？
After consuming the extravagant feast, the three strangers ask Abraham: where is your wife Sarah? Some scholars have identified the mysterious appearance of three strangers as the Trinity, God the Creator, Savior and Spirit, three in one, stopping by for a visit. In some way these strange visitors bear the divine presence, inviting Sarah into the conversation, who is listening at the entrance of the tent behind Abraham. As a woman, she has been excluded. This is status quo for a patriarchal culture. Asking “where is Sarah?”, challenges the status quo in ancient Middle East, and even how women are treated today, right? The question about Sarah points out a ruptured relationship, a marriage bed that has remained barren despite the Lord’s promise to bear life.
在享用了奢侈的盛宴之后，三个陌生人问亚伯拉罕：你的妻子撒拉在哪儿？ 一些学者已经确定三个陌生人的神秘外表，就是三位一体的真神，上帝创造者，救主和圣灵，来造访。在某种程度上，这些陌生的游客承载着圣灵的存在，邀请撒拉参与谈话，她正在亚伯拉罕背后的帐篷入口处候命。作为一名女性，她被排除在外。 这是父权文化的现实。问“撒拉在哪儿？”，这挑战了古代中东的现实，甚至挑战了当今社会人们对女人的看法，对吧？ 关于撒拉的问题指出了一段破裂的关系，尽管主承诺生命，但婚姻仍然是贫瘠的。
Answering their question, Abraham says, “Sarah is there, in the tent.” Then one divine visitor says, “I am coming back at this time next year. When I arrive, your wife Sarah will have a son.” Sarah laughed to herself saying, “An old woman like me? Get pregnant? With this old man of a husband?”
亚伯拉罕回答他们的问题说，“撒拉在那儿，在帐篷里。”然后一位神圣的访客说：“明年的这个时候我会回来。 当我再来时，你的妻子撒拉将有一个儿子。“撒拉笑着对自己说，”像我这样的老太婆？ 怀孕？ 跟我这么老的丈夫？“
What does her laughter mean? It’s curious that even God doesn’t seem to know, asking Abraham, why did Sarah laugh? There are times when we laugh a painful laugh that covers up our deep disappointment… our laughter is saying “Ha! Ya, right! That’s not gonna happen!” In our cynicism laughter is a way of showing our superiority to the pain that we are facing. If we didn’t laugh, then we would cry. The Lord responds by repeating the message that in due season Sarah will have a son; the Lord will bring life out of death. Sarah cannot admit how much pain she carries; I did not laugh. She lives in denial, afraid to face her barrenness and trust the status quo could change. The Lord calls her out: Oh, yes, you did laugh.
她的笑声是什么意思？ 奇怪的是，即使上帝似乎也不知道，问亚伯拉罕，为什么撒拉会笑？ 有些时候，我们用笑来掩盖我们深深的失望......我们的笑声是在说“哈！ 你是对的！ 这不可能发生！“在我们的玩世不恭中，笑是面对痛苦而表现出自己优越性的一种方式。 如果我们不笑，那我们就得哭。 主回应的信息是，在适当的时候，撒拉将有一个儿子; 主会从死亡中创造生命。 撒拉不能承认她承受了多少痛苦; 我没笑。 她生活在被否定中，害怕面对她的贫瘠，相信现状可能会改变。 主呼唤她：哦，是的，你真的笑了。
What is the good news, the way in which Christ Jesus meets us in this story? Sarah says, “God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” Sarah and Abraham name him Isaac, which means laughter. A surprising change in the status quo that elicits laughter…a new kind, the kind when others laugh with us is on her lips; the deep belly laugh that comes when death is interrupted, when life breaks in sideways.
什么是好消息，基督耶稣在这个故事中遇见我们的方式是什么？ 撒拉说：“上帝为我带来欢笑; 每个听到的人都会和我一起笑。“撒拉和亚伯拉罕给他起名叫艾萨克，意思是笑声。 引发笑声的现状发生了惊人的变化......这是一种新的笑声，她跟我们一起笑了，那是当死亡结束，生命从另一条路径开始时，发自肺腑的笑声。
Could it be that when Kevin and Jane sell their house, strangers will bring good news to our neighbourhood? What losses, disappointments are you facing? The Lord promises to raise us up from all that bows us down. When we are ashamed of our words or how we’ve acted, the Lord forgives us and gives us a new start. So this morning, with one another, we live into the truth of God coming among us in the flesh: we gather to sing, pray, share peace of God which surpasses all understanding, and eat the real presence of God in bread and wine….all so that we can, let go of “Ha! Right! That’s not gonna happen!” Together we let go of…all of our shame, regret and fear…so that we can be ready to meet strangers. You never know what might happen when you do.
当凯文和简卖掉他们的房子时，陌生人会给我们的社区带来好消息吗？ 你失去了什么，又如何失望？ 主承诺将我们从压迫中拯救出来。 当我们为自己的言语或我们的行为感到羞耻时，主会宽恕我们并给我们一个新的开始。 所以今天早上，我们彼此相依，生活在上帝的真理中，我们聚集在一起，上帝以肉身出现在我们中间：我们聚集在一起唱歌，祈祷，分享和平，用面包和酒来感受上帝真实的存在，所以我们可以不必说“是啊，那是不可能的”， 放下我们无奈的笑声......我们一起放下我们所有的羞耻，遗憾和恐惧......这样我们就可以成为我们遇到的所有人的祝福，包括陌生人。 你永远不知道如果你这样做会发生什么。
Genesis 2:4b-25, On Being Alone, Sept 8 2019 TLC
创世纪2：4b -25 独自一人 2019 年 9月8 日
It is not good that the earth creature should be alone
Kids’ message –给孩子们的讯息
Perhaps it is not only human creatures who perish in isolation; all living creatures are made to be in relationship. Last Saturday, as we waited for the ferry in Nanaimo to return from youth camp, I found story of a creature who needed help, isolated from her family. It’s called the Rescue of Nanoose…humpback whale rescued Sept 23, 1994, by Jim Borrowman and Mike Durban near telegraph cove. Hearing about a whale in trouble, Captain Jim launches his whale watching boat, Gikumi. Female humpback has gotten tangled in a thick rope in the cove…getting tighter and tighter, she can hardly swim and breathe. Small orca, Stubby is nearby…and several boats have gathered around her but they all think it’s too dangerous to help. But Captain Jim has an idea…ties a knife to a pole and moves boat nearby thinking he can reach the rope, but the whale is frightened and dives deeper. So his friend Mike decides to jump into the water…a school of dolphins jump out of the water right where the whale is coming to surface for a breath…Mike moves near, reaches but misses…strokes her with his hand as she swims by…determined to try again. He jumps in right in front of the whale…he’s scared, whale is biggest animal he’s ever seen…he’s right in her path…he doesn’t know what she will do but she looks right in his eye and she slows down, rolls her back towards him and slowly slices through the rope. As soon as it breaks, she spreads her pectoral fins as if she’s flying. She twirls in the water and comes back to Mike, rolling over and over with delight. Mike wonders what it must feel like to be freed. Does she know he shares her joy? But Captain Jim is worried that she might be too weak to join her friends south…as if she knows this she flaps her tail…she looks full of life and energy…”I think I’ll call you Nanoose…it means ‘to push forward.’
也许不仅是人类会孤独地灭亡; 所有生物都因着某种联系而存在。上周六，当我们在纳奈莫等渡轮从青年营回来时，我发现了一个讲述一个与家人隔绝的生物需要帮助的故事，这个故事被称为“纳米拯救”......这头座头鲸于1994年9月23日在电报湾附近被吉姆·博罗曼和迈克·德班救出。一听说鲸鱼遇到了麻烦，吉姆船长就开着观鲸船Gikumi出海了，一头雌性座头鲸被困在了海湾里的绳索中......绳索越来越紧，她几乎无法呼吸和游动。小的逆戟鲸，Stubby就在附近......几条小船聚集在鲸鱼周围，但他们都认为去营救太危险了。但吉姆船长想到了一个办法......把一把刀绑在一根棍子上，然后把船开到附近，以为这样可以够到绳子，但是鲸鱼被吓坏了，潜入更深的水中。因此，他的朋友迈克决定跳入水中......就在鲸鱼露出水面呼吸的附近，一群海豚跳出水面，.....迈克一点点靠近，伸手可及但错过了......在鲸鱼游过时用手摸到了她......他决心再试一次。他在鲸鱼面前一头扎近水里......他很害怕，鲸鱼是他见过的最大的动物......他就在她游过来的路径上.....他不知道她会做什么，但她注视着他的眼睛，她放慢速度，背朝着他，慢慢地绳子被刀子割断。绳子一断开，她就像飞一样地展开胸鳍。她在水中翻转，回到迈克身边，高兴地游来游去。迈克想它一定是感觉到被解救出来了。她知道他分享了她的快乐吗？但是吉姆船长担心她可能太虚弱而无法和她的朋友一起游到南方... 她好像知道他们的疑问一样， 她拍着她的尾巴......她看起来充满生机和活力......“我想我会称你为Nanoose ......这意味着'向前推进。'
Today we heard once again an ancient story of beginnings, a story that helps us negotiate what it means to be human, to deal with loneliness, that empty place inside of each of us that seems unmanageable at times. No matter our stage of life, single, never married, separated, divorced, widowed, young child or nearing the end of our days in this life, we all struggle with what the Lord God says in Genesis, “It is not good that the earth creature should be alone.” Musicians sing about it, painters create out of their lonely life experience and give it form on canvases, dancers move their bodies to express what is beyond words…the universal longing to be in relationship with others.
Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, scribes wrote down the words we hear today as Genesis 2, so that we could live into it today and find a helper in our loneliness. God breathed the breath of life into adham (Hebrew word for human) from adhamah (Hebrew word for soil.) Adham from adhamah, from the very soil of the earth, the molecules of exploded stars, God formed adham, human from humus, earthling from earth. Each of us belongs to the earth, shaped from the same elements of all living things. We are part of something greater than ourselves.
God breathed God’s spirit into the adham and adham became a living being. This ancient myth was never intended to be an accurate account of a historical event; Genesis 2 is something that in some sense happened once but also happens all the time…the breath of life is breathed into us, again and again, right now in this moment. And day after day, we face our aloneness. When a loved one is hospitalized our aloneness becomes more real. When illness or death separates us from those we love, we realize it is not good to be alone. When we take a break from our mobile device and sit quietly in the dark at the end of the day, after the kids are in bed and the dishes are washed, if we allow ourselves to be still, we face our aloneness.
Once adham is filled with the breath of life, the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there God put the adham, to till the garden and keep it. Adham is given work and boundaries, food to eat and the power to name the animals, but among the living creatures is not found a helper suitable as his partner. Causing a deep sleep to come upon adham, the Lord God forms Eve, Chevah? Mother of all the living as his helper.
At the beginning of my sabbatical, for a couple weeks in May, I was given access to Reidun Dyrndahl’s cabin in Point Roberts. The one intent of this time was to move into my loneliness by going to the cabin for several days at a time, while my parents stayed with my daughter. I slept in, took time for silent meditation, using a verse from scripture as a mantra, journaled, wept, walked the beach and biked to the grocery store. In her book, Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg writes about how to use our loneliness. The year that she was separated from her husband, Katagiri Roshi said to her, “You should live alone. You should learn about that. It is the terminal abode.” She responded, “Roshi, will I get used to loneliness?” “No”, he said, “you don’t get used to it. I take a cold shower every morning and every morning it shocks me, but I continue to stand up in the shower. Loneliness always has a bite, but learn to stand up in it and not be tossed away.” Later that year she went to Roshi again, “It’s really hard, I come home and I’m alone and I get panicky.” He asked me what I did when I was alone…washed dishes, daydream and doodle on pieces of paper, pick the dead leaves off of plants and I listen to music a lot.” She began to study her own desolation and stopped fighting it. She started writing her way through it, “reaching out of the deep chasm of loneliness and expressing herself to another human being” on paper.
在我刚开始休假时，在五月份的几个星期里，我住进了Reidun Dyrndahl在Point Roberts的度假屋。这一次的目的是通过搬进度假屋来感受孤独。我父母和我女儿住在一起。我的时间用来睡觉，用圣经中的一节经文作为咒语静静冥想，写日记，哭泣，到海边散步，骑车到杂货店。娜塔莉戈德伯格在她的书 《写出我心》中写到了如何运用我们的孤独感。在她与丈夫分居的那一年，Katagiri Roshi对她说：“你应该独自生活。你要了解这一点。这是人最终的归宿。“她回答说，”罗希，我会习惯寂寞吗？“”不，“ 他说，”你不习惯。我每天早上都会洗个冷水澡，但每天早上我还是会感到震惊，不过我还是会去洗冷水澡。寂寞会咬人，但你要学会适应它，而不是甩掉它。“那年晚些时候，她又去找Roshi，”这真的很难，我回家了，独自一人，我感到恐惧。“他问我，我独自一人时都做什么......洗碗，胡思乱想，在纸上涂鸦，把枯叶从植物上摘下来，我听很多音乐。“她开始感受到自己的荒凉，停止了抗争。她开始用自己的方式写作，“从孤独的深渊中解脱出来，并在纸上向另一个人表达自己”。
If we don’t run from loneliness by staying continuously busy and distracted but instead move into it and listen, Goldberg says, “the ache creates an urgency to reconnect with the world.”
Alone in Point Roberts, I brought my kayak, so that I could paddle on Boundary Bay each day but I quickly realized that even with the wheels I borrowed, I could not get my kayak into the water alone, so after a couple of days of solitude, the ache compelled me to reach out to my neighbour Shawn, across the street. Shawn was eager and willing to help; after that first day, even if I didn’t ask, when she saw me rolling my kayak down the street, she came out to help.
Admah felt the ache of loneliness, Genesis says, and in that ache, another human being was formed, one who could be a suitable helper. The word we translate as helper is the same word used for God throughout the Hebrew Bible, what we Christians call the Old Testament (words are living and active changing us as we hear them)…so Eve brings divine help to Admah. I wonder if the help we seek in our loneliness comes in different forms beyond a spouse in a traditional marriage as Genesis seems to point? According to Karen Armstrong, myths like the Genesis creation stories have been called a primitive form of psychology. When Freud and Jung began to search for a scientific understanding of the soul, they turned to such myths told down through the ages across cultures. Ancient sacred stories help us navigate deep parts of ourselves that influence our thoughts and actions, sacred stories help us understand who we are and why we do what we do. Every week in our bulletins, we print God’s Story/Our Story to help us connect these sacred stories to our daily life…a tool you can take home to share around the dinner table or at night before bed.
创世记上讲，亚当感受到孤独的痛苦，在那痛苦中，另一个人被创造出来， 一个可以成为合适帮助者的人。我们翻译为“帮助者”的这个词和在希伯来圣经 （ 我门基督徒称之为旧约） 中用于上帝的词都是同一个词。（神的话语是具有生命力的，在我们聆听它的时候，我门就会被其改变））......所以夏娃给亚当带来了来自于神的帮助。我想知道，就如创世纪似乎想要表达的那样，我们在孤单寂寞中所要寻求的帮助是否可以以一种超越传统婚姻配偶的形式来获得？根据凯伦阿姆斯特朗的说法，像创世纪中神的创造这样的神话故事被称为心理学的原始形式。当弗洛伊德和荣格开始寻求对灵魂的科学解释时，他们转向了这种跨越不同时代文化，源远流长的神话故事。古老的圣经故事帮助我们深入了解影响我们思想和行为的自己的深层部分，这些故事帮助我们了解我们是谁以及我们为什么工作。每周在我们的公告中，我们都会打印上帝的故事/我们的故事，以帮助我们将这些圣经故事与我们的日常生活联系起来......这是一种可以带回家在餐桌上或睡觉前分享的工具。
While walking the beach in Point Roberts, each day I noticed a pair of gray whales coming into the bay to feed on schools of fish, as the tide flowed out. In early May, one of them was beached in Tsawwassen and bystanders called for help to get it back in the water. By late May, one of them died in the bay; the cause was not known other than weakened overall condition. A week later, I was driving down to White Rock pier to go kayaking and as I looked into bay from the top of the hill, I noticed the shape of a gray whale in the water. Could it be the calf or mother of the whale that died? I managed to roll my kayak down to the water just as a father/daughter pair of paddle boarders came ashore. They had just paddled next to the whale. I launched my kayak in hopes of paddling near it, but it seemed to have swum away. It was no longer surfacing for a breath. As I paddled out with the tide, thinking I had just missed this great creature that mirrors the expanse of God, a creature no doubt grieving the loss of its companion, now swimming alone, suddenly I heard “whoooooosh” portside…less than a 150 meters away. Terrified and yet drawn, I turned my boat towards the whale. For the next 30 minutes I paddled nearby as it surfaced every 6-8 minutes, guessing where it might come up next. In my aloneness, I paddled next to this mysterious creature, who sings songs underwater, songs of sorrow and loss, longing for its companion.
