5/3/2020 When A Flatline Is Good! (當一條直線是好的時候!)

by Rev. Benjamin Chung (鍾立恆牧師)

There’s a scene in the TV show, the Office, where an employee of the company had cancer. When a fellow employee shared the news with the fellow employees, the important news was “the tests came back negative”. As everyone began to react happily to the news, one person did the exact opposite, the manager. He began to sob and scream, while the rest of the employees looked on with puzzled faces. In the very next scene, the manager then explained his odd and completely opposite response. By hearing the report that the report was negative, his interpretation of this was that news was negative and the person’s cancer had returned. But what the statement actually means is, there were not any positive sign of the cancer returning.

I share this because I had a chance to meet a pastor from Birmingham, Alabama who has a church named, Flatline Church. This is a unique church name because there is no other church whose name is Flatline. How do I know? The pastor shared he already tried to find any other church with this name and came back fruitless. And the pastor had to explain that when he became the pastor of the church, he thought the name was very odd, too. The pastor then discovered how the name isn't directed at a Christian's spiritual health, as having a flatline typically means that one has no pulse and is therefore dead. But for this church, the first pastor was calling on the congregation to be dead--to sin! Romans 6:11 (ESV) says, “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

Now that we have been sheltered in place for 6 weeks, it would be pertinent for us to consider how our lives have been forcibly changed and what we have done in response. For some of us, we don’t have more free time, as the work load became heavier, even with the lack of a commute. For others, they must balance an even greater number of things as there are less people to assist. For still others, life became simpler as there is a greater amount of time to do more things. For these, and still everyone, let us not grow complacent or lazy, as some have said they have been. Let us take the time to develop our relationship with our LORD now. Many of us do have more time to read our Bibles and pray. (And contact others who might be lonely during the week.) Remember to also seek the Lord’s face throughout the day as we seek to be more alive in Christ Jesus!


電視節目「辦公室」裡有個場景,該公司的一名員工患有癌 症。有一員工與另一員工分享消息時,重要的消息是該測試結果 是“negative”即「陰性」(但 negative 這英文字可直釋為正負的負,並含有不好的意味)。當每個人都對這消息感到高興時,有一個人的反應剛巧和其眾人相反,他就是「辦公室」裡的經理。他開始哭泣和尖叫,而其餘的員工則困惑地看著他。接下來的場景,經理解釋他為何這般奇怪而完全相反的反應。當他聽到消息公佈時, 他對測試結果的理解是以字面直釋為正負的負,而誤認為該員工的癌症已經復發。但是該消息的實際含意是,沒有任何癌症復發的跡象。

我之所以這樣分享,是因為我有機會認識一位來自阿拉巴馬州伯明翰的牧師,他的教會名稱為直線教會Flatline Church。這是一個獨特的教會名稱,因為沒有其他教會的名字是直線Flatline。我怎麼知道?牧師說,他已經試圖用這個名字去尋找其他教會,但徒勞無功。牧師解釋,說當他成為教會的牧師時,他也認為這個名字很奇怪。然後,牧師發現這個名字不是直接針對基督徒的屬靈健康,因為「直線」通常是指一個人沒有脈搏跳動,意思就是已經死亡。對於這個教會,第一位牧師是呼籲教會向罪死!羅馬書6:11(ESV)說:「這樣,你們向罪也當看自己是死,向神在耶穌基督裡,當看自己是活的。」

既然我們已經居家隔離了六個星期,那麼就應該考慮一下我們的生活如何被強行改變以及我們如何應對。對我們當中一些人來說,我們沒有多了空閒時間,因為即使沒有通勤,工作量也越 來越重。對於其他人來說,他們還必須平衡更多的事情,因為少了幫手。又對於其他人來說,生活變得容易多了,因為更多的事情有更多的時間去做。對我們每個人而言,讓我們不要自滿或懶惰。讓我們與主的關係更加密切。我們有許多人確實有更多時間,就勤於閱讀聖經和祈禱。 (同時在這星期中可與感到孤單的人聯繫。)記住,讓我們更積極地在基督裏尋求主的臉!

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