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The stained glass windows of CPC's auditorium.

Pastoral Letter 30th May 2021

牧聲二零二一年五月三十日
30/5/2021
by
William Xu

Peace to you brothers and sisters. Today is a special day as we are celebrating the church’s anniversary. It is also special to me as I will be sharing my last pastoral letter to you. I thank God for the opportunity to share some thoughts with you in words. I have also benefitted from the encouragement of many brothers and sisters in past years..

My family have been at CPC for more than ten years, from newly married to having three children, from being a quiet participant to one of committed ministry. The memories of our church life in these ten years will be treasured for the rest of our lives.

In the last decade, CPC has been handed down several generations. Through joys and tears, we hope that the passing of years brings a consolidation of life. To many in the congregation, ten years might just be a brief interlude, but it’s sufficient to create many unforgettable memories. When we commemorate and celebrate the church’s anniversary, not only can we remember God’s abundant grace to our church, but we can also review our path and the church’s journey in the Lord.

In the coming July, my family will embark on a new journey: to move to an outer suburb of Melbourne and plant an evangelical ministry. We will need to adapt to new surroundings, which will be challenging. The gospel always challenges us to leave our comfort zone and follow God’s guidance to the unreached people.

Moving to another state is a headache, adding to the many hassles we have to deal with. But it also reminds us the benefits of “packing light”. It also brings me to ponder what should we carry with us as we run the race God has prepared for us.

Likewise, as we journey through life, God allows us to leave clear footprints, and reminds us to review the past and look towards the future, so that we can prepare our hearts well and forge ahead. Every party must come to an end, and our walk together will end for now. It’s often hard to let go when we part. But thanks to God, He has given us a great hope, for there is a greater gathering awaiting us. We may feel a bit distant, but we are already a lot closer compared to the Israelites in the old days or even the early Christians! Let us not lose our hope, but add to it through God’s promises!

弟兄姐妹們平安,今天對我們來說是特別的,因為我們再次來到慶祝教會周年慶的日子。而對我來說,同樣也是特別的,因為這將是我與你們分享的最後一篇牧聲。我感謝神,讓我有機會在這借著文字的方式能與你們分享一些心得。在過去,不少弟兄姐妹的鼓勵也給予我很大的幫助。

在CPC,我們一家度過了逾十年的時間:從剛開始進入婚姻,到後來生下三個孩子,從一開始有保留的參與,到委身進入事奉。這十年間,我們教會中生活的點滴必將成為我們往後生命當中十分珍貴的記憶。

十年一代,CPC已經歷經了幾代人的傳承。在歡笑和淚水中,我們期許年歲的積累能夠換來生命的沉澱。十年,我知道這對我們當中的許多弟兄姐妹來說,只不過其中一個小片段,但也足以包含許多無法抹去的回憶。當我們來到紀念和慶祝教會周年慶的時刻,這不單是我們回想過去神在我們教會中的豐盛恩典,也是回顧我們自己過去在神裏面以及在教會中所走過的生命歷程。

在即將到來的七月,我們將開始一個嶄新的旅程:舉家遷往墨爾本的一個郊區,開始在當地的福音事工。我們將要重新去適應新的環境,而這將是一個充滿挑戰的過程。實際上,福音就是時常這樣挑戰我們離開自己的舒適區,進到神要帶領我們去的「未得之地」。

跨州搬家是一件頭疼的事情,在我們忙碌之餘又增添了額外的事務去處理。然而這也提醒我們“輕裝上陣”的好事。同時也讓我思想:當我們跟隨神繼續往前的時候,我們是帶著什麼奔向前路?

同樣地,在我們的人生旅途中,神讓我們鮮活地留下每一個生命的足跡,也提醒我們在此時此刻回望過去與展望將來,以致於可以預備好我們的心,繼續向前。人生在世,沒有不散的宴席。如今我們在這裏的同行將告一段落。在分別之時,難免會有些不舍。但感謝神,祂賜給我們更大的盼望,因為有一個更加盛大的相聚和宴席在等待著我們。也許在此時時刻,我們還覺得分外遙遠,但相比舊時的以色列人或早期的使徒們,我們已經離得更近了,不是嗎?願我們的盼望不至失落,反而因著神的應許而更多加添!

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