June 6, 2024

A Yokefellow’s Chronicle – Amazingly Loved!

Pastor Amos Lee

I celebrated my 70th this month and the highlight of that milestone was being invited back to my church, the Chinese Independent Baptist Church San Francisco, for a surprise Birthday Lunch. (The ploy was that I was to share my testimony at their Love Feast.) I had retired from the church the end of last year (2016) after serving there for a little over 21 years.

I was deeply touched by their gesture. I was feted with broiled salmon, tofu and corn, steamed boneless chicken with black fungus and lotus soup. However, it was not so much the food because they were all my favorites and common fare, but the special ingredient – love – they used to prepare them. They did it especially for me, tailored to my dietary needs (low salt!). I felt a little embarrassed by it all and felt so unworthy because all I had done for them as their pastor over the years had been what I was supposed to do as their under shepherd – loving them the best way I know how as God would have loved them; leading them in ministry as the Lord opened doors for us as an inner city church; teaching and equipping them the truth of God’s Word; and, living out what I had taught them. I had determined earlier in my call as a minister of the Gospel was that I was to be sold out to Christ and to His cause – no entitlement, only a servant’s heart to serve Him! At the end of the day, it is: “I have only done my duty!” (Luke 17:10)

I was floored by their love for me. But, CIBC San Francisco has always been a church that loves. I experienced first hand the way they cared for me after I had retired while I was recovering from open-heart surgery for a congenital issue I had. It has learned to look after their shepherd and continue learning to be true to what the Bible teaches about the way shepherds are to be treated. The church has been generous according to its means. It has learned the principle that “a worker is worthy of his hire” (a pastor is not a hireling and should never be treated as one) (I Timothy 5:18), to be treated fairly as to the provision of his needs and those of his family (I Corinthians 9:14); that those who serve among them, especially those who teach and preach are worthy of double honor (I Timothy 5:17); that to respect, highly esteem and love those who serve among them is what Christians should do (I Thessalonians 5:12-13); and, that obeying their leaders and treating their pastor right, works for the good of the church (Hebrews 13:17) and for His Kingdom work.

Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35) I believe the love for each other includes loving your pastor.

October is “Clergy Appreciation Month”. Make the truth of the Word a reality for your lives as you live out what is taught in the Word this month and every month. Go love your Pastor! Let the world know, you are a disciple of Christ!

同軛手記 – 承蒙厚愛、滿懷驚訝

本月份(10月) 是我70歲的生日。「70」是一個完整的數字,同時,它也標誌著人生一個新的里程。但我感到非常高興的是能夠回到自己的教會(三藩市華人自立浸信會) 渡過這70歲的生日。感謝教會弟兄姊妹對我的厚愛! 他們精心策劃,在我不知道的情況下,為我預備「慶祝生日午餐會」。10月1 日,我被邀請出席全教會性的「愛筵」和在其中分享見証。就在「愛筵」進行中,在我意想不到之下,眾人為我唱起生日快樂的歌曲,令我既驚喜又感動。感謝神的恩典,我能在這個屬靈的大家庭中與弟兄姊妹一起相處共聚,稍稍超過21個年頭,直至2016年年底退休。為這份主內深厚的情誼我感謝神! 更感謝他們那份愛牧者的心懷!

他們煮上我最喜愛的食物,有 : 焗三文魚、粟米煮豆腐、 荷葉蒸雞和蓮藕湯等。令我最感動的,不單只是食物本身,更是他們用愛心炮製,特別為我預備。所有食物都是低鹽的,絕對適宜我進食。

事實上,我在他們中間牧養多年,我只是盡我所能地去愛他們,學效神愛他們一樣,這是我該做的本份,沒有什麼可誇。如今,他們為我所預備的一切,實在令我有愧。我只是按我最初蒙召的心志: 作主的僕人,做好我的本分而已。正如路加福音17章10節,說:“ …所做的本是我們應分做的 。”

三藩市華人自立浸信會是一間充滿愛的教會。我被他們的厚愛完全淹沒了! 當我接受心臟手術後的那段期間,我親身經歴到他們無比的厚愛。他們按著聖經的教導和原則肯定牧者是配得他們的工價 (提前5:18)“因為經上說:牛在場上踹穀的時候 ,不可籠住他的嘴;又說:工人得工價是應當的 。”; 供應牧者的需要是當然的 (林前 9:14) “主也是這樣命定,叫傳福音的靠著福音養生。”;以敬重的態度對待牧者 (提前 5:17) “那善於管理教會的長老,當以為配受加倍的敬奉。那勞苦傳道教導人的,更當如此。”;格外尊敬牧者 (帖前 5:12-13)“弟兄們,我們勸你們敬重那在你們中間勞苦的人,就是在主裡面治理你們、勸戒你們的。又因他們所做的工,用愛心格外尊重他們。”;順從牧者的教導及好好對待他們,這是對㑹眾有益處 (來 13:17) “你們要依從那些引導你們的,且要順服;因他們為你們的靈魂時刻儆 醒,好像那將來交賬的人。你們要使他們交的時候有快樂,不至憂愁;若憂愁就 與你們無益了。” 他們在對待牧者上真的活生生地活出了聖經!

主耶穌在約翰福音 13章34至35節,說: “我賜給你們一條新命令,乃是叫你們彼此相愛;我怎樣愛你們,你們也要怎樣相愛。你們若有彼此相愛的心,眾人因此就認出你們是我的門徒了。”


10月份是「向牧者致敬月」。不單在10月,並在每一個月的生命中,願你們切實活出神的話! 更多愛護和敬重你們的牧者,讓世界知道,你們是主的門徒!