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In His Time 4: A Time for Justice (Eccl. 3:14-20) (Part 2)

Nov 06-07, 2021
From the Pastor’s Desk: Rev. Simon Lee

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

Part 1 (October 30/31, 2021)
1. Beginning with the sovereignty of God (14-15)
2. Facing the reality of injustice (16)

3. Looking to a time for Justice (God’s judgment) (17)

Christians, like many others, love freedom and justice. Therefore, faithful Christians are willing to be Christian soldiers, more so if we know we will have victory in the end through Christ. In his ongoing reflection, Solomon in Ecclesiastes gives us hope by saying: “I thought to myself, “God will judge both the righteous and the wicked; for there is an appropriate time for every activity, and there is a time of judgment for every deed.” (3:17) It is comforting to note that “God will judge both the righteous and the wicked,” meaning He will bless those who have been faithful and righteous and punish those who have been wicked and unjust. Indeed, “an appropriate time” refers the timeliness in all the things that happens in our daily lives as ordained by God. But it is even more important to know that “there is a time of judgment for every deed.”

We often hear well-intention Christians say we must fight against injustice because it is a matter of justice. Yes, the God who liberated the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt had indeed shown that in action. But unfortunately, we often do so with a spirit of bitterness and vengeance, with our own sense of justice. Paul teaches us what we must do when we face injustice with these words: “19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12: 19-21) This is exactly what Christ did in dying for our sins, and we can do no less. We therefore may have to be more patient when we encounter evil over which we have no control. We must not “play judge” as we know that God is the ultimate judge and He is always just in His judgment, as it is part of His character. God tells us, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps. 46:10)

4. Recognizing the reality of life and death (18-20)

In the past many months, several of my own classmates from university, faithful Christian colleagues and long-time friends have passed away one after another. No longer am I just bidding farewell to much older people who are many years my senior but saying good-bye to my own peers. Death is no longer something far in the future. The thing that strikes me most is that many among them are good people who in my own mind should live longer with rich lives, but God has His own timing. But the reality is each day, all sort of people, good and bad, still dies, as death is no respecter of persons. Solomon even compares human beings to animals, both ends with the same fate in death, with these word “Both go to the same place; both come from the dust, and to dust both return.” (20)

I remember a poem I learnt in High School called “Death the Leveller” by James Shirley. The last part of the poem goes like this:

The garlands wither on your brow:
Then boast no more your mighty deeds;
Upon Death’s purple altar now
See where the victor-victim bleeds.
Your heads must come
To the cold tomb:
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust.

Whether it is powerful Kings or powerless peasants, death is the final leveller and equalizer. Death brings everyone to the same level before God’s judgment seat where God judges justly and rules sovereignly. For it matters not how long we live, but how we lived while living.

5. What does the future hold? (20, 21)

Solomon ends here with the question of who goes up (into heaven) and who goes down into the earth.
Since humans are all mortal, Solomon recommends that we should enjoy our work and the fruits of our labour, for this is their lot, their reward (cf. 2:24; 3:12). For people who are ignorant of God’s plan and cannot know what the future holds, including what happens after death, Solomon asks the rhetorical question, Who can bring him to see what will happen after him? (Or, what does the future hold) (21) Therefore, for followers of God, in the time that we have, we must focus on enjoying the work that God has given us, yielding to His sovereignty, trusting in God who will judge all injustice on earth.

The man of God, Moses, in his prayer to God has this to say about the years of our life, “For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh. 10The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. 11 Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90: 9-12)

It is inevitable that we all must face injustice and must live through them. May each of us all gain a heart of wisdom! God brings justice and makes all things beautiful in His time! (The end)

Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Simon

按衪時候 4:公義有時(傳3:14-20)(2)

Nov 06-07, 2021
李耀全牧師

親愛的列宣家弟兄姊妹:

按衪時候 4:公義有時(傳3:14-20)(1)(上文已於 30/31, 2021刊登)

1. 從上帝的主權說起(14-15 節)
2. 面對不公義的現實(16)

3. 期待公義的時候(神的審判)(17)

基督徒和許多其他人一樣,熱愛自由和公義。因此,忠心的基督徒也願意成為基督的精兵,尤其是當我們知道我們最終會藉著基督獲得勝利。所羅門在傳道書不斷的反思中,也給我們帶來希望:“我自己心裡說:“神必審判義人和惡人,因為各樣事務、各樣工作都有定時。”(3:17)令人感到欣慰的是,“神必會審判義人和惡人”,意思是:祂會賜福那些誠信公義的人,懲罰那些邪惡和不公義的人。確實地,“適當的時間”是指我們日常生活中發生的所有事情,皆有神所命定的適切時間。可是,更重要的是,也要知道:“人所有一切所作的,必有審判/神必審判。”

我們經常聽到滿懷善意的基督徒說我們必須反對不公義,因為這是正義的問題。是的,將以色列人從埃及的奴役中解放出來的神確實在行動中表明了這一點。但不幸的是,我們常常擺脫不掉苦毒和報復的精神,只是帶著自己的正義感這樣做。保羅用以下的話教導我們,當我們面對不公時,我們必須做什麼:在羅馬書12:19-21 這樣教導我們:“親愛的啊,不要為自己伸冤,寧可等候主的忿怒,因為經上記著,主說:“伸冤在我,我必報應。”相反地,“如果你的仇敵餓了,就給他吃;如果渴了,就給他喝。因為你這樣作,就是把炭火堆在他的頭上。”不可被惡所勝,反要以善勝惡。”這正是基督為我們的罪而死所表明的,我們必須遵照著去做。因此,在我們遇到無法遏止的邪惡時,我們可能需要加倍忍耐。我們絕不能“扮演審判官”,因為我們知道唯有神是最終的審判者,祂的審判必然是公正的,因為公義是祂的屬性之一。神囑咐我們:“你們要住(放) 手,要知道我是神。”(詩篇 46:10)

