每日诗歌: 歡呼收割 (詩篇126) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsmwfN-ucs4)
保罗开始于一个基本的认知: “我们有这宝贝放在瓦器里，要显明这莫大的能力是出于神，不是出于我们” （林后4:7）。首先，我们是瓦器。泥土是最便宜的材料，用来制造像瓦器这样的普通物件，并且到处都是。保罗正在告诉我们面对不公平的痛苦的第一步，是要看清我们自己到底是谁。但是，如此没有自尊的讲论具有重要的第二步。这个廉价的瓦器是特别的，因为恰巧有个宝贝在这瓦器中。一个画框本身没有什么价值，但当它被用来镶框达芬奇的作品时，它的价值就会飞涨。
Proverbs 21 [Read]
Proverbs 22 [Read]
2 Corinthians 4 [Read]
What do you do when people wrong you? For Bible loving, devoted Christians, the answer has to be “I forgive”. How should you react when an arrogant person treat you as his servant? For someone who sincerely wants to be a disciple of Christ, he must serve anyway as the Lord taught him. But textbook answers like these do little to help us figure out how to face real-life self-centered sinners.
Paul begins with a basic recognition: “but we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2Cor 4:7). First, we are jars of clay. Clay is the cheapest material around for making common things like jars, and there are plenty of them. Paul is telling us that the first step to face unfair suffering is to see ourselves as who we truly are. But such talk of low self-esteem has an important second part. This cheap jar of clay is special, because it happens to have a treasure in it. A frame is worth little by itself, but its value soars when it is used to frame an artwork by da Vinci.
Recognition of self is just the beginning, and then we need to act. And the action involves suffering and how we respond to such suffering. The fact that Paul uses “Jesus” 4 times instead of “Christ” may be saying something, for it was the human Jesus, not the exalted Christ, who went through the tremendous suffering and eventual death. Perhaps Paul wants to emphasize the person for us to relate to in our pilgrimage. We are to carry his suffering around (4:8-9), so that his life can be revealed in us (4:10). We are to suffer for the sake of his righteousness, to endure arrogant attack, to say nothing when wronged, so that people may see the resurrection power in us, see the miraculous strength from our Lord, and see the likeness of Christ in this jar of clay. Maybe, just maybe, this arrogant person can be enlightened and repent and turn to Christ. Then, life can be truly at work in him (4:12).
It’s so hard to imitate Paul, but no one says discipleship is supposed to be easy. A seasoned servant of God once told us a helpful way to look at this. “Maybe you are this person’s servant”, she said, “but he is certainly not your Lord”. Amen, Amen!
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