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Fullness of God

Aug 14-15, 2021
From the Pastor’s Desk: Pastor Karen Quan

Eph. 3: 17- 19: NIV “….17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, BEING ROOTED AND ESTABLISHED in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and how high and deep is the love of Christ,  19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

It’s been a joy to meditate on this passage since Sept. 2020 with all those in Children’s Ministry & to have celebrated together on the Virtual Awana Awards Nite (June 25, 2021). Some of our leaders even memorized this passage and had their Awana Kids listen to the reciting! Hiding God’s word in our hearts is not only for those under 12.

May the following thoughts from verse 19 be of encouragement to you.

KNOW” What is it to really know someone? Not just know about them, but truly know them deeply and thoroughly? The previous verse reveals the multi directional love of Christ and here we are told to press on and know this love for ourselves. This love of Christ is beyond knowledge. Could it be that we just know about Christ’s love on a superficial level? Or know facts about Christ but have actually missed knowing Him personally? To really KNOW this love is to get personal and to be vulnerable with Christ. To spend time with Him, know His character and strive to understand what motivates Him to love us so.

“FILLED” Have you ever blown a balloon so that it was filled with so much air that you couldn’t add any more? Or eaten so much that you can’t even take one more bite? God’s desire is to fill us with Christ’s love, to fill us just as we will up our cars with gas. And this “filling” isn’t just once and done, it’s continuous. That we would be filled with Christ’s love every moment of each day: every hour, every minute, down to the second! The thought that the boundless love of Christ is offered to limited humans like us is so wonderful. Our God is generous and demonstrates this in the act of filling our hearts to the maximum level so that we are not left wanting or in need.

“FULLNESS OF GOD” As I try to imagine the “Fullness of God”, I picture a cup that is overflowing. Abundance….Surplus… like a fountain that never runs out of water. In memorizing this passage, I use hand gestures to remind myself of each phrase and this section involves God not only filling me with the love that I so need, but going beyond. God’s love is complete and with my human limitations, I’m challenged to think on the limitless & wholeness of God. This leads me to worship Him and give thanks for this great gift of love so freely given to us.

The kids have reflected and expressed their thoughts on this passage through art. Enjoy this link for the Secret Video “Rooted & Established”: https://youtu.be/sbLdODkSyWE

神的一切豐盛

Aug 14-15, 2021
關潔玲傳道

以弗所書 3:17-19:「17使基督藉著你們的信,住在你們心裡,使你們既然在愛中扎根建基,18就能和眾聖徒一同領悟基督的愛是多麼的長闊高深,19並且知道他的愛是超過人所能理解的,使你們被充滿,得著神的一切豐盛。」

從 2020 年 9 月以來我就和兒童事工的所有事奉人員一起思考這段經文,並且與他們在2021年6月25日網上基督少年軍頒獎之夜(Awana Award Night)上一起慶祝,為此我獻上感恩。當中有一些組長甚至背誦並在他們的基督少年軍的孩子面前朗誦了這段經文!將上帝的話語藏在心裡的不僅是適用於 12 歲以下的人,是每一位弟兄姊妹都可以也應該做到。願以以下第 19 節的分享,彼此勉勵。

「知道」– 要如何才是真正知道某人?不是單單知道他們,而是真正深入完全認識他們?上一節揭示了基督的愛是何等的長濶高深,接著保羅告訴我們要認識並持守這一份愛。基督的愛是超越知識層面的。我們斷然不能只是在知識層面上認識基督的愛?或者知道一些有關於基督的事蹟,但實際上卻沒有親身認識祂?真正認識這份愛是需要透過自身的經歷,並完全倚靠祂才能夠掌握。需要用時間去經歷,領略祂的屬性以及努力了解是什麼促使祂如此愛我們。

「充滿」– 你曾否吹過氣球,把它吹脹到一個程度沒有辦法再吹多一點氣進去?或者你吃得太飽到一個程度沒有辦法再吞下更多的食物?上帝的心意就是把基督的愛充滿我們,這種「充滿」不是一次性的,就像給汽車加油一樣,是需要持續的。我們每一天、每一分、每一秒都被基督的愛充滿!基督無限的愛給我們有限的人是何等奇妙。我們的上帝是如此慷慨,讓祂的愛充滿我們每一個人的內心,以至我們不會有缺乏。

