Ján Krstite¾: Jánovo svedectvo - Czechoslovak Baptist Convention



Ján Krstite¾: Jánovo svedectvo - Czechoslovak Baptist Convention
Convention Mission Statement
The Czechoslovak Baptist Convention of USA and Canada
exists 1) to assist in extending the gospel of our Lord Jesus
Christ in lands of central and eastern Europe, particularly the
Czech and Slovak Republics; 2) to support the work of Baptists
and other evangelical churches in North America that minister to
persons of Czech and Slovak descent, and 3) to provide a Christian context for worship, fellowship, teaching, and appreciation
of heritage among those in the United States and Canada who
bear interest in the nationalities we represent.
Misijní poslání konvence
Èeskoslovenská baptistická konvence Spojených státù a Kanady
byla ustanovena za úèelem: 1) napomáhat v šíøení evangelia našeho
Pána Ježíše Krista v zemích støední a východní Evropy, zvláštì v
Èeské a Slovenské republice; 2) podporovat práci baptistù
a jiných evangelikálních církví v severní Americe, které slouží
èeským a slovenským potomkùm; 3) pøedložit formu bohoslužby,
obecenství a uèení, vážit si dìdictví tìch, ve Spojených státech a
v Kanadì, kterým leží na srdci národy, které reprezentujeme.
Editorial - Natasha Legierski ................................................................102
Journey After the Light - Ján Banko ....................................................103
Cesta za svetlom - Ján Banko ..............................................................104
Faster, Higher, Stronger - Thomas Cosmades ................................106
Rychleji, výše, silnìji - Thomas Cosmades .......................................108
Bible Study: Part 3 - Richard Niswonger ..........................................110
Biblická studie: 2. èasś - ¼uboš Dzuriak ............................................112
The Listener’s Post - George Cooper ...............................................114
Poslucháèská pošta - George Cooper ..............................................114
From Our Readers .................................................................................115
From the Executive Secretary - George Sommer ...........................115
Children’s Corner: Fireflies, Part 13 - Jan Karafiát .........................116
Broučci, èást 13 - Jan Karafiát ..........................118
Youth Scene - Darko Siracki ...............................................................120
From the President - Robert Dvorak ..................................................122
Ladies’ Page - Dottie Dvorak ...............................................................123
Báseò: Nadìje - Nataša Legierská .....................................................124
Glorious Hope / Slavná nadìje
November–December 2004, Vol. 30, No 6
(USPS 009334), ISSN 0700-5202
Published Bi-Monthly by
The Czechoslovak Baptist Convention
of USA and Canada
Periodical postage paid in Philippi, WV.
Editor-in-Chief: Natasha Legierski
1524 Lancaster Dr., #134,
Oakville, ON, L6H 2Z2, Canada
email: [email protected]
You may send articles to above address
Desktop publishing and Art: Vit Malek
Assistant Editors: Janice Cermak, Ján Banko
Editorial Staff: George Sommer,
George Legierski, Joseph Novak
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to
Publication Office:
Glorious Hope / Slavná nadìje
Rt. 4, Box 58D, Philippi, WV 26416-9717 USA
inter in Southern Ontario,
Canada, appears to be taking
an extra long vacation this
year. December is almost here, and nature
should already be sleeping beneath a
blanket of snow. Instead, the scenery is
akin to that of a prolonged autumn. This
pleases many motorcyclists, as they don’t
have to face the danger of calamities on
the road which the snow inevitably brings.
Winter sport enthusiasts, however, feel
quite differently.
Christmas is near. The end of our calendar year is also fast
approaching. The time yet again is coming when each of us,
looking back, will pose certain questions. How has this year
gone? What succeeded? What failed? What was learned? What
are our expectations for the upcoming year?
As long as we pose questions, all is well. It indicates a willingness to learn from past mistakes and step forward into the
coming year with ebullience and the resolve to live a better life.
Healthy self-criticism is very useful.
As soon as the posing of these important questions diminishes,
regression is apparent. The individual has adopted an apathetic
attitude towards life, and has lost hope, hope in a better quality
of life, hope in a better and brighter future.
Throughout the twentieth century, people experienced faith
in a better future. Incredible progress was made in many areas.
Continues on page 105
dá se, že letos do jižního Ontaria (v Kanadì) zima váhá
pøijít. Blíží se prosinec. Pøíroda by mìla ležet pod snìhovou
pøikrývkou. Naskytuje se však zde docela jiný obrázek
v podobì prodlouženého podzimu. Mnozí motoristé si libují,
protože nemusí èelit snìhové kalamitì na cestách. Opaèné pocity
mají fanoušci zimních sportù.
Blíží se vánoce. Blíží se konec kalendáøního roku. Blíží se èas,
kdy si každý, pøi pohledu zpìt, bude klást otázky. Jaký byl uplynulý
rok? Co se podaøilo? Co zklamalo? Z èeho vzešlo ponauèení? Jaké
jsou vyhlídky do pøíštího roku?
Pokud si èlovìk klade otázky, je to dobré. Indikuje to ochotu
se pouèit z minulých chyb a vykroèit do dalšího roku s elánem a
pøedsevzetím žít kvalitnìji. Zdravá sebekritika je užiteèná.
Pøestane-li si nìkdo klást otázky, poukazuje to na úpadek života.
Èlovìk se stal k životu apatický, ztratil nadìji. Nadìji na kvalitnìjší
existenci, nadìji v lepší budoucnost.
