By David Jasper
18 Sep 2011 Sunday
Presider: Pastor Jessica Wang
Good morning, my dear brothers and sisters, welcome to Haidian Church. I’m very happy today when I saw the worship team on the stage and I was very touched because there are two moms, one is Lesley and her son, she comes from UK and her son comes to visit her and they are going to serve together. And the other mom is Cinia, she is going to be a new mom and today she and her child are standing on the stage to worship our God together. So how about this. We can see that we worship our God, and we even invite our families to come to worship our God. How about letting us greet each other and say hello to each other? If you are a regular attendant, please shake hands to the new members and welcome them to the church.
Let’s bow down and pray and give thanks to our Lord and praise His name.
Dear Lord, our heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, thank you so much for calling us to come here today to praise you and worship you. Lord, you are almighty God, you are powerful God, you are King of the kings, Lord of lords. We want to give thanks to you, show praise to you, because you are almighty God, you are our Savior and you are our King. Today we want to invite you to come to us and let us feel your presence. Today we come in front of you, we want to confess our sins. May our Lord, Jesus Christ purify us and clean us. Lord, we want to lift all brothers and sisters here in your hands, and please be with them, and please speak to them, and please touch their hearts. Lord, we want to give our burden to you. Lord, we want to ask you to let us feel your presence. Lord, I want to lift up the host team and worship team in your hands, please be with them, and strengthen them, let them know that you are almighty God, only you are worth praising and worshiping. Lord, I want to lift up today’s Pastor in your hands, and please anoint him and give him your wisdom and your words, let all of us be touched by your love and power, let us see that Lord you work with us, and Lord you will be in our life, and Lord you will change our life, let all of us see your glory, we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Worship song: Jesus, Thank You
|Chorus||Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You
The Father's wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank You
|Verse 1||The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend
The agonies of Calvary
You the perfect Holy One, crushed Your Son
Drank the bitter cup reserved for me
|Verse 2||By Your perfect sacrifice I've been brought near
Your enemy You've made Your friend
Pouring out the riches of Your glorious grace
Your mercy and Your kindness know no end
|Bridge||Lover of my soul
I want to live for You
Presider: Pastor Jessica Wang
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
We know that the Cross is the power of our God, and Jesus Christ is powerful and almighty God. Now there is a sister, who is going to share her testimony, “How did Jesus save her and her family”. Let’s watch the video.
Testimony: By sister Caiqin Tong and Jin Tong (video)
|voice-over||A crowded city, a hectic life.
People struggle to put bread on the table every day, even every second.
Being on the run is no longer an accident,it has become a life style.
|Caiqin Tong||Both my family and my career were a mess. I felt much despair, and I lost my purpose in life. I thought there were no more dreams to pursue for a person of my age.|
|voice-over||Caiqin was just the same as many other middle-aged women:
a fighter in her career, a provider for her family, and a wanderer in the wild world.
Despite all of her efforts, her troubles grew.
|Caiqin Tong||I prided myself on being a "Dragon Lady" I wrapped myself up in my work. I buried myself in my career. I was like a windup clock. I thought I was the breadwinner, It was I who earned that money, It was I who made everything possible for my family. So I didn't believe I should be blamed in any way.|
|voice-over||Caiqin thought she had spared no efforts for her family, (especially) for her daughter. She hoped to rely on her ample abilities to provide her family with a better life in this competitive city.|
|Caiqin Tong||(I wanted) a good life for my family through my strivings, and a choice university for my daughter.
I told my daughter: "I will give you the most wonderful life possible. I will make you the happiest girl in the whole world." That goal motivates me to struggle and to fight.
|voice-over||However, Caiqin's ambition in her profession, eventually became a threat to her marriage. By this time her married life had entered into grave danger.|
|Tong Jin (Daughter of Caiqin)||My parents quarreled frequently.|
|Caiqin Tong||We argued endlessly, sometimes even over trivial matters. My husband lost his temper sometimes. In my opinion, my husband was deliberately finding my faults. However I didn't think I deserve such unfair treatment, because I had contributed so much for this family. He spoke sharply; so did I. Our relationship became a battlefield, our marriage was hard and bitter.|
|Tong Jin||I dreaded that my parents would one day divorce.|
|Caiqin Tong||It seemed that my husband was nothing in my eyes. I felt that he couldn't do anything right. He seemed inferior to me in every way. Our fighting was fierce. At one point I did consider a divorce.|
|voice-over||As caiqin faced a marriage, which was hanging by a stressful career, her life lost its direction.|
|Caiqin Tong||I thought success in my work was not what I desired. But I did not even know what I really wanted. Therefore, I suffered a great agony. Many nights, I contemplated suicide to end my life.|
|voice-over||However, the end of man's road is the beginning of God's work.
