我存在,
因為我愛你。
這就是神希望我們存在的方式。

 

 

2014.11.30  首位被選召的使徒:安得烈紀念主日

 

約翰福音1:35-51

「再次日,約翰同兩個門徒站在那裡。他見耶穌行走,就說:看哪!這是神的羔羊!兩個門徒聽見他的話,就跟從了耶穌。耶穌轉過身來,看見他們跟著,就問他們說:你們要什麼?他們說:拉比,在哪裡住?(拉比翻出來就是夫子。)耶穌說:你們來看。他們就去看他在哪裡住,這一天便與他同住;那時約有申正了。聽見約翰的話跟從耶穌的那兩個人,一個是西門彼得的兄弟安得烈。他先找著自己的哥哥西門,對他說:我們遇見彌賽亞了。(彌賽亞翻出來就是基督。)於是領他去見耶穌。耶穌看著他,說:你是約翰的兒子西門(約翰在馬太16:17稱約拿),你要稱為磯法。(磯法翻出來就是彼得。)又次日,耶穌想要往加利利去,遇見腓力,就對他說:來跟從我吧。這腓力是伯賽大人,和安得烈、彼得同城。腓力找著拿但業,對他說:摩西在律法上所寫的和眾先知所記的那一位,我們遇見了,就是約瑟的兒子拿撒勒人耶穌。拿但業對他說:拿撒勒還能出什麼好的嗎?腓力說:你來看!耶穌看見拿但業來,就指著他說:看哪,這是個真以色列人,他心裡是沒有詭詐的。拿但業對耶穌說:你從哪裡知道我呢?耶穌回答說:腓力還沒有招呼你,你在無花果樹底下,我就看見你了。拿但業說:拉比,你是神的兒子,你是以色列的王!耶穌對他說:因為我說在無花果樹底下看見你,你就信嗎?你將要看見比這更大的事;又說:我實實在在的告訴你們,你們將要看見天開了,神的使者上去下來在人子身上。」

 

 

李亮神父講道:

 

我們很開心今天有許多新朋友和學生與我們一起聚會。因為在場多數都還不是基督徒,所以今天講道內容不是典型的福音書。首先想讓各位知道的是,今天你們淺嚐了、體會了最原初最古老的基督教會。我會這樣說是因為我是來自希臘的帕特雷島(Patros),那裡也是安得烈被釘十架的地方,而他是基督所選召的第一個使徒。當地尚保有安得烈的墳墓、監獄、部分遺骨等。安得烈最後被釘上一個像是X型的十字架,這是為何大學和公共建築上,都會有這個聖安得烈十字架的交叉符號,在英格蘭、蘇格蘭旗幟上也同樣可見這個聖安得烈十字架。

 

很有意思的是安德烈這個字的希臘字意思就是勇敢;安得烈是個很勇敢的人,當耶穌走過去的時候,有兩個人就跟從了祂,其中之一就是安德烈。但他們有點不好意思和祂說話,所以耶穌就轉而和他們說話,問:「你們要什麼」。有趣的是他們問耶穌:「拉比,在哪裡住?」耶穌對他們說:「你們來看。」爾後,當腓力叫拿但業時也再次地說:「你來看」。

 

今天,同樣地,你們來看。你們雖然沒有在這裡的任何地方,用肉眼看見耶穌本身,但我們相信祂就在這裡。有許多聖潔之人像是聖徒可在聖禮儀中看見祂,就如同我的屬靈父親St. Porphyrios。然而我們可以看見的,是祂的聖體和祂的寶血,它們並不是象徵,它們是生命、是活的生命。(另外,在本週二、週三、週五和週六,我們都會舉行聖禮儀,像是我們今日所舉行的,週六則會有人受洗)。

 

這很重要,當安得烈和這些人與耶穌在一起、談話時,他們與他人分享所發現的事情。安得烈跑去告訴他的弟兄彼得,說他遇到了彌賽亞。你也可在腓力和拿但業身上看見同樣的事。腓力說:「摩西在律法上所寫的和眾先知所記的那一位,我們遇見了。」腓力就是告訴拿但業我們遇到了彌賽亞(約翰福音1:43-51)。

 

很重要的是,他們並非說:「我們找到真理」或是「發現一個新的理論」。在場的許多學生,也是我的同學,我們一起學習無非是希望可以發現一些學問,如果要取得博士學位更是如此;但是這裡所指的不是這樣的學問。真理就是一個「人」(person),不是一個抽象的想法或理論,這個「人」(person)就是一切真理。

