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二○一八十年十一月三日/十一月四日                                                                                     Click here for English version

在唱詩中經歷神

潘建堂牧師

在崇拜中頌唱詩歌不是一項節目,也不只是一種儀式,而是在主的面前的認信和感恩,與神相交。「但你是聖潔的,是用以色列的讚美為寶座的。」(詩二十二 3)當一個群體真誠讚美神的時候,祂就以這群體為祂的居所,住在他們中間,與他們相交。

我信故我唱
「人非有信,就不能得神的喜悅;因為到神面前來的人必須信有神,且信他賞賜那尋求他的人。」(來十一 6)「信」是敬拜的基本條件,不信的人沒可能真正敬拜祂。「水淹沒他們的敵人,沒有一個存留。那時,他們才信了他的話,歌唱讚美他。」(詩一○六 11-12)當以色列人經歷了神的大能,就信祂,自然的回應就是歌唱讚美祂。在神面前以信心歌唱,不是去宣讀信條(那是另一種表達),是因為我們的真實經歷激發了信心,進而表達於詩歌之中。這種信心不是教條的結果,而是聖靈在人生命中的工作。唱詩,不是把信條或標準的宗教述語放在口中,而是把真實的信仰經歷藉詩歌表達出來;是已經歷的信心,而非儀式製造出來的宗教行為。真正的讚美,是基於會眾的信仰經歷。

有感而唱
這種信心並不僅是一種理性的信念,乃是有感而發的信心表現。「當用各樣的智慧,把基督的道理豐豐富富地存在心裡,用詩章、頌詞、靈歌,彼此教導,互相勸戒,心被恩感,歌頌神。」(西三 16)「心被恩感」:真誠的歌頌是出自內心的感受,不僅是一種理性的認知。

現實中,或有人會對崇拜中的歡樂表達有所猶疑。但聖經清楚告訴我們:「你們當向神唱詩,歌頌他的名;為那坐車行過曠野的修平大路。他的名是耶和華,要在他面前歡樂!」(詩六十八 4)聖經中的唱詩,常是歡樂的表現。這就是說,聖經是要求我們彼此激勵以喜樂的心去讚美祂。喜樂應是聚會時的一種常態,也是一切受造者向創造主顯現時的應有表現。

「凡以感謝獻上為祭的便是榮耀我;那按正路而行的,我必使他得著我的救恩。」(詩五十 23)敬拜中優質的祭物不在於祭牲或作品,而在於敬拜的心靈質素、以及行在正路之中的生活。






Pastor's Sharing
Experiencing God in Praise Singing
Rev Pun Kin Tong

Praise singing in a worship service is not for entertainment. Neither is it just liturgy. When we sing praises to God, we give thanks, confess our faith and have fellowship with Him. "Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises" (Psalm 22:3). When a church community truthfully sings His praise, God will make His dwelling place among the believers, live amongst them, and have fellowship with them.

I believe, therefore I sing: "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). "Faith" is a prerequisite to worship. It is not possible for the faithless to truly worship God. "The waters covered their adversaries; not one of them survived. Then they believed his promises and sang his praise" (Psalm 106:11-12). When the Israelites experienced the might of God, they believed in Him, and responded naturally by singing His praise. To sing by faith before God is different from reciting a creed (which is another form of expression). We sing because our genuine experience has brought forth faith, which is then expressed in praise singing. Such faith is not generated by creeds but is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Praise singing is not uttering a creed or standard religious jargon. It is the relating of real faith experiences by means of songs. It is faith experienced and not ritualized religious behavior. Real praise singing, therefore, stems from the faith experiences of the congregation.

From a touched heart: Such faith is not just rational conviction but an outflow from a touched heart. "Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts" (Colossians 3:16). "With gratitude in your hearts" – sincere praise singing comes from inner gratitude. It is much more than a cognitive expression.

In real life, some people may query the expression of joy in worship. But the Bible clearly says, "Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord" (Psalm 68:4). Praise singing in the Bible is often related to joyful expression. That is to say, the Bible asks that we encourage one another to sing His praise with a joyful heart. Joy should mark every worship. That is natural when the creation welcomes the presence of God the Creator. "Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy" (Psalm 96:12). "Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy" (Psalm 98:8).

"Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation" (Psalm 50:23). In worship, a good offering does not depend on the animal sacrifice or the composition of the song, but on the quality of the worshiping heart and a life devoted to what is right in the eyes of the Lord.