「神的豐盛」– 當我試圖想像「神的豐盛」時,就像是一個滿溢的杯子。豐足…滿溢…..就像一個永不止息的噴泉。在背誦這段經文時,我用手勢提醒自己每一節經文,上帝給我的愛不僅是我所需要的,並是多而又多。我不斷思想上帝的無限和完全,相比之下我看見了自己的有限,這促使我要敬拜祂,並且為祂白白將這份偉大的愛賜給我而不住的讚美。

如果你想知道教會中的孩子們是如何透過藝術表達他們對這段經文的想法。歡迎登入以下視頻觀賞:https://youtu.be/sbLdODkSyWE

Breakthrough in adversity: the secret of the early church in overcoming all difficulties and achieving continuous growth (1): paradigm shift

Aug 07-08, 2021
From the Pastor’s Desk: Rev. Simon Lee

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

The two-years of pandemic, a year and a half of quarantine, the pervasiveness of the virus, together with the accompanying anxiety and pressure, have made us all anxious and unable to live life as usual.  The picture of the church full of brothers and sisters and its joyous atmosphere are now like a distant memory.  Many of us are longing to return to those days. Yet, when we receive the news that the ban is gradually lifted, we have mixed emotions. While it seems to us that we are at the end of the tunnel, we are reminded that we need to be cautious – planning the reopening of the church with a prudent approach.   This is seemingly more difficult to carry out the work than closing down the church in the past, as we need to take care of the wellbeing of the individuals and family members as recommended by the officials.  Now we are attempting to re-open the church in an orderly manner with one united common approach, which is harder than we can imagine: because we need to take into consideration of individual’s concern and the different needs of each family.  While the church needs to have one approach towards the re-opening of the whole church, we also need to carry out the plan as applied specifically to each congregation.  But one question remains to answer: when can the church be reopened safely?

At the same time, because of the political turmoil in Asia seen in the past few years, especially the political atmosphere in Hong Kong, we have seen another wave of immigrants similar to what we saw before 1997.  Many immigrants have chosen Vancouver as their new home, as the city is one of the popular destinations for Chinese people.  Now, as the pandemic is gradually under control and our church is preparing to reopen in the near future, are we ready to safely open the door of our church, welcome new immigrants, and help them to live well in the new place they called home? I hope that these new immigrants not only will be living well here but also having the opportunity to learn about our Savior Jesus Christ.   Can the church seize the opportunity to live out and share the gospel?

In the early days, the early church started from scratch to fulfill the great commission left by the Lord Jesus before His ascension. It was an unprecedented mission! Before discussing any specific, the believers at the time were facing a “paradigm shift.” The disciples of Jewish religion (known as Judaism today) who had always believed in Jehovah God, had to suffer a great impact in their lives after following Jesus for more than three years.  First of all, we must remember that the backgrounds of the disciples were very diverse. In addition to different career backgrounds (such as fishermen, tax collectors, etc.), there were also people with different political views, such as Simon the Zealots (the activists), and tax collector like Matthew (equivalent to today’s government workers). Moreover, all the Jews at that time were looking forward to a “Messiah” who could save them from the regime, the Roman government. In other words, they were looking for a “savior” who could bring about political reform or revolution.

But Jesus led his disciples more than three years of living a nomadic life. The disciples saw that Jesus had supernatural powers, could heal the sick, casted out demons, calmed the stormy seas, and attracted thousands of followers to listen to his preaching. But what puzzled the disciples was that Jesus’ message was not about “restoration” or “revolution.” After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples for forty more days, but the message continued to be about the Kingdom of God! A earthly kingdom becoming the Kingdom of God (heaven).

Finally, the disciples could not help but ask Jesus, ” Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? ” (Acts 1:6). Jesus answered the “wrong” questions of the disciples by commissioning the disciples with the great commission: ” But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). To fulfill this mission, it is easier said than done. In addition to facing political shocks, they were categorized as “heretics” or “cults” by the Jews and they were forced to be dispersed (became the diaspora)! They were in crisis! Who could claim that “hope is in the future “?!