 

所以現在我要告訴你們-我在這裡做的是什麼,以及你來這裡是為了看什麼。難道是我的衣服嗎?這線香?還是這教會中的其他細節?就好像有些人問我為什麼聖像前的花是紅色、白色一樣。不是的,這些完全不是來教會的重點。我們來這裡,我們預備一切,因為聖禮儀是運行於社會性的存在之中(a social way of existing)。每個人從家中或是工作崗位來到這裡,我們現在來到同樣的時空中。我們看著彼此,站在彼此身旁。現在我們首先把自己帶到主前。我們也將我們所愛的人獻上,那些活著、也包括那些我們永遠摯愛的逝者。不僅如此,我們還將宇宙萬物與我們一起帶到主前。

 

所以聖禮儀不像是劇場裡的表演,好像觀眾拿票、劃位去看看發生什麼事。我們是全體一起行禮。這是為何首先由會眾帶來了餅和酒,你會看見我拿著它們走過整個教堂。我其實大可一開始就放於祭壇上。這是因為透過我的手,我們一起將餅和酒獻上。這像是划龍舟一樣,那裡有個人指揮,而其他人划槳。

 

我們要到哪裡去?事實上我們要去的地方,是我們真正存在之處。我們去到我們與萬物的合一之中。因為基督教不是一種宗教,至少東正教不是宗教。它是教會(ecclesia),意指「眾人在耶穌基督的同在中聚集」。所以我們向神獻上整個宇宙,一個東正教司祭不能自己舉行聖禮儀,因著信徒的回應,司祭的禱告才能完成。聖禮儀是最具社會性的活動,我們向神獻上宇宙萬物、獻上我們自己,也向神獻上彼此。然後神,天父接納這樣的奉獻。

 

你可能會問:「我們為什麼要獻祭?」不是因為想要賄賂神,若你懂點哲學,你可能知道禮物的哲學意義。我們給予、我們獻祭是出於愛。我們獻上餅酒,代表宇宙萬物,因為宇宙沒有四肢,也沒有心智,它們無法自己來到神面前。所以獻祭的意義就是愛、就是將分離的連結起來。因為我們在時空中是隔離的,這樣的分離並不好。

 

然後父神接納這樣的獻祭,聖靈改變這餅與酒,成為聖子的聖體與寶血。所以我們先祈求聖靈改變這餅與酒,之後接著祈求使我們合而為一,這是很重要的。你看看散佈在天花板各處的這些燈泡,(雖然這個比喻不全然正確,但可藉著比喻,讓人較容易明白)。你看這些燈泡,當電通了,就有光。但假如我們關掉電源,燈泡就不亮了。

 

所以在兩千多年前,神以一個獨特的方法,藉著道成肉身(Incarnation)降世為人。而今在每次的聖禮儀中,祂也同樣道成肉身。這是耶穌基督同一次的道成肉身,不是新的道成肉身。為什麼祂要成為人?因為祂愛我們,瘋狂地愛著。如果你愛著某個人,你會想要親吻他、擁抱他,想要與他合一。

 

基督教不是一種哲學思想,不是要你吸收神的教導。如果只是吸收教導,神直接從天上交給人類一本聖經,叫我們把聖經吃掉就好,沒有道理需要降世為人,也不需設立聖餐,更不需囑咐世人「吃我肉,喝我血」(約翰福音6:54)。藉著聖餐,神與我們成為一體,變得如此靠近,無人能如此靠近我們。甚至夫妻之間也無法如此親近。聖餐也使我們彼此連合。我們並沒有同樣的父親,如何能說我們是弟兄姐妹呢?那是因為現在我們有同樣來自基督的血緣。所以聖餐不是一件個人性的儀式。若我領受聖餐,我不只是領受神,我也與你合而為一。此外,領受聖餐不只是神走向我們,向我們敞開雙臂;我們也敞開自己接受了神,倘若我們不願領受祂,祂當然不會強迫我們。

 