在罗伯茨角（Point Roberts）的海滩上漫步时，每天我都注意到一对灰鲸鱼会进入海湾，觅食涨潮带来的鱼群。 5月初，其中一头鲸在Tsawwassen搁浅，附近的居民寻求帮助将其重新送回大海。到5月下旬，其中一头鲸死在海湾， 除了鲸鱼的整体状况较差以外，死因尚不清楚。一个星期后，我开车到白石码头去划皮划艇，当我从山顶上俯视海湾时，我注意到水中有灰鲸的形状。可能是小鲸鱼妈妈死了吗？当一对父女 或母女准备抬皮划艇上岸时，我也设法将我的皮艇送入水中。他们刚刚划过鲸鱼旁边。我开始划皮划艇，希望能划到鲸鱼附近，但它似乎已经游走了，不再到水面换气了。当我划出浪潮时，我以为我错过了这个彰显上帝大能的庞然大物，一个无疑处在失去同伴的悲痛中的生物，现在在独自游泳，我突然听到“噗噗”的声音...不到150几米远。我吓坏了，但我还是把船转向了鲸鱼。在接下来的30分钟里，我都在附近海域，因为每隔6-8分钟它就会出来换气，我猜测着接下来它会在哪里出现。我孤单地在这个神秘生物附近划着船，它在水下唱着悲伤和失落的歌曲，怀念着它的同伴
As many of you know, Hal and Shirley have been hospitalized after a serious car accident. The family is grateful for Pastor Tim’s faithful visits throughout August. Shirley is healing well with help from daily home care workers…and she is grateful for the helper showing up through you…several meals from Uschi arrived this week. If any of you are willing to pick her up once every few weeks to bring her to worship, let me know. Hal remains hospitalized. We are grateful for a transition this week from a single room to a quad. We see a dramatic shift in Hal moving from an isolated, lonely room to a communal one. Shirley recognizes that when he is surrounded by people, it contributes to his recovery.
正如你们许多人所知，Hal和Shirley因严重车祸而住院。 家人很感谢Tim牧师在整个八月的探望。 Shirley在日常家庭护工的帮助下康复得很好......她非常感谢你们的帮助......这个星期Uschi送来了饭菜。 如果你们中的任何一个人愿意每隔几周去接她来敬拜，请告诉我。 哈尔仍然在住院。 我们非常感恩他本周能从单人病房搬到四人病房。 我们看到Hal从一个隔离的，孤独的房间移动到一个公共房间的戏剧性变化。 雪莉认识到，有人陪在他身边，有助于他的康复。
The only way such stories make a difference is if we act upon them. As a lifelong single person, helpers have not taken the form of a spouse, but a new neighbour who helps me launch my kayak, a gray whale longing for its companion. Day after day, the helper takes many different forms. But usually this involves taking time to move into my loneliness instead of avoid it, which gives me the courage to take a small risk, say hello to a stranger, notice what is happening around me, and reach out of my loneliness for help. Time and time again, the divine help Admah received through Eve, takes a new form.
这些故事发挥作用的唯一方法就是我们采取行动。 作为一个一生单身的人士，帮助者并没有采取配偶的形式出现，而是一个帮助我送皮划艇下水的新邻居，一条渴望其伴侣的灰鲸。 日复一日，助手有许多不同的形式。 但这通常需要花时间去感受孤独与寂寞，而不是回避它。它让我有勇气冒点小风险，同陌生人打招呼，让我注意到我周围发生的事情，并跨越孤独寂寞去寻求帮助。 一次又一次，亚当通过夏娃收到的上帝的帮助都采取了新的形式。
How about you? Has your helper shifted recently?
I asked Hal if I could share how he is doing and a song he has been singing throughout his recovery. His kids played this song for him while he was unconscious in hospital. And a couple weeks ago, he woke up singing this song for the patients and staff in his room.
Hal trusts the divine helper is coming alongside him through the medical team, surgeons, family and friends, so he sings (voice of Lynda Randle):
我问豪，我是否可以在教会分享他的近况，以及他在整个康复期间一直在唱的一首歌。 当他毫无意识躺在医院时，他的孩子为他播放了这首歌。 几周前，他醒过来为他房间里的病人和工作人员唱了这首歌。
One day at a time, sweet Jesus, that's all I'm asking from you
Give me the strength to do everyday what I have to do
Yesterday's gone sweet Jesus and tomorrow may never be mine
So for my sake teach me to take one day at a time
Here in North Delta, our neighbours, Kevin and Jane, have been my helpers with a myriad of home maintenance projects…during Eva’s birthday party camp-out in our backyard in August, another family helped by loaning us their 10 person tent, and Kevin showed up to help us have a fire and roast marshmallows…a highlight as the girls circled up around the fire, laughing, talking and eating. But Kevin and Jane are selling their house to move to the Okanagon in October, so once again the helper I have come to rely on is shifting.
Sept 1, 2019
Luke 14:1, 7-14 Psalm 112, Hebrew 13:1-8, 15-16, Proverbs 25:5-6
路加福音 14：1， 7-14 诗篇 112， 希伯来书 13：1-8 ， 15-16 ， 箴言 25：5-6
Life humbles us…(we get crucified) and Jesus raises us up
This summer as we traveled to visit family and friends in MN, I heard about a passenger flying on Delta who was surprised to find he was the only person with a ticket booked for his flight. He was shocked that they didn’t cancel the flight and bump him to a flight with more passengers. Instead, the stewards said he could choose any seat on the plane…so he stretched out with full service in first class on what turned out to be his private jet. Whenever I walk onto a plane, dragging my carry-on through first class, I wonder what’s the story of privilege that led to those seated here? Clearly some are traveling for business, like my brother does, and their company is picking up the tab. But what about everyone else…traveling by plane anywhere is a privilege denied many in the world.
今年夏天，在我们去探望明尼苏达州的家人和朋友时，我听说一位乘客在乘坐Delta航空公司的航班时，他惊讶地发现自己是唯一一位订了此次航班的旅客。 他感到震惊的是，航空公司并没有取消这个航班把他改签到其他有更多乘客的航班上。 相反，空乘人员对他说他可以选择飞机上的任何一个座位......所以他可以像是在自己的私人飞机上，在头等舱里伸展身躯。 每当我走上飞机，拖着随身行李走过头等舱时，我就想知道那些坐在这里的人的故事，他们所享有的特权是什么？ 很明显，有些人是在出差，就像我弟弟一样，他们公司帮他订机票。 但是其他人呢？......对世界上的很多人来说，能乘做飞机到世界各地旅行也是一种特权。
Today’s gospel speaks of social status we gain from privilege and addresses how we might turn our privilege into a blessing for others.
One of the hopes during my sabbatical was to reorient myself to time, to establish new rhythms to daily life, so that I show up for life as it happens. One of the ways I did that was to choose more humble modes of transit. Though we did fly from Minnesota to Vancouver the end of July, more often than not, I tried to ride the bus, sky train and bike as I traveled about. Finding a seat on public transit is a spiritual practice allowing me to…slow down my pace, help me notice and become acquainted with strangers and generally notice what is happening around me. For a long while, I have wanted to……reorient myself to time…to change some patterns, some ways of being with God, myself and others. I find myself often in a hurry, trying to accomplish more than is humanly possible, in the time allotted. This leads not only to exhaustion, but prevents me from being fully present, to show up for life as it happens.
我在休假期间的一个希望是给自己的时间重新定位，为我的日常生活设定新的节奏，让自己与生活相遇。 其中一个做法，是选择更平民化的交通方式。 虽然我们的确在7月底是乘飞机从明尼苏达州回到温哥华，但我更经常乘坐的是公共汽车，空中列车和自行车。 在公共交通工具上寻找座位是一种灵性的修炼，它让我......放慢脚步，让我注意到身边的陌生人，并熟悉他们，通常我也会注意到我身边发生的事。 很长一段时间，我都想......重新调整自己的时间......想改变一些模式，改变一些与上帝，与自己， 以及与其他人相处的方式。 我发现自己经常很匆忙，试图在指定的时间内完成比人类可能完成的还要更多的事， 这不仅令我疲惫不堪，而且让我无法完全地呈现自己，让自己与生活相遇。
When Jesus arrives at the home of the pharisee, he notices something. Noticing is a spiritual practice. If we are hurried we don’t notice what is happening around us; I don’t know about you but I can be consumed with trying to accomplish more than is possible. What does Jesus notice? The guests, when they arrive, are choosing to sit in the places of honor. Jesus, our wisdom teacher, fully inhabits his life….he isn’t too rushed to recognize a teachable moment and tells a story about a wedding banquet. If you sit in the seat of honor at a banquet, you clearly have been born into privilege in the first century; choosing the lowest seat changes your perspective. Gives you a chance to consider what gives human beings value, who is privileged, who is pushed to the edges and denied full human dignity.
当耶稣来到法利赛人的家里时，他注意到了什么。 观察也是一种属灵操练。 如果我们始终处于匆忙之中，我们就不会注意到我们周围发生的事情; 我不知道你们如何，但对我来说，我在试图完成更多的工作过程中被消耗殆尽。 耶稣注意到了什么？ 当客人到达时，他们选择坐在贵宾席。 耶稣，我们智慧的老师，完全沉浸在他的生活中......他没有急于抓住一个教育人的机会，讲述一个关于婚礼宴会的故事。 如果你出生在一世纪，在宴会上你坐在贵宾席，那么显然你拥有什么特权。 选择最低席位的座位会改变人的视角， 让你有机会考虑是什么赋予人类价值，谁被赋予特权，谁又被推到了边缘而丧失了作为人的尊严。
What were you taught about humility when you were growing up?
One of the hazards of being a pastor is that you start to think of yourself more highly than you ought because people all like your preaching or praise you for any number of things: how much you know about God or the Bible, how many people you care for, how well you pray. People may forget pastors are human or assume pastors are more evolved human beings. People start to think of you more highly than they ought….pastor has a direct line to the Holy One…so when pastor prays she gets what she wants, or pastor is some kind of expert, professional Christian. But pastors, like any human being, are humbled by what life throws at us.
做为一名牧师，其中的一个危险就是你开始认为自己比你实际上更好，因为人们都喜欢你的讲道或赞美你做的任何事情：你对神，对圣经有多了解，你关心多少人，你的祷告有多棒。 人们可能会忘记牧师也是人类，或者认为牧师是更进化的人类。 人们开始认为你比他们应当认为的更崇高...... . 牧师与上帝有直接的联系 ...所以当牧师祷告时，她会得到她想要的东西，或者牧师是某种专家，是专业的基督徒。 但牧师和任何一个人一样，都被生活赋予我们的所贬低。
I don’t know about you but this past week, I was humbled by having said “yes” to teach at B.C. Synod Youth Camp. Teens are not enamoured with pastors…they keep you on your toes, they don’t cut you any slack. They can tell if you are walking your talk, if you are being real or fake, trying too hard to be cool. On Thursday morning, before breakfast, instead of taking a couple hours to craft my sermon, I agreed to join a group of eight campers, in three canoes, for a paddle before the tide went out. I was looking forward to this paddle until I realized the boys in my canoe really preferred to sit in the bow and stern, which meant I would sit in the middle unless I threw my pastor/adult weight around and forced one of them to get a wet butt. So I humbled myself and chose the wet seat. We paddled out to oyster beds, harvested by indigenous communities in Nanoose Bay. As we paddled back, we paddled through a colony of jellies…from one centimeter to 20….thousands of them. With Jeremy’s great idea of racing back to shore we managed to get back before morning worship. Over the last 25 years, I have become convinced that working with teens is the most challenging, humbling and potentially rewarding aspect of ministry. Did I mention humbling??????
When was the last time you were humbled? What happened?
As we dug into the Lord’s Prayer on Wednesday, I was reminded that the simple act of praying…your kingdom come, your will be done, forgive us as we have been forgiven…the act of asking God through prayer, humbles us because exposes where we fall short. As we pray, we admit we need help, that we cannot make it alone; we enter into a cross shaped life, dying to being our own god. As we go down Jesus raises us up and holds us back from despair. The cross finds us, as we move through life, trying to love others: spouse, parent, child, co-worker, neighbour.
我们在星期三讲主祷文，这提醒了我祷告只是一个简单的行为，......你的国降临，你的旨意行在地上，原谅我们，因为我们已被宽恕......这是一个通过祷告求助上帝的行为，因着自己缺陷的暴露而谦卑。当我们祈祷时，我们承认我们需要帮助，我们不能孤军奋战; 我们进入一个十字形的生活，想要成为自己的上帝的那个自己已死去。 当我们走下去时，耶稣鼓舞着我们，让我们从绝望中恢复过来。 当我们经历我们的生活，十字架发现我们，试着去爱别人：配偶，父母，孩子，同事，邻居。
Trying to love another humbles us, in fact it kills us, crucifies our way of moving through the world, so that Jesus can raise us up. We need help to keep on loving. As we walk out the door to go to work, the cross will find us, we will get crucified. As we stand empty-handed after an argument, watching our family member walk out that door, we get crucified. Life humbles us in our family, work, school, church, public life, reading the news…there is a dying we face in everyday life.
试着去爱别人让我们谦卑，事实上这也结束了我们的旧我，将我们行走世界的方式钉在了十字架上，以便耶稣能够拯救我们。 我们需要帮助才能继续爱。 当我们走出大门去上班时，十字架会找到我们，我们将被钉在十字架上。 在我们争吵之后，空手站在那里，看着我们的家人走出那扇门，我们就被钉在了十字架上。在我们的家庭，工作，学校，教堂，公共生活，阅读新闻中，......我们在日常生活中面临着一种垂死的感觉，生活让我们变得谦卑。
Jesus, our wisdom teacher, knows this. As he arrives at the home of the pharisee for dinner, Jesus notices guests choosing the places of honor, exalting themselves, so he tells a parable to get them to consider dying to their ego, choosing the lowest place. Jesus, a Jewish wisdom teacher, lived in material poverty, more hand-to-mouth than many of us could imagine, but teaching and healing earned him the privilege of dinner invitations in the homes of important people. Such as the home of a prominent leader in the Jewish community, this pharisee. In ancient Rome, you were born into a particular social status. Some were born with more privilege than others.
我们的智慧老师耶稣知道这一点。 当他来到法利赛人的家中共进晚餐时，耶稣注意到客人选择贵宾席，抬高自己，所以他讲了一个比喻让他们考虑放下自我，选择最低的地方。 耶稣是一位犹太智慧导师，生活在物质贫困之中，仅仅能勉强糊口，比我们许多人想象的更为贫穷，但凭着教导和医治，获得了受邀到重要人物家里参加晚宴的特权。 比如这位犹太社区的著名领导人，这个法利赛人的家。 在古罗马，某种特定的社会地位与生俱来。 有些人天生就有比其他人更多的特权。
Are we conscious of our privileges granted by birth? Are we generous with our privileges? I was born into a family of European settlers to North America from Germany, England, and Scotland…settlers who had chosen to move West and homestead on land which was first inhabited by indigenous peoples in the Native American territory we now call Montana. My grandparents worked on the railroad and on the land raising sheep and cattle. My parents were the first generation to attend university and had access to good health care and the chance to get a home mortgage by the time I was a toddler. These privileges of accumulated wealth, value of post-secondary education, access to health care and more were passed onto me by birth.
