Sunday, 20 December 2020
Title: My Family in Jesus
By Elder Tan Seng Kee

Psalm 127 & 128

Uncle C and AML, both in their 80s, painstakingly nurtured a potted chili plant to full bloom to give me a head start in my erstwhile gardening attempts. Aunty B calls me more often than I her to see if my family and I are well.  Sister FY and LL are ever dependable administrators for all matters of the CG. Sister SY rewards us with home grown pesticide free fruits and vegetables from her home garden. Sister KL and Aunty A cook us porky dishes the likes of which easily converts vegans to ‘carnivore’. Brother YS gave me a note book and meticulously looks to see if I make use of it. Sister YL, LJ and SM attempt all the questions to fill in the sometimes silent void in our CG question times. Sister AL encourages us all by her faith and prayers. Our dear MY always has a thoughtful, considered answer (being a retired university academic of senior ranking). Sister SM is first in class every Friday morning. Aunty J reads loud and clear.  LSL and SH are ready to go out of their way to fetch anyone that needs a ride. Brothers SC just joined us and W is the youngest in our Karis CG family. 

The psalmist in Psalm 127 and 128 lauds the value of having a big family with all the usual components of a father to head the family, the mother to bear children and children to work and defend the family. A large family is treasured and as for me I come from a large family of 6 siblings and we literally form a half football team in my old Chow Kit neighbourhood where I grew up.  A family is not immune from occasions of quarrels and disputes. There will be days when seemingly unkind words are said in a family. However, what distinguishes a family that God favours, based on my reading of Psalm 127 & 128 is as follows:

  1. Psalm 127:1 tells us that “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” This statement squarely points to a family that flourishes must put God in the center of its family life. So coming together for prayers, seeking God for wisdom in times of trials, turning to find refuge and rest in God must be the norm of a godly family.
  • Psalm 127:3 reminds us that children (members of our family) are a heritage (handed down) from the Lord to us. It tells us that a family must always acknowledge God’s blessing of the family and we must thank God for the rich blessing of a family for us to love and for them to love and care for me in return.

Psalms128: 5 & 6 pronounces a blessing from the Lord for a family to grow to “see Jerusalem prospers as long as you live.” This alludes to God’s blessing a family with a place of shelter, a home where there is peace and rest and most importantly, where God dwells with the family. The family built by God is also blessed by God to “see the good of Jerusalem”.

I see over the last 25 years all those blessings described in Psalm 127 & 128 over the family of the Karis CG of which I am a member. Today we are still 20 strong and several are in their 80s and 90s. We missed each other a lot over the last 9 months of Covid lockdown and only recently we met again via Zoom meeting. I find in the Karis CG a family of endearing love, affection, care and attention on details relating to any of us in the CG.

I praise God for my earthly biological family but I stare in amazement before our great God for my Karis CG family. The Karis CG is a family that God builds; we are happy to be in this family of God and God has blessed us abundantly when we can see “Jerusalem prosperity” so long as we live. My challenge for you (if you are not already in a PBC CG) is to join a PBC CG and together let us enjoy and see the goodness of God reflected and lived out through the lives of fellow brothers and sisters in a PBC CG.

Prayer:

Dear God, thank You for my biological family and at the same time I praise You for my spiritual family of everyone in Jesus.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期日,2020年12月20日
标题:在耶稣里的家人
讲员:陈诚基长老
翻译:巫惠如姐妹

诗篇127 & 128

80多岁的C叔和AML煞费苦心地种了一盆辣椒,让我在尝试园艺时有好的开始。相较下,B阿姨打电话问候我家人的次数远多过我打给她的次数。FY姐妹和LL在小组的所有事务上都管理得井井有条。SY姐妹与我们分享她花园里的无农药蔬果。KL姐妹和A阿姨为我们煮的猪肉菜肴,美味的程度很容易把素食者变成“肉食者”。YS哥不但给了我一本笔记本,还仔细地观察我是否使用了它。YL姐妹、LJ姐妹和SM姐妹都会尝试回答小组所思考的问题,来填补偶尔的沉默。AL姐妹以她的信仰和祈祷鼓励我们。作为一名退休的资深大学教师,我们亲爱的MY总会有深思熟虑的观点。 SM姐妹是每周五的课最早到的一位。J嫂朗读时清晰明了。LSL和SH随时准备接任何需要搭便车的人。SC兄弟刚加入我们,W则是我们Karis小组家族中最年轻的。

诗人分别在诗篇127和128中赞扬了一个大家庭的价值。如大部分家庭的组成,这个大家庭由父亲领导,母亲生育孩子,孩子工作并捍卫家庭。一个大家庭是很珍贵的,而我来自一个有六位兄弟姐妹的大家庭,在我老家秋杰区可以组成半个足球队。一个家庭无法避免争吵和纠纷。有些时候,我们在家里会听到一些不怎么友善的言语。然而,根据我对诗篇127和128的解读,上帝所喜悦的家庭有以下的显著特征:

  1. 诗篇127:1告诉我们,“若不是耶和华建造房屋,建造的人就枉然劳力” 。这表明一个繁荣的家庭必须把上帝摆在首位。因此,虔诚的家庭必定一同为彼此代祷,在困难中寻求上帝和他的智慧,在患难中转向上帝并靠主得安稳。
  2. 诗篇127:3 提醒我们,孩子(我们家庭成员)是上帝所赐的产业。这节经文说道,家庭必须承认上帝对家庭的祝福,我们也必须感谢上帝,因为他赐我们丰厚的祝福,我们能够透过家庭彼此相爱。

诗篇128:5~6宣称上帝的祝福,使一家人能“一生一世看见耶路撒冷的好处”。 这暗示着上帝赐予一家人有住所,享安宁和休息,最重要的是,上帝住在这家人里面。上帝所建立的家庭备受祝福,可“看见耶路撒冷的好处”。

在过去的25年里,我在Karis小组家族里见证了诗篇127~128所描述的各样祝福。如今,我们有20位成员,而且有几位已80和90多岁。在疫情封锁的9个月里,我们特别想念在一起的时间,直到最近我们才通过Zoom再次在线上联系。在Karis小组,我发现每一位成员都很有爱心、并常关心和关注小组的成员。

我赞美上帝,赞美我在世上的原生家庭,但当我来到伟大的上帝面前,赞我叹在主里的Karis小组。Karis 小组是上帝建立的家族;我们很高兴地一同生活,而上帝赐予我们极大的祝福,因为我们一生一世能看到“耶路撒冷的好处”。如果你还没有加入班底浸信教会的小组,我挑战你加入小组。让我们一同享受并见证上帝的美善,反映在小组的成员生命里。

祈祷:亲爱的上帝,我因我的原生家庭感谢你,同时我也因我在耶稣里的属灵家庭赞扬你。奉耶稣的名祷告,阿门。

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