9/11/2022 耶穌基督昨日、今日和永遠都是一樣的 ~鍾立恆牧師
Pseudotsuga menziesii. 你可能認為這是希臘文，但它是拉丁文。你很可能很想知道，「這是什麼意思？」好，這是花旗松樹的科學名詞，它是我們所知道的聖誕樹其中一種。其原因是，瑞典科學家卡爾林奈試圖將生物的名稱以系統性的科學方法命名，以便科學家可以容易地將觀察到的動植物編類描述給其他人。 在此之前，他收到關於「新發現的植物」的信件時，他會讓另一個人對照完全相同的植物時，用另一個名字來寫，因該植物其實早已有一個不一樣的名稱。 因此便有需要起一個由屬類和種類組成的學名。 以屬類為首的，以大楷，用個概括性的名字，有助於將生物體與親屬類聯繫起來。種類列在第二位，以小楷，專門標識生物體的種類。 即使如此，植物或動物仍然可以在各地繼續以慣用的舊名稱，因為慣用的舊名稱與其國家或原產語言有關。 換句話說，是相同的有機體生物，只是名稱不同而已。
主在瑪拉基書 3:6節上說：「因我耶和華是不改變的。」 同樣，在希伯來書 13:8，我們讀到，「耶穌基督昨日、今日，一直到永遠，是一樣的。」 的確，祂是！ 儘管祂有很多頭銜和屬性，但這並不代表我們的上帝已經改變了，祂仍然是主，獨一真神！ 祂堅定不移。 詩篇 100:5，「因為耶和華本為善； 祂的慈愛存到永遠，祂的信實直到萬代。」 哈利路亞！
同樣，如果我們想到教會，它會改變嗎？ 目標會改變但教會本身不會改變，即使世界上有許多不同教會，各教會有不同目標，的確會改變。 當我們想到三藩市浸信會時，目標仍然是很真實，成為三藩市的一個教會，為耶穌接觸拯救失喪的人。 那麼我們可以做的，就是把三藩市浸信會看作是一個屬類。 有什麼種類呢？ 有兩個。 粵語/華語事工和英文事工。 更大的目標就是將福音傳給我們社區，而各事工將解決語言和文化相關的問題，但仍然以神國為目標。
因此，讓我們為這個城市及其他地方仍在我們面前展開的工作祈禱。 The Avenues Church 只是英語事工與我們附近所接觸及和未觸及的人聯繫的一種新方式。 然後他們就可以認識那位慈愛、慈悲、寬恕的那一位，作為他們的君王，祂是昨日、今日和永遠都是一樣，永不改變！
Jesus is the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever ~Pastor Benjamin Chung
Pseudotsuga menziesii. You might think it’s Greek. But it is Latin. And you are more than likely to really be wondering, “What does it mean?” Well, this is the scientific name for the Douglas-fir, which is one species of what we know as a Christmas tree. And the reason for this is, the Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus sought to unify the names of living organisms with a scientific name so that scientists could easily relay to others the observations they saw in a specific plant or animal. Prior to this, he would receive letters about a “newly discovered plant” and then have another person write about the exact same plant, but refer to it by a different name. Thus, a scientific name was needed, which is comprised of the Genus and Species. The Genus is listed first, is capitalized, is more general and helps to tie the organism to the relatives. The Species is listed second, is in all lowercase, and specifically identifies the organism. Even then, the plant or animal could still be referred to by the old designation, as it related to its country or language of origin. In other words, same organism, but different name.
The Lord says in Malachi 3:6a (ESV), “For I the Lord do not change.” Similarly in Hebrews 13:8, we read, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Indeed, He is! Even though he has many titles and attributes, this does not mean that our God has changed. He is still the LORD, the One True God! He is steadfast. Psalm 100:5, “For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Hallelujah!
Likewise, if we think about the Church, does it change? Its purpose does and will not change, even though there are many different churches around the world and what the individual churches do, does indeed change. As we think about SFCBC, its purpose is still true, to be a church in San Francisco to reach the lost for Jesus. What we can do then, is think of SFCBC as sort of the Genus. Then what of the Species? There are two. The Cantonese/Chinese Ministry and the English Ministry. The greater purpose is for the gospel to be spread out to the people in our community, while the Ministries will address the language and culture in more relevant but still Kingdom purposes.
Let us therefore pray for the work still set out before us here in the City and beyond. The Avenues church is simply a new means for the English Ministry to connect to the reached and unreached in our neighborhood. Then they can come to know the One who is loving, compassionate, forgiving, as THEIR King, Yesterday, Today and Forever!.