4.認清生死的現實(18-20)

在過去的數月內,我自己的幾位大學同學、忠心的基督徒同工和老朋友相繼離世。我不再只是告別比我年長很多歲的前輩,而是告別自己的同儕。死亡不再是遙遠的未來。最讓我耿耿於懷的是,他們當中可被認為是好人的大有人在,依我看來,他們應該活得更長久,並過著更豐盛的生活,但神有祂自己的時侯。現實卻是每一天,各色各樣的人,不論好壞,仍然會死去,因為死亡並不偏待人。所羅門甚至把人比作動物,死亡的結局都是一樣的,“大家都到一個地方去,都出於塵土,也都歸回塵土。”(20)

記得我在中學時曾讀過一首詩,名叫“Death the Leveller”,作者是 James Shirley。這首詩的最後一部分如下:

華冠於眉額上枯萎 The garlands wither on your brow:
豐功偉業不再誇耀 Then boast no more your mighty deeds;
在死亡紫色祭壇上 Upon Death’s purple altar now
勝者敗者皆曾淌血 See where the victor-victim bleeds.
傲氣頭顱躺臥冷墓 Your heads must come To the cold tomb:
正義善行永存不朽 Only the actions of the just
塵土中芳香仍飄逸 Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust.

無論是強大的君王,還是弱勢的農民,死亡都是最終平衡等差的衡量。死亡將每個人帶往同一等次,站立於神的審判台前,在那裡面對神權能公正嚴明的審判。因生命不在乎是否長命百歲,乃在乎是否活得有意羲。

5. 未來將會是如何? (20, 21)

所羅門在此以誰上(升天)和誰下地的問題作為結束。
既然人人都是會死的,所羅門建議我們應該自得其樂,享受我們的工作和勞碌的成果,因為這是人所得之份,是神給人的獎賞(參2:24;3:12)。
對於那些不去尋求神的計劃,不知道未來,包括不理會死後將會怎樣的人,所羅門提出了一個反問:誰能使他看見他自己死後的事呢? (21) 所以,跟從神的人,要在有生之年,好好享受神所賜給我們的工作,順服神的主權,相信施行審判的神必然會處置世上所有的不公不義。

神人摩西在論到我們一生的歲月/年日時,如此向神禱告,“我們一生的日子都在你的震怒中消逝,我們度盡的年歲好像一聲歎息。我們一生的年日是七十歲,如果強壯,可到八十歲,但其中可誇耀的,不過是勞苦愁煩;我們的年日轉眼即逝,我們也如飛而去了。誰曉得你怒氣的威力,誰按著你該受的敬畏曉得你的忿怒呢?求你教導我們怎樣數算自己的日子,好使我們得著智慧的心。”(詩篇 90:9-12)

我們所有人都必會經歷及面對不公不義,這是無可避免的。但願我們都可以得著從神而來智慧的心去面對一切!神必在祂的時候帶來公平公義,並使萬事成為美好!(全文完)

主僕,
李耀全牧師

家訊(2021.11.06/07)

家事報告:

  1. 歡迎您與我們一起敬拜神!由2021年10月2/3日起,我們重返教會實體崇拜,若閣下第一次參加本堂崇拜,請向司事索取「來賓咭」,填妥後交回司事員,以便本會繼續與您聯絡。
  2. 粵語祈禱會 :逢週二8-9pm 在Zoom平台進行。Zoom ID及密碼將透過電郵發給長執及團契再轉發給各會眾,11月9日為國語事工及國語小組祈禱。
  3. 2022長議會:

主席:李耀全牧師(Rev. Simon Lee)

副主席:李健明(Terence)

文書:許致遠(Carlo)

財務:鄧卓超 (Thomas)

英語事工:林啟洋(Oscar)

英語青少年事工:黃伯裕(Sunny)

兒童事工:林冠彥(Phil)

事務部:王國旋(Godwin)

資訊科技:李健明(Terence)

婚姻與家庭部:許致遠(Carlo)

傳道部:林冠彥(Phil)

差傳部:林冠彥(Phil)

關懷部:黃華興(Peter)

國語事工:俞鐵華(Eddie)

粵語崇拜:黃世祺(Gary)

粵語青年崇拜/雅歌團:王國旋(Godwin)

團契部:(總執事)

成人教育部:(總執事)

  1. AYAYA 週六青崇7PM 實體崇拜,需要預先報名,7https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/182224467287。歡迎所有弟兄姊妹參加,與我們一同敬拜上帝!本週講題:去到那裡,傳到那裏,經文:使徒行傳8:1-25,講員:劉展權傳道。
  1. 週六及主日粵語11:15AM實體崇拜,需要預先報名,報名連結:
  • 週六:https://bit.ly/3nl6euS
  • 主日:https://bit.ly/2Ztf5mv

鼓勵大家瀏覽列宣網頁www.rcac.ca細閱重返教會崇拜詳情。

粵語崇拜亦會在網上Zoom平台同步直播,與留在家裡的肢體一起敬拜。崇拜Zoom ID及密碼逢週五透過電郵發送給大家。

  1. 本會現聘請堂務同工(Caretaker)一名。全職或半職(Part-Time)均可。申請者請將個人履歷以書面形式呈交李耀全牧師或電郵rev.simon.lee@rcac.ca。招聘內容已張貼於列宣報告版。
  2. 溫馨提示:11月7日凌晨冬令時間開始,請於週六11月6日就寢前把時鐘撥慢一小時。
  3. 每週崇拜週刊,請瀏覽www.rcac.ca查閱有關連結 – 家訊教牧心聲等。
  4. 肢體及牧者消息與代禱:
  • 歐陽鑽玲傳道於11月8-18日休假。
  • 關潔玲傳道於11月8至12月13日休假。
  • 11月11日國殤日公眾假期,本會辦公室休假一天。

