Category Archives: Faith

Advent Word 2018, Day 24 ‘Celebrate 慶祝’

#AdventWord #Celebrate #慶祝

「你可能認為,要忽略真正的好消息很難。」我的意思是,誰會錯過慶祝的機會?但是,我們卻錯過這個福音,12月25日的福音。
讓我們今年別錯過了。不論你怎麼看它,上帝來到這世上,不為別的,只為了愛。當你思考這件事時,你會知道,愛是好得無比的好消息,一個值得我們花時間來慶祝的好消息。

You would think that it would be hard to overlook really good news.  I mean, who would miss a chance to celebrate?  But, too often, we miss the good news, the real good news, of December 25.
But let’s not do that this year.  Because no matter how you look at it, God coming into the world for no other reason but love is, when you think about it, incredibly good news—news that is worth making the time to #Celebrate.

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St. Mary’s Church, Holy Island.  All around is darkness, but the church door is open, don’t miss it.  Don’t miss the chance to celebrate.  Don’t miss the real good news of December 25.

Today is Christmas Day, and the final post for Advent Word 2018 ~ hope you’ve enjoyed them.  Let’s celebrate ~ have a wonderful Christmas!

Advent Word 2018, Day 23 ‘Peace 平安’

#AdventWord #Peace #平安

如同復臨節的人們,我們要等候,慢下腳步,除去使我們分心的事物並且尋找上帝應允我們的平安,直到伯利恆統治者的再來。安靜並接納平安的禮物,愛的果實,它就在你的內心裡而不在你的作為裡。記住,耶穌是一切平安的來源。

As Advent people, we are to wait, slow down, free ourselves from distractions and search for the peace that God has promised us through the coming of the ruler from Bethlehem. Be still and allow the gift of peace, the fruit of love, to be found within your being rather than in your doing. Remember that Jesus is the source of all peace.

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A cross in the Holy Island churchyard against the wall of the priory ruins.

It’s Christmas Eve: wishing you all a peaceful and blessed Christmas!

Advent Word 2018, Day 22 ‘Persist 堅持’

#AdventWord #Persist #堅持

復臨節的季節幾乎快到最高潮時節。它是一段漫長的旅程,尤其對瑪麗亞和約瑟來說。他們親身體驗到堅持的意義,一直堅持直到應許的事物被成就。也許抄捷徑會是誘人的–「我們就在家裡獻祭吧。」但上帝不希望我們抄捷徑。上帝呼召我們,不是要我們選擇容易的道路。上帝要的是一群願意堅持旅途的人民,願意做足準備真實接納基督到我們的心裡和生活裡。

The season of Advent has almost reached its climax. It has been a journey, certainly for Mary and Joseph. They experienced first hand what it meant to persist, to keep going until all that was promised was fulfilled. It might have been tempting to take a shortcut–“Let’s just make an offering or a sacrifice and stay home.” But God does not want shortcuts. God does not call us to take the easy way. What God does require is a people who persist on the journey, who make all the necessary preparations to truly receive the Christ child in our hearts and our lives.

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Along the Holy Island seashore when the tide is out, it’s fun to search the rocks and rockpools for fish or whatever marine life can be found.  The tiny shells are barnacles, while the big conical ones are limpets, officially aquatic snails.  Limpets cling tight to the rock crevices when the tide is out, but when covered in water, off they slide to graze on algae.  For us to try to prise them off the rocks at low tide is virtually impossible without damaging them.  They cling tenaciously, stubbornly resisting whatever might try to remove them.  Even the strongest men and women are no match for limpets.  Persistance, indeed, and a challenge to us in our journey of faith.

Advent Word 2018, Day 21 ‘Expect 期待’

#AdventWord #Expect #期待

我們每天被廣告衝擊著,以明顯的訊息告訴我們,我們應當在人生中期待些甚麼—更多,更好,更大的事情。然而,如果我們接收到的訊息促使我們不是期待我們可能會得到的事物,而是期待我們可能會給予的事物呢?當瑪麗亞被上帝邀請成為歷史上最有名的未婚青少年媽媽時,她沒有問:「我可以從這樣的安排中得到甚麼?」沒有,她說:「我在這裡。我是主的使女,情願照你的話成就在我身上。」(路加福音第一章38節) 瑪麗亞並沒有思考她期待接受到甚麼東西。她僅只奉獻她的生命,活生生的犧牲,獻給那位呼召她的神。你在復臨節時期「期待」甚麼呢?

We are pummeled daily by advertisements that, in not so hidden messages, tell us what we should “expect” out of life–more, better, bigger things.

