by Rev. Benjamin Chung (鍾立恆牧師)
Tim Keller tweeted this statement today, “Everyone says they want community and friendship. But mention accountability or commitment to people, and they run the other way.” His timing couldn’t be more perfect. Yes, we’re still under a mask mandate in our state of California. Yes, we are allowed to meet in our church building for service, but many are still hesitant to do so. This is perfectly understandable. All this only helps to highlight the point of how we need to be rethinking “community and friendship”. When we gather together as a community on Sundays for services, and at other times during the week for small groups, Bible Study and Sunday School, we do this because
we also have the bond of friendship, philia love.
Let us reconsider this philia love as we consider the needs of our church. I do thank all the leaders who chose to extend their roles and responsibilities as chairpersons and committee members. You have stayed committed. Keep it up! For these members and for others in the church, I also want you to consider what mental preparations that need to be made in considering a return to worshipping together indoors. Please don’t presume that I am pressuring everyone to come back to church at once. This is not my
desire. Rather, I want us to consider our commitment(s) to our church. More importantly, I want us to ponder our commitment to our God.
How have you been diligent as a believer during this time of Shelter in Place? I know many have had many opportunities to try out those hobbies that were on our bucket list. From what I can gather, there will still be a lot of time till things return to normal. (Unless you’re in Texas, where the mask mandate will be dropped next Wednesday. Wow!) What I do want to encourage us to do is consider how we’ve developed and grown as believers during this time. Don’t “run away” from this exercise. For some, our spiritual muscles may have atrophied and we need to work them out so that the muscles can be strong again. In what areas do you need to be held accountable for and want someone to help you along the way? And in what areas have you been making great strides in and you want to praise the Lord for? I want to hear it too! You
see, this is my responsibility as a pastor. Hopefully, we can run towards, rather than away from, committing to good measurable goals that will set the bar higher so that we can be even more transformed into His Image.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV) And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
提姆．凱勒（Tim Keller）今天在推特（Twitter）上發表了這一段推文（Tweet）：「每個人都說他們想有一個團體和友誼。 但是當提及到要負起責任或承諾時，大家就會逃之夭夭。」 他發表這推文的時間實在完美不過了。 是的，我們在加州仍然處於必須帶上口罩的狀態。 是的，我們現在雖然可以再一次在教堂內舉行崇拜，但是許多人仍然未願意回教會內崇拜。 這是完全可以理解的。 所有這些因素更加助於強調我們需要重新去思考何為「社區和友誼」的意思。
當我們在主日共同聚集一起崇拜時，或在其他時間參加小組，查經和主日學時，我們之所以這樣做，除了因為我們在共同的教會社區內，也因為我們之間所存在的友誼，菲利亞philia（友誼）之愛。當我們思想到教會的需要時，讓我們也考慮到這友誼間的愛（philia）。 我確實感謝教會今年所有委員會的主席和委員願意留任多一年。 你們一直堅持不懈。 加油噢！ 各位會友和朋友，我在此希望大家也能做好再一次回到教會內一起崇拜的心理準備。 請不要以為我在此強迫大家全數立即回到教會崇拜。 這不是我的意願。 相反，我希望大家能考慮到自己對教會的承諾。
哥林多後書 3:18 - 我們眾人既然敞著臉得以看見主的榮光，好像從鏡子裡返照，就變成主的形狀，榮上加榮，如同從主的靈變成的。