肢體及牧者消息與代禱

  1. 二零二一年十一月十三日及十四日崇拜講員:黃明陽牧師(週六國語)、陳榮基傳道(週六青崇)、李耀全牧師(週六、主日粵語)、張志成牧師(主日英語))。
  2. 身體不適肢體:李慕慈、鄧陳有、劉黃玉蓮、葉周煥萍、陳見三、余鄧玉瑤、陳黃雪芳、高唐瑞英。每週二粵語祈禱會我們將更具體為他們代禱。

宣教/機構消息:

  1. 第一屆加拿大華人基督徒網上冬令會於2021年12月31日至2022年1月2日舉行,需要報名參加,請登入以下網止報名https://www.cccwc.ca/。

講道大綱及筆記:   

週六國語、週六青崇

講員:劉展權傳道

經文:使徒行傳8:1-25

講題:去到那裡,傳到那裏

  • 宣教的開始 (1-8)
    • 從教會面對挑戰開始
  • 宣教的展現 (9-17)
    • 言行一致
  • 宣教的根基 (18-25)
    •  了解福音

週六及主日粵語崇拜

講員:龔敏光牧師

經文:使徒行傳8:1-25

講題:僑民的新外展–新的突破

  • 突破自我
  • 突破傳統

講題預告:

2021年擁戴基督為王 410-12月主題:神的國度邁進(使徒行傳選讀)

  • 11.13/14                               外族人的新宣教士     (徒9:1-19)
  • 11.20/21                               一個新的宣教中心    (徒11:19-30)
  • 11.27/28 (將臨期)                新的跨文化使命      (徒15:1-4,22-35)
  • 12.04/05(聖餐)                    福音直傳到地極 (徒28:11-31)
  • 12.11/12                           聖誕信息1: 耶穌基督的家譜 (太1:1-17)
  • 12.18/19                          聖誕信息2: 耶穌基督的誕生 (太1:18-24)
  • 12.25/26                         聖誕信息3: 星象家的到訪及其後果 (太2:1-18)

教會行事年曆

  • 11.07                   冬令時間開始
  • 11.11                   國殤日公眾假期
  • 11.16                   Prayer Meeting (E)
  • 11.21                   長議會會議#6
  • 11.28                   將臨期第一個主日
  • 12.21                   Prayer Meeting (E)
  • 12.25/26             聖誕崇拜
  • 12.25-26             聖誕假期
  • 12.31                   年終感恩見證祈禱會

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In His Time 4: A Time for Justice (Eccl. 3:14-20) (Part 1)

Oct 30-31, 2021
From the Pastor’s Desk: Rev. Simon Lee

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

Do you get frustrated and depressed, even angry, when you hear or see all the injustice around you and around the world? I do, especially because daily I follow closely the news near and far, the systemic and social racism, institutional injustice, political hypocrisy, the plight of the poor, disadvantaged and oppressed, and even “Christian” hypocrisy in the name of God. We long for freedom, peace, and justice.

This is the 4th and last article in the Series: In His time, reflections from Ecclesiastes 3. We have reflected on “Appointed time vs appropriate time,” Life’s certainties and our response,” and “Life’s ultimate purpose.” Now we conclude with a reflection on “A time for justice.”

  1. Beginning with the sovereignty of God (14-15)

We must however start from “the sovereignty of God.” It occurs to me that when we talked about “In His time,” we often mean that while things are not what we want or expect them to be for the time being, that we as Christians who believe in the sovereignty of God, believe that “in his time” things will eventually be fine as “He makes all things beautiful in His time,” that is, “beautiful” for us in the end.

As we have reflected, we know that “He makes all things beautiful in His time” is indeed true, because our God is a God of love. Paul has also taught us, “all things work together for good for them that love God…” (Romans 8:28) However we often take the verse out of context as the rest of the verse reads “to them who are the called according to his purpose.” In other words, those who claim this promise are also those who are called to be under the grand purpose of God, which means the “good” must also be in line with God’s “good” and the overall sovereign will of God.

In our text in Ecclesiastes Solomon states it this way: “Whatever exists now has already been, and whatever will has already been; for God will seek to do again what has occurred in the past.” (3:15) In other words, God is sovereign in the cycle of life.  Before this, he also states that the continuity and finality of life all serve the purpose of ensuring “that man (human beings) may fear (revere) God. (3:14) We have been created by God in His image so we can relate to Him, with reverence as His creation.

Old Testament scholar, Franz Delitzsch, wisely puts it: “The government of God… does not change; His creative as well as His moral ordering of the world produces with the same laws the same phenomena … His government remains always, and brings … up again that whish hath been.” The response God wants people to have to His immutable, inscrutable plan is one of fear, reverence, and humble submission: so men will revere Him.

  1. Facing the reality of injustice (16)

Solomon’s realistic reckoning and assessment of life with all its injustice and oppression is sobering. He says, “I saw something else on earth: In the place of justice, there was wickedness, and in the place of fairness, there was wickedness.” (3:16)

The hardest thing Christians face in submitting to the sovereignty of God is to also accept the evil reality of injustice and oppression. We all ask the question, “if the sovereign God is good and almighty, how come there is still so much injustice and oppression in the world God Himself has created and is ruling over?” We cannot reconcile the problem of pain and suffering in our Christian faith. So, often we try hard to do what we can to right the wrongs, to bring justice to those who suffer injustice, and do our best to liberate those who are oppressed. Indeed, these are honorable and crucial things that all Christians should attempt to do, and indeed we should do much more than what we are doing. For isn’t this exactly what the prophet Micah reminds us to do: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness…? “(6:8a) We do have a just God who hate the sin of injustice and oppression. But again, the rest of the verse is important and should not be left out: “…and to walk humbly with your God?” (6:8b) The NET Bible puts it as “…and to live obediently before your God.” While doing justice and showing kindness are required of us from God, we also need to, in fact required to, walk humbly and live obediently. In context this means also that when faced with injustice, we must try our best but leave the rest to God, to submit to the sovereignty of God.

