Sunday, 19 September 2021
Title: Time for Everyone
By Elder Tan Seng Kee

Bible Verse: Matt 10:8 b “…Give as freely as you have received.”

At the end of my 2nd year studies at a local Malaysian university, I was required to do a 3-month internship with a local organization related to my field of study. A neighbor of mine then got me the internship position and I remembered clearly walking into the Bangkok Bank building in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur on my first day of reporting to work.

I was concerned with what is expected of me and at the same time loaded with trepidation as this was the first time in my life I was going to work in an office with strangers, all qualified in their respective field of expertise. I was quickly shown around the office and assigned a desk and given a file to read. It was a tenancy agreement file.

I don’t remember anyone coming up to talk to me that morning nor did I try to be friendly with anyone. Soon it was lunchtime and most of the lights were switched off and the office staff quickly filtered out in pairs and groups to the many coffee shops in the Petaling Street vicinity. In the brief stammering darkness of the floor, a staff member in the office came up to me and asked if I wanted to follow her out for lunch. I remembered the corner coffee shop was diagonally across the office building and that afternoon, I had beef noodle soup for lunch.

That incident was almost 40 years ago but I could remember it because it was an act of kindness shown to me by this kind lady. I am not sure whether this kind lady was a Christian then. Today, she is a disciple of Jesus and she greatly inspires, motivates and encourages many other Christians to live lives worthy of their calling as a Christian.

Jesus in the Gospel had time for everyone. He called out to the repentant tax collector on the tree, stooped down to draw a line in front of the adulterous woman, sat on the mountainside to teach the crowds what to expect in the Kingdom of heaven, called each of the Apostles by name from their respective station in life, answered patiently the questions of the rich young man, visited the home of Mary and Martha, healed the leper, visited the family whose loved ones had died and had time for a little child.

It is not difficult finding people to rejoice and celebrate with and often after that we forget the occasion and even the people who attended the celebrations with us. It is however not so easy to have people to mourn together with and to suffer alongside because we naturally rather gravitate towards happy times than sad.

In this very difficult time and for the many foreseeable challenging days ahead, we should find more time to observe, care and come alongside people in need. Jesus calls us to a sacrificial lifestyle not detached from the world but to be in the world. A phone call, an expression of care, a helping hand or an offer of help could mean a world of difference for a person struggling to stay afloat in this pandemic.

As a church, we were thinking whether we could scale down PBC Covid Relief Initiative only to be told that personal recoveries are not there yet and many help organizations are still inundated with calls for help. If God “cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, …” (Matt 6:30), then not only we should trust and have more faith that God will certainly care for us, but we should also care for others as well.

In the final analysis, people will remember us more for the time we set aside to be with those in sorrow and sufferings than for our presence at their parties and celebrations. An act of kindness with words and actions will stand out more than the presents and gifts. A pronouncement of a blessing from God for someone may mean more and have greater effect than we can imagine. Let us all consciously be instruments of God to be a blessing each day of our life.

Prayer:
God, help me to care and love the way Jesus would. Teach me acts of kindness that mean more than the money we can give and finally help me to be a blessing to someone in need. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期日,2021 年 9 月 19 日
标题:给每个人的时间
作者:陈诚基长老
翻译:林良億姐妹

圣经文:马太福音 10:8 b “…你们白白的得来,也要白白的舍去。”

我在马来西亚当地的一所大学念完第二年后,我需要在一个与我研究领域相关的当地组织实习三个月。然后我的一个邻居给我找到了实习的职位。我很清楚记得第一天在我报到时,走进吉隆坡唐人街的曼谷银行大楼的情形。

我担心公司对我的期望,同时也充满了恐惧,因为这是我一生中第一次和陌生人一起在办公室工作,而且他们都具备各自专业领域的资质。我很快被带到办公室周围看了一下,被分配了一张桌子,并被吩咐阅读一份文件。这是一份租赁协议文件。

我不记得那天早上有人过来跟我说话,我也没有尝试和任何人友好相处。很快就到了午饭时间,大部分的灯都关了,办公室的工作人员很快就成群结队地到茨厂街附近的许多咖啡店。在这短暂的黑暗中,办公室的一名工作人员走过来问我是否愿意跟她出去吃午饭。我记得街角的咖啡店就在办公楼斜对面,那天下午,我吃了牛肉面汤。

那件事是近 40 年前的事了,但我记得,因为这位善良的女士对我的善举。我不确定这位善良的女士当时是否是基督徒。今天,她是耶稣的门徒,她极大地启发、激励和鼓励许多其他基督徒过着值得他们作为基督徒被呼召的生活。

福音中的主耶稣有时间陪伴每一个人。祂呼叫树上悔改的税吏,弯下腰在淫妇面前划线,坐在山腰上教导众人天国的事,并按名字称呼每一位使徒。耐心地回答富有年轻人的问题,拜访了马利亚和马大的家,治愈了麻风病人,拜访了亲人去世的家庭并有时间问候小孩子。

找到人们一起欢庆和庆祝并不难,而且在此之后我们常常就忘记了欢庆场合,甚至忘记了一起参加庆祝活动的人。然而,与人们一起哀悼和一起受苦并不容易,因为我们自然而然地倾向于快乐而不是悲伤。

在这个非常困难的时期和未来许多可预见的充满挑战的日子里,我们应该找到更多的时间去观察、关心和陪伴有需要的人。耶稣呼召我们过一种牺牲的生活方式,不是脱离世界,而是活在世界。对于一个在这场疫情中挣扎求生的人来说,一通电话、一个关心的表达、所伸出的援手或提供的帮助可能意味着一个不同的世界。

作为一个教会,我们在考虑是否可以缩小 PBC Covid Relief Initiative 的规模,结果却被告知个人康复尚未完全,许多帮助组织仍然收到大量求助电话。如果上帝“ 野地里的草今天还在,明天就丢在炉里,神还给他这样的妆饰,何况你们呢”(马太福音 6:30),那么我们不仅应该信靠并更加相信上帝一定会照顾我们,而且我们也应该关心他人。

归根结底,人们会更多地记住我们,因为我们安排时间陪伴那些悲伤和受苦的人,而不是仅仅出席他们的聚会和庆祝活动。善意的言行会比礼物更引人注目。上帝对某人的祝福可能比我们想象的更有意义,产生的影响也更大。让我们有意识地成为上帝的器皿,成为生活中每一天的祝福。

祷告:上帝啊,帮助我能像主耶稣那样关心和爱护他人。教我行善,这比我们可以给予的金钱更重要,并最终帮助我成为有需要的人的祝福。奉我主耶稣基督的名祈求。阿门。