在華人社會中,有一個很大的難題就是不願意敞開自己。你們當中若有學過心理學,可能知道在中文中有150種字眼提到罪惡(guilt);而有113種字眼提到羞恥(shame)。心理研究結果的統計顯示一個華人孩童才二歲大就已經明白羞恥的概念;而同齡的美國孩童則只有百分之二十的孩子明白。就好像是愛斯基摩人整天周圍都是冰雪,他們有七十種字可以用來描述冰雪。為何中文有這麼多字詞都和羞恥有關,顯見在華人文化中最重要的感受之一就是羞恥。

 

我所談論的,不是因為你做了壞事,而應該感覺到的那種健康的羞恥。我談論的是另一種不必要的、不健康的羞恥。因為羞恥意味著害怕,害怕敞開自己。為什麼?因為你害怕有人會說你的英文不夠好,或者害怕有人會說你沒有符合某種理想的形象,是嗎?這就是害怕存在(the fear of existence)。如果不敞開自己,向別人封閉自己,是因為你害怕別人會看見你的軟弱、疾病。這疾病就是你不願意敞開自己。

 

聖餐是我們向神敞開自己。有人會問:「為什麼我們應該領受聖餐?」這樣的問題也許顯出這人沒有敞開自己,我可能會反問他:「那麼為什麼你要親吻男(女)朋友或配偶呢?」在華人文化中,人們會說:「我們是不親吻的。」在我的語言學校中,我曾被教導說「我愛你」這樣的話是不妥當的,不應該說出口,只應該擺在心裡就可以了。這樣的人心如同一座墓園,沒有人能夠一直待在那裏,否則就像是鬼魅一般了。

 

在這裡我們向神敞開,是神先向我們敞開,而我們也向他敞開。藉著接受神,我們也接受了每個人。有人可能會對我說:「我不相信神。」我們日後會再談這個主題,這不是現在三言兩語可以說得清楚。但是我要向你說的是,你心中一定有某種「相信」。你們在場多數人可能沒有信仰,但無論你是否有信仰,你們都「相信」你們明天將會到學校上課。但對於那些懂數學的人,就知道無人能有此把握。因為我們每個人都是一個非常複雜的系統。在數學算式中,我們無法解出三組條件,來得到平衡方程式,所以我們只能求取近似值。想一想,在我們的體內有億萬分子各自發揮作用,然而我卻能確定我明天能去上學。這不就是一種「相信」嗎?它的確是。

 

當我們論及東正教的神,我們不是在說一個抽象的力量,而是論及「位格」(person),是有關家庭,有關團契(Community)。何謂團契?就是聖父、聖子及聖靈。我們說的不是一個抽象的神,這是愛的團契、是共融(communion)之愛、是共存(coexistence)。何謂共存?當你今天離開這裡,你可能喜歡我,也可能不喜歡我,但是我仍然存在,對我沒有影響,因為我的存在是基於我的生物體-我的肉體和我護照上的身分。但這不是一種好的存在模式,這並非共存。聖三一能讓我們明白真正的共存,因為當聖三之中任何一位不存在—聖父不存在、或聖子不存在,或聖靈不存在—神就不存在,一切就結束了。所以你現在明白,愛成為生命;這是為什麼神降世為人,那是賜給人性的一份贈禮。人性原是善的,但我們卻抓傷了它,使它不潔。所以神子成為人,取了肉身,使我們的肉身變得更好,使我們所有人合而為一。許多的人,共同成為一個身體—耶穌基督的身體。

 

你應明白,神不想要我們停止存在。而在東方,持有相反的理論:你必須一切成空。就像是一滴水,滴入一條河,水滴就不見了。佛教的大師龍樹(Nagarjuna),他認為拯救確實存在,但你無法找到那個獲得拯救的人。基督教則使用聖三一的方式,認為我存在是因為我愛你。這樣的愛,在耶穌基督的身體中,成為生命。所以真正的人命不是我們身體的生理機能。不管機器人指令多先進,我們都不是有邏輯的機器人。我們存在是因為我們在這個愛的團契中去愛,在聖禮儀中去愛。

 

我想講道到此需要告一段落,讓我們可以用餐。如果你願意,可以留下來,彼此交談,我很樂意和大家可以談談。非常謝謝大家,願  神祝福我們。

 

*********************

 

東正教會簡介:

http://theological.asia/taiwan-orthodox/

 

紀錄: Baker教授

翻譯: 張奉書

 

Photo: Candida.Performa

http://goo.gl/Nr5G3K

 

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2014.11.30 Andrew the First-Called Apostle – The Community of Love

 

St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 4:9-16   BRETHREN, God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off-scouring of all things. I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.