As said, I daily am abhorred at all the socio-political injustice and oppression we see in Canada and all around the world. We naturally get indignant and frustrated because we feel so helpless against the powers and political authorities of this world. We have all wanted to live in a better place, hence this is why we or our parents have chosen to live in Canada, and why there are the ceaseless migrations in human history till now. In the end, the sad reality is there is no “utopia” on earth, and everywhere we go, there is still injustice and oppression.

When facing a world of injustice and persecution, Paul’s words are still so relevant today when he says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Eph. 6:10-12) No wonder we are in constant conflicts and struggles, because we are fighting an ongoing spiritual battle, lest we forget that and try to “play God!” We therefore need to put on the whole armor of God.  Onward Christian Soldiers, Marching as to War! (To be continued)

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Simon

 

按衪時候 4:公義有時(傳3:14-20)(1)

Oct 30-31, 2021
李耀全牧師

親愛的列宣家弟兄姊妹:

當您聽到或看到在您周圍和世界各地的所有不公義/不公平現象時,您是否會感到沮喪和洩氣,甚至禁不住氣憤?我肯定會這樣,尤其是因為我每天都在密切地關注遠近的新聞、體系性及社會種族主義、仇視亞裔的現象、制度上的不公義、政治虛偽、窮困者的艱難處境、弱勢群體和受欺壓者的困境,甚至以上帝名義為幌子的“基督教”虛偽。我們都渴望得見自由、和平和公義。

本文是 “按祂時候:傳道書 3章反思系列”之第四篇,也是最後的一篇文章。我們於前曾探討過“定時與適時”,“人生的確定性及我們的回應”,與“人生的終極目的”。現在讓我們來探討“公義有時”作為總結。(因編幅過長分兩期刊登)

1. 從神的主權說起(14-15 節)

不論如何,我們的討論必須從“神的主權”作開始。這令我想起,當我們論到“按祂時候”時,我們一般的意思是,雖然事情暫時不是我們想要或期待的那樣,但在確信神主權的基督徒來看,我們相信“按著祂的時候”,事情最終會成為美好的,因為“祂使一切事情在祂最適當的時候成為美好”,意即,最終對我們而言是“美好的”。

正如我們一直所探討思考的,我們知道“神在祂的時間裡使萬事成為美好”,這是千真萬確的,因為我們的神是愛的神。保羅也教導我們,“萬事都互相效力,叫愛神的人得益處…”(羅8:28)。然而,我們經常斷章取義,因為這節經文的下句是: 萬事都一同效力,是為著“愛神的人,就是按祂旨意蒙召的人的益處”。換句話說,這應許是對蒙召在神偉大旨意之下的人而言的,意思是“所得益處”也必須符合神的“美善”和神整全至高的旨意。

在傳道書的經文中,所羅門如此記載:“現在有的,先前就有;將來有的,早已有了;因為神使已過的事重新出現 (3:15) ,意即,世上無新事。他還指出,神在人生的循環中擁有至高無上的主權。在此之前,生命的連續性和終極性都是為了確保人能敬畏神 –“神這樣作,為要使人在祂面前存敬畏的心。”(3:14)。我們是神按照祂的形象所創造的,所以作為受造物,我們可以與祂聯繫、敬畏祂。

舊約聖經學者弗朗茨·德利奇 (Franz Delitzsch)智慧地指出:“神的掌權…不會改變;祂的創造大能以及他對世界的道德秩序皆以相同的規律產生相同的現象…祂永遠掌權,並…繼續地轉流不息。”神希望人能對祂那永恆不變、高深莫測的計劃的回應就是要人敬畏祂、崇敬祂和謙卑的順服祂:因此,人應當敬畏祂。

 2. 面對不公義的現實(16

所羅門對人生的不公義和欺壓的現實觀察所得的推理和評述實在是發人深省。他說:“我在日光之下又看見:審判的地方有奸惡,維護公義的地方也有奸惡。”(3:16)

基督徒在順服神主權時所面對最困難的事,就是同時要接受邪惡、不公義和受欺壓的現實。我們都在問一個相同問題,“如果至高無上的神是善良全能的,那麼神自己創造並主宰的世界上怎麼還有這麼多的不公義和欺壓存在?” 在我們的基督教信仰中,我們無法同時融合痛苦與苦難的問題。以致,很多時候我們都設法努力去糾正錯誤,為那些遭受不公義的人伸張正義,並儘我們所能去解放那些被壓迫的人。的確,這些是所有基督徒都應該努力去做的正直高尚而重要的事,事實上我們應該做的比我們正在做的還要更多。難道這不正是先知彌迦提醒我們要做的:“世人哪!耶和華已經指示你甚麼是善,他向你所要的又是甚麼;無非是要你行公義…?”(6:8a)我們確實有一位公義的神,祂恨惡不公義和欺壓人的罪。但同樣,這節經文的其餘部分很重要,不應被遺忘:“……謙虛謹慎與你的神同行?”(6:8b) 新英文聖經(NET)譯作:“在神面前活出謙卑順服的生活。” 在神要求我們行公義、好憐憫的同時,實際上祂也要求我們活出謙卑順服的生活。從上下文去看,意即,當面對著不公義時,我們必須盡力而為,作可以做的,其餘的交給神,順服祂的主權。