我们是否意识到我们在出生时就获得了某些特权？ 我们慷慨地享受我们的特权吗？ 我出生在一个从欧洲到北美定居的移民家庭，这些从德国，英格兰和苏格兰来到的北美洲的欧洲定居者......选择向西部迁移， 在土著人居住的美国原住民领土，我们现在称之为蒙大拿州的这块土地上建立自己的家园。 我的祖父母从事铁路和牧养牛羊的工作。 我的父母是第一代上大学的人，在我还是个婴儿的时候，他们就有机会获得良好的医疗保健和住房抵押贷款。 这些累积的财富，高等教育的价值，以及良好的医疗保健等等，这些特权都是通过出生传递给我的。
In his wedding banquet parable, Jesus is saying something about privileges. Even though you could take the highest seat, die to yourself and choose the lowest. Often what we may refer to as God’s blessings are actually privileges granted to us by our birthplace. At camp last week, I met Vadeste, who was born in a refugee camp in Tanzania after his mother fled Rhwanda during the genocide between Hutu’s and Tutsi’s. Vadeste was one of our young adult counselors for the week. As I drove him along with Nathan Wu to urgent care for injuries that needed some medical attention, we had a chance to get acquainted. Vadeste is taking the next year off to save money for school by washing dishes at a fancy restaurant on Granville Island where he is paid $14.95/hr. Who is coming alongside Vadeste as he navigates the opportunities for post-secondary education? Likely his mother, his older brother, and his brothers and sisters in Christ at First Lutheran in Vancouver, where Vadeste has worshipped with his family since he was three years old. When we name our privileges as God’s blessing, we may miss the call of God to turn our privileges into blessings for others.
在耶稣婚礼宴会的比喻中，他正在谈论特权。即使你可以占据最高席位，也要放下自我，选择最低的席位。通常我们所谓的上帝的祝福实际上是我们的出生地给予我们的特权。在上周的营地，我遇到了Vadeste，他出生在坦桑尼亚的一个难民营，他的母亲在胡图族和图西族之间的种族灭绝期间逃离了卢旺达。Vadeste是我们这周的年轻成人辅导员之一。在我送Nathan Wu去急救中心紧急处理伤口的路上，我们有机会结识。 Vadeste将在明年休学一年，在格兰维尔岛（Granville Island）的一家高档餐厅洗碗，为上学攒钱，餐馆每小时付他14.95加元。 在他通往高等教育的路上，谁在与Vadeste并肩作战？也许是他的母亲，他的哥哥，以及他在温哥华第一路德基督教会里的兄弟姐妹，Vadeste从三岁开始就和他的家人一起在那里敬拜。当我们将我们的特权称作上帝的祝福时，我们可能错过了上帝让我们把自己所拥有的特权转化为对他人的祝福的呼召。
As we move through life, trying to love others, trying to turn our privileges into blessings, we will mess up, say the wrong thing, fail to take time to listen, be worried about the future or full of regret about the past, undoubtedly we will be humbled. As we fall on our face, Jesus will raise us up. As we pray your kingdom come, help us see you at work among us, alongside strangers, Jesus will open our eyes and hold us back from despair.
Pentecost 10, August 18, 2019
God give me work until my life shall end, and life until my work is done
Winifred Holtby, educator, novelist, journalist, socialist and pacifist penned this epitaph for her tombstone in Yorkshire just before WWII broke out. At funerals I often share this from her works, “the crown of life is not happiness nor annihilation, it is understanding.” It may sound rather demanding and dour, but there is wisdom and comfort in abundance.
Winifred Holtby，教育家，小说家，记者，社会主义者和和平主义者, 在第二次世界大战爆发前为自己在约克郡的墓碑写下了这个墓志铭。 在葬礼上，我常常从她的作品中分享这一点，“生命的冠冕不是幸福，也不是毁灭，而是理解。”这听起来可能相当苛刻和沉闷，却富有智慧和慰籍。
In an untypical passage from his lyrical love poem in praise of YHWH, Isaiah addresses God as his beloved, sowing and tending a vineyard, then raining down invective and destruction. What more could I have done? Why did the vines yield sour grapes? In the Hebrew there are two plays on words, viz. I looked for mishpat and found mispat, I looked for tsedaqua and found tseaqua , i.e. I looked for justice and found bloodshed, for righteousness and found the cry of suffering. Absence of justice and a vacuum of righteousness were the bitter fruits God found in the present state of Israel, so the vineyard needed stripping and re-planting. God’s judgment is severe, but never in Scripture permanent, it is always hoping for better things in the future.
在以赛亚抒情的爱情诗句中，有一段不太典型的赞美耶和华的段落，他将上帝描述为他的爱人，播种和照料葡萄园，后来却变成了谩骂和摧毁。 我还能做些什么？ 为什么葡萄藤会结出酸葡萄？ 在希伯来语中，有两个关于单词的笑话，即 我寻找mishpat却找到了mispat，我寻找tsedaqua却找到了tseaqua，意思是我寻找公平却看到了流血，寻找正义却听到了痛苦的呐喊。 公平的缺失和正义的真空是上帝在以色列现状中发现的苦果，所以葡萄园需要被铲除和重新种植。 上帝的审判是严厉的，但在圣经中它从来不是永久的，它总是期望将来会有更好的事情发生。
We’re not sure who wrote the Letter to the Hebrews, but profound wisdom colours its pages. Faith is not something we learn as a static reality, it is always a dynamic adventure on which we are embarking. Using the metaphor of athletics the person of faith is at one and the same time participating and spectating. Stripping off encumbrances, straining ever forwards, encouraged by those who have already run their race, and in turn cheering on those who are following, the Christian never looks back or even around, but looks toward Jesus who pioneers and perfects faith. That is to say, Jesus first stepped out on to this path and in his life, death and rising, perfects the journey of faith in the eternal kingdom.
我们不确定是谁写的希伯来书，但它的每一页都充满了深刻的智慧。 信仰不是我们需要认识的一些静态现实，而是我们不断开启的冒险征程。 用田径运动来做比喻，有信仰的人既是参与者，又是观众。 跨越障碍，奋力冲刺，被那些已经参加比赛的人所激励，并为那些随后比赛的人欢呼。基督徒永远不会回头看，也不会环顾周围，只会定睛耶稣，他是实现了信仰的先驱。 也就是说，耶稣首先踏上了这条道路，在他的生命，死亡和复活中，完成了永恒王国信仰的旅程。
As many of us know, for us the fight is not to overcome the best of the competition; it is to overcome the worst of ourselves. So we need to cheer on other runners - and accept their encouragement of us. More of a relay race than an out-and-out sprint, or gruelling marathon. Daily we pass the familiar obstacles and temptations and daily need to focus on Jesus and be as prepared to bear the cost as he was, even when it is cross-shaped.
正如我们许多人所知，对我们而言，斗争并不是为了打败最强的对手; 而是战胜最糟糕的自己。我们为其他选手加油呐喊--- 也接受他们对我们的鼓励。人生更像是一场接力，而非一场彻头彻尾的冲刺或艰苦的马拉松。 我们每天都会遇到类似的阻碍和诱惑，所以需要每天专注于耶稣，并准备承担和他一样的代价，即使这个代价是走上十字架。
There are beautiful words that fall from the lips of Jesus - and some dreadful ones, as in today’s gospel. If we understand that fire is an image not only of danger and destruction, but of love and rebirth, we may settle back in our pews a little more comfortably. But talk of family relationships totally collapsing and turning poisonous is discomfiting. Jesus does promise and bring peace, but it is not the peace of defending the status quo which excludes too many from any degree of peace. For us peace demands that we be or become people of redemption and restoration. And giving in to anger is for us only permissible if that anger is rooted in profound love, not encompassing rage. Can we tell when our limit is reached? As the silversmith said, “I know the silver is refined when I can see my face in it.”
就像我们今天读的福音书里的章节， 耶稣的口中既有美丽的话语， 也有可怕的话语。 如果我们明白火不仅代表危险和毁灭，同时也代表着爱和重生，我们就可以感到舒服一点，坐回到我们的长椅上。 但谈论家庭关系完全破裂和变得具有毒害性是很令人沮丧的。 耶稣确实承诺并带来了平安，但这并不是维持现状的平安，而将很多其他任何程度的平安都排除在外。 对我们而言，平安需要我们是或成为被救赎和新造的人。 对我们来说，只有当愤怒根于深刻的爱而非累积的情绪，屈服于愤怒才是可允许的。 我们知道什么时候会到达我们的极限了？ 正如银匠说的那样，“当我能看到自己的脸时，我就知道银子被提炼出来了。”
Crisis is the edge where change is possible. May change fall gently into the minds and hearts of those committed to bolstering the “have’s” at all costs to the “have-not’s”, to abusive husbands and lost teenagers, to desperate searchers and deceptive teachers, to bombastic leaders and timid followers. Let moral and holy fires burn up the dross and make room for the hidden and healthy growth prepared by God and to be tended by ourselves.
危机是可能发生变化的边缘。 愿改变能温柔地降临在那些致力于不惜一切“一无所有”的人的代价去支持“富有”的人的心上和头脑里，降临在虐待妻子的丈夫和迷失的青少年的心上和头脑里，降临在绝望的搜救者和具有欺骗性的老师的心上和头脑里，降临到夸夸其谈的领导者和胆小的追随者的心上和头脑里。 让道德和神圣的火焰烧毁糟粕，为上帝所预备的健康成长腾出空间，让我们自己成长。
Keep calm and carry on is catchy, and worked in the British psyche in wartime. God give me work until my life shall end, and life until my work is done can serve the same end in our lives, by God’s grace.
Pentecost 9, August 11, 2019
Don’t give up worship. Take up justice.
Somewhere along the line in my formation for the preaching ministry, a wise pastor said that each sermon should contain: something to learn, something to feel, something to choose, and something to do. The readings today offer ample scope to put that advice into practise.
The bulk of the Hebrew scriptures outlines the nature of worship, the most authentic and divinely inspired human activity. Rules and regulations abound, and no priest nor worshipper need be in any doubt as to what is required of them. Yet here is God detesting and ridiculing the whole endeavor, and preferring instead honest dealings in the marketplace and in the home. What is happening?
希伯来书中的大部分经文概述了崇拜的本质，这是最真实，最神圣的人类活动。 规矩和条例比比皆是，任何牧师和敬拜者都无需质疑对他们的要求。 然而，上帝憎恨和嘲笑整个事业，而宁愿看到在市场和家庭中的诚实行为。 为什么？
If you set up life as mainly choosing an Either/Or solution, it seems as though God is sitting on a branch and sawing it off between himself and the tree trunk! If, however, you construe life as mainly choosing Both/And, then God is prioritizing right relations among humans as the fundamental thing, and worship as that which serves that end. Worship, in a word, needs not only to lead towards God in piety, but towards neighbour in charity.
如果你把生活设定为在二选一的方案中做出选择，那就象上帝坐在树枝上，然后把他和树干从中间锯开！ 然而，如果你把生活解释为可以两者兼而有之，那么上帝就会优先考虑人与人之间的正确关系，并将其视为根本，而敬拜则是为那个目的而服务的。 敬拜，总而言之，不仅是将人们引向对上帝的虔诚，也将人们引向对邻舍的慈善。
And that involves doing our own laundry! As you sort through your laundry basket separate out those clothes which do not really need a washing, from those which need a delicate washing, and those which need a spot remover, agitation, spin cycle and double rinse! Glossing over our sinfulness won’t do, comparing our soiled lives with ours who are obviously worse won’t do. We must allow God’s spirit to cleanse deeply the root of our sin and the fruit of our sin in our lack of mercy and humility. And then return to worship as thanksgiving, praise and petition.
这就像我们自己洗衣服！ 当您整理洗衣篮时，将那些不需要洗涤的衣服从那些需要精细洗涤的衣服中分出来，以及把那些需要去除污渍，洗涤， 甩干和双重漂洗的衣服分开！ 掩饰我们的罪是行不通的，将我们污秽的生活与更糟糕的人相比较，也是行不通的。我们必须让上帝的灵深深洁净根除我们的罪，在我们在欠缺仁慈和谦卑的情况下，从罪中结出圣灵的果子， 然后回归敬拜，去感恩，赞美和祈求。
Faith, the writer of the book of Hebrews, asserts is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. To that point, investigating detectives know that absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence. The evidence has just not yet become apparent. And so with our faith - it has a substantial basis and many evidences of its existence. As one of my favourite authors - Frederick Buechner - wrote, “ Faith is stepping out into the unknown with nothing to guide us but a hand just beyond our grasp.” On this journey we do not get proof - we get signs. We must interpret these to encourage us on the journey - and in the right direction.
菲斯，希伯来书的作者，断言是对所希望事物的保证，是未见事物的证据。 对于这一点，侦探知道缺乏证据与缺席的证据不同。 证据尚未显现， 我们的信仰也是如此--- 有很显著的基础和许多的证据证明它的存在。 正如我最喜欢的作家之一 - 弗雷德里克·比施纳（Frederick Buechner）所写的那样，“信仰正带领我们走向未知世界，在这个过程中没有任何东西可以引导我们，只有超出我们掌控的手。”在这个旅程中，我们没有得到证据 – 但我们有迹可循。 我们必须理解这些，以鼓励我们走上正确的道路。
It is our heavenly Father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom. To help us, we need to stop clinging to our possessions, share with the needy and guard against the greedy. Be prepared, as the Boy Scout movement says, not only for what you need to do, but for what you need to accept - not a night-time thief, but a day-time party! God wants to break through into the very ordinariness of your routine with examples of his peace and justice, his delight in your life as you live it, his hope for your blossoming and blooming into life-saving and life-enriching fruitfulness.
我们的天父很高兴给我们这个王国。 为了帮助我们，我们需要停止依赖我们的财产，与有需要的人分享，并远离贪婪。 正如童子军活动中所说的，不仅要为你需要做的事做好准备，还要为做你需要接受的事做好准备- - 不是夜晚的偷窃，而是日间的派对！ 上帝希望通过他的和平与正义，通过他对你生活的喜悦，通过对你生命的绽放并结出累累硕果的希望，来打破你日常生活的平庸。
In a word, we do not need more of God. God needs more of us. We are to be conduits of his love, not containers of his love. That way our heart will be fixed in God who is nothing more nor less than the treasure of our life. God’s grace turns all that we have into all that we can desire. Thanks be to God
总之，我们不需要从上帝那里得到更多。 上帝需要更多的我们。 我们要成为他的爱的管道，而不是他的爱的容器。 这样，我们的心就会固定在上帝身上，而上帝只是我们生命中的财富。 上帝的恩典将我们拥有的一切转化为我们所想要的一切。 感谢上帝
Pentecost 8, August 4 2019
Set your mind on things that are above,
where Christ is
we presume to advise God on where his mind should be set? Where does God’s mind
rest when God is not thinking of anything in particular? Since we tremble at
our audacity at this approach, let me turn it towards ourselves. Where should
my/your/our mind be set when we are not thinking of anything in particular? A
spinning wheel rests when the valve reaches the bottom - a weight helps to
centre it. What is the weight that centres your spinning mind, what defines you
when there is no one to observe, or interact with? To my mind, these are some
questions raised by today’s readings.
我们敢告诉上帝他应该怎么想吗？ 当上帝没有什么特别的事情需要考虑时，祂会思考什么呢？在我们为自己的这种大胆的方式感到胆战心惊的同时，我们不妨转向自己。当我们没有什么特别的事情需要考虑时，我/你/我们会思考什么？ 当陀螺到达绳子的底部，飞轮会停下来 - 重力使其居中。 在没人注意或互动的情况下，你思维旋转的重心是什么？ 在我看来，这些是今天阅读中提出的一些问题。
Hosea depicts God as the father of a newborn,
full of affection, tenderness and protectiveness, even when the child grows up
and grows away from the father. While anyone would forgive God in abandoning or
punishing such a disobedient and ungrateful child, God cannot bring him/herself
to do that. Wrath and anger is
never God’s ultimate goal - and it can never be ours. God’s mind comes to rest
pointing at mercy not vengeance. God is longsuffering, ferocious and tender -
an unimaginable combination of qualities - and in being returned to such a God
defines our salvation.
何西阿将上帝描绘成一个新生儿的父亲，富有感情，温柔，具有保护性，即使在孩子长大并离开父亲后，仍然如此。 虽然任何人都会原谅上帝放弃或惩罚这样一个不听话，忘恩负义的孩子，但上帝不能让他/她自己这样去做。 愤怒和怨气永远不是上帝的终极目标 ----- 它也永远不会是我们的终极目标。 上帝的思绪会停留在怜悯上而不是报复上。 上帝是忍耐的，既凶猛又温柔 ----- 一种难以想象的不同品质的组合 ----对我们的救恩的定义就是回归到这样的一位上帝的怀抱。
indulges in the common practice of comparing and contrasting two choices or
definitions (eg compare and contrast the causes and results of WW1 and WW2).