Celé 20. století lidé prožili vírou v lepší budoucnost. Došlo
k neuvìøitelnému pokroku ve všech oblastech lidské historie. Mnohé
neuvìøitelné se stalo bìžnou záležitostí. V nìkterých èástech svìta
èlovìk 21. století žije mnohem kvalitnìji. Snaží se také pomoci ke
Pokraèování na stranì 111
email: [email protected]
Next issue deadline - December 15, 2004
Printed on recycled paper
Front and Back Cover: Corel photo—Waterfall
Journey After the Light
Ján Banko
pon the small town, resting peacefully
amid the mountains, a silken twilight
is slowly descending. The last rays of a
jagged winter sun remind the children, tobogganing and skiing on a not very distant slope,
that it is already time to go home. No, they
don’t want to go yet, not by any means. They
would like to stay in this longed-for paradise of
winter revelries until late evening. But this is a
special evening. They have been waiting for this
evening impatiently for the whole year. This is
the moment when Christmas gifts will appear
under the decorated Christmas tree, glowing
with many lights. The whole house will be filled
with the smell of an outstanding sauerkraut soup and with that
kind atmosphere of mutual esteem and love. Mom will be sitting
by the old piano, and dad together with the children will start to
sing a beautiful carol: “Christ is born, let us rejoice…”
It is a quiet winter evening. A little boy is silently standing at
the window, where the frost with its invisible brush has painted a
whole bed of flowers. The boy is pressing his nose against the pane and melts
the winter flowers on the window with
the warmth of his palms. Beyond the
window of a glazed balcony, the mysterious world emerges, flooded with a
cold moonlight. The snowy blanket on
the surface of a large garden is gleaming with the glitter of snowflakes. The
boy suddenly shivers at this scene with
a feeling of chill, but he stays at the
window. Fascinated, he fixes his sight
on the distance, where beyond the
white blankets of snow the flickering
lights of old street lamps are shining.
The boy’s heart is rejoicing, while his
mouth silently whispers: “Lights, my
little lights…” This picture is forever
written into the heart of the child. It
is a picture of light, which you have to
follow across the cold expanses of this
Dear reader, this story from childhood experienced in our old homeland
in the heart of Europe emerged again from oblivion in my mind.
Perhaps it came just to help me to meditate upon life as such, upon
its moral and ethical dimension, its purpose and final goal.
Yes, life itself. Where did you come from? Together with thinkers,
scientists, artists, together with people of this world, we ask those
everlasting questions: “Whence come we? What are we? Whither
do we go?” Is our self just an accidental cluster of viable cells,
which, composed of molecules, atomic structure, elementary and
sub-elementary particles, occupy just a tiny part of the universe and
       
after the accomplishment of their historical task,
they simply finish their conscious existence?
I plunge into the stacks of books with the
unshakeable energy of a human being desiring
knowledge. After many years and after gorging
on thousands of pages, I am finally coming to
the conclusion that there is one book which
offers adequate answers to my questions: it is
the book of books, the Bible. The author of
this work is the supreme Architect of the whole
universe, Creator of all existence, Almighty
God. It was He who inspired human writers
to write those 66 books of the Old and New
Testaments and to reveal to people deep truths
about Himself, the living God, and about all His creation, especially
about human beings. A burning desire to fulfill the very purpose
of my own life compels me to read this magnificent masterpiece
from the beginning to the end. Finally, together with the psalmist
David, I accept the following statement about God: “For with you
is the fountain of life; in your light we see light” (Psalm 36:9).
The journey after the light, however, continues. Undoubtedly the most
significant agent of the following act of
life becomes Jesus Christ, whose nativity in the Judean town of Bethlehem
we commemorate every year during
the Christmas season. But His birth is
something more than just the story of a
child lying in the manger of that modest Bethlehem shelter. The story, spun
around with various traditions, mysteriously and romantically expressed in visual
arts and in music, gives us a feeling that
this is an extraordinarily significant event.
That little child had a human mother,
Mary, but the Father is God alone, for
according to the biblical record, Jesus
was conceived of the Holy Spirit. The
prophecies of the Old Testament are
fulfilled, and a true Saviour and Lord is
born to the world of human beings. It is,
perhaps, most truthfully documented by
the names that were given unto Him.
The name of Jesus expresses that “he
will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Our record in
God’s register of evil deeds can also be erased. This amnesty in
the name of Jesus is offered to everybody who believes that God’s
righteousness has already endured the punishment that actually
belonged to us. It happened when Jesus was suffering and dying,
nailed to that rugged wooden cross. Our sincere repentance and
plea for forgiveness of every evil deed, which caused harm to people
and dishonoured God, finally bring the precious result of grafting
Continues on page 105
Cesta za svetlom
Ján Banko
a mesteèko, ktoré si pokojne
odpoèívalo uprostred hôr, sa pomaly
znášal hodvábny súmrak. Posledné
lúèe zubatého zimného slnka pripomenuli
deśom, ktoré sa sánkovali a lyžovali na
neïalekom svahu, že je už èas ísś domov.
Nie, ešte sa im vôbec nechce odísś. Vydržali
by ešte dlho do veèera v tomto vytúženom
raji zimných radovánok. Ale dnes, dnes
je predsa zvláštny veèer. Ten, na ktorý
netrpezlivo èakali celý rok. Dnes sa predsa
pod ozdobeným stromèekom, na ktorom žiari
množstvo svetielok, objavia vianoèné darèeky.
Doma bude voòaś vynikajúca kapustnica a
všetci budú k sebe takí milí a laskaví, ako vari nikdy inokedy poèas
celého roka. Maminka si sadne za starý klavír a otecko spolu s
deśmi zanôti koledu: „Narodil sa Kristus Pán, vese¾me sa…“
Je tichý zimný veèer. Pri okne, na ktorom mráz vyma¾oval
svojím nevidite¾ným štetcom celý kvetinový záhon, stojí tíško
malý chlapec. Pritíska nos na okennú tabu¾u a teplom svojich
dlaní roztápa zimné kvety na okne. Za oknom zaskleného balkóna
sa otvára tajomný svet, zaplavený
studeným svetlom mesiaca. Snehová
prikrývka na zasnežených pláòach ve¾kej
záhrady sa trblieta leskom snehových
vloèiek. Chlapec sa pri tomto poh¾ade
rozochveje pocitom chladu, ale od
okna neodchádza. Fascinovane upiera
svoj zrak do dia¾ky, kde za bielymi
pláòami svietia mihotavé svetlá starých
poulièných lámp. Detské srdieèko sa
raduje a ústa si tíško šepkajú: „Svetielka,
moje svetielka…“ Tento obraz svetla,
za ktorým treba kráèaś po studených
pláòach tohoto sveta, sa navždy zapíše
do srdca dieśaśa.