如上述所言,我每天都在面對著加拿大和世上各處所看到所有社會及政治上的不公義和壓迫而感到不安。我們的自然反應往往就是憤怒和沮喪,因為我們對這個世界的權勢和政權感到那般無助無奈。我們都想居住在更好的地方,這就是我們或我們的父母選擇居住在加拿大之因,也是人類歷史上至今不斷遷徙的原因。可惜最後,令人悲嘆的現實是,“烏托邦”理想國根本不存在於世上,不論何往,我們所到之處,依然存在著不公義和欺壓。

面對一個充斥著不公義和欺壓的世界而我們便是在這屬靈爭戰中,保羅所言仍然言猶在耳:“最後,你們要靠主的大能大力,在他裡面剛強。要穿戴神所賜的全副軍裝,使你們能抵擋魔鬼的詭計。因為我們的爭戰,對抗的不是有血有肉的人,而是執政的、掌權的、管轄這黑暗世界的和天上的邪靈。(弗6:10-12)難怪我們總是處於衝突和掙扎之中,因為我們正在面對著持續不斷的屬靈爭戰,以免我們忘記這一點並試圖“扮演上帝”!因此,我們必須穿上神所賜的全副軍裝。基督精兵們前進,齊步向戰場走吧!(下期待續)

主僕,
李耀全牧師

家訊(2021.10.30/31)

家事報告:

  1. 歡迎您與我們一起敬拜神!由2021年10月2/3日起,我們重返教會實體崇拜,若閣下第一次參加本堂崇拜,請向司事索取「來賓咭」,填妥後交回司事員,以便本會繼續與您聯絡。
  2. 粵語祈禱會 :逢週二8-9pm 在Zoom平台進行。Zoom ID及密碼將透過電郵發給長執及團契再轉發給各會眾,11月2日為關懷部及大衛團祈禱。
  3. 2022長議會:

主席: 李耀全牧師(Rev. Simon Lee)

副主席:李健明(Terence)

文書: 許致遠(Carlo)

財務:鄧卓超 (Thomas)

英語事工:林啟洋(Oscar)

英語青少年事工:黃伯裕(Sunny)

兒童事工:林冠彥(Phil)

事務部: 王國旋(Godwin)

資訊科技:李健明(Terence)

婚姻與家庭部:許致遠(Carlo)

傳道部:林冠彥(Phil)

差傳部: 林冠彥(Phil)

關懷部: 黃華興(Peter)

國語事工: 俞鐵華(Eddie)

粵語崇拜:黃世祺(Gary)

粵語青年崇拜/雅歌團:王國旋(Godwin)

團契部:(空缺)

成人教育部:(空缺)

  1. AYAYA 週六青崇7PM 實體崇拜,需要預先報名,7https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/182224467287。歡迎所有弟兄姊妹參加,與我們一同敬拜上帝!本週講題:各按其職、上下一心:新的一個服侍群體,經文:使徒行傳6:1-7,講員:李耀全牧師。
  1. 週六及主日粵語11:15AM實體崇拜,需要預先報名,報名連結:
  • 週六:https://bit.ly/3nl6euS
  • 主日:https://bit.ly/2Ztf5mv

鼓勵大家瀏覽列宣網頁www.rcac.ca細閱重返教會崇拜詳情。

粵語崇拜亦會在網上Zoom平台同步直播,與留在家裡的肢體一起敬拜。崇拜Zoom ID及密碼逢週五透過電郵發送給大家。

  1. 本會現聘請堂務同工(Caretaker)一名。申請者請將個人履歷以書面形式呈交李耀全牧師或電郵rev.simon.lee@rcac.ca。招聘內容已張貼於列宣報告版。
  2. 「匯」23主題:「回到神的殿敬拜?!」,盼望大家踴躍投稿,10月31日截稿。
  3. 下週116/7日聖餐崇拜,教會為大家預備聖餐餅/杯。歡迎留在家中Zoom平台敬拜的弟兄姊妹返回教會領取,崇拜時一起領受聖餐。
  4. 溫馨提示:11月7日凌晨冬令時間開始,請於週六11月6日就寢前把時鐘撥慢一小時。
  5. 每週崇拜週刊,請瀏覽www.rcac.ca查閱有關連結 – 家訊教牧心聲等。
  6. 肢體及牧者消息與代禱:
  • 鍾植生(Jack)弟兄與陳慧儀(Bertha)姊妹於10月24日假本會舉行結婚典禮。願主賜福,同心同行,永結同心。
  • 陳榮基傳道於11月2-4日休假。

肢體及牧者消息與代禱

  1. 二零二一年十一月六日及七日 崇拜講員:劉展權傳道(週六國語及週六青崇)、龔敏光牧師(週六、主日粵語)、潘啟華傳道(主日英語))。
  2. 身體不適肢體:李慕慈、鄧陳有、劉黃玉蓮、葉周煥萍、陳見三、余鄧玉瑤、陳黃雪芳、高唐瑞英。每週二粵語祈禱會我們將更具體為他們代禱。

宣教/機構消息:

  1. 第一屆加拿大華人基督徒網上冬令會於2021年12月31日至2022年1月2日舉行,需要報名參加,請登入以下網止報名https://www.cccwc.ca/。

講道大綱及筆記:   

週六國語、週六青崇及週六及主日粵語崇拜

講員:李耀全牧師

經文:使徒行傳6:1-7

講題:各按其職、上下一心:新的一個服侍群體

 一.成長中的教會之特殊挑戰 (1)

二.成長中的教會之優先次序 (2-4)

三.成長中的教會之團隊精神 (5-6)

四.成長中的教會之特殊突破 (7)

講題預告:

2021年擁戴基督為王 410-12月主題:神的國度邁進(使徒行傳選讀)

  • 11.6/7(聖餐)           僑民的新外展   (徒8:1-25)
  • 11.13/14                        外族人的新宣教士   (徒9:1-19)
  • 11.20/21                       一個新的宣教中心   (徒11:19-30)
  • 11.27/28 (將臨期)       新的跨文化使命    (徒15:1-4,22-35)
  • 12.04/05(聖餐)         福音直傳到地極 (徒28:11-31)
  • 12.11/12                      聖誕信息1: 耶穌基督的家譜 (太1:1-17)
  • 12.18/19                     聖誕信息2: 耶穌基督的誕生 (太1:18-24)
  • 12.25/26                    聖誕信息3: 星象家的到訪及其後果 (太2:1-18)

教會行事年曆

  • 11.07                   冬令時間開始
  • 11.11                   國殤日公眾假期
  • 11.16                   Prayer Meeting (E)
  • 11.21                   長議會會議#6
  • 11.28                   將臨期第一個主日
  • 12.21                   Prayer Meeting (E)
  • 12.24                   平安夜崇拜
  • 12.25/26             聖誕崇拜
  • 12.25-26             聖誕假期
  • 12.31                   年終感恩見證祈禱會

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The More Important Question: Who Follows Us? or Who Do We Follow?

Oct 23-24, 2021
From the Pastor’s Desk: Rev. Jason Cheung

To have a following is a weighty thing!

People gravitate to people.  Charisma and character attract attention.  Numerical follows on social media platforms can be a nice hobby, or a full-time, monetized income generator.  But numbers carry a weight that can become a burden.

As Christians, careful discernment is needed to understand which of these two questions is foremost in our minds and hearts.

Who follows us?

or

Who do we follow?

One of the traps of pastoral ministry, I’ve been warned, is the track to become “a better leader.”  The goals are admirable, and local churches can become well-tuned and efficient.  I have nothing against organizing well, as administration is indeed a gift of the Spirit.  (Right now, if you look at my desk, it needs some work-of-the-Spirit organizing!)  But, administration – like all spiritual gifts – are mere tools for the building up of God’s church, for the glory of Christ.  Leadership, however, in the church today has become such a principal focus that our call to follow Jesus has been blurred.

John Goldingay, an Old Testament professor, made this comment about this kind of obsession with leadership:

When my students are reading the part of the Old Testament that includes Nehemiah, they often want to write papers on leadership.  Come to think of it, whatever parts of the Old Testament they are studying, they want to write papers on leadership.  My heart sinks when they ask if they can do so, though I don’t ever expect them to understand why it does.  Our culture is deeply preoccupied with leadership, and so people assume that the Bible must be preoccupied with leadership, because we expect the Bible to focus on the questions that concern us.  Part of the reason the Bible itself is not very interested in the question is that it is more interested in what God has done to put the world right.  If you like, it is interested in God’s leadership not ours. 

Picture Christ’s church as counter-cultural families in which hierarchical structures are not what we’re known for, but rather sacrificial love (John 15:13).  Imagine a kingdom-minded church where mutual dependence and sharing is the norm and not the exception (Acts 2:42-47).   Envision a church where its mission is not first concerned of its own well-being, but that of the neighbour (Luke 10:25-37).

The way for our church to become like this is to determine which of these questions is top-of-mind, and at the centre of our heart:

 Who follows us? 

or

Who do we follow?

Jesus has inaugurated an upside-down kingdom where the poor will become rich, and the weak will become strong.  And in his church, any leader of any kind must be the servant of all (Mark 9:35).  So, strange as it may sound, if you want to be a leader in Christ’s church, stoop and serve.

And if this is too difficult to imagine, pause — and look very closely at Jesus, the Son of God, the Son of Man.

He dined with sinners and outcasts.

He washed the filthy feet of his disciples, his followers.

He carried the cross and bore the punishment for the sin of all.

Why do we even care how many people follow us

Our lives belong to Jesus, and our basic call is to faithfully live and speak and love in such ways that usher people toward Jesus.  Not to gain a following.  But to guide others to become followers of Jesus. 

And so, let us deny ourselves, pick up the cross and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23). 

Our own importance is replaced with the glory of Christ.

Our way now is the sacrificial way of the cross.

Our only leader is none other than the Lord Jesus himself, our Good Shepherd.

Let’s faithfully follow him.

 

 

 

一個更重要的問題:誰跟隨我們?或者我們跟隨誰?

Oct 23-24, 2021
張志成牧師

擁有追隨者是非常沉重的事!

人與人之間互相吸引,是因個人的魅力和性格吸引別人的注意。在社交媒體平台上能帶動有追隨者原是不錯的「嗜好」,甚至如果是全職,可以帶來經濟收入。但追隨者數字上升也同時可能會成為負擔。

作為基督徒,需要仔細辨別了解這兩個問題,哪一個在我們的思想和內心最為重要。

誰跟隨我們?或者我們跟隨誰?