The Gospel of John 1:35-52   At that time, John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “Where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).   The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And he found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! ” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

 

 

Fr. Jonah’s Sermon:

 

Today we are so happy to have so many people and so many students with us. So I was thinking of not giving a typical sermon about the Gospel because most of you are not even Christians, but just to let you know that today you have had a taste of the very original, the first Christianity. Why? Because, you know, I come from the Greek island of Patros, where St. Andrew, the first of the disciples called by Christ, was crucified. We have his grave there, his prison, and his relics – not all, but part of his relics. He was crucified in a cross like an X, which is why the university and all the public buildings have this [diagonal] St. Andrew’s cross, which is the same that you see in the flags of England and Scotland.

It is very interesting that the Greek word for Andrew means brave, and he was brave because Jesus went and there were some who followed Him, though they were a little embarrassed to speak to him. So Jesus turned and said, “What do you want?” And it is interesting that they asked Jesus, “Where do you stay? Where do you live?” because Jesus had said to them, “Come and see.” And later, when again Philip called Nathanael,[1] he said, “Come and see.”

Today you came to see, to see the same thing. Yes, you don’t, see Jesus himself somewhere, although we believe [He is here] and there are holy people like saints who see him in the Liturgy, like St. Porphyrios, my spiritual father. And on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday we will have Litugy, [as we did today], and on Saturday someone will be baptized. But we see his body and his blood. They are not symbols: it’s life; it’s living.

And it is very important that when Andrew and these men stayed and talked with Christ, they shared what they found with others. Peter and Andrew ran to their brother and said, “Waa! We found the Messiah!” And you see the same thing with Phillip and Nathanael; he said, “We found the Messiah!”

It is very important that they did not say, “We found the truth,” or “We made a discovery and found a new theory.” You all study, and I study as your classmate, and we hope to make some discovery, as you must if you go for a PhD. But it is very different here. The truth is a person; it is not an abstract idea or theory. And about this person is everything.

So now I will talk to you about what we are doing here and what you came to see here. Is it my clothes and the incense or other details of the church, as some people have asked me why are the flowers white or red? No, this is not it at all. We came and we prepared because the Liturgy is something that works in a social way of existing. Everybody was in his house or his business, but now we come to the same place and the same time. And we see each other, and we stand next to each other. Now we bring ourselves first. We bring the people that we love, those who are living and those we will love forever even though they are dead. And we bring all the universe with us.

So the Liturgy is not a performance, as in a theater, where you have a ticket and your seat and you see what is going on. We do it all together. This is why first the people bring the bread and wine and you see that I took it through the whole church. I could have put it here on the altar from the very beginning and not done all that walking around. It is because we bring it all together through my hands, the hands of the priest. It is like the dragon boat, where there is somebody who gives the orders and the others are pulling the oars.

And where do we go? We go actually to where we really exist. WE go to our union a unity with everything. Because, you see, Christianity is not a religion; at least the Orthodox Church is not. It is this ecclesia, which means the gathering of the people in the presence of Jesus Christ. So we are offering all the universe to God because an Orthodox priest cannot do the Orthodox Liturgy alone – cannot – because you finish my prayers. The Liturgy is the most social event that exists and as that happens we are offering all of the universe and ourselves to God, and to each other. Then God the Father accepts this offering.

You may ask, “Why do we offer?” It is not because we want to bribe God. If you know a little bit of philosophy, you may know something about the philosophy of the gift. We give because of love. We give also because this universe does not have legs, does not have the mind to go to God. So this is the meaning of offering, which is love, uniting what is separated. Because we are separated in space and time, and this separation is not a good thing.

Then we have something more,.God the Father accepts this and then the Holy Spirit changes this bread and this wine into His Son. So we ask the Holy Spirit to change the bread and the wine, and also do a second thing: to make us one. So this is important. You see here the lights in the ceiling. (From one point of view this analogy is not accurate, but it gives you a small example.) You see here, when the electricity comes, there is the same electricity to everything and there is light. But if I turn it off, the bulb is nothing.

So God become human. He became human once before in a very unique way through the Incarnation. And He becomes in this way in every Liturgy. It is the same way that Jesus Christ had; it is not a new incarnation. Why does He become human? (I do not know if you know this, but I would like to talk about it later.) He loves us; it is so crazy. If you love someone, you want to kiss them, to embrace them, for the bodies to be united.