Milý èitate¾, tento príbeh z dávnych
detských rokov, prežitý ešte v našej
vlasti v srdci Európy, sa opäś vynoril zo
zabudnutia v mojej mysli. Vari preto, aby
mi pomohol zamyslieś sa nad životom
samotným, jeho morálno-etickým
rozmerom, jeho zmyslom a koneèným
Áno, život sám. Odkia¾ si sa vzal? Spoloène s myslite¾mi,
vedcami, umelcami, spolu s ¾uïmi tohoto sveta sa pýtame tú
odvekú otázku: „Kto sme, odkia¾ prichádzame, kam ideme?“
Je vari naše ja len náhodným zhlukom životaschopných
buniek, ktoré poskladané z molekúl, atomárnych štruktúr,
elementárnych a subelementárnych èastíc zaberajú len
nepatrnú èasś vesmíru a po vykonaní svojej historickej úlohy
konèia svoju uvedomelú existenciu?
S nezlomnou energiou èloveka,
túžiaceho po poznaní sa vrhám laène na
stohy kníh a hltám tisíce strán, aby som
po mnohých rokoch spoznal, že na tomto
svete existuje jedna kniha, ktorá dáva na
moje otázky adekvátne odpovede: je to
kniha kníh, Biblia. Autorom tohoto diela
je zvrchovaný architekt vesmíru, Stvorite¾
všetkého živého i neživého—Boh. To On
inšpiroval a viedol ¾udských pisate¾ov, aby
v 66 biblických knihách Starého Zákona
a Novej Zmluvy zjavili èloveku hlboké
pravdy o Òom, o živom Bohu i o celom
Jeho stvorení, ktorého korunou je èlovek. Pálèivá túžba po
naplnení zmyslu môjho vlastného života ma núti preèítaś toto
skvostné ve¾dielo od zaèiatku až do konca. Spoloène s biblickým
žalmistom, krá¾om Dávidom, prijímam nasledujúce tvrdenie
o Bohu: „Lebo u Teba je prameò života a v Tvojom svetle svetlo
vidíme.“ (Žalm 36:10)
Cesta za svetlom však pokraèuje ïalej. Bezpochyby
najvýznamnejším aktérom ïalšieho
dejstva života sa stáva Ježiš Kristus,
ktorého narodenie v judskom mesteèku
Betleheme si pripomíname každoroène
poèas sviatkov Vianoc. Jeho narodenie
je však nieèo viac, ako púhy príbeh
dieśaśa, ležiaceho v jaslièkách
skromného betlehemského útulku.
Príbeh opradený mnohými tradíciami,
tajomne i romanticky vyjadrený v celej
palete výtvarných i hudobných diel dáva
tušiś, že tu ide o mimoriadne významnú
udalosś. Skutoène, veï dieśatko má síce
¾udskú matku, Máriu, ale jeho Otcom
je sám Boh, pretože pod¾a biblických
záznamov bol Ježiš poèatý zo Svätého
Ducha. Proroctvá Starého Zákona sa
stávajú skutoènosśou a do sveta ¾udí
sa rodí jeho skutoèný záchranca a Pán.
Vari najvýstižnejšie to dokumentujú
mená, ktoré mu boli dané.
Meno Ježiš vyjadruje, že „On vyslobodí svoj ¾ud z ich hriechov.“
(Matúš 1:21) Aj ten náš záznam v Božom trestnom registri
zlých skutkov môže byś vymazaný. Amnestia sa v Ježišovom
mene ponúka každému, kto uverí, že Božia spravodlivosś už
vykonala trest, ktorý patril nám. Stalo sa to vtedy, keï Ježiš
trpel a umieral pribitý na drsnom dreve kríža. Naša úprimná
¾útosś a prosba o odpustenie toho, èím sme škodili ¾uïom a
urážali Pána Boha nakoniec prináša vzácny výsledok zaštepenia
výhonku nového, hodnotného života.
Ježiš je však známy aj ako Mesiáš alebo Kristus, èiže Pomazaný
Boží. V dnešnom civilnom jazyku to znamená, že Ježiš dostal
od Boha poverenie, aby sa stal najvyšším kòazom, dôverníkom a
obhajcom èloveka, namiesto ktorého znášal Boží trest, a ktorého
záujmy po svojom vzkrieseni z màtvych pred Bohom zastupuje.
Význam tohoto zvláštneho mena však napovedá aj to, že v osobe
Ježiša Krista sa stretávame s najvyšším Panovníkom, pred ktorým
raz bude musieś skloniś hlavu každá vláda, vrchnosś a moc, ako aj
každý èlovek.
Ïalšie z Jeho mien, Emanuel, v preklade znamená: „Boh
s nami“. (Matúš 1:23) Niet pochybností o tom, že jednou z
pozemských úloh Ježiša Krista bolo predstaviś ¾uïom Boha, svojho
Otca. Z Kristovho života, z Jeho uèenia i služby poznávame Božiu
lásku, súcit i z¾utovanie, ale aj Jeho spravodlivosś a svätosś. Biblia
nám jasne naèrtáva obrysy morálno-etických zákonov, ktoré sú
Božiemu charakteru vlastné, a ktoré èlovek svojou vzburou vo
svojom vlastnom živote poprel. Kristus svojím dielom spasenia
vytvára predpoklady pre to, aby èlovek dokázal opäś žiś v súlade
s Božími prikázaniami v harmonickom vzśahu s Bohom.
Životná cesta èloveka za Božím svetlom má svoj pozemský i
veèný rozmer. Na zemi je to najmä vïaèná služba Pánu Bohu, ktorý
vytvoril a realizoval ve¾dielo, zvané svet. Èloveka pritom poveril,
aby sa stal dobrým správcom mnohých vzácnych hodnôt—aby
empaticky a precítene pomáhal druhým ¾uïom, aby poctivo
pracoval a tvoril hodnoty, aby budoval láskavé a spravodlivé
medzi¾udské vzśahy v rodine i v spoloènosti, aby sa poctivo staral
o všetky zverené materiálne, duševné i duchovné hodnoty, a aby
celým svojím myslením, postojom a konaním v súkromí i pred
¾uïmi vzdával Pánu Bohu èesś.
Veèným výsledkom života s Bohom a viery v Ježiša Krista,
Božieho Syna a Spasite¾a je potom radostné uistenie, ktoré zaznieva
všetkým veriacim priamo z Ježišových úst: „Ja som vzkriesenie a
život; kto verí vo mòa, bude žiś, aj keby umrel.“ (Ján 11:25)
Prajem Vám všetkým, vážení èitatelia, aby sa na Vašej ceste
za svetlom napåòali slová Pána Ježiša Krista: „Ja som svetlo sveta.