It is God who called this lost sheep back to His home.
One day, one of my friends presented me with a Bible and told me that only God can save me. After that I went to church and each time my eyes would fill with tears, I could not help but shed tears of thanksgiving. When I read the chapter about Jesus’ crucifixion, I also cried. God changed her with His mighty hand. I started to learn how to practice obedience and endurance. In God, I could feel my family gradually becoming better.
However, every time I went to church, I would worry in my heart because my husband would get angry and say that I was always wandering around outside. During the working week my husband could not see me and on Saturday I was also not at home. Thus, I felt very worried and thought there would be a battle after I came back home. And I told Meng xiaoying, my best friend, what happened. She said: let's pray, God may save you, Then she led I and my daughter to pray in the break.
After my Bible study had finished, my husband unexpectedly called me, and said in a very very soft voice:"Where are you now? Come home quickly, I've prepared some wonderful food for both of you." My daughter was amazed: "Wow, mom, is that my daddy? It (prayer) worked, it's Lord changed daddy." Thanks to our prayer, the Lord truly changed him a lot. He prepared a good meal for us. He bought fish and cooked it. That had never happened before. So I think God is very powerful.
|baptized||On July, 31st, 2001, mother and daughter, Caiqin Tong and Jin Tong were baptized at Haidian Church.
Caiqin Tong, my sister, are you ready to accept Jesus as your Lord? Yes. As you are ready, I am now baptizing you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Jing tong, my sister, are you ready to accept Jesus as your Lord? Yes. As you are ready, I am now baptizing you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
|voice-over||What had been a fragile family, God had brought together with His amazing love.|
|Tong Jin||My father has changed a lot. He didn't want mom and me to go to church before. Now he has begun to be curious about God.|
|Caiqin Tong||"Tell me something about the God you truly believe in," he asked me. I don't think God will blame my husband, as he doesn't know God right now. That's why he asked me this.|
|voice-over||Now the biggest wish for a wife is that her husband will come to God as soon as possible.
The family is able to be truly reunited in God's love.
|Caiqin Tong||Lord, you must elect my husband. Let him come into Your arms.|
|Tong Jin||I wish daddy could find the way to God.|
|2 Peter 3:9||The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.|
Presider: Pastor Jessica Wang
Thanks to our God for His love and dying for us. Today we are going to continue to study Gospel John 19.
Scripture Reading: John 19:5
When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!"
Today’s sermon will be given by Pastor David. The topic is “Pilate said to them: Here is the man!” Welcome Pastor David.
1, Pilate and the Jesus who stands before us.
Imagine Jesus standing before you at his trail, “Here is the man”, the human being like you and me, but the poorest of the poor, with the crown of thrones and going to His death on the cross. “Here is the man”, and the Pilate, the man of all earthly power, cannot understand the person he is looking at and asks the question of Jesus, “What is truth”? Jesus had already given the answer to the question to His disciples. He said to them
John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life”.
2, Jesus who is the way.
Jesus is the truth and the answer to Pilate’s question, He is also the way, the path or the road which you and I travel in our lives. Wherever we go and whatever path we take, Jesus promises us that He is the way for us. I am sure there is no one here who has not felt, at one time or another, being lost. I know when I first came to Beijing, I was completely lost in this great and vast city. I stood on the street corner and had no idea where I was or where to go. Fortunately I had good Christian friends who helped me. But all of us have known that terrible feeling of being lost, perhaps as a student in a new university or someone in a strange country or a strange town. Jesus promises us that wherever our way and path takes us, we will never be lost for He is the way and He is the true way and the way of life, “I am the way and the truth and the life”！And the path and road that Jesus took during His trail and crucifixion was darker than any way we can possibly know in our lives. Jesus even knew what it was to experience God’s absence when He cried from the cross “My God my God, why have you forsaken me”? And so we can trust that in those moments in our lives when God seems far away, or even not to exist and we doubt and fear, Jesus is beside us and says I know what is that like and I am still with you. Jesus is with us in no matter what happens to us in our lives and He will not forsake us.