我被提醒在牧養事工其中一個陷阱,是走上作 「更好的領導者」的途徑。作領導的目標本身是令人敬佩的,使地方教會可以變得協調和高效率。我不反對要有好的組織,因為行政管理確實是屬靈的恩賜。(此刻,你看看我的辦公桌,它需要一些管理屬靈恩賜去執拾!)但是,行政管理 - 就像所有屬靈恩賜一樣 - 是為建立上帝的教會、榮耀基督的工具。然而,領導-已成為今天教會一個主要的焦點,以至我們對跟隨耶穌的呼召變得模糊不清。

舊約聖經教授約翰戈爾丁蓋 (John Goldingay) 對迷戀這種領導的學生有以下的評論:

當我的學生研讀舊約尼希米的部分時,​​他們會想寫關於領導的論文。試想想,無論他們在研讀舊約的任何部分,他們都會想寫關於領導的論文。當他們諮詢我可否這樣行,我的心沉了下來,但我也不期望他們明白我為何沮喪。我們的文化非常重視領導,因此人們認為聖經也必然是關注領導,因為我們希望聖經是關心我們關心的問題。聖經本身對這個問題不在乎的部分原因是,它更在乎的是上帝做了什麼使世界變得正確。無論你同意與否,聖經是指向上帝的領導,而不是我們的。

把基督的教會想像成抗文化的家庭,其中的等級架構不是我們所熟識的,它是犧牲的愛(約翰福音 15:13)。想像一個有神國度的教會,在那裡互相扶持和分享是常態而不是例外(使徒行傳 2:42-47)。試思想一個教會,它的使命首先不是關心自己的福祉,而是關心鄰舍的福祉(路加福音 10:25-37)。

我們的教會能否成為這樣的模式是確定以下哪個問題是最重要的,並且是我們的核心:

誰跟隨我們?或者我們跟隨誰?

耶穌開創了一個顛覆的國度,讓窮人變富,弱者變強。在祂的教會裡,任何類型的領袖都必須是所有人的僕人(馬可福音 9:35)。所以,雖然聽起來很奇怪,但如果你想成為基督教會的領袖,就屈身服侍吧。

如果這太難以想像,停一停  ‒ 仔細看看耶穌,神的兒子,也是人子。

祂與罪人和被拒絕的人共進晚餐。

祂為跟隨祂的門徒洗腳。

祂背起十字架,承擔了所有人的罪債。

為什麼我們關心是有多少人跟隨我們?

我們的生命是屬於耶穌,我們被呼召是要忠心跟隨耶穌,作好見證,領人歸向耶穌;不是為贏得追隨者,而是引導他成為耶穌的跟隨者。

就當捨己,天天背起他的十字架來跟從我(路加福音 9:23)。

我們個人的榮縟被基督的榮耀所取代。

我們現在的道路是十字架犧牲的道路。

我們唯一的領袖就是我們的好牧人主耶穌。

讓我們忠心跟隨祂。

 

 

 

 

 

 

家訊(2021.10.23/24)

家事報告:

  1. 歡迎您與我們一起敬拜神!由2021年10月2/3日起,我們重返教會實體崇拜,若閣下第一次參加本堂崇拜,請向司事索取「來賓咭」,填妥後交回司事員,以便本會繼續與您聯絡。
  2. 粵語祈禱會 :逢週二8-9pm 在Zoom平台進行。Zoom ID及密碼將透過電郵發給長執及團契再轉發給各會眾,10月26日為傳道部祈禱。
  3. 列宣2021會友大會於上週主日圓滿結束,感謝主!以下議題已順利通過:

1) 2021年6月30日年度財務報告;

2) 2022年6月30日年度財務報告核數師;

3) 2022年長老提名委員會會友代表:梁富文(Freeman)和方姚翠娥(Molly),後備

曾慕基(Grace)和吳陸雅潔(Loretta);

4) 2022-2024年度長老:林啟洋(Oscar)、黃世祺(Gary)、王國旋(Godwin)及

黃伯裕(Sunny)

謹代表會友大會籌委會及長老議會,感謝列宣家會友的積極參與和支持!

  1. 2022長議會:

主席: 李耀全牧師(Rev. Simon Lee)

副主席:李健明(Terence)

文書: 許致遠(Carlo)

財務:鄧卓超 (Thomas)

英語事工:林啟洋(Oscar)

英語青少年事工:黃伯裕(Sunny)

兒童事工:林冠彥(Phil)

事務部: 王國旋(Godwin)

資訊科技:李健明(Terence)

婚姻與家庭部:許致遠(Carlo)

傳道部:林冠彥(Phil)

差傳部: 林冠彥(Phil)

關懷部: 黃華興(Peter)

國語事工: 俞鐵華(Eddie)

粵語崇拜:黃世祺(Gary)

粵語青年崇拜/雅歌團:王國旋(Godwin)

團契部:(空缺)

成人教育部:(空缺)

  1. AYAYA 週六青崇7PM 實體崇拜,需要預先報名,7https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/182224467287。歡迎所有弟兄姊妹參加,與我們一同敬拜上帝!本週講題:一個新的禱告群體,經文:使徒行傳4:23-31,講員:陳榮基傳道。
  2. 週六及主日粵語11:15AM實體崇拜,需要預先報名,報名連結:
  • 週六:https://forms.gle/sRjhEUHXapWm8ss8A,
  • 主日:https://bit.ly/3hHrJEl

鼓勵大家瀏覽列宣網頁www.rcac.ca細閱重返教會崇拜詳情。

粵語崇拜亦會在網上Zoom平台同步直播,與留在家裡的肢體一起敬拜。崇拜Zoom ID及密碼逢週五透過電郵發送給大家。

  1. 本會現聘請堂務同工(Caretaker)一名。申請者請將個人履歷以書面形式呈交李耀全牧師或電郵rev.simon.lee@rcac.ca。招聘內容已張貼於列宣報告版。
  2. 國語事工英語班「與英文世界接軌」(B) 班:10月25日至12月9日;每週二次,週一及週四上午10:00-11:30。費用全免,現正接受報名,(604-271-9333。
  3. 「匯」23主題:「回到神的殿敬拜?!」,盼望大家踴躍投稿,10月31日截稿。
  4. 每週崇拜週刊,請瀏覽www.rcac.ca查閱有關連結 – 家訊教牧心聲等。