Christianity is not a philosophy, and does not want to you to absorb the teaching of God. If it was like that, there would have been no reason for God to become human. And if you wanted to eat something, you could eat the Gospel: buy a book and eat the book. But God wants us to become one flesh, to become so close to that there is no one else so close. Even the husband and wife, they cannot be so close. And it is to unite us. How can we say we are brothers since we don’t have the same father, right? But, Yes, now we have the same blood, the blood of Jesus Christ. So the Holy Communion is not an individualistic thing. If I receive, then I receive also not only for God, but to become one with you. And there is something more, because it is not only God coming to us, it is an opening: we open to accept Him because if I don’t want Him, He will not force me, of course.

This is a very big problem in Chinese society, which is not open. For those of you who study psychology, you may know that there are one hundred fifty ways in Chinese to speak about guilt, and one hundred and thirteen way to express shame. And the statistics and results of psychological studies show that a Chinese kid of two years old already knows what shame is, but an American kid of this age does not understand, only twenty percent do. Why are there so many ways to say the word shame, like with Eskimos, who are always with snow, they have about seventy words to express snow. It seems that the most important feeling in Chinese culture is shame.

I’m not talking about feeling shame because you did something bad, but shame means fear, fear of opening myself. Why? Because somebody will say you don’t speak good English, you are not so good as you are supposed to be, right? This is the fear of existence. Instead of opening, you close to the others because you are afraid they will see your disease. What is this? It is the disease is that you are not opening. So this is the Holy Communion. It is our opening to God. Some people ask “Why should we receive the Holy Communion?” This may show that the person cannot open because I could ask them why would you kiss your girlfriend or your wife or your boyfriend. In Chinese culture, people may say, “We don’t kiss.” Or as they taught us when I went to language school, we shouldn’t say “I love you,” it’s not a good word. We say we have it in our hearts. This means your heart is like a graveyard. But things cannot stay in the grave always, because then they become like ghosts.

So here we open to God. God opens to us first, and then we open to Him also. And by accepting God, we accept everybody. Somebody may say to me, “I don’t believe in God.” I will say to you, there is a very big discussion about this and we cannot speak about it now. But I would say to you that you must believe in something. Whether you have religion, and most of you do not, you believe that tomorrow you will go to your school. But for those, who know mathematics, this is not true at all. Why, because we are a very complex system. If in mathematics we cannot solve the problem of three bodies, to solve the equations of where they will go, we cannot, so we must have approximations. Imagine all the billions of molecules in my bodies functioning, and yet I am sure that I will go to school tomorrow, the same school as you go to. Is this a belief? Yes, it is.

When we talk about God in Orthodoxy, we are not talking about an abstract power. But we speak about “persons,” about a family, about a community. What community? It is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We do not speak about an abstract of God. And this community of love, this communion of love, this coexistence. What is coexistence? When you leave here today, you may like me or you may not like me, but I still exist; it does not matter to me because I take my existence from my biology – my body, and my passport. This is not a good type of existence because you can see in the Holy Trinity, if the Father leaves or the Son leaves or the Holy Spirit leaves, it is finished, over. So, you see now that the love becomes life, and this is why God became human; it is to give to our human nature, which is good but we scratched it and made it dirty. So He becomes human. The Son of God becomes human, and takes the flesh and makes my flesh better and unites us all. Many persons, but one body. The body of Jesus Christ.

I hope that I did not make you very confused. But you should understand this because God does not want us to stop existing. In the East, it is the opposite, you must dissolve, right? It is like a river and you put a drop of water into it, the drop disappears. Nagarjuna, the Buddhist philosopher says that there is salvation, but you cannot find the person who is saved. Christianity uses the way of the Trinity, saying that I exist because I love you. And this love, which is in the body of Jesus Christ, becomes life. So the real life is not our biological functions. We are not logical robots, no matter what the philosophy of robots says. We exist because we love, in this loving community, in the Liturgy.

I think I must stop here so we can eat. And then if you want, you can stay and talk more, and I will be very glad to have a good conversation. And we will also have liturgy on Tuesday at 12:30…[details about the liturgies in the following week] Thank you so much and may God bless all of us.

 

Recorder: Prof. Baker

 


[1] John 1:43-51

 

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