2013年02月24日
以斯拉记6:19-22
寻求神的途径∶群体生活
「以色列人…要寻求以色列神…都吃(逾越节筵席)。」 拉6:21
19 正月十四日,被掳归回的人守逾越节。
20 原来,祭司和利未人一同自洁,无一人不洁净。利未人为被掳归回的众人和他们的弟兄众祭司,并为自己宰逾越节的羊羔。
21 从掳到之地归回的以色列人和一切除掉所染外邦人污秽、归附他们、要寻求耶和华—以色列  神的人都吃这羊羔,
22 欢欢喜喜地守除酵节七日;因为耶和华使他们欢喜,又使亚述王的心转向他们,坚固他们的手,作以色列  神殿的工程。
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  寻求神不单是自己一个人的操练,也是整个群体的操练。事实上,整个群体一起寻求神是最有效的。在人类历史终结时,将会有数不尽的人群聚集在神的宝座前,一起敬拜这位我们在世上不断寻求的神。(参看启示录7)

  人若一起同心合意寻求神,奇妙的事便发生了。在今天的经文中,祭司和其他从被掳之地回归的人,都重新寻回喜乐。他们被掳到巴比伦已有很多年,在那里他们为自己沦落异邦而哀伤,他们听说耶路撒冷已被夷为平地和圣殿被毁的骇人故事。而现在他们已返回家园,在波斯帝国的支持下,圣殿已被重建,而且是恢复守逾越节的时候 —— 这一次他们可以在家园耶路撒冷重建的圣殿中庆祝了!百姓聚集一起向神献祭,没有什么能按捺得住他们极大的喜乐。

  这件事需要整个群体的合作,百姓一同弃绝异族人的邪恶行为,他们同心并肩庆祝了七天,当他们这样行时,耶和华便使他们欢喜快乐。

  这是必然的结果。寻求神的人若同心聚集,神便与他们同在,并且叫他们充满喜乐。

祷告

父啊,求祢领我们到其他寻求祢的人那里,把我们的心连在一起,好叫我们能在祢里面找到喜乐。又求祢帮助我们,与别人分享祢的慈爱和良善。奉耶稣名求,阿们。

(听歌默想: 寻见 - 讚美之泉 土豆  YouTube )

Ezra 6:19-22
PATHWAYS: COMMUNITY
"The Israelites . . . ate [the Passover] . . . in order to seek the LORD, the God of Israel." Ezra 6:21

Seeking God is not only a personal and private exercise; it is also done in community. In fact, it is best done in community. When history ends, a company of people that no one can count will gather before the throne and worship the God we have sought throughout all our pilgrim years. (See Revelation 7.)

When people seek God together, with one heart and mind, wonderful things can happen. In our passage today, the priests, along with many returned -exiles, rediscovered joy. They had spent many years in Babylon, lamenting their exile from their homeland. They were told horror stories of a flattened Jerusalem and a demolished temple. Now they were home, and, with the support of the Persian Empire, the temple had been rebuilt. It was now time to celebrate the Passover again—this time at home in the restored temple in Jerusalem. Nothing could contain the people's joy as together they offered their sacrifices to God.

This was a group project. Together the people rejected the ungodly ways of peoples around them. Locking arms and hearts, they celebrated for seven days, and as they did, the Lord filled them with joy.

It's hard to imagine any other outcome. When seekers come together, God makes his presence known, and he fills us with joy.

Prayer

Father, lead us to those who seek you, and link our hearts together so that we may find joy in you. Then help us to share your love and goodness with others. In Jesus, Amen.

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