Mandarin Sermon Translations

  • 9th Sunday after Pentecost – Abundance

    五旬节后的第九个星期日 丰盛

    Grace to you and peace from God our creator, our redeemer, and our sustainer who provides us with everything we need.


    愿恩典与平安,从神我们的创造者,救赎主,和支持我们的主,赐给我们所需要的一切。


    This week’s news included some contrasting stories.

    本周的新闻都是一些对比鲜明的故事。


    First, there’s the story of the billionaire space race. Jeff Bezos flew up to space earlier this week, just a few days after Richard Branson did the same. Both men are billionaires, able to afford their own, private space shuttles. And while there has been a lot of debate on whether they reached the space or not – since no one has drawn a clear, red line where the atmosphere ends and space begins – their space project has been ground-breaking in many ways. Richard Branson, in an interview after his space flight, spoke about the new possibilities this brings. The space is now closer, he said. The space has become accessible to everyone, regardless of background. To everyone, as long as you have the financial means.


    首先,是亿万富翁太空竞赛的故事。杰夫贝佐斯本周飞上太空了,就在理查德布兰森飞上太空的几天后。两人都是亿万富翁,有能力负担自己的私人航天飞机。虽然人们对于他们是否到达太空有很多争论,因为在大气层结束和太空开始的地方没有一条清晰的红线,但他们的太空计划在许多方面都是开创性的。理查德布兰森在太空飞行后的一次采访中谈到了这次去太空带来了很多的新的可能性。他说,太空现在更近了。无论背景如何,每个人都可以去太空。只要你有财力。


    But there’s another news story that’s received a lot less attention. I heard about it was through World Food Program ad that came across my Facebook feed. Because of Covid, and because of climate conditions, and because of continuous political unrest, the continent of Africa is experiencing a record spike in hunger. Over 280 million people on the continent do not have adequate access to food. Many families have not eaten in days and have no idea when or where their next meal will come from.


    另一个新闻却没有受到那么多的关注。我是通过世界粮食计划署的广告在Facebook上看到的。由于COVID,由于气候条件,由于持续的政治动荡,非洲大陆正经历着创纪录的饥饿高峰。非洲大陆有2.8亿多人得不到足够的食物。很多家庭已经好几天没吃饭了,也不知道下一顿饭是什么时候吃,什么地方吃。


    These two stories paint very different pictures. One seems to be all about abundance, and the other about scarcity. We live in a world where should be enough, but the resources we have

    are not well distributed.


    这两个故事描绘了截然不同的画面。一个似乎是关于富足,另一个是关于稀缺。我们生活在一个本应足够的世界里,但我们拥有的资源却没有被均匀的分配。


    Both the Old Testament story and the gospel today also talk about scarcity and abundance.

    旧约故事和今天的福音都谈到了贫乏和富足。


    First, a man with twenty barley loaves was met by prophet Elisha, the miracle maker prophet, who had company over. “How can I set this before a hundred men?” asks Elisha’s servant.

    首先,有一个拿着二十个大麦饼的人遇见了造神迹的先知以利沙,他有同伴在那里。以利沙的仆人说:“我怎能将这些大麦饼摆在一百人面前呢?”。


    Second, Philip has some serious but very reasonable doubts about the disciples’ ability to feed a huge crowd.

    其次,腓力对门徒是否有能力养活着一大群人有所怀疑。


    Both Elisha’s servant and Philip saw the scarcity. There wasn’t enough. There was no way that twenty small loaves would feed a hundred hungry men. There was absolutely no way that the few coins in Philip’s pocket would feed the thousands.


    以利沙的仆人和腓力都看见了缺乏。远远不够。二十个小面包不可能喂一百个饥饿的人。腓力口袋里的几枚硬币绝对不可能喂成千上万的人。


    It’s easy to pay attention to when we don’t have enough.

    我们经常会注意到我们没有足够的时。


    Theologian and Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann writes about a myth of scarcity. He writes how most of the time we do have enough – enough to live on, even enough to be comfortable. Most of the time we as a church have enough – enough to manage our ministries and pay our pastor’s salary. But we tend to pay attention to what we don’t have. We don’t have the big house or the new car or the cabin by the lake our neighbour has. We don’t have the large building or the worship band or the amazing light show that the church down the street has. If only we could have that… Then things would be better.


    神学家和旧约学者沃尔特布鲁格曼写了一个关于稀缺的神话。他写道,大多数时候我们确实有足够的——足够生活下去,甚至足够舒适。大多数时候,作为一个教会,我们也有足够的资源来管理我们的事工和支付牧师的薪水。但我们倾向于关注我们没有的东西。我们没有邻居的大房子、新车或湖边的小屋。我们没有某个大的建筑,没有礼拜乐队,也没有沿街的教堂那样令人惊叹的灯光秀。如果我们能有这个…那样才会更好。


    Believing in the myth of scarcity, Brueggemann writes, leads to hoarding. When we don’t trust that God will provide, when we see only what we don’t have, we hold on to what we do have tightly, so very tightly. When a congregation faces financial troubles, one of the first things cut from their budgets is their benevolence. There just isn’t enough to share.


    布鲁格曼写道,相信稀缺的神话会导致囤积。当我们不相信上帝会提供,当我们只能看到我们所没有的,我们会紧紧的抓住我们所拥有的。当一个会众面临经济困难时,首先被削减的就是他们的善行。因为没有足够的资源可以分享。


    When families face financial troubles, generosity becomes difficult, or impossible.

