Thursday, 24 December 2020
Title: EWJ or EWOJ?
By: Cecilia Tan 陈俊芳

Psalm 72:11 “All kings will bow before Him, and all nations will serve Him.”

During the pre-Covid days, most of us would be caught up in the sparkle of the Christmas season… the lights, the carols, decorations, presents, Christmas trees and Santa Claus! We would inevitably be overwhelmed with the rush and hassle, the glitter and tinsel, the parties and festivities, the turkeys and the cookies and the many gifts to buy and the ones we will receive!

Now that we are in this first post-Covid Christmas, uncertainty reigns about how best to celebrate the festival. Indeed the world has weathered many storms in the past, but none that has unleashed impacts quite like the Covid storm. The devastation has been totally unexpected resulting in a huge loss of human life worldwide and presenting unprecedented health, economic and social challenges to the entire human population. What a storm!

Let’s see how a young boy breezed through a raging storm. Many
years ago, Dr Lloyd John Ogilvie, a Presbyterian minister and former Chaplain of the US Senate, in his book “Silent Strength for My Life” told the story of a young boy he met while on a flight. The boy was travelling alone and seated next to Ogilvie in the plane. During the flight, the plane flew into a very bad storm and suddenly became unsteady in the air, lurching violently from side to side and sent drinks flying. Some terrified passengers panicked and screamed but the boy was calm and continued colouring in the airline colouring book. A lady passenger seated across the aisle from the boy asked the boy, “Little boy, aren’t you scared?” The boy looked up briefly from his colouring book and replied, “ No, Ma’am, my dad’s the pilot.”

Like the young boy, we are all on a flight. Like the boy’s flight, we will also encounter turbulence, chaos, turmoil and life-threatening situations during our flight. But our destination is not an earthly one. We are all on the same flight bound for Eternity. For some of us, the flight will last several decades, for some it may last more than half a century, and for an exceptional few, the flight will last more than a century!!

But we will all reach the airport of Eternity, sooner or later. We will leave the airport and enter the vastness of Eternity via 2 gates located diametrically opposite each other: EWJ (Eternity With Jesus) or EWOJ (Eternity WithOut Jesus). To use the EWJ gate, the pre-requisite would be that we need to have received the Gift of eternal life during our flight. With this Gift we will have the calming assurance that the Captain of our flight is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself! Upon arrival we will be led to the EWJ gate where our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Himself will be at the gate to welcome and escort us into Eternity. But woe betide those who are ushered through the EWOJ gate!

This Christmas is a good time as any to ask ourselves, “Who is the baby born in the manger on Christmas Day? Is He our Pilot par excellence? Our Lifeguard who walks on water? Our Almighty God who can calm the fiercest of storms? Our loving Heavenly Father who beckons us, saying “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28)? Our Saviour of whom it was written: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11)?

Our King of Kings, our Name Above All Names, whose majestic power and glory was spoken of in Psalm 72:11 “All kings will bow before Him, and all nations will serve Him”?

Or is He, in your opinion, just another famous human name written about in all the history books and world encyclopedias?

I pray for those who have yet to receive the blessed assurance of entering Eternity via the EWJ gate, that they will soon avail themselves of this glorious hope that the baby born in a manger came to deliver on Christmas Day!

Indeed this glorious hope is the true reason for the season, as Frank McKibben succinctly puts it:
“This is Christmas:
not the tinsel, not the giving
and receiving, not even the carols.
But the humble heart that receives anew
the wondrous gift — the Christ.”

May the love, joy, peace and hope of Christmas be ours to enjoy not only on Christmas Day but on every other day of our flight to Eternity!

A blessed Christmas to one and all!

Prayer:

Our Heavenly Father, we praise and thank You for Your immeasurable and everlasting love for us, that caused You to come to earth in human form on Christmas Day, as our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We thank You for the blessed assurance that we will enter Eternity via the EWJ gate which will lead us to everlasting joy in your presence! In the glorious Name of Jesus our Saviour we pray, Amen!

每日灵粮
星期四,2020年12月24日
标题:有耶稣的永恒(EWJ)或没有耶稣的永恒(EWOJ)?
作者:陈俊芳姐妹
翻译:薛秀合姐妹

诗篇72:11 “诸王都要叩拜他;万国都要事奉他。”

在新冠肺炎之前的日子里,我们大多数人都会被圣诞节的闪耀所笼罩……灯光、颂歌、装饰品、礼物、圣诞树和圣诞老人!我们将不可避免地被繁忙、闪闪发光的饰品、派对和庆祝活动、火鸡和饼干以及要购买的许多礼物和我们将收到的礼物淹没!

