Wednesday, October 23, 2019

これが私

ミュージカル映画「グレイテスト・ショーマン」の劇中歌「ディス・イズ・ミー」(これが私)は迫力ある歌です。これを歌う人物は、社会の「普通」から外れていたために、言葉の暴力やいじめに苦しみました。彼女は、言葉は心を傷つける弾丸やナイフのようだと歌います。この歌の人気は、どれほど多くの人が、言葉という武器で心を傷つけられたかを示唆しています。

ヤコブは、言葉の潜在的な危険性を理解し、それは「少しもじっとしていない悪であり、死の毒に満ちています」(ヤコ3:8)と語りました。驚くような強い表現ですが、言葉の持つ危険な力に早く気づくべきだと考えて、このように述べたのでしょう。また、神をほめたたえたその口で、次の瞬間には、神にかたどって造られた人を傷つけるという矛盾も指摘しています(9-10節)。

前述の「ディス・イズ・ミー」も言葉の暴力を非難し、私たちはみな素晴らしいと訴えます。聖書も各々に尊厳と美があると語ります。それは姿かたちや、何ができるかではありません。一人ひとりが神の傑作だからです(詩139:14)。私たちの互いに対する言葉は、その真理を明らかにする力があります。


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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

足に良い知らせ

靴下屋の宣伝ににっこりしました。「足の歴史上、最も履き心地のいい靴下」とあり、さらに良い知らせを告げています。このメーカーは、ソックスが一足売れるごとに、もう一足を、ホームレスの保護施設に寄付するというのです。靴下はホームレスの保護施設で最も必要とされるアイテムのひとつだからだそうです。

38年間歩けなかった足をイエスに癒やしていただいた男性の笑顔を想像してみてください(ヨハ5:2-8)。一方、それを快く思わなかった神殿の祭司たちの正反対の表情も想像できるでしょう。その男性に手を差し伸べた人は、今まで誰もいませんでした。そんなかわいそうな人の足と心にイエスが触れられたのに、指導者たちは、安息日に働いてはならないという律法を盾に取って、ふたりを非難しました(9-10節、16-17節)。彼らの視点は規則であり、イエスの視点は、あわれみの必要性でした。

男性はこの時、足を治してくださった方が誰なのか知りませんでしたが、やがて、それがイエスだと分かりました(13-15節)。そのイエスが、ご自分の身体を十字架に釘づけにするために差し出されたのです。それは、人の痛み、病んだ心と身体の歴史上、この男性や私たちにとって、最も良い知らせです。


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Argue with Your Pride

Argue with Your Pride

If you are a Christian, you know what it feels like to live with a madman. “The hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live” (Ecclesiastes 9:3). If we feel prone to doubt such a bleak judgment, one sin in particular should convince us that Solomon was right: pride.

We are, every one of us, creatures of the dust. Yet we somehow find a way, overtly or subtly, to strut through the streets of the earth as if our strength were not fragile, our knowledge not narrow, our lungs not rising only because God gives us breath. Madness is the right word.

To be sure, every Christian has received a new heart — clean and pure, rather than evil and insane (Ezekiel 36:25–27). But we are not yet through with the madman. Pride, though forgiven, defeated, and doomed, still follows at the elbow. We wake, work, talk, play, and sleep with madness in our flesh.

Lately, the apostle Paul has been helping me to argue with my pride. In 1 Corinthians 1–4, he reminds us again and again of the madness of pride and the happy sanity of humility.

1. The pride of man murdered God’s Son.

We impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:7–8)

Paul would have us remember, first, that the pride of man murdered God’s Son. The “rulers of this age” include not only Herod and Pilate, but also those Paul calls the “wise,” the “scribe,” and the “debater of this age” — in a word, the proud (1 Corinthians 1:20). When people like this meet a Savior like Jesus and a message like the gospel, they reach for wood and nails.

If we would see pride rightly, we need to remember the body count in its wake. Once fully grown, pride does not balk at murder — in the heart, if not with the hand (Matthew 5:21–22). Those who nurture and relish their own pride follow Cain into the field (Genesis 4:8); they ask Jezebel to advise them (1 Kings 21:5–14); they dine with Herod the Great (Mark 6:25–27).

The beginnings of pride look harmless enough — a posed shot on social media, a hidden hunger for approval, a contemptuous thought toward those whose opinions differ from our own. But here Paul shows us the beast all grown up, unable to recognize the Lord of glory though he stands before our face.

Perhaps, then, we will not begrudge the bluntness of this Puritan prayer:

Destroy in me every lofty thought,
     Break pride to pieces and scatter it
     to the winds,
Annihilate each clinging shred of
     self-righteousness. . . .
Open in me a fount of penitential tears,
Break me, then bind me up.

2. Pride cannot survive the cross.

Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified. (1 Corinthians 1:22–23)

Prideful men may have murdered Christ, but they accomplished only what God’s “hand and . . . plan had predestined to take place” (Acts 4:28). In God’s wise providence, pride crucified Christ — and the crucifixion of Christ destroys all pride.