What if, however, the messages we received prompted us to expect not what we might get, but what we might give?  When, invited by God to become the most famous unmarried teenage expectant mother in history, Mary did not ask “What do I get out of this arrangement?” No, she said, “here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)  Mary did not think about what she could expect to receive.  She simply gave her life, a living sacrifice, to the God who called her.  What do you “expect” this Advent season?

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See all these people? They’ve just arrived on Holy Island and are walking from the car park into the village.  A steady stream, but in summer this path is choc-a-block with visitors.  Everyone comes with a sense of expectancy, looking forward to a day out on Holy Island – perhaps a visit to the priory or castle, coffee or lunch at one of the cafes, a walk on the beach or up to the hill, a bit of shopping, and a visit to the church.  Many pilgrims and visitors have found that their faith has been awakened, refreshed or renewed by their visit, and they return home keen to share their experiences with others.

“Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God” (William Carey)

Advent Word 2018, Day 20 ‘Sign 符號’

#AdventWord #Sign #符號

許多我們所遇見的符號都是潛在危險的凶兆。他們是要提醒我們保護自己。注意落石,注意癌症的徵兆,回頭以免溺斃。但在復臨節,我們遇見的是即將來臨的可能性預兆。他們帶來寬宥,祝福以及愛。留心愛。要知道愛的預警。轉身並接受愛。如同詩人克莉絲汀娜.羅賽提所言:「愛是我們的替身…是祈求,禮物以及符號的愛。」

Many of the signs we encounter are portents of potential danger. They are intended to keep us safe. Watch for falling rocks. Know the warning signs of cancer. Turn around don’t drown. But in Advent, the signs we encounter are portents of impending possibility. They offer us forgiveness, blessing, love. Watch for love. Know the warning signs of love. Turn around and accept love. As poet Christina Rossetti says, “Love shall be our token . . . Love for plea and gift and sign.”

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Signpost in Holy Island village.  Choose the way you want to go.  Choose the way you want to live.  Think of all the major decisions that have been made on Holy Island since the beginning of time, decisions to come, to leave, to flee, to return, to build, to create, to establish, to settle, to pray, to worship, to love.  Christmas is coming, let us choose the way of love.

Advent Word 2018, Day 19 ‘Ablaze 燃燒’

#AdventWord #Ablaze #燃燒

約翰宣讀耶穌將用聖靈與火來施洗的訊息。這些話語激發五旬節如火一般舌頭的意象,當聖靈降臨在耶穌的跟隨者之中,激勵著他們把福音的訊息帶給這世界。什麼會激發你火熱的心?你如何因著基督的福音而被燃燒?你將如何傳遞愛給世界?你受浸的火又在哪裡?

John proclaims the message that Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. These words evoke images of the Pentecostal tongues of fire as the Holy Spirit descends upon the followers of Jesus, inspiring them and sending the gospel message into the world. What sets your heart on fire? How are you ablaze with the good news of Jesus? How are you spreading love in the world? Where is the fire in your baptism?

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Sunrise on Holy Island, taken at the Lindisfarne Priory ruins, with the castle in the background.  In the top left, a distant aeroplane flies overhead.  In the same year that Aidan came to Holy Island to establish his monastery, 635, so the first recorded Christian missionaries reached China.  Those early travelers took the Gospel on foot and on horseback, taking months to travel distances we can now fly to in a matter of hours.  The power of fire, whether in our engines or in our hearts, has changed the world.  Long may it continue.  Set our hearts ablaze today, O Lord, for you!

Advent Word 2018, Day 18 ‘Wash 洗淨’

#AdventWord #Wash #洗淨

在路加福音裡,約翰告訴我們:「我是用水給你們施洗,但有一位能力比我更大的要來…」在復臨節,我們用水清潔並預備我們的家迎接家人和朋友,以一起慶祝基督的再來。願每一次的洗淨,清潔和沖洗都提醒我們受浸的意義,並再次預備我們的心,接待基督進入我們的家,我們的心並進入我們的世界。

In Luke, John tells us, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming…” In Advent, we use water to clean and prepare our homes to welcome family and friends as we celebrate the coming of Christ together. May each act of washing, cleaning, and rinsing remind us of our baptisms and prepare our hearts once again to receive Christ into our homes, our hearts, and into our world.

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Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island has just reopened after an 18-month, £3m, restoration project to repair the castle from long-term water damage to the walls and roof.  During the restoration, 17th century wall paintings were uncovered in the old kitchen and one of the bedrooms; dating from the time when the castle was a military base.  “An exciting and rare find” says the National Trust, “suggesting that there might have been more to life at the castle than just a military base”.

Washing implies cleaning, cleansing and refreshing.  Advent is a chance for us all to undertake a mini-restoration project on our own hearts and lives.  We never know what treasures we might unearth in the process!