肢體及牧者消息及代禱

  1. 二零二一年十月三十日及三十一日 崇拜講員:李耀全牧師(週六青崇、週六國語及週六、主日粵語)、張志成牧師(主日英語))。
  2. 身體不適肢體:李慕慈、鄧陳有、劉黃玉蓮、葉周煥萍、陳見三、余鄧玉瑤、陳黃雪芳、高唐瑞英。每週二粵語祈禱會我們將更具體為他們代禱。

宣教/機構消息:

  1. 第一屆加拿大華人基督徒網上冬令會於2021年12月31日至2022年1月2日舉行,需要報名參加,請登入以下網止報名https://www.cccwc.ca/。

講道大綱及筆記:   

週六國語崇拜

講員:劉展權傳道

經文:使徒行傳4:23-31

講題:健康的屬靈生命

健康的屬靈生命:

  1. 先從面對挑戰開始
  2. 必須透過禱告建立
  3. 會經歷神的大能

週六及主日粵語崇拜

講員:周力行牧師

經文:使徒行傳4:23-31

講題:禱告的能力

  • 禱告的原由(23節)
  • 禱告的內容(24-30節)
  • 禱告的結果(31節)

講題預告:

2021年擁戴基督為王 410-12月主題:神的國度邁進(使徒行傳選讀)

  • 10.30/31           一個新服侍群體    (徒6:1-7)
  • 11.6/7                 僑民的新外展       (徒8:1-25)
  • 11.13/14             外族人的新宣教士     (徒9:1-19)
  • 11.20/21            一個新的宣教中心   (徒11:19-30)
  • 11.27/28 (將臨期)     新的跨文化使命 (徒15:1-4,22-35)
  • 12.04/05(聖餐)         福音直傳到地極 (徒28:11-31)
  • 12.11/12                      聖誕信息1: 耶穌基督的家譜 (太1:1-17)
  • 12.18/19                     聖誕信息2: 耶穌基督的誕生 (太1:18-24)
  • 12.25/26                    聖誕信息3: 星象家的到訪及其後果 (太2:1-18)

教會行事年曆

  • 11.07                   冬令時間開始
  • 11.11                   國殤日公眾假期
  • 11.16                   Prayer Meeting (E)
  • 11.21                   長議會會議#6
  • 11.28                   將臨期第一個主日
  • 12.21                   Prayer Meeting (E)
  • 12.24                   平安夜崇拜
  • 12.25/26            聖誕崇拜
  • 12.25-26             聖誕假期
  • 12.31                   年終感恩見證祈禱會

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In His Time (3): The Ultimate Purpose of Life

Oct 16-17, 2021
From the Pastor’s Desk: Rev. Simon Lee

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

This is the third article on Ecclesiastes 3 on “In His Time.” We have looked at “Appointed time vs Appropriate time,” “Life’s Certainties and Our Responses,” and now “The Ultimate Purpose of Life,” drawn mainly from Ecclesiastes 3:9-13.  My hope and prayer is that we will understand more about our timeless God and see how He works in our time and space.

  1. Life without God is profitless toil (9)

We all want to “profit” in the things we do. Solomon was clear to state that life without is endless and profitless toil. There is ultimately no real gain (1:3; 2:11) in man’s own effort and hard labour, if it is done without God. In this light, work is just “burden” that is joyless, just busy-ness.

Work is important to all of us, it is the means by which we meet our needs. But when work is just that, repetitive chores, then we can see why people wants “Freedom 55” to enjoy life. This is not the same as saying work is meaningless, it is saying life without God is profitless toil. Even though we may be able to earn a lot of money, it is ultimately “profitless” as we may lose our health, our relationships, and our life in working ceaselessly without rest and without purpose.

  1. Life with God is beautiful in its time (10-11a)

“The business that God has given” he makes “beautiful in its times.”  God in His providential plans and sovereign control has an appropriate time for everything and every activity. God’s design is inscrutable, timely and wonderful, in God’s special way. As we have seen previously, God has an appointed time and an appropriate time for everything and He also makes everything beautiful in God’s perfect time.

  1. Life in God is linked to unfathomable eternity (11b)

God has put eternity in the hearts of men, and we can see that people all have a longing, desire and yearning to know the purpose of life which is found only in God. As Augustine said, “God has made man with a God-shaped vacuum, and man shall find no rest till he finds it in God.” Human toil is profitless and meaningless when it is outside the eternal plan of God, a plan that will not be fully comprehended by humans until we enter eternity.

It is a joy to see baptismal candidates in their testimony express their joy in recognising that when they are in God’s eternal plan, they find the ultimate purpose in their lives. There is real satisfaction in God and there is peace, security and assurance in eternal life.

  1. Life in God is the gift of real enjoyment of life from God (12-13)

Meanwhile life on earth is a gift from God to human beings as long as we live (5:18; 8:15). We can enjoy life as God enables as we find our ultimate satisfaction in God. If anyone eats and drinks and finds joy in all his work, it is a gift of God as he live his life in God. The Westminster Shorter Catechism states “Man’s chief ends is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. The Puritan pastor Thomas Watson said, “Eternity to the godly is a day that has no sunset; eternity to the wicked is a night that has no sunrise.” We shall see how this can be achieved only in “the fear of the Lord” (14)

We are not saying “Don’t worry, just be happy.”  A person who walks with God is blessed with real joy and satisfaction in life, in both the big and small things that God provides. There is real contentment in enjoying the things that God provides for us.

I find this quote from Warren Wiersbe’s commentary very helpful “When the well-known British Methodist preacher William Sangster learned that he had progressive muscular atrophy and could not get well, he made four resolutions and kept them to the end: (1) I will never complain; (2) I will keep the home bright; (3) I will count my blessings; (4) I will try to turn it to gain. This is the approach to life that Solomon wants us to take.  Amen.

(Next: In His time (4): A time for Justice)