Loading...

「另一个心志」讲道系列

另一个心志(A Different Spirit)

「没有任何时候,比现在更需要我们在自己的城巿──香港,活出基督徒的生命。」

我当青少年牧者的时候,曾带一班香港的孩子,到附近一个亚洲城巿的贫民窟短宣。在原定的篮球比赛和外展服侍之前,我们先去探望了一位住在这座巨大垃圾山旁边的老翁。他在这里已经住了十五年,他的眼睛也因为环境的烟雾污染而患上白内障,因而失明。我很同情这位老人,但他看不见我们任何一个人。而我也知道孩子们很想快点到篮球场展开我们原定的外展计划,所以我们为这老翁和他太太作简单的祷告。

我们动身离开时,一位十四岁的女孩Bonnie拍拍我的手臂说:「Andrew,我相信神想医治这个男人。」这是令每位青年牧者感到最紧张的时刻:一个年轻女孩相信神可以医治一位失明的人,但你却知道这神迹不会发生。然而,我又怎能说不呢?这只会显得非常虚伪。我不太情愿地匆匆叫孩子们回到房里,让Bonnie为这位失明老翁祷告。

Bonnie作了一个很简单的祷告。神奇的事情却发生了──就像水拨把车的前窗抹干净一般,忽然间这男人的眼睛变得清澈起来,白内障消失了。他开始欢呼尖叫起来,因为他的眼睛看见了。他的太太也尖叫起来,因为她不能相信眼前所看到的一切。这班年轻人亦尖叫起来,因为他们被这对老夫妻的尖叫吓着了。我也开始大叫起来,因为我发现我们刚刚见证了一个神迹。

我也很希望可以邀功,但不,这完全是神亲自回应这个来自香港的十四岁女孩的信心,回应了她那不一样的心志。那天早上Bonnie带着一个与别不同的心志出发,也带着她那单纯的信心,这单纯的信心却是我所没有的。Bonnie另有一个心志,使一切都变得不一样。

没有任何时候,比现在更需要我们在香港活出基督徒的生命。这个地方正面临着一个历史时刻,而我们正站在福音使命的转捩点上。我们的城巿里里外外完全被翻转过来,而我们若要清晰地抓住香港人这个身份,路还很远,也充满未知。我们犹豫不决,步步为营。身边的人受了伤,感到困惑,心里恐惧。我们迫切需要另一个心志。

目前的情况,对香港教会提出了很重要的诘问。往后我们能成为一把勇敢而团结的声音,言说盼望、信心和我们的身份吗?还是我们只会乏力地隐藏起来,沉浸在自己的个人关注和自我保护之中?教会会站起来坚持信念,还是宁可退缩淡出?我们会否只想着妥协,让福音变得微小,仅仅让光照在教会四道墙之内,并熄灭我们在公共领域那勇敢作先知的光?

你也许还记得摩西曾打发十二个探子过约旦河,进到应许之地,看看那地如何(民十三至十四章)。神已拯救他们脱离埃及作奴仆的生活,也神迹地领他们过红海,将他们带到这个新家园旁边──这是流奶与蜜之地,是他们世世代代可安居之处。于是,十二个探子进到迦南地窥探,然后回来向摩西回报。他们十二个人都一致同意那是美地,什至带来一挂葡萄作为证据,葡萄大得要两个人用槓抬着。那地就正如神所应许的一样。但有一个坏消息:那里的人身量高大,比他们强壮,城也很坚固。其中十个探子感到沮丧,说:「我们不能上去攻击那民,恐怕我们还未进城,就已经败北。」(参民十三31)

这跟我们如今在香港的感觉相似吗?有许多身量高大的巨人环绕着我们,而我们也遇见重重困阻。这些巨人是本地的,也有全球性的:那没完没了的疫症、不断转换的政权、日新月异的经济挑战、道德败坏的领袖、道德和文化的混乱、无法理性讨论的极端意见、对某些人的封杀等。面对着这样的「巨人」,我们要怎样前进?又能怎样抓紧盼望?

