I enjoyed it so much… coz many things that I didn’t understand in the
past, all of a sudden, (with the guidance from the Holy Spirit), many
things seem to be so much clearer.
Tonight’s discussion is a continuation from last time’s topic of 因信成義.
And Edmond pointed out Jesus’ parable of 僱工的比喻(Mt. 20:1-16) has in it
all the essence of this idea. (I blogged
about it in August actually… but my understanding wasn’t as clear as
ths time). Edmond pointed out that if we feel uncomfortable with
accepting this parable, that means we haven’t embraced fully that God’s
unconditional love – that it doesn’t matter who we are or what we do,
He loves us anyways. (天主的救恩是白白賜予的。)
It’s sad that as humans, we’ve been trained to work hard to earn things that we want. We don’t really admire 富家子弟, for what they have are inherited, in the name of their fathers.
We’ve been taught to prove ourselves to our teachers, to our bosses, to
show that we’re capable. The work that we do is the evidence. This is
how things work in the world. And we’re so used to it. It’s so easy to
apply the same logic to our spirituality. It’s so easy to be tempted to
think "oh, I want to contribute
to this group because it’s meaningful…" and subconsciously we’re
expecting rewards for it, because we’re taught 好人有好報. St. Paul reminded the Galatians (4:9):
By God’s grace, we are already God’s children… yet we often
choose to 犯賤, to act in ways as if God’s being our master, and we’re
His slaves… that we need to do things to prove our abilities to Him.
This tendency to 犯賤is due to our pride… to think naively that we can
achieve with our own abilities… How silly?!?!?!
St. Paul also said to the Galatians (4:6-7):
St. Paul reminded us that we ARE the 富家子弟, and better yet, our wealth
is not the earthly possessions, but eternal life!! We’re the children
of God, the heir of God’s kingdom by God’s name!! And this is why we
start praying by saying "In the name of Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Spirit". It’s like too good to be true!!! And this is why we
often forget and fall back to 犯賤again and again.
During the prayer in the middle of the session, we sang the song Abba Father, it was really nice (and cute at the same time ).
Two members of the prayer ministry are husband and wife, and they
brought their baby to the session. The baby was crying and 扭計before the
prayer. And the mother took him out when they went out to lead the
prayer, while she was reciting the prayer, the baby was making baby
noises… which matched very well with the theme of the prayer – that we
call God our father. Then we sang the song "Abba Father" (for full
lyrics, go here):
Abba, Abba Father, You are the potter, We are the clay, the work of Your
Mold us, mold us and fashion us
Into the image of Jesus Your Son,
Of Jesus your Son.
the latter part of the session, Edmond discussed how the Bible
mentioned many stories in OT that talk about 2 brothers. In the Bible’s
time, the eldest son was the heir to properties and should have more
power. But in those Bible stories, it’s always the elder son fell
into sins, and the younger one made up for it. And this is called
"typology". This is to match the theme that Israelites – the chosen
race, rejected to receive God’s grace. Most Christian these days are
non-Jewish. How can one not be amazed at the Bible?! Woooo….
the group discussion, one question was asking in 4:9 the importance of
Paul rephrasing himself: "but now you have come to know God, or rather
to be known by god". The Holy Spirit must have been with me, because I
usually don’t understand Bible passage well, but this time I was quick
in pointing out the difference between active vs. passive in St. Paul’s
tone. Often times, we would give credit to ourselves by thinking "I do
something for God", but in fact is the other way around "God chooses me
to be an instrument in fulfilling a tiny tiny part of his grand plans".
Since the beginning, it’s God chooses us, not the other way around!!!
Paul (not St. Paul )
also pointed out that when we spend our time "working for God", it’s
very important to not fall into the temptation of thinking "my
contribution is important"… In general, we need to be really careful
to walk the fine line between being proud for "working for God", and
allowing God to use us as His tools.
So why is this blog entry called 爛泥, there are 2 purposes:
(1) In the "Abba Father" song, it emphasizes we’re the clay, we should be soft enough for God to mold us… we can’t be 硬掘掘 in insisting things to fit our own plans
(2) This resembles the name of Andy Hui’s classic love song which I hope would attract people to read on…
Thanks be to God…for sending the Holy Spirit to light up this super 鈍牛皮燈籠!!!