现在我们正处于新冠肺炎后的第一个圣诞节,如何最好地庆祝这个节日就充满了不确定因素。的确,世界在过去经历了许多风暴,但是没有一次像新冠肺炎风暴那样带来如此大的影响。这场破坏完全出乎意料地造成了全世界惨重的生命损失,并给整个世界人口带来了前所未有的健康、经济和社会挑战。多么大的暴风雨啊!

让我们看看一个小男孩是如何轻松地度过一场风暴。许多年前,一位长老会牧师及前美国参议院牧师劳埃德•约翰•奥格尔维博士(Dr Lloyd John Ogilvie)在他的《我一生的沉默力量》一书中讲述了他在飞行途中遇到的一个小男孩的故事。这个男孩独自旅行,在飞机上坐在奥格尔维旁边。在飞行过程中,飞机飞入了一场非常恶劣的风暴,突然变得不稳定,在空中剧烈地左右摇晃,饮料飞溅。一些惊恐的乘客惊慌失措地尖叫,但男孩很平静,继续在航空公司的填色画册上涂色。坐在男孩对面过道的一位女乘客问男孩:“小男孩,你不害怕吗?” 男孩短暂地从他的填色画册上抬起头,回答说:“不,夫人,我爸爸是这架飞机的飞行员。”

如同那小男孩一样,我们都在一个航班中。就像男孩的航程一样,我们在飞行过程中也会遇到湍流、混乱、动荡和危及生命的情况。但是我们的终点并不属于这个世界。我们都在同一架飞往永恒的航班上。对我们当中的一些人来说,这次飞行将持续数十年,对某些人则可能会持续超过半个世纪,而对于极少数人而言,这次飞行将持续一个多世纪!

但我们迟早都会到达永恒机场。我们将离开机场,通过两个完全相对的大门进入浩瀚的永恒:EWJ(有耶稣的永恒)或EWOJ(没有耶稣的永恒)。要使用EWJ登机口,前提是我们需要在飞行过程中接受永生的礼物。有了这份礼物,我们将有一个沉稳的保证,即我们飞行的机长不是别人,正是主耶稣基督自己!抵达后,我们将被带到EWJ大门,在那里我们的主和救主耶稣将亲自在大门欢迎并护送我们进入永恒。但祸患将临到那些被引进EWOJ大门的人身上!

这个圣诞节是我们问自己的好时机:“圣诞节那天在马槽里出生的婴儿是谁?祂是我们卓越的飞行员吗?是我们的那位在水上行走的救生员吗?是使最剧烈的风暴平息的全能上帝吗? 是那召唤我们 “凡劳苦担重担的人可以到我这里来,我就使你们得安息。” (马太福音11:28)的慈爱天父吗?是经文记载的 “因今天在大卫的城里,为你们生了救主,就是主基督。” (路加福音2:11) 我们的救主吗?

是我们的万王之王,那超乎万名之上的名,诗篇72:11提到祂的威严与荣耀:“诸王都要叩拜他;万国都要事奉他。” 吗?

或者,在您看来,祂只是所有历史书籍和世界百科全书中所写的另一个知名人士的姓名?

我为那些尚未获得通过EWJ大门进入永恒的祝福的人祈祷,希望他们很快就能得到这个在马槽里出生的婴儿在圣诞节降生传递的荣耀的盼望!

诚然,这一份荣耀的盼望就是这时节的真正原因,正如弗兰克•麦基本(Frank McKibben) 简洁地说道:
“这是圣诞节:
不是闪亮的金属丝,不是给予
和接受,甚至不是圣诞颂歌。
却是一颗谦卑的心重新接受
奇妙的礼物-基督。”

愿圣诞的爱、欢乐、和平和希望不仅在圣诞节,而且在我们迈向永恒的每一天都属于我们!

祝大家圣诞快乐!

祷告:

我们的天父,我们赞美和感谢祢对我们的无限和永恒的爱,使祢在圣诞节以人的样式降临世间,成为我们的主和救主耶稣基督。我们感谢祢所赐有福的确据,我们将会通过EWJ门进入永恒,使我们得以在祢面前获得永恒的喜乐!奉我们救主耶稣荣耀之名祈祷,阿们!

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