Today we are facing challenges posted by the pandemic and the influx of new immigrants.  These are new challenges resulting in the new normal.  In facing the new challenges and the new normal, we need to have a paradigm shift.  How are we going to turn challenges to become opportunities?  (To be continued…)

His servant,

Pastor Simon Lee

逆境中的突破:初期教會排除萬難屢創高峯之秘訣(一):典範轉移

Aug 07-08, 2021
李耀全牧師

親愛的列宣家弟兄姊妹,

長達兩年的疫情,年半的隔離,病毒無孔不入的殺傷和天天的心理焦慮與壓力令您我都坐立不安,無法如常地生活。從前主日教會人頭湧湧,喜氣洋洋的氣氛已是遙遠的回憶,成了不少信徒心中的渴求與祈盼。在漸漸解封之際,喜悅與疑慮參半,我們如何平行信心邁進與小心起步,仿佛比禁制令時之困惑更難克服。之前只是一同面對疫情的恐慌,現時卻要面對個別人士與家庭不同的處境與挑戰作統一的對策,故此各有不同回應的程度與速度。到底教會何時才可以安全的重開?

與此同時,因為過去數年亞洲政治動盪,尤其是香港社會的變化,又帶動了另一輪像97前的移民潮,目的地包括溫哥華我們這個華人聚居的城市。當疫情漸漸受控,我們教會又預備不久將來重開,我們是否準備好安全地打開我們教會的大門,歡迎新的移民,幫助他們能早日在此安居樂業呢?更希望這些新來的朋友不單是找更好的生活,亦因移居加拿大認識我們的救主耶穌基督,得著豐盛的生命。到底教會是否能把握時機,同心合意,興旺福音?

昔日初期教會由零開始要實踐主耶穌在升天前留下的大使命,那是史無前例的任務!在討論任何實體或具體任務之前,當時的信徒面對的是一個「典範轉移」(paradigm shift)。一直信奉耶和華神的猶太人(今日稱為猶太教)的門徒,跟隨耶穌三年多後令他們的生命受到很大的衝擊。首先我們要記得門徒的背景非常參差,除了有不同的職業背景(如漁夫、稅吏等),更有不同政見的人士,例如激進派(奮銳黨)的西門和為當權者効力收稅的馬太(今日的公務員)。再者當時的猶太人受盡羅馬政府管轄之苦都一致期盼一個能救他們脫苦海的「彌賽亞」,故此,尋救的乃是一位能帶來政改甚至是政變的「救世主」!

但耶穌卻帶領門徒渡過三年多住無定處的生活。門徒眼見耶穌的是有超自然的能力、能醫病趕鬼、平靜風浪、能吸引數以千計的追隨者聽他宣道。但令門徒百思不解的是耶穌宣講的並不是「光復」或「革命」的信息。耶穌在復活後向門徒顯現有四十天之久,但論述的仍是「神國的事」(徒1:3)!何時人的國度變成神的國度呢?

最後門徒不能自禁地問耶穌「主啊,你要在這時候使以色列復國嗎?」(徒1:6)。耶穌像答非所問,並頒發給門徒「典範轉移」的大使命:「可是聖靈降臨在你們身上,你們就必領受能力,並且要在耶路撒冷、猶太全地、撒瑪利亞,直到地極,作我的見證人。」(徒1:8)。要實踐這使命,談何容易,除了面對政治的衝擊外,他們還要被自己人看為「叛教徒」或「異端」,被逼四散!危機重重!誰說「明天會更好」?!

今日我們在面對疫情的打擊,與來自香港被逼移散的人之挑戰,我們面對的困難與挑戰並與昔日不一樣,但無論是新常態或新處境,我們都是面對著一個「新典範」,我們能否把「危機」轉為「契機」呢?(下期續)

主僕,

李耀全牧師

I Lack Nothing

Jul 31 – Aug 01, 2021
From the Pastor’s Desk: Rev. Jason Cheung

“Did you pack your lunch?”
“Your hat?”
“Where are your sunglasses?!”

Before stepping outside this summer, these are the questions we always ask our three children. In other words:

Be prepared.
Protect yourself.
Make sure you’re not in a position where you lack.