大多数人对应许之地的回报令人绝望,但这时另外两个探子也发言了──约书亚和迦勒有另一种看法。他们提醒以色列人,既有神与他们同在,那就会有希望。虽然迦南人身量高大,但上帝会帮助以色列人战胜。他们从另一个角度来看面前的应许之地。他们以信心说话,提醒众人神有怎样的性情和哪些的应许。他们虽也看见身量高大的人,但更能看见无所不能的神。他们仰望神,劝谕以色列人继续前行。神也看见他们的信心,说他们「另有一个心志」(民十四24)。

如今,上帝能看见我们内心「另有一个心志」吗?这另一个心志不关乎我们的能力,只关乎上帝的能力;不是要反映我们的品性,而是要反映上帝那极大的美善和爱。这心志不关乎我们是否做得完美,而是关乎上帝那坚定的定旨;不要求我们刚强,只需我们在神的大能里安息。这不关乎我们的聪明,而是全然源于上帝奇妙的智慧。

耶稣钉死在十字架上,并不只是为了拯救我们的灵魂,而是要建立一个新的社群,就是神的国。耶稣说,神临在我们的世界就有如面酵藏在三斗面里(太十三章)。最初这面酵既细小,亦毫不起眼,但按时就会使全团都发起来。这酵母带着「另一个心志」,能改变它所接触到的一切。当耶稣进入我们的生命,与我们建立关系,我们就是新造的人。教会在社会里,应该成为先锋,具影响力、创意和吸引力──因为我们所传扬的,是与别不同的好消息,是别处前所未见的。基督教信仰之所以有力、无畏,是因为我们与基督的关系使我们成为面团中的面酵,黑暗中的光,山上的城。

这就是现今香港教会所应该要成为的样子。面对未知,我们可以凭信心前进吗?面对恐惧,我们可以克服吗?面对压迫,我们可以靠着主的智慧和能力,解开困锁吗?这才是天国的行事模式。我们站在香港历史的转捩点之上,我们要带着天国的好信息向前行,不能退缩。我们要向人展示另一种的生活方式。我们带着另一个心志,要向这个疲乏不堪的世界宣告神的美善。就像多年前的Bonnie那样──面对这复杂的时代,我们是否抱持着单纯的信心?我们预备好了吗?

「另一个心志」讲道系列文章)

英文原文:

A Different Spirit

“There has never been a more important time to be a Christian in our city of Hong Kong than right now.”

When I was a youth pastor I led a bunch of kids from Hong Kong on a mission trip to visit a desperately poor slum in a nearby Asian city. Before meeting up for a game of basketball and outreach we visited an old man who lived on the edge of a massive garbage dump. His eyes were blinded by cataracts that had formed over his eyes from the smoke and pollution where he had lived for the past 15 years. I felt compassion for this old man. But he couldn’t see any of us. And I knew my kids were eager to get to the basketball court for our planned outreach. We prayed a brief prayer for the old man and his wife.

As we started to leave, Bonnie, a 14-year-old girl touched my arm and said, “Andrew, I believe God wants to heal this man.” It was a moment every youth pastor dreads. A young girl believes God is going to heal a blind man, but you know it’s not going to happen. But how could I say no? I would be a total hypocrite. Very reluctantly and quickly I ushered the kids back in the room so Bonnie could pray for this old blind man.

Bonnie said a very simple prayer. But then something totally amazing happened. It was like windshield wipers wiping a dirty window clean. Suddenly the man’s eyes became clear. The cataracts disappeared. He began screaming with joy as light flooded into his eyes. His wife began screaming because she couldn’t believe what was happening. The youth began screaming because they were frightened by the screams of the old couple. And I began to scream because I realised we had just witnessed a miracle.

I wish I could claim credit. But no, it was God responding to the faith—and to the different spirit—of a 14-year-old girl from Hong Kong. That morning Bonnie brought a different spirit, and a simple faith that I lacked. Bonnie’s different spirit changed everything.

