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Vancouver, BC


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Vancouver, BC

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Rescued from the Pit Jer 38:1-13
Written by John Tsang   
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 08:31

The story of Jeremiah being put into a pit points to a number of different Biblical stories such as Joseph and his brothers, Daniel in the lion’s den, Jonah in the belly of a fish, and the Good Samaritan (in which a foreigner was held up as the example to follow). When one finds these similar motifs scattered in different parts of the Grand Narrative of Scripture, it is fascinating to reread a particular story in light of the others.


Jeremiah was the victim of an evil plot by a group of palace officials. This group sought the permission of King Zedekiah to arrest Jeremiah and to put him in the bottom of a pit to die a quick death. Jeremiah’s savior came from an unlikely source, Ebed-Melek, a Cushite palace official (or in some other translations, an Ethiopian eunuch). The fact that he was a foreigner was highlighted in the text, repeated three times (v7, 10, 12), not to be mixed. Ebed-Melek simply means, ‘a servant of the king’, which is his role and not his name.  The implication is that he is nameless. This Ebed-Melek, confronted King Zedekiah (who just hours earlier gave the other group permission to put Jeremiah into the pit) about the injustice done to Jeremiah. Then Ebed-Melek quickly led a dangerous rescue mission in the cover of night and succeeded to save Jeremiah out of the pit.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 April 2015 21:01
Meeting the Risen Christ Along the Way - Luke 24:13-35
Written by John Tsang   
Monday, 06 April 2015 21:20

This past weekend, we entered into the story of Good Friday and Easter, the most pivotal story of our Christian faith. On that first Easter Sunday, Luke recounted a very down to earth story of two disciples who were on the way to Emmaus and along the way, met the risen Christ. This story has served to be a type, or a pattern for how we might still meet the resurrected Jesus today.


First, the two disciples were on a journey. Emmaus represents a place where we go to find security. Often, it is the place where we call home. The two companions were shattered by the events of Good Friday and they journeyed together from Jerusalem to Emmaus, it was along this journey that they met Christ. Our lives can also be seen as a journey, moving from one stage to another or from one place to another. As we journey through life with other companions, we too can meet the risen Christ, if we are paying attention.


Secondly, the two companions were discussing some important matters. This part of the story tells me that if we want to meet Christ, we must learn to ask and wrestle with substantive questions about life. What is justice? What is truth? What is the meaning of life? Why am I here? What is my purpose here on earth? What constitutes a well lived life? How do the different religions of the world answer these questions of life? God welcomes this kind of questions and the Christian faith has stood the test of rigorous intellectual investigation. Many have found that Christianity offers the most plausible, hopeful, and inspiring answers to some of life’s deepest questions.


Last Updated on Monday, 06 April 2015 21:33
Jeremiah Buys a Field Jer 32:6-15
Written by John Tsang   
Monday, 30 March 2015 21:36


This strange story of Jeremiah buying a field in the midst of the Babylonian occupation is found in the section entitled, Book of Consolation (Chpt 30-33). Hanamel, Jeremiah's cousin, appeared to have challenged Jeremiah to buy this field if indeed he truly believed in God's promise of a restoration in 70 years. Because this vision came from the Lord (32:6-7), Jeremiah bought the field for seventeen shekels of silver (32:9). This acted parable was based on God's promise that, "Houses, fields, and vineyards will again be bought in this land." (32:15). Jeremiah prayed (32:16-25) and God replied in a passionate filled promise of restoration (32:26-44). The Lord’s promise was overflowing with love and hope, " I will make an everlasting covenant with them, I will never stop doing good to them, I will inspire them to fear me, I will rejoice in doing them good and will plant them in this land with all my heart and soul." So this drama provided a guarantee or a seal of God's promised future just like the Holy Spirit is a seal or guarantee of our promised future to come (Eph 1:13-14, 2 Cor 1:22). Some commentators see the imaginative climatic fulfillment of this sealed scroll being opened in the final book of the Bible.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 April 2015 22:08
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