Kto mòa nasleduje, nebude chodiś vo tme, ale bude maś svetlo
života.“ (Ján 8:12)
Journey After the Light … Continues from page103
the sprout of a new, valuable life.
Jesus is also known as the Messiah or Christ, which means the
Anointed One. In ordinary language it means that Jesus was authorized by God to become the High Priest, confidant and advocate
for us, whose interests Christ after his resurrection represents before
God. The meaning of this special name also suggests that in Jesus
Christ we meet the highest Sovereign, before whom some day every
government, every power and every man will bow.
Another of His names, Immanuel, means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). There is no doubt about it that one of Jesus’ earthly
tasks was to introduce God, His Father, to the people. In Christ’s
life, as well as in His teaching and ministry, we recognize God’s love,
compassion and mercy, but also His righteousness and holiness.
The Bible clearly draws the outlines of moral law, which inherently
belongs to God’s character, and whose principles have been denied
by a human rebellion against God. Christ, in His work of salvation,
creates important prerequisites for human beings to live again in
harmony with God and with His commandments.
Life’s journey seeking God’s light has both earthly and eternal
dimensions. On this earth it is especially a thankful service to God,
who created the masterpiece called the world. God commissioned
human beings to become good stewards of various precious values.
His desire is that we will with empathy help other people, work
honestly, create values, build kind and righteous relationships in
the family and in society, that we will honestly care for all material,
mental and spiritual values entrusted to us, and that we will pay
honour to God with our thinking, attitude and actions, in privacy
and in human society as well.
There is an eternal result from a life with God and faith in Jesus
Christ. It is a joyful assurance resounding from Jesus’ mouth to all
believers: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me,
though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).
I would like to wish to all of you that the very words of Jesus
Christ will become true on your life’s journey seeking the light: “I
am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Editorial… Continues from page 102
Many formerly unimaginable feats became commonplace. In
certain parts of our 21st century world, people have a better
quality of life today. They also attempt to improve the quality
of life in the larger and more common impoverished areas of
the world.
What is the quality of the inner, private life of individuals?
Is this society a society of happy people? Truly happy people?
Does a discontented inner being don the robe of Christianity
and thus lie hidden behind a clever facade?
Every human being goes through various trials and experiences which have immeasurable influences on the state and
development of person and character. Some people live in a
rather peaceful environment, while others live a dramatic life,
whether through their own actions or because of external influences.
In these latter situations, a person is likely to become dissatisfied and unhappy, and surrounding peers soon begin feeling that
misery. In other cases people mask their own unhappiness with a
smile and always hope for a brighter future, literally fighting the
situations they find themselves in, one day at a time. Life seems
overly complicated sometimes, but we don’t, and shouldn’t, stop
asking questions.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble,
(Psalm 46:1).”
Within this verse lies the answer and hope for the coming year
into which we are headed. No matter what the preceding one was
like, we step out to the unknown with faith and confidence, with
our gaze set on our Lord and Saviour.
God bless you and keep you in the year 2005!
Editor-in-Chief Natasha Legierski
       
Faster, Higher, Stronger
Thomas Cosmades
Part 2
II. Christ’s Call Involves a Supreme Design
hile still in the bewilderment of the
developments of the past days, the
disciples were cheered by receiving
an unexpected visit from their risen Master. His
first words to them were, “Peace be with you As
the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (John
20:21). With a commission similar to His own,
the Prince of Peace put in front of them an analogous design. They are selected to become his
special emissaries. It is a known fact that prior to
the Olympics, nations go through the procedure
of selecting the very best sports people in given
disciplines for this worldwide contest. Those who
qualify receive the honor of representing their colors.
Christ received human flesh, triumphantly concluding His
mission at the appointed hour. He never engaged in an aimless,
careless or reckless involvement. His illustrious entry onto the
world scene culminated in what looked first like a shameful defeat,
but soon it turned into the mightiest triumph. This is sufficient
to attract any intelligent contestant to follow the same path. Paul,
the foremost spiritual racer, boldly displays the manner of his
contest. He sums it up by setting forth the rules of the game to
which he is committed: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ”
(I Cor. 11:1; of Phil. 3:7; Eph. 5:1). This is the rule for parallel achievement to that of Paul. Also, the writer to the Hebrew
Christians censures these lackluster people whom he addresses
in order to galvanize them for the race. “…so that you may not
be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience
inherit the promises…. Remember your leaders, those who spoke to
you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate
their faith” (Heb. 6:12;13:7).
In the galaxy of winners of past Olympics there are many
brilliant stars for young athletes to emulate. The Finnish Nurmi,
Czech Zatopek, American Jesse Owens are only a few among
the remarkable athletes who proved themselves in glowing
ways. Christ’s believer has before him/her the Victor who never
experienced a single defeat, Also, we have a whole company
of contestants who triumphed and received their reward from
Him: Paul, Stephen, Antipas and a whole list of shining stars.
Paul, wishing others to follow in his triumphant train challenges
a younger racer, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ
Jesus” (II Tim. 2:3; cf. 4:5).
The Ruler of the games who underwent every conceivable trial
is admonishing His follower (cf. Matt. 10:22). To a company of
faithful, but struggling aspirants against a vast measure of harassment Christ says, “I know that you have but little power, and yet
you have kept my word and have not denied my name” (Rev. 3:8b).
The Preacher of the Old Testament cryptically prophesies, “I saw
that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to
the strong…” (Eccl. 9:11). What an enriching discovery it is, to
stretch for the supply of Christ’s all-excelling arm, submit to His
design and declare, “I can do all things in Him
who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). Paul’s reference
to effective evangelism in this passage should
be remembered. Also, the song of a celebrated
woman warrior, Deborah, offers an arresting clue
at this juncture, regarding the contestant who
has made God his/her total sufficiency: “From
heaven fought the stars, from their courses they
fought against Sisera… March on, my soul, with
might!” (Judges 5:20, 21b).
Successful sports-people receive endless
laurels. Their countries practically deify them
with their best awards. There is a difference
however in the case of the racer in honor of Jesus
Christ. He/she foregoes laurels and praises. It is worth quoting
an admonition from the Master: “Truly, I say to you, they have
received their reward” (Matt. 6:26). Remember too, the sanctified
determination of the start and finish of so many racers: “But recall
the former days when, after you were enlightened you endured a
hard struggle with sufferings… Remember your leaders, those who
spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and
imitate their faith” (Heb. 10:32;13:7). Those who run the race
with earnestness know where to set their sights: “…looking unto
Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was
set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated
at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2; cf. Luke 6:22).