Much of my life has been a long preparation to not lack. My education, instilled well into me, was the ticket up the ladder of security. Work hard so you may have everything you need. Do well in school, so you’ll have no deficiencies. Even in relationships: be a good friend, so you don’t become lonely.

I eventually noticed that even good things were not good in themselves, but merely means so I lack nothing.

So, this was my way of life:

Get a good job. I lack nothing.
Save, plan and invest well. I lack nothing.
Be kind and loving, so others will be the same to you. I lack nothing.

To be sure, a vocation that makes a good living is good. Being financially wise and a steward is very good. And of course, in all our relationships, acting in kindness and love, is truly the way of Christ. But, notice how all these good things can be turned, ever so slightly, for the ultimate benefit of ourselves.

David wrote the beloved Psalm 23 out of a view of life that was far from perfect, yet he dwelled in goodness. There were dark valleys to walk through, evil to contend with and enemies near. Yet, David writes from an assured place with the Lord, his Shepherd. He begins with calm and confidence: The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.

In my life, I have rushed many things, anxious to not be left behind, eager to be ahead of the pack. I have made plans. Prepared for worst-case scenarios. Controlled the schedule of my life as much as I could. And yet, my plans fail. So, these words pull me deeper: The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.

The great challenge is to recognize every way we have filled our lack with self-sufficiency. And instead, to look to the Lord, as David did, seeing him as he is: our good and loving Shepherd. In Him, we lack nothing.

我必不致缺乏

Jul 31 – Aug 01, 2021
張志成牧師

“你帶了午餐嗎?”
“你的帽子呢?”
“你的太陽眼鏡呢?!”

當孩子在出門之前,尤其是在暑假這段時間,我們總會提醒我們的三個孩子以下這幾件事:
做好準備。
保護自己。
確保你帶備一切所需。

我生命中的大部分時間都是為了將來的不缺乏而作長期準備。我從上學讀書接受教育開始、在耳濡目染的影響下,總是為了將來的生活預備。希望透過努力工作以致可以擁有需要的一切。努力讀書,以致將來不會有缺乏。即使在人際關係中:友善待人,以致不會感到孤單。

我發現,再好的東西,其實並不是真正的好,只是以為能夠幫助我的將來不致缺乏。
我以為:

找一份好的好工。我必不致缺乏。
有好的儲蓄、計劃和妥善投資。我必不致缺乏。
有善良和愛心,這樣別人才會對你一樣。我必不致缺乏。

可以肯定的是,一份好的職業能讓我們有好生活,這是好的。妥善理財和持家有道也是好的。當然,在我們所有的人際關係中,以良善和愛心行事,才是真正基督之道。但是,這些所有美好的事物都會改變,無論是稍微或者是明顯的改變,至終會影響我們的利益。

大衛所寫的詩篇 23 篇,他知道自己的人生並非盡善盡美,但他卻是住在一切美善之中。雖然走過死蔭的山谷,要面對邪惡的計謀,甚至敵人蠢蠢欲動。然而,大衛從他的牧者耶和華那裡找到安穩而寫出這一首詩篇。他以平靜和信心來宣認:耶和華是我的牧者,我必不致缺乏。

我這一生,以衝動來行事,憂慮不落伍,急於走在前列。我制定了許多計劃。為最壞的情況做好準備。盡可能將自己人生的計劃掌控於自己手裡。然而,我的計劃失敗了。所以,這些話深深地打動了我:耶和華是我的牧者,我必不致缺乏。

我們最大的挑戰是堅持倚靠自己來為將來可能會遇到的不足做準備。相反,我們應該要仰望主,就像大衛所行的一樣,看到神是那位善良而慈愛的牧羊人。在祂裡面,我們必不致缺乏。

Lily in the Wilderness

Jul 24-25, 2021
From the Pastor’s Desk: Rev. Raphael Chow

 

As an everlasting theme among poets and scholars, lily has been known as The Fairy of Charming Gown.  Yan Chen, a Song dynasty poet, once wrote the following tribute to lily,

Mountain Flowers Enlightened by the Sunset,

Diffusing fragrances, Albeit short of Nurturing.

With A Gentle Breeze from the Forest Tip,

The Scent of the Lily is Blown around the World!

