Evangelical Lutheran Mission Society for the Chinese

Life to be Born 出生的生命

Christmas Day, 2020 二零二零年圣诞节

Text: John 1:1-5, 10-18, Is.9:2–7约翰福音1:1-5, 10-18,以赛亚书9:2–7

In the name of Jesus, Amen!奉耶稣基督的名,阿门!

Life to be born is a life to live.  When a baby is born, we celebrate and are thankful for God’s beautiful creation. We feel pride and joy, with great expectations that the child will live a wonderful life. However, because of this sinful world we also know that it will be hard for a child to grow up and live their life, and also hard for the people around them. Recently, our Chinese ministry celebrated a baby shower online, where the would-be parents expressed a lot of uncertainties asking questions about how to raise the baby and how he would live his life.

一个生命生出来是为了把这个生命生活出来。当一个婴孩出生时,我们庆祝并感谢上帝美好的创造,我们感到骄傲和喜乐,期待这孩子会有一个美好的一生。可是,因为这个罪恶的世界,我们也知道,一个孩子长大并度过一生是很不容易的,不只是对这个孩子不容易,对她/他周围的人来说也是不容易的。最近,我们中文堂在网上庆祝了一个baby shower,准父母有些焦虑,问了关于生养孩子和孩子将来的一些问题。

People long to live and celebrate a life, but it’s hard, especially during the pandemic. We were discouraged to celebrate the baby shower in person inside. It seems that every public activity is prohibited except protesting. Yes, it’s because of the virus. Sin in this world, like the virus making us sick, robbed us of a healthy life,  enslavedus, and left us rotten and dead in darkness. Where do we find a true and healthy life?

人们渴望生活,庆祝生命,但是,不容易啊!特别是在新冠疫情大流行的时代。我们不能在室内聚会,似乎除了抗议以外,任何公共活动都被禁止。 是的,是因为病毒。 但这个世界上的罪恶,就像使我们生病的病毒一样,夺走了我们的健康生活,奴役了我们,并使我们在黑暗中腐烂死亡。 我们在哪里找到真正健康的生活?

In today’s Gospel reading, John 1:4 says, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men”. The text tells us that the true life, the light of men is found in the Word, Who was in the beginning, Who was with God and was God, Who came into the world, became flesh, and dwelt among us, and Who is the true light, which gives light to everyone. This was the child Whose birth in Bethlehem we celebrate today, and Whom the prophet Isaiah promised us to be born, a son to be given. This child is called Immanuel, God with us, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. And this child is Jesus, Who would one day die for us and save us from our sins. THIS life to be born is for us to live eternally.    

今天的福音经文中,约翰福音1:4说,“生命在他里头,这生命就是人的光。”真正的生命,人的光在前面说的道里面。祂在太初就有,祂与上帝同在,道就是上帝。祂来到世界,成为肉身,并住在我们当中。祂是真光,照亮一切出生在世上的人。这就是我们今天庆祝在伯利恒出生的孩子,是先知以赛亚向我们应许的将会出生,将要赐给我们的孩子。 祂被称为以马内利,上帝与我们同在,是奇妙的策士,全能的上帝。 这个孩子就是耶稣,他有一天会为我们而死,并将我们从罪恶中拯救出来。 这个生命的诞生是为了我们拥有永远的生活。

Today, we celebrate Jesus’ birth, a life to be born, and a son to be given for us to live. Thanks be to God! An hour ago, a baby was baptized. The new life to be born of water and the Spirit is a life for this baptized baby to be lived eternally. There will be challenges, difficulties and pains in his earthly life. But now he can rest assured, no matter what will happen in the future, he has a life to live as a child of God, exactly because a child was born to us two thousand years ago, by the humble manger of a small inn, and was given to us on the Cross 33 years later. Now, because Jesus lives, this newly baptized baby can face tomorrow, knowing that he has a life to live not in darkness, but in light, with peace and joy, receiving grace upon grace.

今天我们庆祝耶稣的诞生,一个婴孩的诞生,一个赐给我们的生命。 感谢上帝! 刚才,一个婴儿受洗。 对于这个受洗的婴儿,一个从水和圣灵生的新生命就是永生的生活。 他在尘世的生活将充满挑战,困难和痛苦。 但现在,他可以放心了,不管将来会发生什么,他都可以作为上帝的孩子勇敢地生活,这完全因为两千多年前在一家小客栈的卑微马槽中所生的,并且33年后在十字架上为我们死去的一个婴孩,一子赐给了我们。 现在,因为耶稣活着,这位刚受洗的幼儿可以面对明天,因为我们知道,他的生活不是在黑暗中,而是在和平与喜乐的光明中,并且恩上加恩。

In the Name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen! 奉圣父、圣子、圣灵的名,阿门!

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