From here, it is not hard to deduce the third implication:
III. Christ’s Call Involves an Energized Course
Paul, athlete par excellence, who faithfully embraced his high
calling, gallantly enduring its vicissitudes, discloses the energizing
resource of his ongoing victory in the hard race. “That I may know
him and the power. of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings,
becoming like him in his death” (Phil. 3:10). This person is accepting the noble contest as a matter of identification with Christ’s
death. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer who live,
but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live
by faith in the Son of God; who loved me and gave himself for me”
(Gal. 2:20). Isn’t this the case with all serious contestants in the
field! Abstinence from certain foods, drinks, manifestly tobacco,
night entertainment, weight control, etc. Christ’s true follower
wishing to win, and to step onto the podium for the high prize,
i.e., His Bema (cf. Rom. 14:10; 5:10), is invited to acquiesce in
His death in keeping with His call. “Truly, truly, I say to you, a
servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater
than he who sent him” (John 13:16). To waver in this dictum is
heresy, if not doctrinal, certainly in practice.
Alongside the deep satisfaction expressed to His disciples for
remaining faithful to Him in His trials, Jesus Christ proceeds to
assign them a kingdom where they will eat and drink at His table
(cf. Luke 22:28–30). Consider the decorated banquet tables for
the triumphantly returning sports people. How different will that
banquet table be, prepared by the Lord himself! Another writer
reassures the believers whose cardinal pursuance in life is faithfulness to Christ “As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation
of your souls” (I Peter 1:9). Similar confidence is affirmed by a
different writer: “But we are not of those who shrink back and are
destroyed but of those who have faith and keep their souls” (Heb.
10:39). The contest of faith does not encounter only adversaries,
like the proliferating cults, but also predisposed enemies with
unending. hostility, such as Islam, Hinduism, post-Christian
secularism, etc.
Paul enlightens us from his own experience about the various
opponents who determinedly withstood his bold proclamation.
“…for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there
are many adversaries” (I Cor. 16:9). Therefore, a shared participation and united effort are of vital importance. Among the most
enthralling disciplines in the arena of contest are the relay races
on the track and in the pool, in which teams of four hand the
baton from athlete to athlete aiming to attain a brilliant win. The
writer, well acquainted with the games, again uses this illustration
demonstrating harmony and coherence to remind believers of the
proper mode of participation. “…with one mind striving side by
side for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27b). The original rendition
could be translated in this way: “with one mind be synathletes for
the faith of the gospel”. The implication is to run as co-athletes.
Sports are generally exciting, but the delight of watching team
contests such as football, basketball, ice-hockey, etc., offer a different pleasure. In team contests we witness the value of synchronized strategy and
harmony in execution. This makes for
success. Evangelism
is certainly an individual involvement,
but also a cooperative pursuit.
The contrary of
this is found in the
same epistle (4:2,3).
Two ladies, Euodia
and Syntyche, past
co-athletes alongside
Paul, Clement and
other fellow contestants now are in the
midst of a fall-out.
Probably the discord
has reached a critical point, causing Paul to send a reminder to
the two women who are active in a dearly beloved fellowship.
Paul’s anguish while in prison is not little. He is inviting them to
become fellow-athletes as before. A certain cockfighter was carrying a couple of his roosters to fight other roosters. But in the
cage along the way, the roosters fought with each other, causing
the death of one and badly injuring the other. The poor owner
sighed, “Why didn’t someone inform them that they were supposed
to be on the same side!”
Team sports require absolute solidarity and consonance. How
much more so the contest for the faith of the Good News! Let
       
each one search with fairness his/her heart and mien. Where did
I cause some discord or disharmony? Candidly, haven’t many of
us caused some provocation within the body of Christ, resulting
in grief and pain, and also impairing the Good News. It has been
heard that the idolaters of the early ages looked with amazement
at the extraordinary love among Christians. They often remarked,
“How these people love one another!” Could the same admiration be uttered
today by those
outside? The
Judge of the
game reassures
His followers:
“I am coming
soon; hold fast
what you have,
so that no one
may seize your
crown… Be
faithful unto
death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 3:11; 2:10b).
The apostle Paul commendably consummated his earthly
tenure designed by Christ himself Now he is in a damp Roman
cell from where his soul-lifting ode reverberates in absolute confidence: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I
have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me
on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his
appearing” (II Tim. 4:7,8). Certainly, a more exuberant celebration than the winner’s jubilant circling the stadium wrapped in
his/her national flag. A sweeter music than the anthem with flags
waving behind. As he is touching the rope, Paul’s brilliant win
is favorably appraised by his Lord. There are no poets around to
uplift him with the skill of their pen; neither are there sculptors
to cast his bust for display in some art gallery. During the whole
contest, he sang unashamedly the praises of the greatest Conqueror, who is already extending him an extraordinary welcome,
commending the brilliant climax of his faith and mission. “And
when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading
crown of glory” (I Peter 5:4).
Christians who are in the noble race are addressed in this
treatise. If you are not a reborn child of God you cannot be
considered a participant in the race. It could be that numerous
defeats spot your track record Your priceless life needs Christ’s
redesigning touch Why not turn away from your sin, commit
yourself by faith to His grace and start your course in the company
of the redeemed, headed to undisputed triumph!
Faster, Higher, Stronger
Bible References: Gen. 32:24-28; Judges 5:20,21b; Eccl. 9:11;
Luke 6:22; 22:28,29; John 13:16; 20:21; Romans 12:7,8; 14:10;
I Cor. 5:10; 9:24–27; 11:1; 16:9; Gal. 2:2b,20; 5:7; Eph. 5:1;
Phil.1:27b; 3:7,10; Col. 1:29; I Tim. 4:7b,8; II Tim. 2:3–6; 4:6-8;
Heb. 2:1,3a; 6:12; 10:32,39; 12:1-3,12; 13:7; James 1:12; Jude
3; I Peter 1:9; 5:4; Rev. 2:10b; 3:11.
