二○二○年六月二十六日／二十七日／二十八日 Click here for English version
一場新冠肺炎，既突如其來，又來勢洶洶，香港人的生活由 1 月底開始便進入停擺狀態，home 變成了 school 和 office，媽媽搖身一變，成為了主婦、老師，但又同時繼續工作。縱然疫情叫人擔心，但這停擺卻帶來少有的空間，讓我們可以反思生命。
Restarting after the Pause
Rev Eva Lok
The sudden, overwhelming arrival of the coronavirus has brought life in Hong Kong to a standstill from the end of January. The home became our office and school. Mothers are housewives and teachers at the same time while still working from home. Worrying as it might have been, the pandemic has provided a rare opportunity for us to reflect on our lives.
Home office has allowed us to spend more time with our family. The kids can finally eat with their parents. With the entire family staying at home, everyone must learn to listen, accommodate and accept others. Taking care of work and family at the same time means we need to be more sensitive in striking a balance in the use of time. As the economy turns for the worse, it is time for us to learn to respond to the needs of brothers and sisters, share with and support one another. Online church meetings reveal that in-church meetings are not for certain and that we must discipline ourselves to worship God. To maintain a good relationship with God and man, we must be more committed to our faith. Free online courses and talks offered by theological seminaries bring much-needed nourishment to our spiritual lives, which we might not have much opportunity to manage well before.
The Bible has taught the Israelites how to live proactively when life comes to a halt. Leviticus 25: 21-22 says: "I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in." The Israelites grew their crop for six years. In the sabbath year, they are to take a rest and learn to obey God's commandments. In the seventh year, the land also takes a rest to replenish nutrients. The people are to stop what they do for a living and learn to trust in God's provision, for God has already prepared three years' supply from the land in the sixth year.
In a positive sense, the pause suggests obedience to God. It means understanding all that happens is not under our control. Man must learn to let go, trust and obey God and stop trying to take control by his own means. God will then provide what we need. "Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your manservant and maidservant, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten" (Leviticus 25: 6-7). The land's yield is the provision of God. It is not the owner's and should be shared with others. The pause reveals the will of God that we should break down barriers of status and background and learn to respect and take care of one another.
As the pandemic situation stabilizes in June, schools reopen, normal working hours resume and various in-church meetings are gradually restored. We are restarting after the pause. I hope we will remember the lesson from God during the pause and will not become lost in our busyness again. I hope we will not forget the importance of our family and our pursuit of God and neglect the building up of relationships with fellow believers.
Let us always remember submission to God, trust in God and sharing with others, which God wants us to learn from the pause.