2011-01-31

Eat, Drink & Enjoy - A Reflection on Sunday's Chinese New Year Message

Chinese New Year is just around the corner. Our Mandarin Service Pastor Jack Ng gave a message on "Eat, Drink and Enjoy". Here is my learning and reflection on his message.

We are free to enjoy the Good things
As Believers of Jesus Christ, we are free to do all things. But not all things are profitable and not all things build others up 1 Corinthians 10:23. Devil is good at distorting a good appetite and tempting us to sin (See Christian Warfare and the Devil's Strategies for more). With this caution, we are free to eat, drink and enjoy to refresh and build oneself and others up.

1. Eating - Eat the Right Thing for Good Health
We must learn to eat the right thing for a healthy and victorious life. We are the outcome of what we eat.

We starts with eating vegetables and fruits at the creation. In Gen 9, God allowed us to eat meat. The first sin is about eating the wrong thing - eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of discernment of good and evil (see Christianity Knowledge Tree of Good and Evil, Knowledge Tree of Good and Evil - Looking from Tree of Life). 
The quarrel in Acts 6:1 was about the unfair distribution of food. Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of read bean soup. Isaac was fooled by mutton soup and Jacob's deception. We must learn to choose and eat the good things.

The Good Food - Source of Health and Healing
Chinese traditional medicine (TCM) teach about Biomimicry - the science of learning from the lives and behavior of animals. Typical of Chinese, we talk about food first. TCM teaches 以形补形;以脏补脏 Using the Form to benefit the Form, the organ to benefit organ. To strengthen the human heart, Chinese recommends eating the hearts of animals such as pigs. To strengthen the kidney, eats pig's kidney. If anyone lack intelligence, please eat pig's brain. The medical subject is actually more refined and deeper. TCM knew long ago (so did the Bible) about the production of blood comes from the bone marrow and hence uses goat's spine cooked in porridge with dates for strengthening blood production system. TCM believes in eating to bring healing and to have health. 唐代医学家孙思邈 《备急千金要方卷第二十六·食治》 安身之本,必须于食,不知食疗者,不足以全生”、“食能排邪而安脏腑,悦情爽志,以资气血”、

Healing by control of food intake have been discovered by western medicines only recently and were effective in the healing of cancers and other sicknesses.

To Be Like Jesus - Eat the Bread of Life -Jesus: God's Words

But what has this eating got to do with the Bible? The principle is we become what we eat. Hence to be like Jesus, we eat Jesus! In John 6:51, Jesus said He is the living bread from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever. The bread that he gives for life is his flesh! This concept is quite natural to Chinese. Eating Jesus means believing in Him and following Him and partaking of His character. It is fellowship with Jesus and abiding in Jesus. it is about receiving Jesus into us - Christ in Us. It comes by eating His Words. Matthew 4:4 teaches us the bread of God is the Word of God. Jer 15:16 tells us that God's words are sweet joy and a delight of the heart - notice, not body but heart, of soul and spirit. We are a tripartite person- body, soul and spirit. All must be fed to be a whole and healthy person. (see The Tripartite Man).


Drink the Water of Life - Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
The Story of the Woman at the Well John 4 tell us spiritual thirst cannot be cured by fleshy water but by the true life of the Spirit of God - the living water.  We are not to be drunk with wine but be filled with the Spirit Eph 5:18. The rock, signifying Jesus, was broken (signifying the death on the cross) to give out the living water (signifying the Holy Spirit) to quench the thirsts of men. The cure of sinful lusts and temptations is not to think about the desires but seek after and yield to the Spirit and thereby producing the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control etc. It is about focusing on, drinking from, the Spirit.

Enjoy the All things with Accountability
Ecc 8:15 commends us to eat, drink and be joyful all the days of our life that God has given us under the sun! There is only one consideration, be accountable to God Ecc 12:13. The good things to enjoy for us are

  1. Joy of Relationships - with God and with one another. John 14:3
  2. Joy of Serving Mat 25:21
  3. Joy of Friendship Rom 15:24
  4. Joy of Worship & Praise Ps 63:5
In this Chinese New Year season, eat, drink and be merry wisely and have a true prosperous(in body, soul and spirit and relationships) new year.

2 comments:

Robert Hagedorn said...

But what IS the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Do a search: THE FIRST SCANDAL.

Cate said...

Thank you. Can you please tell me the meaning of this phrase (in your paragraph about TCM):
安身之本,必须于食