There are numerous lily species, ranging from about a foot to towering 6 feet tall.  Their petals vary from oval shape to slender contour, some are single stem while others are multiple!  Some flowers upturn gazing the sky, yet some droop towards the ground.  Among the 120 odd species that have been identified, every single one of them is elegant and noble, bearing sparkling and graceful flowers, with verdant leaves.  Their stems are upright and undiluted, with flowers of abundant hues.  There is the white Easter Lily normally seen around Easter.  There are the yellow Bell Lily (Lilium Euxathum), the Sacred Blue Lily, the red Pine Lily (lilium catesbaei), and the spotted-petal Tiger Lily (Lilium lancifolium), etc.  The most enchanted one would undeniably be the black pearl lily, with dark purple petals, gleaming leaves and buttery shade core.  At just one glance, you would have to stop and stay!

In addition to being elegant, lily is also sweet smelling (though there are scentless species)!  No wonder we heard couplet like

“ Deep in the Night, House Saturated with Aroma,

Appearing to be Awakened from Drunk!”

Once, I passed by a lily bouquet in a shadowed room, I was attracted to its lush smell instantly.  I was intoxicated by that aroma for a good few minutes, reviving my mind and soul!  Another time I sensed traces of fragrances while walking in the rural area.  Passing by a babbling brook and a shallow shoal, with sparse saplings and dense weeds or thorns around, I spotted a cobalt blossom in the distance.  The closer I got, the more intense was the fragrance. I finally caught a glimpse of over 100 tall lilies after a turn of the path.  Pastel blue, joined up with pale purple and matched with golden stamen, you will just get inebriated without the breezes, the music and even the delightful bird songs!  These wild lilies just stood there without being humble or overbearing, asking people to enjoy and appreciate them.  You only needed to experience one episode to have this unforgettable feeling of being fully blessed.

Paul talked about “the pleasing aroma” in 2 Corinthians 2:15, which might be the aroma of sacrifice to God.  Yet the aroma in 2:14 might be the scent of sweet balm. Though unable to confirm, we might still try to relate it to the sweet fragrance of the lily.  In any case, when we get among people, would people be able to experience this sensation of being amidst the lily bush?  Though there are thorns around, people can still get revived.  When we get among our fellow brothers and sisters, would they feel like amid blooming lilies, yearning for elegance and purity with this drowning fragrance!

“(He is) The Lily of the Valley and in Him alone I See,

All I Need to Cleanse and Make me Fully Whole.

In Sorrow He’s my Comfort, in Trouble He’s my Stay,

He Tells me Every Care on Him to Roll …”

May our lives carry the fragrance of the Lord always, as the lily of the valley!

野地百合

Jul 24-25, 2021
周力行牧師

素有「雲裳仙子」之稱的百合花是千百年來詩人學者當用的題材。陳岩就曾以詩稱頌百合:「幾許山花照夕陽,不栽不植自芬芳。林梢一點風微起,吹作人間百合香。」

百合花的種類繁多,有的只高尺許,也有長至六尺的。百合花瓣有的呈橢圓狀,有的則是細而且長,有單莖的,也有多莖的,有花開朝天的,也有低垂向地的。今天,已知的百合品種超過120種。但無論那一品種,都是花形典雅高貴,花朵晶瑩雅致,葉子青翠娟秀,莖幹亭亭玉立又落落大方。百合花的顏色也多不勝數。有在復活節時最常見白色的麝香百合(Easter Lily),有黃色的鐘花百合(Lilium Euxathum),有藍色的尼羅百合(Sacred Blue Lily),有紅色的松樹百合(Lilium Catesbaei) ,也有花瓣有班點的老虎百合(Tiger Lily, Lilium lancifolium) 等。而最幻麗的莫過於黑色的黑珍珠百合,紫黑色的花瓣,油緣的葉子,暗黃的花芯。只一眼望去就足以吸引你停下來,不願離開。