Left to our own devices what do we think about most often, what influences
shape us the most? The things of heaven or the things of earth? Factors which
cause us to take care of ourselves at all costs or those which priorities the
needs of others? Congratulating ourselves on what we have that others don’t, or
exerting ourselves to provide
for others what they need, over what we want?
保罗喜欢比较和对比两种选择或定义的常见做法（例如，比较和对比第一次世界大战和第二次世界大战的原因和结果）。 当涉及到我们自己时，我们最常想到的是什么，影响我们最大的是什么？ 是天堂里的事还是地球上的事？ 导致我们不惜一切代价照顾自己的因素是什么？让人优先考虑他人需求的因素又是什么？ 是要庆祝自己拥有别人没有的东西？还是要越过自己所需要的去满足别人的需要？
Paul then gives some sage advice,
summarised in the familiar parallel between the gospel and a pumpkin. What! You
don’t know that one? God washes us thoroughly, scoops out all the gunk, and
puts a smile on our face! As we mature spiritually we are to discard all the
junk in our lives, to add to the growing pile of garbage this causes, and then
to encourage and be surprised and delighted by what beauty grows in its place -
all of it for the benefit of others, not ourselves. The fruit God’s grace grows
in our lives is not for us to boast about or hoard, but to be shared with our
然后保罗给出了一些圣人的建议，这在我们熟悉的福音书和南瓜的对比中有所总结。 什么！ 你不知道这个？ 上帝彻底洁净我们，舀出所有的垃圾，并在我们的脸上露出笑容！(这就像我们在刻南瓜灯一样) 当我们在灵性上成熟时，我们要抛弃我们生活中的所有垃圾，同时又在不断增长的垃圾堆中累积，被激励，并对从此处成长出的美丽感到惊讶和欣喜----- 所有这些都是为了 他人，而不是我们自己。在我们生活中所结出的上帝恩典的果实不是为了我们的自夸或积累，而是要与我们的邻居分享。
Jesus refuses to intervene in the questioner’s
desire to have another judge about a family inheritance. The story he tells is
open-ended. The wealthy farmer is held up as an unlikely hero who becomes a
derided loser. It is not so much what he does with money as it is what money
does to him. Money is a
good servant and a bad master. Jesus teaches that greed is born out of the idea
of scarcity, and scarcity is born out of anxiety. Rather than being committed
to a lifetime of accumulation, only to be devastated at its loss, we are to be
content with God’s love which turns whatever we have into everything we could ever need.
耶稣拒绝干预提问者关于家庭继承想要另一个法官的愿望。 他讲的故事没有结尾。 这位富裕的农场主不太可能被视为一个英雄，相反他成为了一个被嘲笑的失败者。 不是因为他对金钱做了什么，而是金钱对他做了什么。 金钱是一个好仆人，却是一个坏主人。 耶稣教导说，贪婪源于稀缺的观念，而稀缺的观念则源于焦虑。 我们不该一生致力于积累，而在失去时遭受毁灭性打击，我们要满足于上帝的爱，这种爱将我们拥有的一切变成我们可能需要的一切。
Where does your mind point when at rest? To
things ephemeral or things eternal? To fending off threats to your power/position,
or to defending the poor and defenseless? To contentment in God’s abundance or
to anxiety about our diminishing resources and pathetic impotence?
在休息时你的思绪指向哪里？ 短暂的事物还是永恒的事物？ 是抵御对你的权力/位置的威胁，还是为穷人和手无寸铁的人辩护？ 是满足于上帝所提供的丰盛之中，还是对我们日益减少的资源和可怜的无能为力而焦虑？
SET YOUR MIND ON THINGS ABOVE WHERE CHRIST
IS ALL IN ALL
Pentecost 4c19, June 30, 2019 (Trinity Lutheran) Luke 9:51-62 路加福音 9：51-62
Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem.
Have you ever ‘set your face’ to go anywhere? Have you ever set your face, no matter what, to accomplish something? Might we even know what that means? To have such an urgency, to place such paramount value upon one reality that we will make major sacrifices so that thing will happens?
Some people do ‘set their face’ in such ways – some athletes, some professionals, some friends, parents, spouses. How about us? Are we willing to ‘set our face’ for something, for someone? (pause)
有些人的确决心这样做--- 比如一些运动员，专业人士，我们的朋友，父母，配偶。我们自己呢？对于某人，我们是否愿意为某些人或某些事而“出发”？ （暂停）
Jesus ‘sets his face’ for a specific reason – to go to Jerusalem. There he will embrace incomprehensible suffering and death FOR YOU, FOR ME, FOR ALL PEOPLE, EVEN FOR CREATION. He suffers this at the hands of people, people much like you and I – people doing their job, people caught up in systems that run on fear, anxiety and sometimes greed.
Jesus ‘sets his face’ to go to Jerusalem to do God’s will, to fulfill the mission given to him by God. Luke’s Gospel makes very clear what Jesus’ mission is. We hear this in his first sermon in Luke where he says, “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Today many question the relevancy of Jesus. Some don’t even give Jesus or Christianity a second thought.
So I ask, “do we actually need ‘good news’? Can’t we provide good news ourselves by purchasing more, travelling more? Who among us needs release, recovery of sight? Can’t we all or at least most of us already see? And what is all this stuff about the Lord’s favor? Do we who live on the West Coast of Canada just one day before our country’s 152 birthday need any of this freedom, sight, favor? Maybe some people who have lost their way, or whose country are under siege, or have experienced the ravages of natural disasters need this, but us? (pause)
Not that long ago, a mother, young in so many ways, barely 40, and grizzled in so many other ways – the survivor of an abusive relationship, one who managed to extricate herself and her 3 children from a man caught up in a destructive web of drug abuse, contacted a Pastor whom she had known years before. She calls this Pastor because she is devastated. He can hear it in her voice, the depth of suffering that bubbles to the surface, that is so much deeper than mere words or even sobs can convey. She tells this Pastor that her oldest child, her elder daughter, barely 19 has died. She tells him that her child, so beautiful, so kind, with such a good heart, has taken her own life. She tells him that after hours of frantically searching in the wee hours of the morning, she found her daughter hanging from a tree near their home. How she agonizes – even as she cries to her Pastor. Did she miss any of the signs? Could she have done anything differently? Now she wonders, oh, my God, how she wonders – what now for her remaining daughter and son? What now for herself? Where is God in all of this? How can they go on? (pause)
就在不久之前，一位母亲，从各方面看她都很年轻，还不到40岁，在很多方面生活又是灰色的--- 一段被虐待的关系的幸存者，设法让自己和三个孩子摆脱一个深陷于药物滥用泥沼的男人。她联系了多年前认识的牧师。她打电话给这位牧师, 因为她已满目疮痍，从她的声音里他就能听出，她所受到的深深的伤害。这种伤痛超出一切语言和泪水所能表达的。她告诉牧师，她的大女儿，才19岁就死了。她告诉他，她的孩子，如此美丽，如此温柔，有着如此善良的心，她却亲手结束了自己的生命。她告诉他，经过几个小时的疯狂搜索，凌晨，她发现她的女儿吊在她家附近的一棵树上。在她向牧师哭诉时，可以感受到她的极度痛苦。她错过了任何迹象吗？她有没有做过跟其他父母不同的事情？现在，她想知道，哦，我的上帝，她很想知道---- 现在她另外的女儿和儿子会怎么样？她自己该怎么办？所有的这一切发生的时候上帝在哪里？他们如何继续下去？ （暂停）
The Pastor tries to take in all that she is saying, feeling, communicating. He remembers years ago baptizing her daughter, her child, God’s child. He realizes how profoundly she needs much more than mere pious platitudes, more than “it will be better some day”, more than “get away for awhile, maybe take a vacation”, so much more than “buy yourself and your kids something really nice and you’ll feel better”. She desperately needs help, consolation, comfort – someone with her and for her today and for the long haul...
牧师试图理解她所说的，所感觉的一切。他记得几年前给她的女儿，她的孩子，上帝的孩子施洗。他意识到她需要的远远超过那些虔诚的陈词滥调，不仅仅是“有朝一日会更好”， 不仅仅是“离开一段时间，也许去休假一段时间” 也不是“为自己和孩子买些好东西，你就会感觉好点。”她迫切地需要帮助，安慰 和慰籍--- 有人能今天及以后陪着她......
It is another time, another place. The phone rings yet again. It’s the maternity ward at the local hospital. Often that place is a place of joy. But not this time. Again a Pastor is summoned to be with a young woman, a woman he had never met before that day. She had been 9 months pregnant. Everything seemed find. But that morning she didn’t feel any movement. Tests were ordered, stat. The results had come back. Her baby had died. She is inconsolable. Her boyfriend is in the hallway yelling at a doctor who attempts to carefully hear this young man’s indescribable pain. The pastor is summoned to be with them, those two young people, kids themselves whose baby has inexplicably died.
Is there any hope – I mean real hope? Can there be new life – for their baby who has died, for that young woman and that young man?
有没有希望 ---- 我的意思是真正的希望？对于那个年轻男人和女人，对于他们死去的孩子，还会有新的生命吗？
The commercials and platitudes of our time and place, the don’t worries, be happy; the age old wisdom of time heals, this too will pass – don’t cut it for them. These slogans are exposed for what they are – ultimately empty in the face of the overarching realities of life which must include suffering and death.”
我们这个时代的广告和陈词滥调，“不要担心，要快乐”;古老的智慧“时间会治愈”，”不要为此痛苦，终将会过去” ----这些口号是为他们所处的境遇而出现的 ---而面对生活中必须经历的痛苦和死亡的现实，这些话最终都是空洞的无力的。
Dear people these stories aren’t just ‘stories’. They are not even only about 2 women and a young man or even only those women’s children. They are about God’s children – all of these people and all of us! They are about living in the midst of the reality of the power of death, of the forces of evil that attempt to suck the very life and hope from all of us – to convince us that all there is what we can see, hear, feel, taste, touch, somehow have some control over. When we allow ourselves to believe, to trust such illusory voices – well then evil is beginning to triumph. Trusting such illusory voices denies, the power of the love of God in Jesus the Christ. Trusting such illusory voices forces us to keep running at frantic paces so that we don’t ever stop to listen, to see, to feel, to think and question – what really matters. What is truth?
亲爱的人们，这些故事不仅仅是“故事”，甚至不仅仅是关于两名女性和一名年轻男性的故事，也不是仅仅有孩子的女性的故事。这是关于上帝的孩子 – 所有这些人以及我们所有人的故事！是关于生活在死亡和邪恶力量的现实中的故事，这些邪恶力量试图吸取我们所有人的生命和希望， 让我们相信我们看到，听到，感受到，品尝到，触摸到的一切不知何故有一些控制权。当我们允许自己相信，相信这种虚幻的声音时 - 那么邪恶就开始取得胜利。相信这种虚幻的声音就否认了在耶稣基督里上帝的爱的力量。相信这种虚幻的声音迫使我们继续以疯狂的速度奔跑，这样我们就不会停下来倾听，观察，感受，思考和质疑 - 真正重要的是什么。什么是真理？
To be sure – death, all the forms of evil, hatred and violence, abandonment and horrible losses occur every single day. Sometimes they even happen to us, among us. Occasionally we consciously or unconsciously contribute to the occurrence of such events. But death in all of its forms – evil, hatred, violence, abandonment, horrific losses – are not all there is. Nor are all these realities all there will ever be. Nor are these forces as overwhelming as they can be the most powerful forces in the world.
可以肯定 ----- 死亡，所有形式的邪恶，仇恨和暴力，遗弃和可怕的损失每天都会发生。有时他们甚至发生在我们中间，存在于我们中间。偶尔我们会有意识或无意识地为此类事件的发生做出贡献。但是所有形式的死亡 - 邪恶，仇恨，暴力，遗弃，可怕的损失 - 都不是全部。所有这些现实都不会永远存在。这些力量也不会是压倒性的，因为它们不是世界上最强大的力量。
May God help us to see and know this – Jesus sets his face to go to Jerusalem. He goes to Jerusalem for you, for me, for that young mom and her precious 19 year old daughter who has just taken her own life. Jesus sets his face to go to Jerusalem for the other 19 year old mom and her baby who has just died, for her angry boyfriend out in the hallway yelling at the doctor. Jesus sets his face to go to Jerusalem for each of us, for all of us, for whatever has happened or hasn’t happened in our lives. Jesus sets his face to go to Jerusalem for those of us who are here in this place and for others who wouldn’t set foot in this place for whatever reasons, for those who can’t or won’t trust God or even anyone or anything else.
愿上帝帮助我们看到并知道这一点 ---- 耶稣毅然决然下定决心去耶路撒冷。为了你，为了我，为了那个年轻的母亲和她刚刚结束自己生命的珍贵的19岁女儿，他为你而去了耶路撒冷。耶稣为了另一个19岁的母亲和她刚刚去世的婴儿，为了在走廊里对医生大喊大叫的男朋友而去耶路撒冷。耶稣为我们每一个人，为我们所有人，无论在我们的生活中发生过或者没有发生过什么，他为了我们每一个人而去耶路撒冷。对于我们这些在这里的人以及因为某种原因不会踏足这个地方的人，耶稣向耶路撒冷出发，为那些不能或不会信靠上帝或者其他人或事的人。
Jesus goes to Jerusalem. He is spat upon, berated spurned, beaten, abandoned, discounted. He is horrifically crucified. How he suffers. He dies.
He dies – for you, for me, for all people, for all creation. He dies because of us. He dies taking on all the forces of evil and death. He has set his face to Jerusalem. He will not turn back regardless of the cost. (Pause)
But then oh people, when it is the bleakest, when there is seemingly little or no light, when all seems lost – Jesus is raised by God. He lives again. He breathes His very Spirit upon all who follow him. He offers forgiveness, that is new beginnings with God, with others and even with ourselves to those near and far – especially to those who have abandoned him.
He calls all of us, including you and me to trust him, to follow him in our daily lives. We are to walk with others where they are. We are to share his love with others, in silence, in deed and sometimes when called for in word – with those nearby, with those sometimes far off with those we easily like and with those whom we find difficult to care for or about. God will show us how and who.
Sometimes we will be called to weep with those who weep, to dance with those who dance, in the midst of however they or we are feeling. In all of this, by God’s grace we too may bring good news to the poor, declare release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, allow the oppressed to go free. This is part of following a suffering, risen Saviour.
Jesus doesn’t say, “this will be easy”. It isn’t. Living with hope in the face of despair, practicing forgiveness instead of following our urges for vengeance or getting even, working at love instead of hatred in the face of death and evil will never be easy. On our own, it’s impossible.
But Jesus shows us – we are not on our own! He and the Spirit and the people and creatures God sends us, accompany us through any and all realities - to the other side.
但耶稣告诉我们 - 我们不是靠自己！他和圣灵以及上帝所赐的人和生物，会陪伴我们度过所有现实 - 到了另一边。
Jesus sets his face to go to Jerusalem’. He commands us to follow him. Will we? Are we?
Know this. His command is both for our well being and for the well being and life of the world God loves so much.
Oh God, help us to ‘set our faces’ to follow Jesus today, each day –for Christ’s sake and the sake of the world. Amen.
Pentecost 3c19, June 23, 2019
Luke 8:26-39 (Trinity Lutheran Church, Delta)
OUR STORY? (Luke 8:26-39) 我们的故事
I wonder if you were listening to the account from the Gospel? I wonder because it’s so easy to tune it out. The story seems so strange, so foreign to us. What can we 21st century people identify with, demons, being shackled, mutilating ourselves, being cut off from others? And what’s all this stuff about pigs rushing off a cliff to drown? It all seems so strange, so different than anything we know, anything we experience now.
After all we are sophisticated people. Many of us wouldn’t be caught anywhere with our cell phones. Some of us have instagram accounts, communicate via snap chat. And if we aren’t into those things, we may watch television, travel to near or faraway places. What does any of this story that the gospel writer Luke share with us this morning have to do with us?