Rychleji, výše, silnìji
Thomas Cosmades
2. èást
II. Kristovo povolání—nejvyšší cíl
èedníci, kteøí se ztìží vzpamatovávali z událostí
posledních dnù, byli povzbuzeni neoèekávanou
návštìvou vzkøíšeného Pána. Pozdravil je slovy: „Pokoj
vám. Jako mne poslal Otec, tak já posílám vás.“ (Jan 20:21)
Kníže Pokoje, splnomocnìním Jemu vlastním, jim navrhuje,
aby se stali zvláštními posli. Pøed olympiádou je v každém
národì bìžnou praxí uspoøádat výbìr sportovcù podle urèitých
pravidel stanovených svìtovou sportovní asociací. Kvalifikující se
sportovci mají privilegium reprezentovat svou zemi v národních
Kristus vzal na sebe podobu lidského tìla a vítìznì dokonèil
své poslání v urèeném èase. Nikdy svùj èas nemarnil ani nijak
neriskoval. Jeho pøíchod na svìt pùsobil dojem hanebné
porážky, záhy však promìnìn v mocný triumf. Takový úspìch
jistì upoutá každého
vnímavého sportovce, což
vede k bezprostøednímu
následování. Na toto smìle
poukazuje Pavel, který
je atletem pøedevším v
duchovním slova smyslu.
Jeho pøístup je shrnut
ve ètyøech pravidlech:
„Jednejte podle mého
pøíkladu, jako já jednám
podle pøíkladu Kristova.“ (I.
Kor. 11,1; srov. Filip. 3:7;
Efez. 5:1) V tom je skryt
Pavlùv úspìch.
Pisatel listu k Židùm
køesśanùm pøedkládá ty,
kteøí umdlévají a snaží
se je povzbudit: „Proto
neochabujte, ale vezmìte
si za vzor ty, kdo pro víru a
trpìlivost mají podíl na zaslíbení…mìjte v pamìti ty, kteøí vás vedli
a kázali vám slovo Boží. Myslete na to, jak dovršili svùj život, a
následujte je ve víøe.“ (Žid. 6:12 ; 13:7)
V prùbìhu pøedchozích olympijských her nacházíme mnoho
sportovních hvìzd, které motivují mladé sportovce. Nurmi z
Finska, èeský Zátopek, amerièan Jesse Owens patøí k mnoha
pozoruhodným spotovcùm, kteøí se prosadili. Vìøícím je vzorem
Vítìz, který nikdy nezažil porážku. Setkáváme se vlastnì z celou
øadou vítìzù, kteøí Ním byli odmìnìni: Pavel, Štìpán, Antipa a
mnoho dalších, kteøí zazáøili. Pavel vyzývá další následovníky,
aby si zvolili jeho dráhu: „Snášej se mnou všechno zlé, jako øádný
voják Krista Ježíše.“ (2. Tim.2:3; srov. 4:5)
Pøedstavitel her, který je velmi dobøe obeznámen se všemi
aspekty soutìží, varuje své následovníky (viz Mat. 10:22). Tìm
vìrným, zápasícím s nesmírným protivenstvím vùèi Kristu, øíká,
„Neboś aèkoliv máš nepatrnou moc, zachoval jsi mé slovo a mé
jméno jsi nezapøel.“ (Zjev. 3:8b). Kazatel Starého Zákona skrytì
prorokuje, „Opìt jsem pod sluncem vidìl, že bìh nezávisí na snaze
hbitých…“ (Kaz. 9:11) Jaké to vzácné zjištìní, èerpat ze zásob
Kristovy silné paže, podøídit se Jeho programu a prohlásit:
„Všechno mohu v Kristu, který mi dává sílu.“ (Fil. 4:13) Pøi
efektívním evangeliu by nemìl být tento Pavlùv odkaz opomenut.
Rovnìž chvalozpìv Debory prozrazuje klíè k odhalení postoje
toho, kdo se plnì spolehl na Boha: „Z nebes bojovaly hvìzdy,
bojovaly ze svých drah se Síserou…Jen je mocnì pošlapej, má duše!“
(Soudcù 5:20; 21b).
Úspìšní sportovci si zaslouží vavøínový vìnec. Svou
zemí jsou zbožòováni a odmìòováni nejlepšími cenami. V
tomto se odlišuje závodník
reprezentující Ježíše Krista.
Neoèekává vavøíny a slávu. Je
vhodné zmínit slova Mistrovy
výstrahy: „…amen, pravím vám,
už mají svou odmìnu.“ (Mat.
6:2b) Vzpomeòme posvátného
zanícení mnohých závodníkù:
“Jen si vzpomìòte na døívìjší
dny! Sotva jste byli osvíceni, už
jste museli podstoupit mnohý
zápas s utrpením…Mìjte v pamìti
ty, kteøí vás vedli a kázali vám
slovo Boží. Myslete na to, jak
dokonèili svùj život a následujte
je ve víøe!“ (Žid. 10:32; 13:7).
Ti, kteøí opravdovì bìží, vìdí
kam upøít svùj pohled:“…s
pohledem upøeným na Ježíše,
který vede naši víru od poèátku
až do cíle. Místo radosti, která se
mu nabízela, podstoupil køíž, nedbaje potupu; proto usedl po pravici
Božího trùnu“ (Žid. 12:2; srov. Luk. 6:22). Odtud je snadné pøejít
ke tøetímu poznatku:
III. Kristovo povolání—jasný smìr
Pavel, vynikající sportovec, byl vìrný svému vznešenému
poslání, odvážnì èelil nejistotám, odhalujíc zdroj svého vítìzství
v nároèném závodì. „Abych poznal jej a moc jeho vzkøíšení i úèast
na jeho utrpení, beru na sebe podobu jeho smrti.“ (Fil. 3:10). Tento
èlovìk pøijímá podobu Kristovy smrti. „Jsem ukøižován spolu s
Kristem, nežiji už já, ale žije ve mnì Kristus. A život, který zde nyní
žiji, žiji ve víøe v Syna Božího, který mne zamiloval a vydal sebe
samého za mne.“ (Gal. 2:19b,20) Netýká se to všech úèastníkù?
Zøeknutí se urèitého druhu jídla, nápojù, zvlástì tabáku, noèních
radovánek, nezdravého dietování apod. Skuteèný následovník
Krista pøející si stanout na stupních vítìzù, (Øím. 14:10; 5:10) je
obeznámen se souvislostmi svého poslání. „Amen, amen pravím
vám, sluha není vìtší než jeho pán a posel není vìtší než ten, kdo
ho poslal.“ (Jan 13:16) Zpochybnìní tohoto výroku je kacíøství.
