Before my bed the moonlight glitters
Like frost upon the ground.
I look up to the mountain moon,
Then look down and think of home. (Translated by Stephen Owen)
When it comes to the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival which falls on a Friday this year, many people may think of this famous poem written by the great Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai.
The poet could not help thinking that his hometown was under the bright moon. The action of "looking down" depicts his thoughts of relatives and friends in his hometown and in the past.
For many Christians who work in big cities, they may be homesick like the poet. However, they should not only miss their earthly hometowns, but also fix their eyes on their eternal home in heaven.
As the Bible says, "We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. "(1 Chronicles 29:15) ; "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul."(1 Peter 2:11) Although Christians need to fulfill their responsibility on earth, from the perspective of ultimate concern, they are merely foreigners who will return to the eternal place.
Jesus promised us, "My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?" As long as we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we will return to the good hometown where we eternally belong.
Since we shall return to our heavenly home, we should abandon the idea of "calling a strange land home". The glory of the kingdom is considered our most important pursuit. A theologian once said the key to judge a real Christian lies in his ultimate concern--the glory of Christ or just his personal interests.
Despite being baptized, some believers still hold to their former values and regard the earthly glory as their greatest satisfaction. They indulge in seeking fame and status and love praises from men. But they lack the passion for heavenly things and entirely forget Christ's teachings.
Therefore, amidst our homesickness, we should spend some time considering our heavenly home in the presence of the Lord, a place of no suffering. Meanwhile, reflect not on ourselves if the kingdom is our highest aim. Check to see where we are still lacking and repent of it to the Lord.
To become the citizens of the kingdom, we must obey Christ's teachings and live a life worthy of the calling we have received. We should "act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God." (Micah 6:8)
At the same time, we shall be the "advocates of the kingdom", those who are light and salt in society so as to bring the blessings of Christ to others.
- Translated by Karen Luo