百合花不但雅致,更是蘊含醉人的香氣(雖然有些品種並無氣味),以致詩人以「夜深香滿屋,疑是酒醒時」。有一次,我在一處幽暗的房間無意間經過一束百合,就被它那濃烈的花香吸引住了。那香氣,讓我沉醉了二刻鐘,心靈復甦不少。曾遇過這景象:在郊野的路上走,有一陣的、淡淡的香氣傳來,沿路走去,只見淺溪流水,旁邊淺灘,樹木稀疏,雜草叢生,偶有荊棘,遠處隱隱見一花卉,呈淺藍色。走近時,香氣漸濃,走過一灣,只見一地上百株盛開的高身百合展現眼前。淺淺的藍,配上淡淡的紫,插上鮮黃的花蕊,令人神往陶醉。這環境,和風是不需要的,音樂是多餘的,就連小鳥美妙歌聲也不必要了。這一地的野百合,只寧靜地站着,不卑不亢,讓人仔細的欣賞,盡情的享受。只要身在其中只一次,就足以令任何人感到祝福滿滿,一生難忘。

保羅在哥林多後書2:15中論及的“馨香之氣”想是獻祭物與神的香氣。但在2:14中的“香氣”則可指香膏之芬香。雖則不能肯定,但以百合花的芬香作理解也未必不可。總意是當我們走進人群之中,是否能帶給他人身在百合叢中的感受,縱然有荊棘,也能讓人身心復甦;當人走進我們這信徒群體之中,是否好像被盛開的百合花所包圍,令人嚮往的純潔高雅,叫人迷醉的芬芳馥郁!

「恩主是谷中百合花,我唯一需要祂,祂能洗淨我,使我聖潔無瑕。悲傷時祂來解憂,患難時祂保佑,一切憂慮全放在主肩頭… 」

願你我生命,好像谷中百合,常帶着恩主的香氣。

在疫情中向君王讚美和禱求 (二)

Jul 17-18, 2021
李耀全牧師

親愛的列宣家弟兄姊妹:

(筆者按:上期在疫情中向君王讚美和禱求 (一) 筆者已指出君王詩篇的重要性。因為君王詩就是彌賽亞詩(messianic psalms) ,是指向主耶穌基督(彌賽亞) 。)

一篇彌賽亞君王的詩篇(詩二)
讓我在此突顯詩篇第二篇其中的一些重要元素。 詩篇第二篇:可能是大衛在所羅門加冕時,(如徒 4:25、26 所指,(撒下 7:12-16))是為他的“兒子” 寫的(2:7)。若這情況屬實,那麼我們會記得所羅門自己的兄弟,曾兩次試圖從他手中奪取權力(王上1:5-53; 2:13-25)。這事會否引起我們聯想到與針對主和他的受膏者的“陰謀”有所關連?( 詩2:1-3)在日後君王的加冕禮中引用這詩篇時,那些包圍以色列週圍的敵國就是指向“外邦人和列國的騷動”。事實上,詩2:6中這應許:“我已經在錫安我的聖山上,立了我的君王”,也可以應用於所羅門加冕以來,隨後所有的君王身上。

從耶穌基督身上所見的彌賽亞君王
至終,在彌賽亞君王主耶穌基督的時代,那些反對及威脅基督君王的人是指希律王和本丟彼拉多等當權者,他們會受到「新生王」的威嚇。我們回想起東方博士的到來,為著訪尋「猶太人之新生王」。希律王聽到這個消息後非常害怕,他試圖假裝自己也想朝拜這位君王,並敦促博士在找到新生王後回來向他報告耶穌的下落。當希律發現自己被博士愚弄後,就屠殺了伯利恆及其附近兩歲以下的所有男孩。在這場可怕的種族滅絕發生之前,耶穌和他的父母已作了埃及的難民。

詩篇第二篇預言之發聲,從第2節可見,也在第7-9節再次出現:“…你是我的兒子,今天我生了你…” 在基督的生命中,我們不難看到耶穌與父神之間獨特關係的應對,因耶穌是從神而生的(路1:32-35;參徒13:33;來1:5;5:5)。在耶穌受洗時,天上有聲音清楚地宣告:“這是我的愛子,我所喜悅的。”(太3:17)。基督就是那要來永遠拯救祂的子民的終極完美君王、救主和主宰!

