That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
(John 17:21 ESV)
When you step into a home that is full of love, it is immediately obvious to you. Mum and dad speak kindly and affirmatively to each other, there is openness and affection. There is nothing to hide, and there is much to share. Laughter rings through the daily conversation. When mistakes are made, there is open apology between mum and dad, parents and kids. The kids themselves take the cue, and abide by the culture evident in the house: kindness, empathy encouragement, and forgiveness. The kids learn to trust one another and their parents. Have you spent a weekend in homes like these before?
The last great prayer Jesus prayed on earth, His so-called High Priestly Prayer in John 17, was that we might be a similar house on earth. That, as His Church, we might be One, that we might love one another, and live in openness, trust, and support of one another. This prayer was for His Church universally. The sad truth is that over two millennia, the Church has grown and split innumerable times over leadership, doctrines, politics, and even nationalistic issues. While that has maybe brought growth, it has also weakened the Church in the eyes of the world. They see us as a divided lot, a far cry from the love we preach. We can’t even get our house in order!
In Skyline, one of our major core values is LOVE. God is calling us love one another deeper and wider this year. As we walk through the glass doors, or sit next to someone, can we feel acceptance and love? When someone speaks to us, do love and affirmation flow out? When we connect in a group, do we find support and love? Loving one another is a choice birthed out of experiencing God’s love first hand. This year, go deeper in Him, and God will use each one of us to go wider in His love.
每当您踏入一间充满着爱的家时, 您必会即时感受到那份温暖。父母亲和蔼可亲的交谈, 彼此肯定着对方, 当中满溢着坦诚与慈爱。在这间家, 没有什么需要隐藏,而且有许多可以分享。每一天的交谈中, 都被欢笑围绕着。如果误会发生了, 不管是父母之间又或是亲子之间, 都会公开道歉。不但如此, 孩子们亦很自然地就融入并活出这间家的文化, 如:良善、同理心、鼓励和宽恕。孩子们也学习到对彼此信任且信靠他们的父母。在过去的周末, 您是否曾在如此的家度过呢？
约翰福音第17章记载了耶稣在世上时最后一个伟大的祷告，那就是祂所谓的 大祭司的祷告, 说明了我们在世上的家应该如上段所描述的家一样。身为祂的教会,我们应合而为一、彼此相爱, 并生活在一个互相坦诚、信任与扶持的环境里。这大祭司的祷告本是给予举世的教会。但令人沮丧的是,教会在经过了两千年的成长以及因着领导、教义、政治、甚至是民族主义所产生的问题, 它已经历了无数次的分裂。虽然这些事为教会带来某个程度的成长, 但也因着如此消弱了世人对教会的看法。世人所看见的我们是存有分歧的, 和我们所传讲的爱相差甚远。我们连自己的家都无法把它给整顿下来!
在Skyline里, 我们其中一个核心价值就是爱。今年, 上帝呼召我们要更深、更广的彼此相爱。当我们踏入教会大门或坐在某人隔壁时, 我们是否感受到被爱与被接纳的感觉呢? 当有人与我们交谈时, 谈话中是否流露着爱和肯定呢? 当我们在小组里联系时, 我们是否一样感到被爱和被支持呢? 彼此相爱的选择乃来自于一颗经历了上帝的爱的心。今年, 让我们在上帝里扎根更深,然后让上帝使用我们扩张祂的爱。
Philip Lyn 医生牧师