There has never been a more important time to be a Christian in Hong Kong. We are at an inflection point for the gospel in the history of this land. Our city has been turned upside down and inside out. We are still a long way from finding steady feet and a clear identity as Hong Kong people. We are unsure, cautious, and tentative. People are hurting, confused, and scared. We are desperately in need of a different spirit.

All of this raises some important questions for the church of Hong Kong. Will we become a bold and central voice of hope, faith, and identity in the years ahead, or will we feebly shrink into the shadows of our own self-concerns and self-preservation? Will the church stand up and stand out, or shrink back and fade out? Will we settle for a ‘small gospel’ that keeps the lights on in our church buildings, but extinguishes our bold and prophetic light in the public square?

You may remember the twelve spies Moses sends across the Jordan River into the Promised Land to discover what lies in store for the people of God (Numbers 13, 14). God has delivered them from their slavery in Egypt, brought them miraculously across the Red Sea, and brought them to the very edge of their new home—a land flowing with milk and honey, a good place that will be theirs for generations. So the twelve men go in, spy out the land, and return to Moses with a report. All 12 agree that the land is wonderful. As proof they bring a bunch of grapes so large that it has to be carried by two men on a pole. The land is just like God promised. But the report has a catch - the people who live there are giants, and their cities are fortified and overwhelming powerful. Ten of the returning spies give a depressing account: “We can never conquer this land,” they say, “We are defeated even before we can enter.”

Is that how we feel at this moment in Hong Kong? There are a lot of giants around us right now, and we overwhelmed with the obstacles. These giants are both local and global: an unending pandemic, shifting political powers, economic challenges, moral failures in leadership, ethical and cultural upheaval, extreme opinions over reasoned fact, cancel culture etc. In the face of these giants, how can we move forward? How can we hold on to hope?

In the hopelessness of the majority report about the Promised Land, two of the spies speak up. Joshua and Caleb offer a different report. They remind Israel that since God is with them there is still hope. In spite of giants, God will help them overcome. They offer an alternative view, a different way of seeing the land before them. They speak in faith, and remind people of God’s character and promises. Instead of giant people they see a giant God. They lift their eyes upward, and call Israel to move forward. God sees their faith and declares they have a different spirit (Numbers 14:24).

Does God see this different spirit in us at this time? This different spirit is not dependent on our ability, but on God’s power. It is not a reflection of our moral character, but of God’s incredible goodness and love. It does not depend on our perfection, but on God’s unwavering purpose. This different spirit does not require us to be strong, but to rest in God’s strength. It does not grow out of our intelligence, but flows from God’s marvelous wisdom.

Jesus died on the cross, not just to save our souls but to create a new society, the kingdom of God. This presence of God in our world, Jesus said, is like a small bit of yeast planted in a large clump of dough (Matt 13). Small and insignificant in the beginning, in time it changes the whole lump. That leaven carries a “different spirit” that changes everything it touches. When Jesus invades our lives and relationships a new humanity is born. The church is meant to be the most pioneering, influential, creative and attractive force in society—because we offer something completely different, something not seen anywhere else. The powerful audacity of the Christian faith is that through our relationship with Christ we become yeast in the dough, light in the darkness. We become a city on a hill.

This is what the church of Hong Kong now must be. Where there is uncertainty, can we move in faith? Where there is fear, can we overcome? Where there is oppression, can we by God’s wisdom and power, break chains? This has always been the way of the Kingdom. At this inflection point in Hong Kong’s history, we must not retreat but move forward with the good news of the Kingdom. We must make vivid this alternative way of life. With a different spirit we may reveal the goodness of the character of God to a tired and weary world. Like Bonnie all those years ago - do we have a simple faith for complex times? Are we ready?

作者为The Vine主任牧师。


 守护自由空间,请支持基督教《时代论坛》
可选择:📲 PayMe 或 💳 网上捐款(信用卡)

⚡️转数快FPS +852 51100803(注明奉献,如需收据请附姓名及电话)

Donationcall
更多标签
payme
特寫
靈溢
活學教育中心