However at a closer look maybe this story isn’t so far removed from us. Maybe it is so close to “home” that it will make us uncomfortable.
I remember a young woman, actually many young people, but let me tell you of one particular young woman. She is intellectually vibrant, physically beautiful. At the time of my memory she had been married less than five years, the mother of a 3 year old, amazing little boy. She had two parents who loved her, a husband who supported, encouraged and accompanied her with much love. But she also struggled, mightily. She struggled with an eating disorder. Her struggles were so significant, that periodically once every year or so, she would need to be hospitalized. I don’t know how much you know about eating disorders, but they absolutely control the person. The person may force themselves to eat very little, while later bingeing, may exercise compulsively, while perceiving themselves to be overweight while in fact they may be malnourished, even starving. The person suffering with an eating disorder may also purge, that is they force themselves to vomit after eating. This beautiful, caring, lovely young woman was caught up in all of that. As a result she would be hospitalized, sometimes tube fed for periods of time, have her exercise equipment taken away – so that she could regain some semblance of physical health. While hospitalized it would be mandatory for her to take part in a support group with others who also battled with eating disorders. How she longed for, how she and so many others struggling with her illness needed to experience freedom and deliverance– freedom from the obsessions of their lives, freedom to actually know who they are, and deliverance to be able to live free from the compulsions. (Pause)
我认识一位年轻女性，其实我认识很多年轻人，但是让我告诉你这一位特别的年轻女性。她性格开朗，相貌美丽。在我记忆中，她结婚不到五年，是一个3岁小孩的母亲。她有两个爱她的父母，一个支持，鼓励和陪伴她的丈夫。但她也有挣扎。她因饮食紊乱症而痛苦。她的病痛如此严重，以至她大约每年都有一次需要住院治疗。我不知道你对饮食紊乱症了解多少，但这个病痛绝对控制了她。患病的这个人可能会强迫自己吃得很少，有时又会暴饮暴食，可能会强迫性地锻炼，同时感觉自己超重，而实际上他们可能因饥饿而营养不良。患有饮食紊乱症的人也会呕吐，即他们在进食后会强迫自己呕吐。这个美丽，充满爱心，可爱的年轻女子倍受病痛折磨。因此，有时她需要住院治疗，接受插管喂食，她的运动器材也被没收， --- 这样她就可以重新获得健康的外表。在住院期间，她必须与其他同时与饮食紊乱症作斗争的人组成互助小组。她和许多其他与疾病作斗争的人多么渴望获得自由和被拯救----从捆绑中被解放出来，认识自己，从压迫中被拯救出来。 （暂停）
I also think of a man, a man similar to my age. For many years to those viewing his life from outside of his life, he had it all. He had a career where he made good money, where many, many others respected and looked up to him. He was married to a woman who loved and also respected him. They had been blessed with two daughters. Their daughters were blessed with a variety of talents and energy. These girls deeply loved their dad and mom. But there was an overarching problem. This man drank – too much. At first his drinking seemed to be ‘manageable’ or at least that’s the way he liked to think of it. But as time progressed, his drinking also progressed. His drinking was consuming him. His compulsion to drink eventually cost him his marriage, his career. His drinking has severely damaged his relationship with his now grown daughters. In fact when one of his daughters was married about 2 years ago, she told him that he could come to her wedding, if he wasn’t drinking. And it was her stepfather, yes this man’s wife has remarried, that walked his daughter down the aisle while he stood by and wept. Later when that young couple were blessed with their own daughter, this man’s daughter contacted him to tell him that she would love for him to see his granddaughter but only if he wasn’t drinking. And although that was over a year ago I am not sure whether this man has been able to see his own granddaughter yet, although they live within a half hour’s drive of each other. (Pause)
These are moving, real life stories. But you may ask – what do they have to do with me, with us, with we who are gathered here and now? You or I may not have an eating disorder. You or I may or may not have a problem with addiction to alcohol or other drugs. Those of you who are not caught up by those particular struggles may feel, may even believe that you are free. After all freedom is part of the assertion of our national anthem, O Canada. We sing proudly, “True north strong and free!”
这些都是令人感动的和真实的故事。但是你可能会问 – 这跟我，跟今天聚集在这里的我们又什么关系呢？你我可能没有饮食失调症，可能有或没有酒精或其他药物成瘾的问题。那些没有被这些特殊困扰所捆绑的人可能会觉得，甚至可能相信你是自由的。毕竟自由是我们国歌的主张，O Canada。我们自豪地唱着，“真正的北方，强大而自由！”
But are we free? (Pause)
When I think of that question I am reminded of the epitaph on Martin Luther King Jr’s tombstone. It reads, “FREE, FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD I’M FREE AT LAST”!
Are we free?
Are you free to love yourself, to actually accept yourself as you are, warts and all? Are you caring for yourself in ways that foster and nurture abundant life? Do you eat properly, exercise in age appropriate ways? Do you stimulate your mind by reflecting, reading, praying in ways that lift yourself and others up? Do you avail yourself of opportunities that God provides for just such wonder and growth in music, poetry, literature?
Or, do you sometimes find yourself, as I find myself eating things that are less than healthy; filling chunks of my time by bingeing on things like television, junk food or even kinds of music that just fills my time, but doesn’t nurture or nourish, stretch my soul or mind?
Do you ever find yourself judging others whom you don’t even know? I think at first glance that some of these people I don’t know may be lazy or somehow less than me. Sometimes I make judgments of others based on my own ill informed stereotypes of their culture, their religion or their lack of practise of religion... And I am then ashamed of myself. Do you ever catch yourself doing similar things?
At other times I find myself avoiding others: the man sitting cross legged on the street with his baseball cap laying in front of him. I avoid his glance. Or I walk as far away as possible to somehow not interact with him. Why is that? Do I not see that he is also God’s child? Is my avoidance of this man part of my freedom? Or does my attempt at avoiding this man point to the reality that I am not free, not free to care, to interact, to explore where God may be leading me in that moment? Am I free from or captive to fear? Am I caught up by the status quo – to consciously or unconsciously try to keep things the same, because even though the way things are is far from perfect, I have somehow learned to “live” with that?
在其他时候，我发现自己回避了一些人：那个盘腿坐在街上男人，他的棒球帽放在他面前，我避开他的目光。或者我尽可能走得远一点，以某种方式不与他互动。这是为什么？难道我没有看到他也是上帝的孩子吗？回避这个人是我的自由的一部分吗？或者，我试图避开这位男士的事实表明了这样一个现实，即我不是自由的，不能自由地关心别人，与他人互动，探索上帝在那一刻可能会带领我去的地方？我是否没有恐惧，免于捆绑？我是否拘于现状 - 有意识地或无意识地试图保持不变? 因为即使事情远非完美，我们也已经学会了将就？
How about you? Are you free to love God, others and creation with all you have, those unique abilities God has placed together in the marvelous mixture that is you? Or are you sometimes caught, stuck in ruts, unable to interact with people and the world they way you would really like to? Are you free to dream, or have you given that up as a childish delusion?
The man that meets Jesus as Jesus steps off the boat in the land of the Gerasenes, the man whose only name we hear of is of his illness called legion, that man who has no home except among the dead, that man who is compelled to mutilate himself and stalk around naked, is anything but free.
But at least he knows this. Deep within his being he is honest with himself. Those destructive forces that are controlling him recognize that Jesus is the Most High Son of God. Those destructive forces realize that they cannot control Jesus or even the Ones Jesus touches and frees. So, those destructive forces beg Jesus that if he is going to send them out of the man, that Jesus send them somewhere else. Jesus does so.
In freeing the man who once identified himself only by those destructive forces that had been controlling him for so long, Jesus restores that man to his identity. This man is one who is loved by God. This man then has the capacity to work at being in healthy relationships with others and with God. He can unashamedly and unapologetically live his life in that love, with freedom to exemplify for others one who is at peace, one who is in their right mind.
Such change isn’t always easily accepted by others. In fact those who had seen the man before are afraid. They may sense the power of God in their midst – a power that has the ability to change everything, to allow us to care for each other, for all others, for creation and ourselves. Such power disrupts the status quo. Such power will have all kinds of economic and financial implications. Sacrifices to the way things were are involved. We can’t go on the way we were. But the way we were has often been so destructive. (Pause)
其他人并不总是容易接受这种改变。事实上那些曾见过这个男人的人都感到害怕。他们可能感受到上帝在他们中间的力量 ------一种能够改变一切的力量。 这个力量使我们彼此关心，关爱他人以及其他一切创造。这种力量打破了现状，这种力量将产生各种经济和财政影响，会有牺牲。我们不能继续我们以前的方式。但我们以前的方式往往是如此具有破坏性。 （暂停）
So, what about us? Dare we see the places in our lives where we are not free? Dare we be open to God the Creator, to Jesus the Saviour, to the Holy Spirit who can breathe new life into us in so many ways? Might we be honest enough to see our vulnerability, our weakness, our own hurtful habits to others and ourselves? Are we being opened to the power that God brings to us and for us?
God knows us as we are. God loves us. That’s what God becoming flesh in Jesus of Nazareth is all about. That’s what our baptism is all about. We are children of God, loved and being forgiven. We are not perfect. We are often not free to love and forgive as God loves and forgives.
But God in Jesus approaches us. God through the Holy Spirit comes to open our eyes, our minds, our hearts – to be freed bit by bit, day by day, sometimes in massive ways. All of this is so that we can be enabled like the man in Luke’s story to get up and go back home. As imperfect, as broken, as wonderful, as unique as we are, God in Christ through the Spirit wills to， free us so that we can love, forgive and so reflect God, our Father and Mother.
Jesus comes to us today asking what’s your name? He comes to bring us new life, freedom to share who we are and whose we are with and for others?
Will we experience that freedom? Will we, are we living with it? God help us, for christ’s sake. Amen.
Holy Trinity, (also Father’s Day), June 16, 2019. Trinity Lutheran Church, Delta, BC
Texts – Psalm 8 and John 16:12-15
Sometimes Pastors are called to do different things. I have a friend Paul. He is an Anglican priest. He had served his congregation in Vernon for many, many years. In doing so he had connected with many hundreds of people, indeed conducted even hundreds of funerals. When it came time for him to leave that congregation he was faced with a bit of a dilemma. Over the years a number of people had left their loved ones ashes in urns with him. He had promised to store those ashes until they would come and pick them up. Many of these people had flown into Vernon from far-away places to have their loved ones funerals and left no forwarding contact information, or information that now was no longer applicable. So what was Paul to do now with these urns. He really didn’t want to take them to his new congregation. I mean what would people think of him, bringing ashes with him from his former parish. It’s called not getting off on the right foot. So one beautiful sunny morning Paul and his son, went down to Okanagan lake. They got in a boat – and as they motored out in the middle of the lake, they scattered many people’s ashes...
When one is a Pastor it is difficult to escape from the reality of our mortality. The phrase that we use in our Ash Wednesday service as we have ashes imposed on our foreheads is for all Pastors and priests literally true, never far from our minds. That is because we stand at the gravesides our friends and commit their bodies, their ashes to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. And sooner or later we likely do that with those closest to us – for me that was true in 2016 as I buried both my mom and my dad.
当一个人是牧师时，他很难摆脱我们死亡的现实。我们在Ash星期三的服侍中，我们把灰烬画到我们的额头上，我们所引用的话语对所有牧师和神父来说都是很真实的，从未脱离我们的思想。那是因为我们站在我们朋友的坟墓上，把他们的尸体，骨灰埋葬，尘归尘，土归土。迟早我们可能会为那些跟我们最亲近的人做这件事 - 对我而言，2016年就是如此，因为那一年我埋葬了我的父亲和母亲。
But that mortal part of our lives is always lived out against the wonder and beauty of life, the mystery and wonder of birth, new life, love that is stronger than death. I can remember being a child in northern Saskatchewan in the winter time. I had a hockey rink in my backyard. And late at night, well, late for an 8 year old, after all my friends had trundled home, I would turn off all the lights on my rink and lay down on my back. I would look up into the sky, a sky whose stars were not dimmed by the light pollution of a city and view the expanse of the stars. I was in awe at their grandeur, at their majesty – at my smallness and sometimes then at my seeming insignificance. Perhaps you may have had a similar experience sometime in your life – out on a boat, or climbing a mountain, viewing an animal's ability to run, to connect with you – or, the list can go on and on.
但是，我们生命中平凡的那一部分总是与生命的美丽和奇迹相连，生命诞生的神秘与奇妙，新的生命和爱远比死亡更强大。我还记得在萨斯喀彻温省北部的冬天我的孩提时代。我家的后院有一个冰球场。到了夜晚，当然对于一个8岁的孩子已经很晚了，在我的所有朋友都回家之后，我会关掉冰场上的所有灯，躺下仰望天空，一个没有被城市的光污染所黯淡的星空，可以看到幅员辽阔的星星，我感受到它们的威严，伟大和富丽堂皇，-- 同时也衬托出我自己的渺小，有时更看似是无足轻重的。也许你在生活中有过类似的经历 – 比如在船上时，或是在爬山时，抑或是在观察动物跑步的能力时，你会联系到自己----这种例子可以继续一直列下去。
Those thoughts and feelings continue on for me today as I realize that the stars I can see with the naked eye are less than .01 percent of the stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. And the Milky Way is only one of many galaxies in the universe, so many in fact that we can’t even count them or begin to comprehend their magnitude. It is then that I and perhaps we begin to get the drift of the Psalmist’s wonder. Can we hear the Psalmist’s wonder - O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name, your presence, your reality in all the earth. When I look at the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, what is man (literal translation adam, creatures of the earth that you are mindful of us?).
现在我的这些想法和感受一直在继续，因为我意识到我能用肉眼看到的星星不到我们银河系中星星的0.01％。而银河系只是宇宙众多星系中的一个。事实上我们甚至无法统计它们的数量，或者去理解它们有多么多。就在那时，我，也许是我们开始了解诗篇作者的敬服。我们能否听到诗人的敬拜 - 主啊，我们的君主，你的名字，你的存在，你的名在全地何其美！我观看你指头所造的天，并你所陈设的月亮星宿，便说，人算什么（字面翻译亚当，地球上的生物，你所关注的我们？）。
Indeed: there’s a question – why would or should God, the Creator, care about us, little seemingly insignificant us? (Pause)
确实：这里有一个问题 - 为什么上帝，造物主，关心我们，而我们看起来却是微不足道的？ （暂停）
AND YET, we experience, we know, we hear repeatedly, sometimes we see clearly that God does care! From Genesis, the very beginning of our Bible we are told that we human beings, we creatures of the earth are created bearing God’s own image. And this morning the Psalmist tells us that we are made by God little less than God or angels. I have to wonder, Why?
That’s another good question. It’s a question for the ages, a question so important, so profound that it’s also a question for eternity.
But the Psalmist doesn’t stop with the question. The Psalmist proceeds to wrestle with the reality of God’s gifts to us as human beings. God has placed other parts of creation, including human beings, plants, animals, birds, the fish of the sea, the sea itself in our care. WOW!
但诗篇的作者并没有停留在这个问题上。诗篇的作者继续与现实 -- 这个上帝赐给我们人类的礼物搏斗。上帝也创造了其他东西，包括人类，植物，动物，鸟类，海洋鱼类，海洋本身。哇！
Such a gift, such trust, such a calling is something we humans have labelled, VOCATION. This vocation, the call to care for others and creation is an integral part of our being. DEEP WITHIN US WE KNOW THIS IS TRUE!
We are created for relationship – relationship with God, relationship with others, relationship with the earth and all her creatures.
我们是为关系而创造的 - 与上帝的关系，与他人的关系，与地球的关系以及与地球上所有的生物的关系。
But how? How do we maintain, enter into, nurture and live in caring relationships with others, with the earth and her creatures? THIS IS ANOTHER AMAZINGLY LARGE AND DIFFICULT QUESTION... (pause)
Some say, “It’s easy. Do what you want. Do what comes naturally. If your relationships with others aren’t working for you, move on. Sometimes, we may have to. If those relationships with others or with the creation are destructive, we may have to withdraw from that relationship for awhile or for even for good.
One doesn’t walk unprotected into a lion’s enclosure. One doesn’t attempt to cross the Pacific on a surf board. One can’t live with another person who is continually abusive, physically or emotionally. But these realities do not end our calling from God to care for others and creation, including ourselves.