Ježíš Kristus, s hlubokým uspokojením za vìrnost, uèedníkùm
udílí království, místo u Jeho stolu, kde s Ním budou jíst a pít.
(viz Lukáš 22;28–30) Pøedstavme si prostøené stoly na poèest
úspìšných sportovcù. Což teprve hodovní tabule pøipravená
samotným Pánem! Jiný pisatel ujišśuje vìrné vìøící: „…a tak
docházíte cíle víry, spasení duší.“ (I. Petrova 1;9) Na jiném místì
povzbuzuje sebevìdomí: „Ale my pøece nepatøíme k tìm, kdo
odpadají a zahynou, nýbrž k tìm, kdo vìøí a dosáhnou života“. (Žid.
10;39) Na cestì víry se však nesetkáváme jen se soupeøi, ale také
se zarytými nepøáteli jako je Islám, Hinduismus, pokøesśanský
sekularismus apod.
Pavel hovoøí o vlastní zkušenosti, kdy èelil protivníkùm: „…
otevøela se mi zde veliká a nadìjná pøíležitost, ale také protivníkù je
mnoho.“ Proto je sjednocení sil a úsilí životnì dùležité. Nejèastìjší
disciplínou jsou štafety, pøi kterých týmy po ètyøech spoleènì
usilují o vítìzství. Pisatel, znalec sportovních her, toto používá
k ilustraci potøebné harmonie øádného úèastenství: „…vedete
jednou myslí zápas ve víøe v evangelium…“ (Filip. 1;27b) Pùvodní
text mùže být parafrázován takto: „…buïte jednomyslní ve víøe
v evangelium.“ Dùležitý je spoleèný bìh. Sport je v podstatì
vzrušující záležitostí, avšak sledování fotbalových a hokejových
zápasù èi košíkové, pøináší zvláštní požitek. V týmových sportech
jsme svìdky souhry a správné strategie. V tom spoèívá úspìch.
Evangelium vyžaduje v každém pøípadì osobní nasazení, ale take
spoleèné úsilí.
Ve stejné epištole nacházíme i opak. (4:2,3) Obì ženy, Euodie
a Syntyché, se zúèastnily stejného zápasu jako Pavel, Klement
a ostatní. Nyní odpadávaly. Pravdìpodobnì neshody došly
do kritického bodu, a proto jim Pavel domlouvá. Pavel má ve
vìzení starosti. Vyzývá je, aby se opìt pøipojily k týmu. To nám
pøipomíná pøíbìh jednoho èlovìka, který se zabýval kohoutími
zápasy. Vlastnil dva kohouty a vozil je v jedné kleci. Kohouti se
však poprali, jeden zahynul a druhý byl vážnì zranìný. Ubohý
majitel si povzdechl: „Proè jim nikdo neøekl, že mìli držet
Ve sportovním týmu je vyžadována naprostá solidarita a
souhra. Totéž platí i na cestì víry v nesení dobré zprávy! Nechś
každý poctivì zkoumá své srdce i mysl. Kde jsem zpùsobil
rozladìní nebo nesoulad? Ve vší upøímnosti, nezpùsobili mnozí
z nás pohoršení tìlu Kristovu (církvi), vedoucí k zármutku,
bolesti a znehodnocení dobré zvìsti? Víme o tom, že v poèátcích
køesśané ohromovali modloslužebníky svou neobyèejnou láskou.
„Jak se mají rádi!“ øíkávali. Mùže být nìco podobného øeèeno
i dnes? Rozhodèí tìch nejdùležitìjších zápasù povzbuzuje své
následovníky: „Pøijdu brzy; drž se toho, co máš, aby tì nikdo
nepøipravil o vavøín vítìze…Buï vìrný až na smrt, a dám ti vítìzný
vìnec života.“ (Zjev. 3:11; 2:10b)
Apoštol Pavel se plnì zhostil svého poslání naprogramovaným
samotným Kristem. Nyní byl vhozen do øímského žaláøe, kde
s naprostou jistotou vyznává: „Dobrý boj jsem bojoval, bìh
jsem dokonèil, víru zachoval. Nyní je pro mne pøipraven vavøín
spravedlnosti, který mi dá v onen den Pán, ten spravedlivý
soudce. A nejen mnì, nýbrž všem, kdo s láskou vyhlížejí jeho
pøíchod.“ (II. Tim. 4:7,8) Toto je jistì daleko vyšší ocenìní, než
bìh vítìzù kolem stadionu, zabalených do národní vlajky. Je to
sladší hudba než zvuk národní hymny s vlající vlajkou v pozadí.
V okamžiku, kdy se dotýká cílové pásky, je Pavlùv záøivý úspìch
ocenìn jeho Pánem. Žádní básníci svým perem neopìvují jeho
dovednost, ani sochaøi netvoøí bustu na výstavu v nìjaké galerii.
V prùbìhu svého zápasu svým odvážným zpìvem vzdával chvály
tomu nejvìtšímu Vítìzi, který mu pøipravil nádherné uvítání,
hodnotíc dosažení nejvýššího stupnì víry a misije „Když se pak
ukáže nejvyšší pastýø, dostane se vám nevadnoucího vavøínu slávy.“
(I. Petr. 5:4)
Hovoøí se zde o køesśanech, kteøí bìží vznešený závod.
Jestliže nejsi znovuzrozeným dítìtem Božím, nemùžeš být
považován za úèastníka tohoto závodu. Možná je tvá dráha
poznaèena mnohými porážkami. Tvùj bezcenný život potøebuje
Kristovùv pøetváøející dotek. Odvraś se od høíchu, vírou pøijmi
Jeho milost a nastup cestu spolu s vykoupenými, která vede k
naprostému vítìzství!
Pøeložila Nataša Legierská
       
John the Baptist:
The Power of the Prisoner
Matthew 11:1–19
Part 3
Dr. Richard Niswonger
fter an interview with the disciples
of John the Baptist, Jesus turned
to the crowd and asked, “What did
you go out into the desert to see?” (Matt.
11:7). Jesus thus raised the question about
what kind of man this desert prophet really
was. His own answer to that question
could be summarized in His statement:
“Among those born of women there has
not risen anyone greater than John the
Baptist” (Matt. 11:11). Scripture makes it
clear that John’s reputation reached to the
Jerusalem temple leaders, to the political
powers in Israel and beyond the province
of Judea. Herod Antipas, although he
beheaded the prophet, actually had been
fascinated by him and liked to listen to him.
