And He who was seated on the throne said: “Behold I make all thing new.”
(Revelation 21:5 NKJV)
“Are you a pig?” someone asked me two weeks ago. “What do you mean?” I said. “Were you born in the year of the pig?” she asked. “Oh,” I said, quite relieved that she wasn’t trying to insult me. “No, I’m not.” “What are you then?” she asked. I told her it wasn’t important. In our family, all our children don’t even know their horoscope signs. “But you are Chinese, aren’t you?” she asked again. “Yes,” I said, “but again, all my children don’t know what western horoscope signs they were born under either!”
Horoscopes, Chinese or otherwise, belong to the occult. Distance yourselves from this part of Chinese culture. Never tell your kids their horoscope. Never let others tell them that these animal signs determine their character or future. Each Chinese New Year, do some personal family house cleansing even as we celebrate. Do away with the old, and bring in with the truly NEW things God wants us to have!
Enjoy your Nien Kau, but don’t get fearful about sweeping the floor on New Year’s Day. It is God, not demons, who will prosper you (Deut 8:18). Give and receive ang pows, but stay away from “feeding” dragons and lions for luck. And please don’t invite them to your house to dance. Don’t burn incense to your ancestors; that would be worship. Instead, remember your forefathers with gratitude, and thank God for your lineage. Use each New Year to claim that God will save the rest of your family (Acts 16:31), and all generations to come be a “kinsman redeemer” (Ruth 3:9). Enjoy new clothes, feast with family and friends. But stay away from mediums, praying at graves, gambling, and drinking. These only bring sorrow. Go ahead, this year, RENEW your New Year!
“你是猪吗？”两个星期前,某人这么问我。我说，“这是什么意思呢?”。“你是不是在猪年出生啊?” ，她问。“哦..”我说,当下觉得庆幸她并没有要侮辱我的意思。“我不是。” “那你是什么呢?”，她便问。我告诉她,这都不重要。在我们的家庭里, 我们的孩子连他们的星座是什么都不晓得。“但你是华人,不是吗？”，她再问。“是，”我说, “但我也重申一次, 我所有的孩子都不晓得他们属于哪个星座!”
无论是东方的生肖、或是西方的星座, 都属于异教邪说。恳请您远离这部分所谓的中华文化。千万别告诉您孩子们他们的星座是什么; 也千万别让他人告诉他们, 生肖能够断定他们的个性和前程。在每个农历新年里, 在我们欢庆的同时, 请务必做些个人家庭的屋子洁净。除去一切旧的, 实实在在的迎接上帝所喜悦我们拥有的新事物!
您可以尽情享受您的年糕, 但亦不必畏惧在新年期间扫地。你要记念耶和华─你的神, 因为得货财的力量是他给你的 (申命记8:18)。我们可以给予和 领受红包, 但请远离“供奉”龙和狮子以求运气。还有, 请不要邀请舞狮到您家。烧香于祖先也不可, 因为那是敬奉。鼓励您以感恩的心记念祖宗并感谢上帝赐予您的世系。透过每个农历新年, 向上帝宣告当信主耶稣, 你和你一家都必得救 (使徒行传16:31) 并让世世代代都成为“亲属的救赎者”(路得记3:9)。享受您的新衣还有与家人和朋友的盛宴。但要切记远离巫师、坟墓敬奉、赌博和嗜酒。因这些只会带来悲伤。去吧, 在新的一年里, 万象更新!
Philip Lyn 医生牧师