4/7-4/13/14

<報福音、傳喜信>4/7-4/13/14

「認識你獨一的真神,並且認識你所差來的耶穌基督,這就是永生。」(約翰福音17:3)

“And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.” (John 17:3NLT)

默想禱告: 還來不及吃上幾口微波爐加熱快餐, 教會 華人部”門鈴一響, 十多人陸續進來, 站在門口, 我慌慌忙忙把杯盤胡亂收拾, 從小厨房鑽出來打招呼。安排好晚上七點開始講座, 他們卻早到半小時, 我想休息安静片刻的機會就告吹了。今晚來的人清一色是餐館從業人員-當中有經理、大厨、壽司師傅、廚房雜務、侍應員.. 聞風急忙關店趕來聽移民講座, 跟下午第一場講座的觀眾-大部分是交换學者、博士後研究員、留學生及家眷, 在身分上存著两極的差距。快到晚上九點結束講座, 按次序諮詢個案難題的人仍然流連在大廳中, 不耐煩地等候上一位欲語還休的同事。最終輪到了她。我 看見她坐下後一直揉擦著雙手, 臉容緊張, 但其實她問的問題很簡單, 是政庇成功後如何申請家人來美團聚的手續程序。也許是她擔心我會懷疑她政庇申請的內情底蘊罷。但她大概沒想到我接下來反問她的卻是另外一種身分上的問題。「你來教會聽過福音嗎?」我想抓緊機會, 雖然當下她面部顯出異常的惶惑。「有。」她輕聲回答,柔弱的語氣影襯著無奈的眼神。「那麼你相信耶穌嗎?」她低下頭默然不語, 但眼淚卻開始往下直流, 滴在沾滿油膩污垢的厨房工作服上。「我沒有接受主。」「為什麼?」我趁機問下去。她漸漸抬起頭來, 滿臉淚痕, 帶著微微顫抖的聲音回答: 「我實在很虧欠, 每個星期日都在餐館工作, 沒辦法來教會…」這時我才明白她情緒激動的原由, 也被她真誠的悔意而感動, 想到多少時候我們循例式的上教堂, 但往往心不在焉, 遲到早退的敷衍行為, 我對她流露的 “自愆” 意識感到更加難能可貴。將這两種敬拜心態對照之下, 那一種被神所悦納就盡可不言而喻了。我鼓勵她下班後可以看聖經, 閱讀屬靈刊物, 向主耶穌多禱告, 唱詩讚美, 可以隨時隨地進行敬拜。原來她最扎心、最擔心的是主不接納她,過於她不願意接受主的救恩, 反映出不少基督徒對「心靈誠實」與「形式主義」的敬拜生活有很大挣扎誤解, 不明白「嘴唇尊敬我, 心卻遠離我」才是神最憎惡的態度。 於是我為她作了祝福, 讓她卸下 “過度自責”的重擔, 享受主所賜內心真正的平安。據說這所美國南部大學小城周圍住有三百左右的中國人, 這次周日早晚來聽講座和見証的約有六十多人, 是人口的五份之一。其實我心中的託付,不是想來解決同胞們的移民身分, 而是想幫助他們認識和獲得生命更重要的身分-神兒女的名分! 有時候覺得單刀切入的主題會令人感覺太剛硬,太直率, 我想到嘗試用借題發揮的方式使對方從現實生活的具體需要中領悟福音的普世價值和救贖意義。「移民官心聲」是我當天的分享題目。除介紹移民法的幾個重要觀念:移民意圖、誠實無偽、文件證明、舉證責任和妄自宣稱幾項移民法則外, 我更凸顯 “妄自宣稱”False Claim 的嚴重後果; 意謂申請人所言一旦與事實不符, 或達不到人證、物証、背景驗明、旁証、目擊證人、史實根據等嚴格要求, 申請人的可信度Credibility亦會相對減弱, 成 為移民申請失敗或屢次被拒簽証入境的主因。按此推理順序引伸,我與眾人分享了聖經約翰福音中耶穌的七個 “自我宣稱”,包括:我是生命之糧,是生命的光,永生之門,好牧人,復活的主,真葡萄樹,及耶穌就是道路、真理和生命。我的分享結論是耶穌基督的七個極具 啟示性 “我是”的自稱絲毫沒有 “妄稱”的成分,完全達到各種歷史客觀條件的嚴格考證標準, 可信度百分之百, 即便不信者用肆意攻擊, 不加求証的態度來妄下判斷, 亦難以推翻聖經人物歷史的真確性, 耶穌基督的神性, 話語的權威性, 和十字架的普世救贖, 充分証明基督信仰具有超越文化,超越種族,超越時空背景的特質。不僅從客觀考證取得確據,同樣重要的是信主的人都能夠經歷到與主耶穌建立個人關係的主體經驗, 有如同雲彩般的生命見証在長遠的世代中交相暉映, 反照出上帝的榮光。最後我以經歷到神大能醫治的個人見証作結束。在此感謝路易士安那州,拉斐特美國第一浸信會 “華人部”給我機會與大學生、餐館業人仕分享福音信息,更為神的使女劉月琴姊妹三十多年獨自忠心服侍教會, 留學生, 和各同胞的生活需要而感恩, 願主的愛如春雨沛然降臨在這小城中的每一位的中國同胞,奉主耶穌聖名禱告, 阿們。(陳熾弟兄分享)

Meditation & Prayer: My microwave dinner abruptly ended when a group of restaurant workers came in half an hour early before my workshop began. Audiences attending the evening session were in sharp contrast with the morning attendees in terms of their background and social status-restaurant workers vs. visiting scholars and graduate students. Out of 300, plus and minus Chinese residents in this small town of Lafayette, Louisiana, more than 60 attended the workshops and Sunday school last week, considered a high participation number. The purpose of my visit was not to provide immigration counseling, but to use this opportunity to reach out to students and workers who either sojourn a little while to finish their research projects at the University, or strive to make a living with no legal status in the middle of nowhere. Almost 30 years ago, the First Baptist Church of Lafayette erected a Chinese Center adjacent to the church and started the Chinese student ministry headed by Miss Queenie Lau, a fresh graduate from the Baptist Seminary in New Orleans. Ever since, Queenie has served multitude of Chinese students from China, coming in as visiting scholars and graduate students with their families. Wherever there are Chinese, there are Chinese restaurants. Gradually, her ministry extends to meeting the needs of restaurant workers during emergencies due to language barriers. She has put her heart and soul to care for them, in physical and spiritual dimensions, with full support from the church. I was invited to share educational information with this tiny Chinese community, with the real purpose of sharing the gospel message. Immigration topics give me the platform to draw their attention. While introducing the basic concepts of immigration law, such as Intent to Immigrate, Perjury, Documentation, Burden of Proof and False Claim, I attempted to emulate Atheist-turned-Christian Lee Strobel’s perspectives in his book The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ, which presents a number of counter-arguments to challenges to the evangelical Christian view. By citing and examining Jesus 7 self-proclamations “I am” in the Gospel of John, I gave the conclusion that Jesus claim is absolutely genuine and true, Only the Son of God can speak with such spiritual authority, and his entire life on earth, his suffering and resurrection, further demonstrates his divinity and all his godly attributes. Despite my knowledge and apologetics skill are limited, it doesn’t weaken my resolve to testify for this truth, especially when I have personally experienced the transformative power of God in my life. May the Lord continue to bestow his blessings upon the Chinese ministry in Lafayette, so that more and more students and restaurant workers alike find the true meaning in their lives, in Jesus holy name I pray, amen. (Brother Mike Chan sharing)

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