    当家庭面临经济困难时,慷慨变得困难,或者说变得不可能。


    Even when people don’t have financial troubles, when they focus on what they don’t have, generosity goes out the window. There just isn’t enough to share.

    即使人们没有经济困难的时候,当他们专注于他们没有的东西时,慷慨也会消失。没有足够的资源可以分享。


    But we believe in God who is generous and caring, and always provides enough. Not just enough, but more, abundantly more.

    但是我们相信上帝,他慷慨体贴,总是提供足够的食物。不仅如此,还有更多。


    Our gospel story also introduces us to a small boy with five little barley loaves and two dried fish. Barley loaves were the staple food of the poor who couldn’t afford wheat. Dried fish was another staple, easy to store in the hot climate. We don’t know where this boy came from, or how he knew what Jesus wanted to do. Maybe he overheard the conversation between Jesus and Philip?


    我们的福音故事还向我们介绍了一个小男孩,他带着五个小大麦面包和两条干鱼。大麦面包是那些买不起小麦的人的主食。干鱼是另一种主食,在炎热的气候下很容易储存。我们不知道这个男孩从哪里来,也不知道他是怎么知道耶稣想做什么。也许他偷听到了耶稣和腓力的谈话?


    Either way, he had food and he wanted to share it. Maybe this is just another reason why Jesus tells us to have faith like the little children.

    不管怎样,他有食物他想分享。也许这是耶稣告诉我们要像小孩子一样有信心的另一个原因。


    This boy did not believe in scarcity. He had his little loaves, and he wanted to share. He didn’t stop to do the math; he didn’t stop to wonder whether he’d have enough left for the travel home. He didn’t go back to ask his mama if he could share. He gave his little loaves, trusting that they would be enough.


    这个男孩不相信稀缺。他有他的小面包,他想和别人分享。他没有停下来算数;他没有停下来想他是否在回家的路程上有足够的粮食。他没有回去问他妈妈他是否可以分享。他把他的小面包给了别人,相信这些足够了。


    And they were enough. With Jesus, because of Jesus, they were more than enough.

    这些的缺足够了。有了耶稣,因为耶稣,已经足够了。


    Now, scholars have speculated that maybe Jesus didn’t multiply the loaves all that much… That maybe people had brought food, and the boy’s generosity inspired them to open their bundles and have a big potluck. Maybe. But that’s really beside the point. The boy believed in abundance and was willing to share. Jesus took what the boy had and blessed it. And everyone ate their fill, and there was lots left over.


    现在,学者们推测,也许耶稣没有把面包成倍地增加……也许人们带来了食物,而那个男孩的慷慨鼓励他们去打开包裹,吃了一顿大餐。也许。但这一点并不是重点。这个男孩相信富足,愿意分享。耶稣拿了这个孩子所拥有的,并祝福他。每个人都吃饱了,而且还剩下了很多。


    With Jesus, because of Jesus, a world where everyone can eat their fill is possible. Now, logically we know it’s not going to happen. There will always be those who hoard, and those who go hungry. But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying. The little boy’s barley loaves are an example of a small act of generosity that, through Jesus, had a big impact.


    有了耶稣,因为耶稣,人人都能吃饱饭的世界是可能的。当然,在逻辑上讲我们知道这不会发生。总有人会囤积,总有人会挨饿。但这并不意味着我们不应该去尝试。小男孩的大麦面包是一个小小的慷慨行为,但通过耶稣,产生了很大的影响。


    We are not asked to feed an entire continent – God knows we can’t do that, unless we have a billionaire among our church members... But we are asked to take our little barley loaves – our wealth, our time, our skills – and offer them to Jesus, to share with others.


    我们并没有被要求养活整个非洲——上帝知道我们做不到,除非我们的教会成员中有一个亿万富翁。。。但是我们被要求把我们的大麦面包——我们的财富,我们的时间,我们的技能——奉献给耶稣,与其他人分享。


    We can do our part, trusting that God will bless the work of our hands. Our generosity will not always have a clear, immediate impact like the boy’s barley loaves. But God knows the impact even when we don’t see it.


    我们可以尽自己的责任,相信上帝会保佑我们的工作。我们的慷慨不会像男孩的大麦面包那样总是有明确的、立竿见影的影响。但即使我们看不到它的影响,上帝知道。


    When we struggle to trust in God, when we struggle to see abundance – and we do, and we will – we can always look to Jesus who showed us that it’s possible. We return to these stories that tell us what’s possible. And we can return here to be fed by God’s word, and on most Sundays also by the bread and the wine. We are fed and nourished by Jesus, a tangible reminder that there’s more to this world than the news stories. There’s more that’s possible.


    当我们努力相信上帝,当我们努力看到富足的时候——我们做到了,我们也会做到——我们总是可以仰望耶稣,他向我们展示了这是可能的。我们就会回到这些故事,它们告诉我们什么是可能的。我们可以回到这里,领受神的话语,也领受面包和酒。我们被耶稣喂养和滋养,这是一个实实在在的提醒,这个世界上有比新闻故事更多的东西。还有更多的可能性。


    What would a world of abundance look like? Can you imagine it?

    一个富足的世界会是什么样子?你能想象吗?


    What possibilities could the abundant love of Jesus bring to all people, regardless of background?

    耶稣丰富的爱能给所有人无论背景如何带来什么样的可能性?


    What are your barley loaves you are called to share? With Jesus, because of Jesus, you can trust that they will be more than enough.  

    你的大麦面包叫你分享什么?有了耶稣,因为耶稣,你可以相信它们将是足够的。

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