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This Friday, July 1, is the 155th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. We will proudly wave our national flag, wear red and white, and probably eat lots of poutine, maple syrup, and Tim Hortons doughnuts. Happy Canada Day.

July 1 is also the anniversary of another significant event. On July 1, 1899, three American business leaders met at a Young Men’s Christian Association building to discuss how they could encourage greater Christian witness and outreach. They decided the best way was by Bible distribution. So, the Gideons were formed.

The name “The Gideons” and the symbol of the jar with torch inside come from the famous story in Judges 7 of Gideon defeating the Midianites with just 300 men. Judges 7:16-21 says:

Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside. “Watch me,” he told them. “Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’” Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled.

Gideon thought he was weak and unable to be used by the Lord. How wrong he was? He learned to trust the Lord.

This week, as we remember Confederation, let us be like Gideon who trusted the Lord, and let us be like those businessmen who knew the importance of the Scriptures.

May the Lord bless you this Canada Day.

視頻大意翻譯 (Brief video Chinese translation):

 大家早,歡迎參加今天線上的靈修。

這周五,七月一日,將是加拿大聯邦成立155周年紀念日。這周五,我們可能會揮舞著國旗,穿著紅色或白色的衣服,吃poutine,楓糖漿,和Tim Horton的甜甜圈。加拿大日快樂!

七月一日同時也是基督教歷史上很重要的一個紀念日。1899年七月一日有三個美國商界的領袖在基督教青年會大樓會面-YMCA-來商討他們如何能鼓勵更多的見證和外展。他們決定最好的方法是透過聖經的分發。他們派發免費的聖經,包括放在旅館的房間,醫院和學校的孩子。因此,1899年七月一日,基甸基金會成立了。

“基甸”這個名字和他罐子上面有火把的標誌是出自士師記第七章中基甸人用300人打敗了米甸人。聽士師記7:16-21:

於是基甸將三百人分作三隊、把角和空瓶交在各人手裏、瓶內都藏着火把.吩咐他們說、你們要看我行事.我到了營的旁邊怎樣行、你們也要怎樣行。我和一切跟隨我的人吹角的時候、你們也要在營的四圍吹角、喊叫說、耶和華和基甸的刀。基甸和跟隨他的一百人、在三更之初、纔換更的時候、來到營旁、就吹角、打破手中的瓶。三隊的人、就都吹角、打破瓶子、左手拿着火把、右手拿着角、喊叫說、耶和華和基甸的刀。他們在營的四圍各站各的地方.全營的人都亂竄.三百人吶喊、使他們逃跑。

 基甸是個認為自己很軟弱無法為主所使用的人。他是多麼的錯?

這星期,當我們紀念聯邦和為我們國家美麗和多元的民族感謝主時,讓我們像基甸相信主一樣,讓我們像那些知道聖經話語重要性的商界領袖一樣。願神在這加拿大日祝福你。

 

Grace and peace

Pastor Callum