Our Present

Crisis in the U.S.

 

This past Pentecost Sunday while our fellowship, like so many churches, celebrated the wondrous coming of the Holy Spirit, something truly dreadful was coming upon our nation. Anger and despair over another tragic death of an African-American man caused by police exploded across the nation.

I am reminded today of James Russell Lowell’s poem “The Present Crisis” about American slavery. Lowell (1819-1891) wrote the poem to address the controversy over slavery leading up to the Civil War. Now, I do not believe that every problem in our society or the African-American community is traceable to slavery, however, as a Christian, I do believe the roots of sin to which slavery can be traced are no different than the roots of all social evil that provokes such a crisis as we are in. Accordingly, the truth of Lowell’s poem rings true for me in our “present crisis” and is worth considering. Here is an excerpt:

“Of those Crises, God’s stern winnowers, from whose feet earth’s chaff must fly;

Never shows the choice momentous till the judgment hath passed by.

Careless seems the great Avenger; history’s pages but record

One death-grapple in the darkness ‘twixt old systems and the Word;

Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,—

Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,

Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.

We see dimly in the Present what is small and what is great,

Slow of faith how weak an arm may turn the iron helm of fate …”

 

We can have faith that God is in the shadow, keeping watch over what is happening in America. Our nation has been plunged into chaos. Our hearts go out to those who have suffered. We all pray for peace and justice and change. As for the evildoers who have looted and plundered and trampled on the grief and sorrow and longing of so many for a better world, I am confident, they will not succeed to ruin the purposes of God’s redemptive plan. He will bring good out of this and justice to the earth. As Job says of Him, “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You (Job 42:2). We see it dimly now, as Lowell reminds us, but Almighty God is keeping watch over it all, working out His gracious purpose for humanity through Jesus Christ, our Lord. It cannot be withheld from Him!

– Pastor Jack Davidson

For More

Read “The Church & Racial Reconciliation” from the Synod Executive of the ECO denomination.

Message

當前危機

在過去的五旬節週日,我們教會與許多的教會一樣,慶祝聖靈的降臨,全國各地卻一起非裔美國人因警察而喪生的悲慘死亡而感到憤怒和絕望並爆發了怒潮。這給我們的國家帶來了可怕的後果。

 

今天,我想起了詹姆斯·羅素·洛厄爾(James Russell Lowell)關於美國奴隸制的詩歌“當前危機”。洛厄爾(1819-1891)寫下這首詩是為了解決內戰前關於奴隸制的爭議。現在,我不認為我們社會或者非裔美國人社區中的每個問題都可以追溯到奴隸制,但是,作為一名基督徒,我確信那追溯到奴隸制的罪的根源與今日社會上的罪惡而激起了的危機的根源是一樣的。因此,洛厄爾在“當前危機”這首詩中的真相對我來說是正確的,值得深思。摘錄如下:

“在這些危機中,上帝嚴厲的風在吹,穀殼必須從其腳下飛揚;

在判決通過之前,不要草率作選擇。

粗心的人似乎是厲害的報復者。在歷史的頁面上,

正記錄了在黑暗中的死亡    “將古老的體制和聖言相提並論;

刑架上是真理,在寶座上卻永遠是錯

然而,那刑架影響了未來,而在模糊不清的背後,

——上帝站在陰影中,審視著屬於祂的這一切。

我們在當下朦朧地看到了什麼是渺小,什麼是偉大,

軟弱的信心,軟弱的手臂,卻沒能為命運作堅強的掌舵……”

 

我們可以相信上帝在暗暗中,時刻關注著美國正在發生的事情。我們的國家陷入混亂。我們向遭受苦難的人表示同情。我們為和平,正義與改革而祈禱。對於那些令許多人悲痛的掠奪,破壞和踐踏別人的惡行,對期望更和諧社會的我們,我相信,他們破壞上帝救贖計劃的目的不可能成功。神將公義,審判帶入大地。正如約伯提到神時所說:““我知道你萬事都能作,你的旨意是不能攔阻的【伯42:2】。就如洛厄爾(Lowell)提醒我們的那樣,我們現在看到的是模糊的事物,但是全能的上帝一直在管理著這一切,並通過我們的主耶穌基督實現了他對人的愛的目的。沒有什麼能隱瞞神!

– 戴惟信牧師

1 thought on “Our Present Crisis in the U.S. 當前危機

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