Throughout 1 Corinthians 1–4, Paul takes us to the cross, bidding us to feel the splinters of the wood and the steel of the nails. “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified,” he says (1 Corinthians 2:2). He knows that pride reigns only where the cross has been forgotten or distorted. Pride cannot breathe Golgotha’s air.

But how does the cross destroy pride? First, by reminding us that ours was the sin that nailed him to the tree. “Christ died for our sins” — our toxic mouths, our secret lusts, our strutting shoulders, our lofty eyes (1 Corinthians 15:3). John Stott writes, “Before we can see the cross as something done for us, we must see it as something done by us” (The Cross of Christ, 63).

Second, the cross destroys pride by putting a better boast in our mouths. Christ crucified does not remove our boasting, but rather redirects it from ourselves to him. “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord,” Paul writes (1 Corinthians 1:31). Make your boast in sins forgiven, devils defeated, death undone, wrath removed, righteousness given, heaven opened. Breathe in the love of Jesus Christ, and breathe out the sanity of praise.

Christ was crucified for me; therefore, I cannot boast in myself. Christ was crucified for me; therefore, I have every reason to boast in him.

3. You are a Christian because God made you one.

Because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30)

Once, Jesus was just another name from history, the gospel just another memory from Sunday school, salvation just another religious idea. Until I became a Christian. Then, Jesus became the sweetest sound, the gospel the best news, salvation a gift better than all the world’s wealth. How did that happen?

We are in Christ Jesus, Paul reminds us, not ultimately because we were born into a believing family, nor because we were smart enough to discern Jesus’s true identity, nor even because we were self-aware enough to see our need for a Savior, but rather “because of him.” Behind any outward circumstance that led us to repentance and faith is the Father who called us, the Son who sought us, the Spirit who claimed us. Eventually, we must come back to saying, “I am a Christian because God made me one.”

And, as Paul goes on to say, the middle and the end of the Christian life follow the beginning. We plant and water in ministry, but “only God . . . gives the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:7). We labor for holiness, but every exertion comes from “the grace of God that is with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10). We believe because God gives us new birth; we mature because God grows us; we reach the end because he keeps us (1 Corinthians 1:7–9).

When pride deludes us into thinking we are the author of some gift or victory, one question can snap us back to reality: “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). When we cannot take ultimate credit for anything, we can finally give thanks for everything. All of life becomes a gift of grace, a reason for praise.

4. All things are already yours.

All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future — all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. (1 Corinthians 3:21–23)

We find pride persuasive for a reason. For a moment at least, pride gives us what we’ve grasped for: the admiration of our peers, the eyes of passing admirers, the laughter of the crowd, the pleasure of being part of the in-group. But the purchase is costlier than it appears, for pride offers us something only in exchange for all things.

D.A. Carson explains the startling logic behind Paul’s simple statement “all things are yours”: “If we truly belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God, then we belong to God. . . . Everything belongs to our heavenly Father, and we are his children; so everything belongs to us” (The Cross and Christian Ministry, 87).

When pride tells us that we are deprived of some good thing, Christians remember that our Father owns all things, and will so arrange our circumstances so that we can say with David, “I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). When Christians indulge their pride, we are like a prince who scrambles for a two-acre lot in his father’s kingdom, forgetting all that his father owns is already his.

Pride offers us something, but only for a moment. God offers to work all things now for our good and, in the end, to give us the whole earth (Matthew 5:5; Romans 8:16–17). For we belong to Christ. Christ, as the Son of the Father, belongs to God. And God owns the world. “Let the humble hear and be glad” (Psalm 34:2).



from Desiring God http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/10732/12914385
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Monday, October 21, 2019

Should Stay-at-Home Moms Take a Day Off?

Should Stay-at-Home Moms Take a Day Off?

With all the demands on our time, how can young families pace themselves to run the marathon of life without burning out halfway through?

Listen Now



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愛の晩餐会

デンマーク映画「バベットの晩餐会」は、フランスから海沿いのある村へ亡命してきた女性が、14年間家政婦として働いた宗教指導者の家で、晩餐会の料理を作る話です。バベットは大金が手に入ったと言って豪華な食材を取り寄せ、フランス料理を村の宗教指導者である姉妹と教会の12人に振舞うのです。

コース料理がひとつずつ運ばれるたびに、客はなごんでいきます。赦される人、冷えた愛を再生させる人、子どもの頃に体験した奇跡や聖書の教えを思い出す人。彼らは「幼子たちよ、互いに愛し合いなさいと、あの頃、教えられたね」と語り合います。食事の後、バベットは全財産を食材に使ったと姉妹に打ち明けます。そのお金で祖国に戻り、パリの有名なシェフという元の立場に戻ることもできたのに、バベットは、友人たちが食事をともにして心を開き合う可能性のために、すべてをささげたのです。

イエスはよそ者、そして僕(しもべ)として地上に来られ、すべてをささげられました。私たちの霊の飢えを満たすためです。荒野をさまよった昔のイスラエル人は、神の与えたマナとうずらで一時的に飢えをしのいだけれど(出16章)、今、イエスを「いのちのパン」として受け取る人は、永遠に「死ぬことがない」とイエスは約束されました(ヨハ6:48、51)。イエスの犠牲は、私たちの霊の飢えを満たしてくれます。


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