In our world today we face serious challenges. At home we face issues around each and every person needing a safe place to live, to be able to call home. Many parts of our province and country include people who struggle with issues of food security. They simply don’t have enough to eat, even though every day tons of food are being thrown out, wasted. We also continue to wrestle with misunderstanding our neighbors, especially those of different faiths, different cultural and religious backgrounds or no religious background whatsoever. Nor have we or do we always consider the cost of advancement on others, ourselves, wildlife or the environment. We do need to move forward – but we need to do so wisely, humbly in consultation with all others around us.
在当今的世界中，我们自己也面临着严峻的挑战。每个人都需要一个安全的居所，一个可以称为家的地方。许多省份和国家的人们都在为了食物而奔波挣扎。即便是每天都有大量的食物被扔掉，浪费掉， 他们仍然没有足够的食物。我们还继续努力解决我们对我们邻居的误解，特别是那些与我们有着不同信仰，不同文化和宗教背景的，或者是没有任何宗教背景的邻居。我们也不总会考虑到社会进步给我们自己和其他人，以及野生动植物或环境所带来的成本。我们确实需要前进 - 但我们需要明智地去做，谦卑地与我们周围的所有其他人协商。
In some ways we are beginning to wake up. As Christians we must together ask, “What is God calling us to do and be in the face of all these realities?” (pause)
I am absolutely amazed and humbled by what God entrusts to us. I remember just after our first daughter was born. She was so tiny. I wasn’t even sure how to hold her. And I thought to myself, I can’t even hammer a nail, or change my own oil. How am I going to be a role model for and take care of this incredible little human being?
Yes, God entrusts us with such huge responsibilities... To be sure, we are creatures of the earth, mortals, still evolving, still learning, still making many mistakes, too often obsessively self centered. And yet, God calls us to care for the earth, all earth’s creatures and each other.
At times we have done well. Often, we have failed. Then we have hurt, neglected, subjugated even attempted to exterminate each other and other species. We have dumped our waste into our waterways and pumped our poisonous emissions into our atmosphere, harming so much and so many. And still God entrusts us with this caring task, hoping that we will respond positively, lovingly now. Is God stupid, reckless, apathetic? (Pause)
NO! GOD DOESN’T LEAVE US ALONE TO OR IN OUR TASK. God sends God’s own breath, God’s own SON. GOD ALSO SENDS GOD’S OWN SPIRIT, AMONG US, WITHIN US. God’s living, wise breath breathes upon us.
That’s what Jesus is telling his disciples as He is trying to have them realize that He must leave them, that He is soon going to be killed. I suspect that Jesus realizes that they are going to be lost after He is killed. We must know some of that experience. When someone we deeply love dies, how lost are we? In that moment and from then on, everything changes.
How much even more so for the early disciples? They had walked, slept beside, conversed daily with Jesus. They had watched him, touch, feed, heal, argue with others and weep. They had listened to him tell them about God’s reign and seen him bring it near to them. They had just begun to realize that everyone matters, that no one is untouchable. So, they had begun to hope. But then he was killed. And they were lost...
Jesus anticipates their being lost before it happens. So he tells them and us of the wonderful gift that he and His Father, the Creator, are sending them and us. This gift is the Spirit, God’s own breath and wisdom.
There are many words that people have come up with over the years to speak of what this Spirit means to them. Among these words are COMFORTER, GUIDE, CONSOLER, ADVOCATE, BRINGER OF TRUTH.
Jesus sends the Spirit to His earliest disciples and to us to lead us into the truth. This truth is never so called fake news. Rather this truth emanates from the love of God seen in Jesus intended for the well being and new life of all people and all creation. Such truth is beyond our limited human comprehension. But such truth both grasps and embraces us, calling us, demanding, wooing us into responding to God’s love for us and all others by seeking to care for ourselves, others and all of creation with the unique gifts God showers upon us. These gifts from God to us are significant.
Think about a time when someone has said something to you or done something for you that has picked you up or even empowered you to go on with hope, or to rethink how you treat others. One of my golfing friends told me that last week he and his wife were sitting in a restaurant having lunch. After they had finished he asked for the bill. The server told him that his bill was paid. He looked around. He didn’t know another soul in that small restaurant. In fact there was only one other couple there. He inquired of them, “did you pay my bill?” The man smiled and said, “yes!”. My friend asked, “Why?” And the man replied, “Because I wanted to!” My friend thanked him. Later my friend told me, “That man has caused me to think about how I live my life.”
Think of the opportunities we have been given by God to help others, even to care for creation. Such opportunities are almost endless.
What would happen if we intentionally asked God each day, through God’s Spirit to show us what we can do today to fulfill our God given vocation of caring for others and the creation?
What would happen if our leaders in government, law enforcement agencies, teachers, doctors, nurses, mechanics, farmers, neighbors, friends, parents, siblings, pastors asked that same question and listened for God’s direction? We can only imagine! It can be, it is wonderful, it would be wonderfully good, that is, of God.
So, dear people, look around. Look around and see God’s handiwork. See the wonder and beauty. See the struggle and pain within and around us. Dear people, look around and be open to God’s call, God’s breath upon our lives. Live out of the call that comes through this mystery of God we call the trinity, the Creator, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Look around and know that we are not alone. God is more than mindful of us. God loves us. God breathes upon us and wills to direct us to care and live, bringing about new life, now and always. Amen and Amen.
Pentecost c, Narrative 19,June 9, 2019, Trinity Lutheran Church, Delta BC
Romans 8:26 -39 with Acts 2:1-4 in the background.
罗马书8：26-39 使徒行传 2：1-4
I remember being barely 17. The time had come. I was leaving my home, my parents, my friends and girlfriend. I was moving away from the city I had grown up in, to a different city, to university. Suddenly I was surrounded by over 10,000 other students. They all seemed much older, much more mature, to have their lives together, so much better than me. To top things off I lived in a dormitory where I knew no one. In my mind and heart I began to question whether or not I mattered. To the university I was merely a number, 713561. In those first days, weeks, even months of my time in university I felt as if no one there cared or even knew that I existed.
Have you ever felt that way, alone, supposedly insignificant that no one cared. Have you ever wondered if you really matter?
I wonder about that for so many people – for people who have no homes, whether they are those living on the streets in our Canadian cities, and it doesn’t matter how big our cities are – there are homeless in each and every place. I wonder about that for those who struggle to make ends meet. Oh yes, they may have a roof over their heads but by the middle or the end of the month they may need to access food from other sources – soup kitchens, community meals, the local food bank. Are these people insignificant? Does anyone really care?
我想知道很多人是不是都有这种感觉--那些没有住房的人，无论他们是住在我们加拿大哪个城市的街头，无论我们的城市有多大 - 每个地方都有无家可归者。对于那些努力维持生计的人，我想知道这一点。哦，是的，他们可能有一个居所，但在月中或月末，他们可能需要从其他来源获取食物 - 汤厨房，社区餐，当地的食物银行。这些人是微不足道的吗？ 有人真正关心他们吗？
I also wonder about that when I watch young people. They sometimes tell me that when they don’t meet the standards they feel our society or families set for them – great grades at school, success in the athletic, musical or academic fields, that they often feel insignificant, less than what really, truly could matter.
当我看到年轻人时，我也很想知道这一点。他们有时会告诉我，当他们没有达到社会或家庭给他们所定的标准时， - 比如没有在学校取得很好的成绩；没有在体育，音乐或学术领域获得成功时，他们常常会觉得自己微不足道，比那些真真正正重要的要差一些。
I also wonder about that when I watch people age, especially elderly people living alone or in care facilities. Who then comes to visit them? Who phones them? They often wonder if they are significant now that they no longer are employed, now that their mobility may be lessened, now that some of their closest friends and family members have died.
Others communicate to me that they wrestle with profound feelings of hopelessness. When they look at and allow themselves to feel what is happening to our earthly home – they begin to feel themselves sinking into despair. The polar icecap is melting, the oceans are rising. Some city’s water supplies are poisoned and people become ill and die. Numbers of species are becoming extinct. Yet so many of us continue on, either actually oblivious to the impact that our ways of living are having on our earthly home not only for us, but for so many others and for all those who will come after us. Will we, can we, are we willing to find new ways to live, new ways to get around, to house and clothe ourselves that do not so seriously gouge and damage our earthly home?
其他人告诉我，他们正在与强烈的无望感搏斗。当他们看到并让自己感受到我们的地球家园正在发生的事情时 - 他们开始觉得自己陷入到绝望之中。极地冰盖正在融化，海平面正在上升。一些城市的供水因受到污而使人们生病死亡。很多物种正在灭绝。然而，我们中的许多人仍然继续，或者实际上浑然不觉地保持着现有的生活方式，继续影响着我们的地球家园，这个家园不仅是我们的，也是其他许多人的，以及所有将来的人们的。我们能否，我们是否愿意去寻找新的生活方式，新的方法来安居乐业？而不是那么严重的凿击和破坏我们地球家园？
Hopelessness can raise its reality into our lives in many ways. When we fail at those things that are so important to us we may feel hopeless, even useless or worse yet, unloveable, not acceptable. Failure can happen in many ways. It can happen in exams. It can happen in relationships – not only when the relationship breaks down, but along the journey every day. When we say hurtful things to others, especially to those we love the most. When we aren’t attentive to others – and then later we wake up and wonder how we could not have heard or responded to their pain, to their need, to their joy. Hopelessness can arise within us when we are overwhelmed by change or even when we see our bodies or minds changing. Who are we then? What is our future? What is the future of life around us?
绝望可以通过多种方式在我们的现实生活中表现出来。当我们在那些对我们很重要的事情上失败时，我们可能会感到绝望，甚至觉得自己无用，或更糟糕地觉得自己不值得被爱，被接受。失败可能以多种方式发生。它可以在考试中发生，它可能发生在人际关系中 --不仅发生在关系破裂时，而且发生在我们生活的每一天。当我们对别人，特别是对我们最爱的人说出伤害性的话语时。当我们不关注他人时 –- 当我们醒来纳闷我们怎么没有听到或回应别人的痛苦，别人的需要，别人的快乐呢。当我们被变化所淹没，甚至当我们看到我们的身体或思想发生变化时，我们的内心就会产生绝望。我们是谁？我们的未来是什么？我们未来的生活会怎样？
In such times we may feel as if we are a tiny boat on a large body of water. For brief periods we may be getting by. For brief moments we may even be sailing on a gorgeous sunny day where life is filled with wonder and we are feeling great. But then, storm clouds gather, the wind whips up, the waves arise. Suddenly we are taking on water. Now we are fearing for our lives, and perhaps even the lives of others. Now we are simply trying so desperately not to drown. Others around us may already have died or are seemingly lost.
I suspect that St. Paul wrestled with all these experiences, with all these feelings. At one point in his life, even for a considerable amount of time he had been convinced that he was on the right course. He went about hunting other people down, seeking to ridicule and punish them. But then God encountered Paul, showing him that his life needed to be completely turned around. And, as his life was being turned around Paul encountered serious opposition, suffering, pain. He was shunned, even abandoned by many others. There must have been times when he was down in the dumps when he may well have had second and third thoughts about God loving him, about hope beyond the pain, the suffering, the sense of being cut off from others.
But, AND THIS IS SO IMPORTANT – Paul kept getting drawn back to Jesus the Christ, to God the Creator, to the work of the Holy Spirit both around and within Him. He realized that God the Creator loves us so. He became convinced that God sent God’s only Son to show us that no matter how we feel or what is happening we are not alone. God is with us and for us. God loves us.
但是，这一点非常重要 - 保罗不断被带回到耶稣基督，造物主上帝面前，归于在他周围和内里工作的圣灵。他意识到创造者上帝如此爱我们。他确信上帝派上帝唯一的儿子告诉我们，无论我们的感受如何或发生了什么，我们并不孤单。上帝与我们同在并与为我们工作。上帝爱我们。
Paul came to realize that even though sometimes he didn’t know what God’s will was or is or even how to pray for that, that God’s will, that God’s own Spirit and the risen suffering Christ prays for us, speaks on our behalf to God the Creator, so that we might become who God wills us to be now and always, so that we might live as God’s own beloved children, God’s very sons and daughters.
So it is that we get to hear the climax of Paul’s reflections on this – the work of God Creator, Son and Holy spirit for us and all people and all creation. Listen in: “What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us who is against us (that is who effectively can separate us from the loving power of God?)” Paul reflects on this for a few verses and then powerfully concludes, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth nor anything else in all of creation, can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
因此，我们可以听到保罗对此反思的高潮部分--- 上帝创造者，圣子和圣灵对我们以及所有人和所有受造之物的工作。请听：“那么我们要对这些事情说些什么呢？如果上帝是为了我们，那谁是反对我们的（是谁能有效地将我们与上帝的爱心分开？）“保罗在这几节经文中反思这一点，然后有力地总结道：” 因为我深信无论是死、是生，是现在的事，是将来的事，是高处的，是低处的，是别的受造之物，都不能叫我们与神的爱隔绝；这爱是在我们的主基督耶稣里的。”
Let me attempt to restate this in a more contemporary way. I quote Dan Clendenin, a blogger who in his blog, ‘Journey With Jesus’ relates the following.
让我试着以更现代的方式重申这一点。我引用了一位博主Dan Clendenin，的博客“与耶稣的旅程” 中的如下内容。
This past Easter, we had a baptism in our church. After the little boy rose from his third plunge beneath the waters, our priest made the sign of the cross on his forehead. As he did so, he recited those beautiful and powerful words: "William, you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ. You belong to God."
The next day, William told his mother, "I can still feel the cross. I hope it never comes off."
The oily cross wore off his forehead, but not God's unconditional promise. William belongs to God, forever, full stop. Nothing can ever change that.
This baptismal promise echoes the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist: "You are my beloved son." Writing in the Huffington Post about the baptism of Jesus, Vicki Flippin of The Church of the Village in New York City says, "I tell folks that baptism is the church declaring what has always been true, that each of us belongs to God and only to God. The child (person whatever their age) is claimed by God above all other claims."
Many malignant forces try to name and claim us. Baptism reminds us that first and foremost, above and beyond all other claims — however legitimate or oppressive — we belong to God.
We don't belong to our boss or the bank. We don't belong to an abusive spouse or our addictive impulses. We're not defined by sickness, success or failure. We don't belong to the political propagandists or the advertising industry. We're not the sum total of our poor choices, painful memories, or bad dreams.
"Even though it might feel like, look like, smell like, hurt like you belong to all these other things," says Flippin, "as sure as water is wet and God is good, I heard a voice out of the heavens say it: You belong to God. Our baptism can remind us that no one determines our worth in this world or in the next other than God."
Every person belongs to God. God created us. God cares for us. God calls us by name: "you are my beloved."
O precious people of God, wherever we are this day and in the coming days and nights, by God’s grace individually and collectively may we cling to this promise from God – we are God’s beloved. And NO THING AND NO ONE CAN EVER CHANGE THAT.
上帝的宝贵子民，无论我们今天和未来的日日夜夜，藉着上帝的恩典，我们才能既独自又联合地坚信上帝的承诺 - 我们是上帝所爱的人。没有什么事情，也没有什么人可以改变这一点。
By God’s grace and the Spirit’s ongoing work may we help each other to remember this, to live from this, to love and forgive others and this world – to live more caringly in the world. We are God’s beloved. Amen and Amen.
通过上帝的恩典和圣灵正在进行的工作，我们可以帮助彼此记住这一点，并由此去爱和宽恕别人和这个世界 - 在这个世界上满怀爱心地生活。我们是上帝所爱的人。阿门。
Easter 7 c, Narrative 19 (June 2, 2019, TLC, Delta)
Romans 6:1-14 罗马书6：1-14
Key verse is Romans 6:4 “Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
Paul speaks again and about “walking in newness of life”.
I wonder what that means for any and all people who have been joined to Christ. Does being joined to Christ make any real difference in our lives? Sometimes when I look around I see appallingly little difference. Only 4 years ago a 21 year old Lutheran man, who grew up in the church, walked into a prayer service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charlestown South Carolina and murdered 9 people he didn’t even know while wounding 3 others. Was Dylann Roof walking in newness of life?
