by Rev. Benjamin Chung (鍾立恆牧師)
In Ephesians chapters 5 and 6 Paul writes to the Christians in the city of Ephesus about relationships and specifically what happens in the household regarding spouses, children and parents and also bondservants and masters. It is interesting how the old term was household throughout ancient times, until most recently. Now, we colloquially use, family. The household in ancient times was also a lot larger than what is the family is today. The head of the household was the patriarch, meaning the eldest father. Under that would be the children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and so on. In addition, the bondservants were also numbered in the household. This is very different today, when a family is normally considered to just be the parents and children, if they are minors. Even in the same house, they may not be considered part of the household, except for the national census and to prevent too many from gathering this Thanksgiving. (As a reminder, hopefully you have completed the questionnaire regarding the census, as the purpose is to allocate the proper funds for the community in which you are a part of. If the statistics are incorrect, less taxes will be available to be used as less will be allocated.)
The other household we are a part of is of the church family. Every person that is a participant in the church is a part of the family, from the: deacons, Sunday School teachers, praise leaders, laity, the pastors, and everyone in between. We are all part of a church family, specifically, the SFCBC Family. Yes, it is true that not everyone is an active participant. Hopefully we can all be active participants! The church household is where we choose to be a spiritual household together. In many ways, this household is tighter-knit that even our extended family members as this is where we are to mature one another in the Lord. This is where we are to see brothers and sisters actively living the Spirit-led life and spurring one another to do the same. This is where we keep one another accountable, as the household of God.
I pray that you are doing well during this holiday season, with Thanksgiving just past us and the Christmas season on the way. The Lord continues to bless us during this unique time and I pray that we come out of the Sheltering in Place stronger and looking towards where the LORD wants SFCBC to go. Let us also seek to work together to assist one another. Paul instructed Timothy in 1 Timothy 5 of how they were to “show godliness to their own household” (v.4) and to “provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household” (v.8) or else "he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Let’s continue to persevere, even as San Francisco is currently in the red tier and has a chance to move into the purple tier. May God continue to bless you, your household and our church household!
保羅在以弗所書第5 章和第6 章中寫信給以弗所城的基督徒，探討人與人之間的各種關係，特別是家庭中有關配偶，子女和父母以及主僕之間的關係。英文特別用到「household 家族」這個詞，這個詞語從古時到近代都十分常用。直致現在，我們通常轉用「family 家庭」。古時的家族比今天的家庭大得多。一家之主是族長（或年紀最大的父親），在那之下將是孩子，孫子，曾孫等等。此外，族長中還有一些用人，在大家族中他們也許編號。對比起現今的家庭
感恩節剛過去，聖誕節亦即將來臨，我為大家都能平安到過禱告。祈求主繼續在這獨特的期間賜福與我們，叫我們能從家居隔離完成後更為堅強，更有力地為三藩市浸信會推進神的計劃。讓我們更加相互勉勵，並一起同工。 保羅在提摩太前書5 章中指示提摩太他們如何「先在自己家中學著行孝」（第4 節），以及「人若不看顧親屬，就是背了真道，比不信的人還不好」（第8 節）。即使舊金山目前處於紅色階層，也可能很快進入紫色階層，讓我們繼續堅持下去。願上帝繼續賜福與你，你一家和我們的教會家庭！