君王詩篇的終極應驗
我們也看到基督統治萬國的投影(參啟 2:27;12:5;19:15),而今日作為基督徒,我們現在清楚明白,這是指向基督再來要建立的屬靈國度的統治。啟 22:1-8 為我們記載了君王詩篇的終極應驗:一個新天新地,上帝的兒子耶穌基督將在那裡永遠掌權。

這就是我們對彌賽亞君王耶穌統治的終極盼望,祂要至終結束人類的一切罪惡和苦難。彌賽亞王要戰勝一切反對祂的人,祂要賜福給屬祂的子民:”你們要以敬畏的態度事奉耶和華,又應當存戰兢的心而歡呼。你們要用嘴親吻子,否則他一發怒,你們就在路上滅亡,因為他的怒氣快要發作。凡是投靠他的,都是有福的!”(詩 2:11,12)

對我們今天的應用
今天,在我們面對所有自然災害和世界各地由於不公義和權力鬥爭而導致的的衝突時,亦可能會以本詩的起首:“為什麼” 向神發問出相同的問題。我覺得很有趣讀到:“哪坐在天上的必發笑;主必嘲笑他們。那時,祂必在列怒中對他們剛話,在震怒中使他們驚恐……”(詩 2:4,5)。神嘲笑人類的愚蠢又引致祂發怒。無論是什麼導致我們目前所經歷的災難,讓我們緊記,基督仍然是萬有的君王和至高無上的主宰。讓我們投靠祂而蒙福。擁戴祂為王!

主僕,
李耀全牧師

Praising and petitioning the King in COVID (Part 2)

Jul 17-18, 2021
From the Pastor’s Desk: Rev. Simon Lee

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

Psalm 2 was probably written by David (as indicated in Acts 4:25, 26) for his “son” (2:7), Solomon, in his coronation (2 Sam 7:12-16). If this indeed is the situation, then we will recall that Solomon’s own brother twice attempted to seize power from Solomon (I Kings 1:5-53; 2:13-25). Is this alluded to in the “plot” against the Lord and his anointed? (Ps. 2:1-3) When the psalm was used in subsequent coronations, then the enemy nations, “the Gentiles and the raging nations,” that surrounded Israel must then be in view. Indeed, the promise found in Ps. 2:6: “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill” must be applied to all the kings in subsequent coronations since Solomon’s coronation.

The Messianic King as seen in Jesus Christ
Ultimately in the time of the messianic King, the Lord Jesus Christ, the threat against the king would then be applied to King Herod and Pontius Pilate, the people who set themselves against Christ. We recall the visit of the magi from the East who came looking for the one that is born the King of the Jews. King Herod was so fearful when he heard the news that he tried to pretend that he too would want to worship this king and urged the wise men to come back to report to him on the whereabout of Jesus after they have found him. When Herod realised that he was outwitted by the magi, he massacred all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity that were two years old and under. Jesus and his parents became refugees to Egypt before this horrible genocide took place.

The prophetic voice of Ps. 2 is seen again in v. 7 – 9: “… You are my Son, today I have begotten you…” In the life and reign of Christ, we cannot fail to see the correspondence of this to the unique relationship between Jesus and His Father, for Jesus was born of God (Luke 1:32-35; cf. Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5, 5:5). In the baptism of Jesus, a voice from heaven clearly declared, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Mt. 3:17). Christ was the ultimate ideal king, saviour and Lord who was to come to save His people forever.

The final fulfilment of royal psalms
We also see allusions to Christ’s reign over the nations (cf. Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:15), which we Christians now clearly understand refers to the spiritual reign of the heavenly kingdom which Christ came to establish. Rev. 22:1-8 records for us the final fulfillment of the royal psalms: a new heaven and new earth where God’s Son Jesus Christ will reign forever.

Here lies the ultimate hope we have in the reign of Jesus the Messianic king, bringing an end to all evils and suffering of humankind. The Messiah king will triumph over all who are against Him, and He will bless His own people: 11Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. 12Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” (Ps. 2:11,12)

Application to us today
Today, in the midst of all the natural disasters and human conflicts as a result of the injustice and power struggles around the world, we may pose the same questions that the psalmist asked of God starting with the word “why?” I am amused to see the words: “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury…” (Ps. 2:4,5). God laughs at the follies of men which led Him to show His anger. Whatever led us to the present devastation we are experiencing, let us remember Christ is still king and sovereign over all. Let us take refuge in Him and be blessed. Crown Him with many crowns!

Your servant in Christ,
Rev. Simon Lee