12/24 2015

基督──我們的安慰者



  荒漠甘泉      
經文: 「人要稱祂的名為以馬內利。……就是上帝與我們同在。」(太一23)「祂名稱爲……和平的君。」(賽九6)

荒漠甘泉 Streams in the Desert

基督──我們的安慰者
經文: 「人要稱祂的名為以馬內利。……就是上帝與我們同在。」(太一23)「祂名稱爲……和平的君。」(賽九6) 

        數年前,坊間發行過一張異於尋常的聖誕卡片,標題是:「假若基督沒來」。它源出於我們救主的一句話:「我若沒有來」(約15:22)。卡上描述某個耶誕節早晨,有位牧師在書房裏睡了一會兒,夢見耶穌從未到過的一個世界。 
        他在夢中環顧自己的家室,壁爐角落裏沒有長襪,沒有聖誕鈴或冬青花圈,沒有基督的安慰,喜悅和救贖。他走到大街,也看不到指向天國的教堂尖閣。他回來坐在書房裏,但每一本有關救主的書都不見了。 
        門鈴響了,有個孩子來請他去看望那將斷氣的可憐母親。他急忙跟著那啼哭的孩子趕去,到了那裏,他坐下來說道:「我這兒有點東西能安慰你。」他打開聖經,想找一句熟悉的諾言,但聖經只寫到瑪拉基書,沒有福音,沒有希望和救世的諾言,他只能垂著頭和她一同在痛苦的絕望中哭泣。 
        兩天後,他站在她棺材旁,主持葬儀,但是找不到安慰亡靈的唁詞,沒有光榮復活的字句,沒有敞開天堂的言語,只要「塵歸於塵,土歸於土」,和遙遙無期的永別。他終於明白「祂未曾來到」,於是淚如泉湧,在那悲哀的夢中痛苦起來。 
        他突然驚醒,聽道他的唱班正在教堂裏歌唱,於是發出了一聲欣喜和讚美的歡呼。 
        讓我們今天快樂歡欣,因爲「祂已來臨」。讓我們記得天使的通告:「我報給你們的大喜的信息,是關乎萬民的,因今天在大衛的城裏,爲你們生了救主,就是主基督。」(路二10~11) 
        「祂來使祂的祝福漫溢著遭受咒詛的所有地面。」 
        願我們關心那些住在外邦區域的人民,他們沒有幸福的耶誕節。「你們去吃肥美的,喝甘甜的,有不能預備的,就分給他。」(尼八10)

 

Christ our Consolation
Scripture: "His name shall be called Emmanuel . . . God with us." (Matt. 1:23) ."The Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6).

        A few years ago a striking Christmas card was published, with the title, "If Christ had not come." It was founded upon our Saviour's words, "If I had not come." The card represented a clergyman falling into a short sleep in his study on Christmas morning and dreaming of a world into which Jesus had never come.

        In his dream he found himself looking through his home, but there were no little stockings in the chimney corner, no Christmas bells or wreaths of holly, and no Christ to comfort, gladden and save. He walked out on the public street, but there was no church with its spire pointing to Heaven. He came back and sat down in his library, but every book about the Saviour had disappeared.

        A ring at the door-bell, and a messenger asked him to visit a poor dying mother. He hastened with, the weeping child and as he reached the home he sat down and said, "I have something here that will comfort you." He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise, but it ended at Malachi, and there was no gospel and no promise of hope and salvation, and he could only bow his head and weep with her in bitter despair.

        Two days afterward he stood beside her coffin and conducted the funeral service, but there was no message of consolation, no word of a glorious resurrection, no open Heaven, but only "dust to dust, ashes to ashes," and one long eternal farewell. He realized at length that "He had not come," and burst into tears and bitter weeping in his sorrowful dream.

        Suddenly he woke with a start, and a great shout of joy and praise burst from his lips as he heard his choir singing in his church close by: 

        "O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, 

        O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;

        Come and behold Him, born the King of Angels,

        O come let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord."

        Let us be glad and rejoice today, because "He has come." And let us remember the annunciation of the angel, "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10, 11).

        "He comes to make His blessing flow, Far as the curse is found."

        May our hearts go out to the people in heathen lands who have no blessed Christmas day. "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and SEND PORTIONS TO THEM FOR WHOM NOTHING IS PREPARED." (Neh. 8:10).


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