3, The way to the Cross.
And imagine now Jesus on His walk and journey to the cross, His road and His way. Here is the man who bears the insults of all around Him, despised and insulted, with nothing at all to own on our earthly wealth. We are told in John’s Gospel that even His clothes were stripped from Him. Here is the man who is the poorest and weakest of all human creatures. And yet while He is hanging on the cross, and almost at His death, it is Pilate the earthly ruler, who wrote above His head “This man is a king”, This poor and despised man is a king and is our king, how can this be and how does Jesus on the cross show His kingship to us? He shows it by His love. Even in the darkest of all places --- the cross full of hate and violence and death itself, Jesus shows His love. And we are told in the Gospel even there He can take care of His mother and give her to John His friend and disciple, to be looked after. In the midst of so much hatred, the way of Jesus is the way of love and not hate, and that is why Jesus is our king, for His power on the cross is not worldly power or the power of money or wealth. It is not the power of guns or violence; it is the power of love. And Jesus calls for love,not hate, He calls all of us to love. For He loves us and He asks that we love Him and because we love Him, we must love one another, for Christ is in all of us.
4, Jesus as the completion of all things.
Jesus’ last word from the cross in John’s Gospel, the last word He spoke as a human being in His earthly life “it is finished.” There are two ways to understand that. We can say “it is finished, it is done or it is no good, it is broken” or we can say” it is finished in the way Jesus wanted on the cross”. It is perfected, it is completed” because we see that in His dying, Jesus tells us that there is nothing and nowhere in any experience we can have even death itself that is outside the love of Jesus. He is our way and so on the cross that’s not the end but the perfection of everything. For on the cross Jesus defeats death by dying Himself and He comes to life again on Easter morning and so we can say now there is nothing at all in all creation, nothing that we can possibly know that stands outside the love of Jesus and His kingly rule and that is why on the cross Jesus is our King.
5, Jesus who loves us is the object of our love.
The great miracle is that it is not only that Jesus loves us as He does perfectly, but His love pulls us to love Him. Remember how He began His life. A human baby, the weakest and most helpless of all creatures and as a baby, Jesus the Son of God called down the love of Marry and Joseph His parents upon Him in His utter weakness. He asks that we love and care for Him as He loves and cares for us. That is His power, the power of the child, the power of the dying man to call forth our love upon Him and therefore to make us loving creatures as He is perfectly served.
6, In death there is life.
And so we are told in the gospel that after His death on the cross, His friends and disciples and followers lovingly and carefully took down His body and placed it in the tomb. The tomb was of course not a place of death but a place where Jesus defeated death for that was not the end of the story. At His beginning as a baby and His end in the weakness of death, Jesus calls for our love for Him, He needs us and that is His power and our love of course never stops there. For Christ is in each one of us .There is no one in this room in which Christ is not present and therefore, there is no one in this room who remains outside the love of yours or mine. And Jesus asks that if you have quarrels or feel of hatred or negative feelings, overcome that and feel rather the love of Jesus called out in you for all. Here is the man, the man who sees before us as a trial. Weak, broken and despised close to death, a death beyond our imagination in its pain and horror but that is not the end of the story, that is never the end.
For the story goes on, each Sunday as we celebrate the mystery of God Christ together, the death of Christ turned into life, so that you and I, as we go our ways, need to have no fear of anything not even death itself, for even there Jesus is with us and beside us and the end of the story is life and life eternal. And that is what we celebrate here in this church and churches throughout the world. The man who stands before us is what makes us truly human and indeed divine and so let us pray:
We may know more truly the love of God in Jesus Christ, the love that Jesus Christ shows for us in His death and in His resurrection, and we pray Father that we in our lives may reflect that love in the world around us so that it becomes a world driven not by hatred or grief or anger or fear, but a world in which the love of God is in everyone’s heart and directs our life. Amen.
With love and strength in Jesus Christ, summarized by Shirley, Stefanie, and Sunshine, Proofread by Liu Laoshi.
|Sermon: Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!"||video||audio||doc|
|Testimony: By sister Caiqin Tong and Tong Jin
(mother & daughter, baptized on July, 31st, 2001 at Haidian Church)
|Worship song: How Great Thou Art||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: Jesus, Thank You||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: In Christ Alone||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: By Faith||video||audio||lyric|