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荒 漠 甘 泉Streams in the Desert(Dec 25 )

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Dec 25

“His name shall be called Emmanuel. . .God with us.” (Matt. 1:23)

“The Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6)

A few years ago a striking Christmas card was published, with the title, “If Christ had not come.” It was founded upon our Saviour's words, “If I had not come.” (Jn.15:22) The card represented a clergyman falling into a short sleep in his study on Christmas morning and dreaming of a world into which Jesus had never come.

In his dream he found himself looking through his home, but there were no little stockings in the chimney corner, no Christmas bells or wreaths of holly, and no Christ to comfort, gladden and save. He walked out on the public street, but there was no church with its spire pointing to Heaven. He came back and sat down in his library, but every book about the Saviour had disappeared.

A ring at the door-bell, and a messenger asked him to visit a poor dying mother. He hastened with, the weeping child and as he reached the home he sat down and said, "I have something here that will comfort you." He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise, but it ended at Malachi, and there was no gospel and no promise of hope and salvation, and he could only bow his head and weep with her in bitter despair.

Two days afterward he stood beside her coffin and conducted the funeral service, but there was no message of consolation, no word of a glorious resurrection, no open Heaven, but only "dust to dust, ashes to ashes," and one long eternal farewell. He realized at length that "He had not come," and burst into tears and bitter weeping in his sorrowful dream.

Suddenly he woke with a start, and a great shout of joy and praise burst from his lips as he heard his choir singing in his church close by:

“O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,

O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;

Come and behold Him, born the King of Angels,

O come let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.”

Let us be glad and rejoice today, because “He has come.” And let us remember the annunciation of the angel, “Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)

“He comes to make His blessing flow,

Far as the curse is found.”

May our hearts go out to the people in heathen lands who have no blessed Christmas day. “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and SEND PORTIONS TO THEM FOR WHOM NOTHING IS PREPARED.” (Neh. 8:10)

十二月二十五日

“人要称祂的名为以马内利”。(太一:23)

“祂名称为奇妙,策士,全能的神,永在的父,和平的君”。 (赛九:6)

数年前,坊间发行过一张异于寻常的圣诞卡片,标题是:“假若基督没来”。它源出于我们救主的一句话:“我若没有来”。(约15:22)卡上描述某个圣诞节早晨,有位牧师在书房里睡了一会儿,梦见耶稣从未到过的一个世界。

  他在梦中环顾自己的家室,壁炉角落里没有长袜,没有圣诞铃或冬青花圈,没有基督的安慰,喜悦和救赎。他走到大街,也看不到指向天国的教堂尖阁。他回来坐在书房里,但每一本有关救主的书都不见了。

  门铃响了,有个孩子来请他去看望那将断气的可怜母亲。他急忙跟着那啼哭的孩子赶去,到了那里,他坐下来说道:“我这儿有点东西能安慰你”。他打开圣经,想找一句熟悉的诺言,但圣经只写到玛拉基书,没有福音,没有希望和救世的诺言,他只能垂着头和她一同在痛苦的绝望中哭泣。

  两天后,他站在她棺材旁,主持葬仪,但是找不到安慰亡灵的唁词,没有光荣复活的字句,没有敞开天堂的言语,只要“尘归于尘,土归于土”,和遥遥无期的永别。他终于明白“祂未曾来到”,于是泪如泉涌,在那悲哀的梦中痛苦起来。

  他突然惊醒,听道他的唱班正在教堂里歌唱,于是发出了一声欣喜和赞美的欢呼。

齊來!宗主信徒,快樂又歡欣,

齊來!一齊來!,大家上伯利恆;

來朝見聖嬰,新生王已降臨,

齊來崇拜我主基督。

  让我们今天快乐欢欣,因为“祂已来临”。让我们记得天使的通告:“我报给你们的大喜的信息,是关于万民的,因今天在大卫的城里,为你们生了救主,就是基督。”(路2:10-11)

“ 祂来使祂的祝福漫溢着遭受咒诅的所有地面。”

  愿我们关心那些住在邪教区域的人民,他们没有幸福的圣诞节。“你们去吃肥美的,喝甘甜的,有不能预备的,就分给他。”(尼8:10)
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