我想知道这对任何和所有加入基督教的人来说意味着什么。加入基督教是否会对我们的生活产生任何真正的影响？有时当我环顾四周，我很少能看到惊人的差别。仅仅4年前，有一位21岁的路德教教徒，他在教堂长大，他在南卡罗来纳州查尔斯顿的伊曼纽尔非洲卫理公会主教教堂做祷告时，杀害了9名他甚至完全不认识的人，并使3人受伤。 Dylann Roof是否活在新生命中？
And is the newness of life that St. Paul is talking about in his letter to the Romans even possible for those survived his hate-filled shooting or the loved ones and friends of those whose lives he took? (brief pause)
What might this newness of life mean for those who have experienced and are experiencing the demeaning power of racial discrimination, bigotry, unequal treatment under the law in Canada? I am reminded of the Japanese Canadians who were stripped of their businesses and unjustly interred in Canada during World War II. They had done nothing wrong. I am also thinking of the murdered and missing indigenous women, some of whom lost their lives only a few miles from this church building. Although numerous reports had been filed about their disappearance, nothing was done for years. What might the newness of life Paul is speaking about mean for their friends and family?
And, what might this newness of life, mean for you and me, for we who are joined to the power of Christ’s death and resurrection so that the power of sin, which includes hatred, paralyzing fear of so many things and even people who may appear to be different than us or think differently than us, can be and is overcome?
Could we be enabled, are we being enabled to actually love and accept others, to wish for and work for the best for others including those who irritate and sometimes infuriate us?
Often we don’t wish to speak about sin, especially our sin. Or, if we do talk speak of sin, we seek to minimize its power. At such times we think of sin as eating what we shouldn’t eat, like too much chocolate or ice cream. Or we think of sin as something horrific that other people do, like Dylann Roof at that church in Charlestown or Robert Picton on his pig farm. Sin is out there, inhabiting others. But the power of sin is even more than that. The power of sin is alive and well, working within, upon and among us.
我们常常不想谈论罪，特别是我们自己的罪。或者，如果我们谈论罪，我们会尽量轻描淡写。在这种时候，我们认为罪是吃不应该吃的东西，比如太多的巧克力或冰淇淋。或者我们认为罪是其他人所做的事情，比如Charlestown那座教堂的Dylann Roof或者养猪场的Robert Picton。罪就在那里，在别人身上。但罪的力量远不止于此。罪的力量是实实在在的，在我们内心，在我们中间工作。
St. Paul understands this. He says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God!” All!
So how then can and shall we live in this newness of life that Paul declares? How can we be freed from the hatred and rage that sometimes enters our minds and hearts? How can we stop blaming others for what is going wrong in so many aspects of life without being willing to see our own part in that, without being willing to follow Jesus, to do what we can to change things for the better regardless of the personal cost? How can we live the full and abundant life that Christ brings?
These are important questions for our lives.
As we are face to face with questions that don’t have easy answers, it’s good to go back to the basics, to explore our history as followers of Jesus. The earliest confession of the first Christians was this: JESUS IS LORD! Their confession arose out of their circumstances, their understanding and experience of who Jesus is in the middle of their living and their dying. Lord for them was the one who owned or controlled their land. Lord was the one they paid taxes to. Lord for them was also the one who had responsibility to protect them from their enemies. Lord was the person to be obeyed, respected and even feared.
At first glance we seem to be quite disconnected from such understandings. Many of us sometimes think of ourselves as being the ones who are in control. Sometimes we live with the illusion that we can take care of ourselves, that we are somehow our own master. We will do what we want to do, when we want to do it. But such thinking and acting is a delusion. We live in a global economy. We are mortal human beings. We can see the reality of lack of control, even in chaos around us. There are millions of refugees, people whose homes have been destroyed or appropriated, by forces beyond their control. They know they need help. We must realize that we need help also to live in newness of life that Christ wills for all.
St. Paul knew to the tips of his toes, to the very heart of his being that he and all of us need a savior, one who can wrestle us away from the power of sin and evil. Paul knew that sin wasn’t just out there around him in the Roman empire. Certainly he saw the power of sin out there, around him in the thousands of people who were being subjugated by the Romans for the Romans own gain. The few rich got richer and the many, many poor became poorer. Does that sound familiar? St. Paul also saw the power and reality of sin in the crosses at the entrances to Roman cities, where anyone who dared stand up to Roman might was made an example of.
But just as importantly Paul saw the power of sin in his own life. As a Pharisee, he was convinced he was carrying out God’s good and gracious will by seeking to persecute any who wouldn’t buy into the power of the Torah, the law revealed to the Jewish people by God. That’s why Paul originally pursued the followers of Jesus – to hurt and persecute them. But when God spoke to him directly Paul learned how wrong he was – how hateful and horrible he had behaved towards God’s own people.
但同样重要的是，保罗在自己的生命中也看到了罪的力量。作为一个法利赛人，他确信他正在履行上帝的善意和仁慈的旨意，试图迫害那些不会接受托拉权力统治的人，这是上帝向犹太人民所启示的律法。这就是为什么保罗最初搜捕，伤害和迫害耶稣的追随者。但是当上帝直接向他讲话时，保罗知道他是多么错误 - 他对上帝的子民表现得多么可恨和可怕。
We need to be aware of this too. The power of sin is not just out there, in Dylann Roof, Robert Picton or the decisions of some government somewhere. The power of sin is also in here - within us personally, working to control, to direct us. We in the Church are far from exempt. That’s why we also need a Savior, the very Son of God.
我们也需要意识到这一点。罪恶的力量不只是在那里，在Dylann Roof，Robert Picton身上或某些政府的决定上。罪的力量也在这里 - 在我们自己身上，努力要控制、诱导我们。我们在教会中也远不能豁免。这就是为什么我们也需要一位救主，就是上帝的儿子。
Herein is our hope. As Paul says in Romans 6, we are joined to Christ in our baptism. Note how this being joined occurs. We are joined to Christ’s death. That’s right, to his death. There is suffering involved on Christ’s part. There will also be suffering and struggle on our parts. There are things within us that continually need to die, to let go of – resentments, bigotry, prejudice, desire for more and more. There is also new birth that needs to occur within us and around us: an admission that we are sometimes, often wrong; a confession that we need help to love and forgive, that we need new eyes and attitudes to see and hope, a realization that simply by our own power we cannot follow Jesus.
This being joined to Christ’s death and resurrection has big repercussions here and now and forever. In Jesus we can’t stay the same. We are being given help to view others and the world in new ways – to see the injustice and hatred, the bigotry out there and within. And we are being moved to change and to seek changes as we follow Jesus.
我们因着基督的死和复活而连接，无论是现在还是将来，这都会产生很大的影响。 在耶稣里，我们不能保持不变。 我们正在获得帮助，以新的方式看待他人和这个世界 - 看到不公正和仇恨，内在及外在的偏见。 当我们跟随耶稣时，我们正在被改变并寻求改变。。
This is good news!
In the midst of this wonderful news we need to know that this newness of life is not a straight forward progression. Yes, it’s already happening. Christ has died, Christ is risen. We are being forgiven and being made new. Sometimes we actually see this in ourselves and others. We do love. We do forgive. We do give generously of our time and talents without thinking about ourselves. People rush to a burning plane. They open up their church at First Lutheran in Vancouver to a Russian family who need asylum or they will be deported. We help sponsor a refugee family We hear and see others and are moved to action.
在这个奇妙的好消息中，我们需要知道，这个新生命不是一个简单直接的过程。 是的，它正在发生。 基督已经死了，基督又复活了，我们被宽恕并成为新人。 有时我们在自己和他人身上看到了这一点。 我们确实去爱，确实去原谅。 我们确实慷慨地投入时间和才能而不考虑自己。 人们向一架燃烧的飞机冲去。 在温哥华的First Lutheran向一个需要庇护的俄罗斯家庭开放他们的教堂做为他们的避难所，否则他们将被驱逐出境。 我们赞助一个难民家庭，我们听到并看到其他人的需要，并采取行动。
But we also know that while we are driving our blood boils when someone cuts us off or runs a yellow or red light. We do know that sometimes we hold on to grudges towards people who have mistreated us and hurt us. We do know that sometimes we give into the temptation that what happens to other people really isn’t our problem. Then we focus primarily on ourselves and those we love most and might even feel that’s the totality of what God would call us to be and do.
但我们也知道，当我们开车的时候看到别人闯红灯或黄灯或被人隔断，我们又会热血沸腾。我们确实知道，有时我们会抱怨那些虐待并伤害我们的人。 我们也的确知道有时候我们会受到试探，认为发生在别人身上的事情并不是我们的问题。 我们主要关注自己和我们最爱的人，甚至可能觉得这是上帝所称的我们要做的事情的全部。
But deep down we know it’s not. We know that we are called to love our neighbors and that our neighbors are all those around us near and far, especially those most vulnerable We know that we are called to care for our planet. We realize that the affluence we enjoy so much is destroying the planet God has entrusted to us. As we know this – we begin to feel overwhelmed, even hopeless.
但在内心深处，我们知道不是这样的。 我们知道我们被呼召要爱我们的邻舍，我们的邻舍是我们周围或远方的人，更是那些最弱势的人。我们知道我们被呼召来照顾我们的星球。 我们意识到，我们所享受的富裕正在摧毁上帝托付给我们的星球。 我们知道这一点 - 我们开始感到不知所措，甚至毫无希望。
St. Paul knew this reality so deeply. So, he asked, “Who will rescue us from this body and power of death?”
He also experienced the answer. Thanks be to God it is Jesus, the Christ sent from God to suffer, to die and to be raised for each of us, for all of us.
Jesus is our Lord too, the one who in joining us to Himself to free us from the power of death and evil now and forever. In joyful response we are called to follow him to the best of the abilities He gives to us each and every day. That is the full and abundant life, walking in newness of life. God who loves us and the world so much will help us. Amen.
耶稣也是我们的主，是那个与我们联合起来的人，是那个现在和将来将我们从死亡和邪恶的力量中解放出来的人。 在回应中，我们被召唤来跟随他，使他每天都能给予我们最好的能力。 那就是充实而丰富的生活，走在新生命中。 爱我们和世界的上帝会帮助我们。 阿门。
Hope Responders 希望的响应者
Narrative, Easter 6c, 19 (Trinity Lutheran Church, May 26, 2019)
Romans 5:1-11 罗马书5：1-11
O precious ones of God, grace to you and peace, from God the Creator, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, three in One. Amen.
亲爱的上帝，圣父，圣子，圣灵，三位一体， 感谢你赐下的恩典和平安。 阿门。
Are you hopeful? Think carefully – listen to your thoughts AND your feelings. Look around at what you see, hear and feel. Are you hopeful? (pause)
你满怀希望吗？仔细想想 - 倾听你的想法和感受。环顾四周，你所看到，听到和感受到的东西。你满怀希望吗？ （暂停）
When I was much younger I used to feel hopeful on many fronts. My hockey team won Stanley Cups. The church that I was part of was often full on Sunday mornings. Canada had a pristine international reputation as Peace Keepers. In many ways young people were quite idealistic. They cared about what happened around the world even taking part in public protests and peace marches. Some were willing to sacrifice the citizenship they had in their own country because they no longer could agree with the acts that their own country was carrying out. Many adults looked out for their neighbors, not only knowing their names but made time to sometimes laugh with them, eat with them – rejoiced and ached with them depending upon the circumstances.
当我年轻的时候，我曾经在许多方面感到充满希望。我的曲棍球队赢得了斯坦利杯。我所参与的教会在星期天早上常常都是满员。加拿大在国际上享有和平守护者的美誉。在很多方面，年轻人都是理想主义者。他们关心世界各地发生的事情，甚至参加公众抗议和和平游行。有些人愿意放弃他们在自己国家的公民身份，因为他们无法同意他们自己国家的所做所为。许多成年人都会找他们的邻居，不仅仅是知道他们的名字，而且还会抽出时间和他们一起笑，一起吃饭 – 跟他们一起或喜乐，或悲伤。
To be sure there were many challenges in those days. The nuclear arms race raged. The imaginary clock of destruction seemed to be approaching midnight. Yet as a young person in the early 70’s I often felt hopeful. Jobs were plentiful. In North America the majority of people could buy a house in 25 years. Some people even believed that we could completely eradicate poverty and disease. Lots of people felt hopeful.
But now nearly 50 years later fewer people seem to express those feelings of hope. Churches aren't full on Sunday mornings. Say what you want about that, I feel a deep disappointment attached to such reality. Do those who have left or who have never been part of a worshiping community have any idea of what they are missing– a deep sense of belonging, a profound desire to praise God for blessings, the desire to enter into deep questions together, of being connected to others both when it is time to weep but also when it is time to dance? Do we sense that we are missing out on their presence?
但是现在差不多50年过去了，似乎很少有人会表现出这种希望。星期天的早上教堂不再满员。说出你们想要的东西，我对这种现实感到非常失望。那些已经离开或者从未参与过崇拜的人是否知道他们所缺少的东西是什么 – 是那种深刻的归属感，是赞美上帝祝福的渴望，是一起深入研究问题的渴望，是与他人建立的无论是在哭泣时，还是开心时都紧密相连的关系。我们是否感觉到我们忽略了这些东西的存在？
Regarding Canada, our reputation as a peacemaker, as a place for refugees, has had its ups and downs over the last 50 years. I still experience many of our young people being idealistic, wanting to make a difference. Today we live in a time when almost anyone can observe the suffering and pain of others around the world instantaneously. The pain, the ongoing losses of men, women and children, of entire countries are significant and seemingly never end. The millions of people who have lost their homes is staggering. The bombardment of our senses is overwhelming, Can anyone blame our youth, even ourselves for often only plugging in to twitter, for refusing to regularly watch the news, to seek to escape into entertainment, to seeking to disconnect from so much that is right around us?
Yet some reality kindles fire within us. A bus carrying young junior hockey players crashes on a rural remote highway and not just Canadians but people from around the world respond with money, messages and prayers. A man walks into my office and says, “Pastor, I think God is calling us to help a refugee family”. And feelings of hope stir within my being。
But our feelings come and go. Someone steals an entire garage full of Girl Guide cookies. Someone else steals toys being saved in a warehouse for Christmas time and needy children. My heart plummets.
If ever anyone had reasons not to feel hopeful it had to be St. Paul. He invested his entire life, everything he had and was in sharing the good news of Jesus' life, death and resurrection with people, often even strangers who mocked him, who sometimes sought to do him grave harm. For all of his efforts, sacrifices and "spiritual" experiences Paul had regularly been shunned by other Christians, rejected by some of his closest friends and on numerous occasions been thrown into jail, whipped, beaten.
Nevertheless this morning we are privileged to hear part of Paul’s letter to a group of Christians in Rome, people he had yet to meet. What is he writing about? Hope! . .
尽管如此，今天早上我们很荣幸能听到保罗给罗马的一群基督徒写的信，这些基督徒他还没有见过。他在写什么呢？希望！ 。 。
Listen carefully to what he says. "We boast (rejoice, glory) in our hope of sharing the glory of God." It sounds like he's thinking about some grand and glorious day in the future when suffering, pain, chaos and misery would become realities of a distant past, perhaps merely blurry, fading memories.
But reading on and listening carefully we discover that isn’t the case: "And not only that, but we also boast (rejoice, exult) in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hoped hope does not disappoint (nor disgrace) us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that God has given us."
Has Paul lost his mind? Have all those beatings, imprisonments, rejections caused him to uncover or project an alternate personality, to become completely delusional?.... I don't think so.
What I do think, what I am now convinced of is that Paul has come to realize that hope is neither a feeling nor something that comes out of anything that we or any other human person can accomplish – as amazing or as wonderful as that may be.
我的想法，我现在所相信的是，保罗已经意识到，希望既不是一种感觉，也不是我们或任何其他人可以完成的任何东西 - 这可能就是它惊人或奇妙之处。
Instead Paul has learned as he has attempted to follow Jesus that this abiding and powerful hope comes from the reality that God is with us, that God is always working to bring about a new reality even in and through us. Indeed, Paul declares that nothing can separate us from this love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!
This is hope here and now. Such hope is neither merely a wish nor even a deep longing. Such hope is a gift, experienced in bits and pieces, in moments or even days of wonder now. But as we journey it is eventually revealed more and more. Such hope is birthed and brought to fruition in and through the promise of this One who has suffered, died and been raised from the dead. As he accompanies us in our joy and pain, in the joy and pain of others, this gift of hope from Him grows.
As Frederick Buechner says in his book Now and Then, A Memoir of Vocation – "Listen to your life. Listen to what happens to you because it is through what happens to you that God speaks. It's in language that's not always easy to decipher, but its' there powerfully, memorably, unforgettably."
正如弗雷德里克·布赫纳在他的书《那时和现在，一个职业回忆录》中所说的那样 - “倾听你的生活。聆听发生在你身上的事情，因为上帝就是通过发生在你身上的事情来讲话。用语言解释并不总是很容易，但它“有力，令人难忘，铭记在心。”
My own struggles in not sensing or feeling hope result not because God isn’t at work in the midst of all reality. Instead I sometimes get sucked into the vortex of our time, a vortex that declares that we can help ourselves, that we have no need of assistance from God or anyone else – that sometimes pushes us to ‘believe’ that we are beyond help. When I find myself ‘there’, when we are ‘there’, our darkness is deep.
我自己的挣扎是，感受不到或感觉不到希望的这个结果不是因为上帝没有在一切的现实中工作。 相反，有时我会陷入我们时代的漩涡，一个声称我们可以帮助自己的漩涡，我们不需要上帝或任何其他人的帮助 - 这有时会促使我们“相信”我们无法帮助。当我发现自己“在那里”时，当我们“在那里”时，我们就处于深深的黑暗中。
We desperately need the light, the very light of God that comes to dwell with us in Jesus the Christ who in giving His Spirit to us allows us to see beyond ourselves, to see and be opened to God’s presence in the midst of our pain and our suffering.
God loves us. God enters into all of our suffering and pain. See Jesus on the cross. See people moved by God to risk their own lives in helping others. And also, by God’s grace, see Jesus on that third day.
Dear people, we need to look to the cross. There we can glimpse our Saviour working for new life for all people, here and now, and forever. He journeys towards us and with us beyond ourselves and our circumstance leading us to God. And then He leads us back to ourselves and the world enabling us to love as we are being loved, to forgive as we are being forgiven, to live with an abiding hope not as an illusion or delusion but as a gift from God who dares to take on our frail flesh and die ... and on the third day be raised.
It is in Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection that we are realized, that we captured by hope both for the future, and in the midst of whatever it is that seeks to grasp us right now. Through Christ’s obedience God then pours God’s own love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. This is miraculous. I have seen it, experienced it again and again and again. And all of this brings hope for us individually, for the Christian community and most certainly for the world.
O God we thank you and we ask you through your Spirit to move us, to fill us with faith, hope and love, for Christ’s sake and the sake of the world. Amen.
Easter 5c, Narrative Lectionary, Trinity Lutheran Church, Delta BC, May 19, 2019
Text – Romans 1:1-17 – focusing on verse 1 and verses 16, 17.
经文—罗马书1：1-17 – 重点在第1小节和第16，17小节
Have you ever been chosen for a particular task or passed over? I can remember being a child and playing games with the neighborhood kids where we would pick sides for sports games by naming captains and then call out each person by name. I can remember playing sports in organized league and waiting with baited breath to see whether or not I or my friends made the team. And I can remember being a teenager and then a young adult and dating. I can remember different occasions in that regard where sometimes I would be the one to tell my then girl friend that I couldn’t go out with her anymore. There were also other occasions where it was made clear to me that she didn’t want to go out with me anymore, that there wasn’t a future for us together. My daughters in their teenage years called this “being dumped”. Even as a Pastor I can remember wrestling with calls from congregations... Sometimes after much thought deliberation and prayer I said yes. At other rare times I said no. And sometimes when my name was thrown into the mix the congregation decided to interview someone else to become their pastor.
Can you identify with any of this, with being chosen, set apart, selected or not?
The apostle Paul who originally was known as Saul at one point thought that he had his life all figured out. He was a Pharisee, trained in the Jewish law. He was devout in the practice of his faith. He thought about what he should do, he may have even prayed about what he should do. Then he went out and did it with everything he had – 100 %.
Sometimes I am sure that was good. At other times that was bad. Many of you know Paul’s story. He was part of the crowd, the mob, that killed Stephen the first Christian martyr. As I said earlier Paul was genuine. However in the case of Stephen Paul was genuinely wrong. That was a big wrong, joining in with those who killed a man who was a follower of Jesus. I mean the ten commandments are pretty in this area. You shall not kill.
But Paul doesn’t stop there. He escalates in his devotion to his understanding of what the Law requires in terms of “dealing with” the followers of the “Way”. We see him through the eyes of the book of Acts travelling to the city of Damascus to persecute and likely imprison any followers of the Way, the earliest Christians that he might find there. That was Paul’s plan. He thought it was God’s will.
But then God intervenes. Paul hears a voice. He wasn’t sure whose voice it was. But that voice tells him that it is God speaking to him. And the voice asks Paul why Paul is persecuting God since this Jesus that Paul is so dead set against is God’s own Son. Paul is struck blind. But that is the beginning of Paul’s turnaround.
Today we are allowed to hear part of one of Paul’s letters. After all there wasn’t any internet, texting, nor any kind of telephones those days. So Paul communicated over long distances by writing letters. This one is penned to the Christians in Rome, the capital city of the Roman empire, the empire that held the people of Palestine/Israel as subjects. The Roman congregation was diverse including both Jewish members and a variety of members from different races and places. Paul deeply desires that they hear him. He wants them to know why it is that he is writing to them, why he has such a strong desire to come to them to preach and then to move even further east to Spain to preach the Gospel to non Jewish people there.
Please listen to the opening line of his letter: Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.
Paul knows himself to be set apart by God – to share in word and deed the good news that God has shown him, personally.
I wonder if we ever feel set apart by God to do something special?
Or, do we sometimes think and feel as if we don’t really matter; that the issues surrounding us, whatever those we are most aware of may be – loneliness, emptiness, homelessness, poverty, climate change, fighting between and within religions among the very people who claim to be the most devout – that these issues are just so huge that we must leave others to deal with them, or to somehow try to figure them out.
或者，我们有时会思考和感觉好像我们自己并不重要；围绕着我们的问题，无论我们最清楚的是什么，可能是 - 孤独，空虚，无家可归，贫穷，气候变化，宗教间和宗教内部自称是最虔诚的人斗争， - 这些问题都是如此巨大，我们必须留给别人去解决，或以某种方式试图解决。
Have you ever felt that way? I confess that I have...
But we need to hear Paul speaking in this letter. Actually it’s Paul’s master, God, speaking through Paul to the early Roman Christians and also TO US. Yes, you heard me correctly. God, through Paul’s written words that we are hearing right now, nearly 2000 years after they were first writing is speaking to us.
Paul, this time inspired by God, inhabited by God’s own Spirit, speaks the living truth. We too are called by God, set apart by God, loved by God, now and always. This is why God takes on human flesh as Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is born, grows, lives lovingly, suffers, dies a horrific death and then is raised back to life forever.
In and through Jesus’ entire life, death and resurrection God reaches out to embrace us, where we are. In and through Jesus’ entire life, death and resurrection God shows us that the powers of death: evil, hatred, fear, separation, exclusion – all these powers are limited and are being overcome by God and the people God calls to serve God for the well being of others and all creation. This is part and parcel of God’s good and gracious will. This is what Paul calls God’s righteousness.
在耶稣的整个生命，死亡和复活过程中，上帝伸出手来在我们所在的地方拥抱我们。在耶稣的整个生命，死亡和复活中，上帝向我们显明死亡的力量：邪恶，仇恨，恐惧，分离，排斥 - 所有这些的能力都是有限的，并且被上帝，以及接受上帝呼召为了他人和这个世界的福祉而侍奉上帝的人所克服。这是上帝善良和仁慈意愿的一部分。这就是保罗所说的上帝的正义。
Could it be that you and I are being set apart by God, even called by God to be part and parcel of this grand task of God? Might God employ the unique gifts God has given and is giving us for this grand task? I am convinced that Paul’s response to this question is a huge, resounding YES! Each one of us is a child of God. We are being called together to live as children of God by serving God. We are called to do this by obeying God in loving and helping others and this creation. (brief pause)
We do well to recall the words at the end of the baptismal service when as a Christian community we welcome the newly baptized into Christ’s body with these words: “We welcome you into the body of Christ and into the mission we share: join us in giving thanks and praise to God and bearing (that is, carrying in our daily lives) God’s creative and redeeming word to all the world.”
So, in those moments days or nights, months or even years when we wrestle with our thoughts and feelings that what we are doing or who we are just doesn’t matter - or, in those moments, days or nights, months or years when the trials and vicissitudes of our lives sweep over us and our loved ones in any of the forms of death, addiction, hatred, or despair, by God’s grace please know and remember this.
所以在那些日日夜夜，月月年年，我们认为我们在做什么或我们是谁只是无关紧要的时刻， 我们与自己的想法和感受搏斗， - 或者，在那些时刻，日日夜夜，月月年年，出现在我们生命中的考验和变迁以死亡，成瘾，仇恨或绝望的形式横扫我们和我们所爱的人时，请了解并记住一点，这是上帝的恩典。
Only God is God! By God’s grace, through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ and the ongoing presence and power of the Holy Spirit we are set apart to embody the good news of God. This good news is not just for the future. Jesus fed those who were hungry that he met then and there. Jesus touched those who had previously been thought to be untouchable. And Jesus listened to those whose voice had been denied and then responded to their needs. Jesus entered into suffering and died so that we and all people and creatures can experience that God is working to bring about new life here and now and forever filled with meaning and hope. Do not forget. Practice our faith by regularly gathering together to hear the word, share the Sacraments, be strengthened to live our daily lives marked with the forgiveness and hope for the world of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Hear Paul’s concluding words in the text for this morning. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, the good news of God; it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who has faith!”
Dear people – be opened, and not ashamed to ask God for help – help with our faith, help with wisdom as to what we should do and not do, how we should speak and how we can listen. God wills for us to hear God’s good news, to have it enter us daily bringing some desires and thoughts within us to death but raising up new thoughts, desires and dreams – dreams for the well being of this entire world that God loves so deeply. May we not be ashamed of this good news of God in Christ – and may we experience that amazing power of God’s love and forgiveness and share it with others in our own lives each day.
亲爱的人们 – 打开心扉，不要羞于向上帝寻求帮助 - 帮助我们的信仰，帮助我们知道我们应该做什么和不做什么，我们应该如何说话以及如何倾听。上帝希望我们能够听到上帝的好消息，让它每天进入我们的心里，将我们内心的一些欲望和思想带入死亡之中，同时培养新的思想，愿望和梦想 - 为了上帝深爱的整个世界的福祉而努力的梦想。愿我们不要为上帝基督的这个好消息感到羞耻 - 愿我们每天都能体验到神的爱和宽恕的惊人力量，并在我们自己的生命中与他人分享。
Thanks be to God. Amen.
Easter 4c, Narrative Lectionary, May 12, 2019 (Mother’s Day)
SHAKING GROUND OR ROCK SOLID? (Acts 13:1-3, 14:8-18)
Oh precious ones of God, grace to you and peace from God the Creator, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit three in One, Amen.
Our world is amazing. It’s wonderful. Each and every person we will ever meet is unique. I am reminded of this every time I am privileged to speak with or observe others- whether that’s at any airport, or walking along beaches, or sitting at sporting events, or visiting in hospitals or at any church. People are surprising. They are often loving, willing to sacrifice to help others. And that only begins to scratch the surface.
我们的世界令人惊叹。这简直太棒了。 我们见过的每一个人都是独一无二的。不论是在某个机场候机，还是沿着海滩散步，或是观看体育赛事，亦或是在医院或任何教堂参观， 每当我有幸可以与他人交谈或观察他人时，我都会想起这一点 。 人们总会令我吃惊。 他们总是去爱，愿意牺牲自己来帮助别人， 而这只是冰山一角。
Creation itself is mysterious and so often beautiful. From sea to sea to sea, from the coastlands to the mountains, to the prairies – form tiny villages to bustling metropolises, there is so much beauty. Vancouver is often a beautiful city.
创造本身是神秘的，往往也是美丽的。 从大海到海洋，从海岸到山脉，再到大草原 - 从小村庄到熙熙攘攘的大都市，都是如此美丽。 通常温哥华是一个美丽的城市。
Truly our world is amazing. It’s also difficult and often hard. As I am walking to sporting events or sometimes stopped at a traffic light people struggling for daily survival wonder up, hands out or caps on street. I wonder, what can I do, what can we do to help them. As amazing and wonderful as people often are, sometimes we do things that leave others hurt or even dying. On Friday evening there was a hit and run accident between a truck and a motorcycle in Surrey. A 53 year old man is dead. And most of us are painfully aware of these realities – of millions of migrants seeking a home, because what was once their home is no longer safe or inhabitable for them. And our earth, the home that God has entrusted to us is groaning and dying for many reasons, not the least of which is our own human consumption and mistreatment of it.
真的，我们的世界是惊人的。我们的世界也是困难的，而且经常很难。 当我去观看体育赛事或者有时在交通灯处停下来时，看到人们为日常生活而苦苦挣扎，他们在街上伸出手或者帽子，向人乞讨。 我想知道，我能做些什么，我们能做些什么来帮助他们。 正如人们常常让人惊叹和感到美好一样，有时我们做的事情也会让别人受伤甚至导致死亡。 星期五晚上，在素里发生了一起撞车逃逸事故，一辆卡车和一辆摩托车相撞。 一名53岁的男子当场死亡。 我们大多数人都痛苦地意识到这些现实 - 数以百万计的移民正在寻找一个栖身之地，因为他们曾经的家已不再安全或无法居住。 而我们的地球，上帝托付给我们的家园，正在呻吟和濒临死亡，原因有很多，其中最重要的原因是我们人类自己对地球的消费和错误对待。
In the midst of all of this, the wonder and joy, the difficulty and pain, what and whom do we count on? In the midst of all this, what are we called to do and whom are we called to be?
Paul and Barnabas’ words and actions to the people in Lystra invited those people, strongly encouraged those people to construct their lives, their hopes and dreams upon a foundation that they could count upon. When the trials and vicissitudes of life strike, as they surely will, each person, indeed entire communities, need to have built their lives upon One in whom they can trust, One who will not abandon them nor disappear as things get tough. Moreover, this One needs to be able to help them through such realities as suffering and death. Paul and Barnabas clearly state that this One upon whom our lives must be built is God, the sole creator of the universe.
保罗和巴拿巴对路司得民众的言辞和行动邀请了那些人，强烈鼓励这些人在他们可以依靠的基础上构建自己的生活，希望和梦想。 当生活的考验和沧桑袭来时，每个人，甚至整个社区都需要将自己的生命建立在他们可以信任的“唯一”之上，一个不会抛弃他们，也不会因为事情变得艰难而消失的人。 而且，这个人要能够帮助他们经历痛苦和死亡等现实。 保罗和巴拿巴明确指出，我们的生命必须建立在其之上的那个唯一的人就是上帝，宇宙的唯一创造者。
We also need to seriously consider these realities.
Who are we truly counting on? Our financial investors? Our doctors? Our teachers? Our parents? Our spouses? Our children? Our friends?
All of these people are intended to be gifts from God. And when they carry out their god given tasks, of loving, of inspiring, of caring – they are blessings not only to us, but to many others also – even to this earth, that God entrusts to us. But we need to know this. None of these people, as amazing and wonderful as they may sometimes be, are God. They are not the beginning nor the end. They are mortal, as we also are. They come and go, are born and die, even as we do.
所有这些人都是来自上帝的礼物。当他们执行上帝给予他们的任务，去爱，去鼓舞，去关怀他人 - 他们不仅是对我们的祝福，也是对许多其他人的祝福 - 甚至是对上帝委托给我们的地球的祝福。但我们需要知道一点，这些人中没有一个像上帝那样精彩而奇妙。他们既不是开始也不是结束。他们跟我们一样是凡人，来来去去，有生有死。
So, who can we depend upon, now and forever? Whom do we trust to love us and others with our warts and all? Who can and will lead us through this life and all its wonders and disappointments? Who can and will deliver us through the many birth canals of death here and now and forever? These are the important questions of our lives, questions that we are answering consciously or unconsciously daily.
Truly depending on anything or anyone less than God is and ultimatel