John’s teachings were known in Egypt.
Apollos had been acquainted with these
teachings when he lived in the Egyptian
city of Alexandria. The book of Acts says
that after he left Alexandria, he came to
Ephesus and was instructed further about
Jesus by Priscilla and Acquila. And when
Paul came to preach Christ in Ephesus in
Asia Minor, he found a band of twelve
disciples of the Baptist’s teaching who
had received his baptism of repentance.
Not only did John’s influence spread far
and wide, he made a huge impression in
Israel. After Christ’s teaching work began,
for a few months it appeared that John’s
ministry even overshadowed that of Jesus.
Our Lord at first did not publicly announce
his messiahship, and shunned crowds.
Let us look at verses 2 and 3: “When
John heard in prison what Christ was
doing, he sent his disciples to ask Him, “Are
you the one who was to come, or should we
expect someone else?” Even the greatest of
spiritual leaders have times of trial, doubt
and discouragement. If it could happen to
a man of spiritual power like John, it could
happen to you and me. Remember Elijah
and the mighty display of God’s power in
overwhelming the prophets of Baal? The
story that follows the account of victory
is a sad tale about how the fearful prophet
fled to the desert, flopped down under a
scrubby tree and pitifully cried for God to
take his life.
It is no wonder that John, who was so
much like Elijah, had a period of despair
as well. Consider the sudden changes he
suffered. He had been in the limelight;
now he was in an obscure fortress dungeon
in a bleak desert east of the Dead Sea. He
had been a rugged outdoorsman; now
he was shut off from sunlight and fresh
air. He had delivered God’s warning of
impending judgment. He had portrayed
the threat of the axe already beginning to
cut into the corrupt tree of the reprobate
religious hierarchy; but now the tree of
the wicked prospered while John suffered
imprisonment by Herod Antipas. A simple
question must have plagued his mind,
“Why am I in prison?” And even though
God had led him to proclaim the coming
of the Messiah, and though he had pointed
out Jesus as the Lamb of God, now he
even wondered if Jesus really was the
promised Messiah. Perhaps he should look
for another. A dank, damp, gray prison;
long cold nights in the dark; and fear for
tomorrow—these are things that twist the
mind and emotions. Yet even when we find
ourselves in such moments of darkness, we
need more than ever to hold fast to our
faith and hope.
Jesus knew that much of John’s perplexity was based on partial information.
When we do not understand God’s design,
we need to trust His goodness and seek
His wisdom. Jesus cared about John’s
perplexity, and He wanted John to get
a clearer picture of what the Messiah’s
work was all about. The reports John had
received from his own disciples were partial
and fragmentary. Note verses 4–6: “Jesus
replied, ‘Go back and report to John what
you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the
lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the
good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is
the man who does not fall away on account
of me.’” John was an Old Testament kind of
prophet. He did not fully understand the
character of the Kingdom of God. It would
be an era of healing, grace, compassion and
mercy. The judgment of God would be
delayed until the gospel had been preached
to all the nations. John needed perhaps to
hear the word of another prophet who had
spoken of this era. Isaiah said, in 35:5, 6,
“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then shall the lame man leap as an hart,
and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in
the wilderness shall waters break out, and
streams in the desert.” Jesus at a later stage
of His ministry read a passage from the
Isaiah scroll at the Nazareth synagogue
that explained His ministry of grace (Luke
4:18–21): “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me to preach good
news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim
freedom for the prisoners and recovery of
sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back
to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of
everyone in the synagogue were fastened
on him, and he began by saying to them,
“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your
       
hearing.” This day was the day of God’s
grace, not a day for final judgment.
Let us consider further Jesus’ question
to the crowd. “What did you go out into
the desert to see?” In verse 7, He suggests
another possible answer: “A reed swayed
by the wind?” It would be easy to imagine
that when the crowds went to the Jordan
River where John baptized, sometimes a
breeze would blow and the reeds by the
water would bend low with the wind. A
reed is flexible, weak, easily swayed from
an upright position. But John was a man of
fortitude, a resolute and intrepid prophet.
The man they went out to see was a man
of unwavering strength and boldness. The
man they saw did not compromise his
message because of intimidating religious
figures. No opposition would cause him to
vacillate or waffle when he knew God had
given him his message. In a sense the wind
that was blowing those reeds by the Jordan
was more than a physical breeze. In both
Greek and Hebrew (pneuma and ruach)
the word for wind also means spirit, and
breath. That wind symbolized the fresh
breath of God’s spirit at work in John.
The Spirit emboldened him to proclaim a
difficult message. And we need that same
breath of God to make us powerful witnesses.
Jesus’ next question is in verse 8: “If
not, what did you go out to see? A man
dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear
fine clothes are in kings’ palaces.” The word
translated “fine” could also be rendered
“soft or “expensive.” If John were alive
today, he would probably buy his clothes
at some western cowboy gear store, or an
outdoor outfitters’ shop. He was a wild,
scruffy-looking desert dweller.
Read with me the next section, verses
9 to 11: “Then what did you go out to see?
A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than
a prophet. This is the one about whom it is
written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of
you, who will prepare your way before you.’
I tell you the truth: Among those born of
women there has not risen anyone greater
than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in
the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
How is it that we could be greater than
John? John did not live on to the age of
the church when God’s message of grace
spread around the world. Imagine our
blessed position in the church. The Holy
Spirit that empowered John’s message not
only is with us, but dwells within us. As
great as was God’s outpouring of power on
John, a greater measure of God’s grace and
power came at Pentecost, and is available
to you and me.
The next verse has puzzled students.
Verse 12 reads, “From the days of John the
Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven
has been forcefully advancing, and forceful
men lay hold of it.” It could mean that
John forcefully advanced the Kingdom
and that converts forcefully are born into
the kingdom. Or it makes sense to say
that while John powerfully advanced the
work of God, he also suffered violence at
the hands of evil men like Herod Antipas.
There are powers in this world that are
working against the gospel. Their hatred
may become violent. We need to make
sure that we have the power of God’s spirit
working in our lives. Then we can minister
not with violence but with mercy, grace
and compassion in calling others to our
Finally, notice the closing section of this
passage (16–19): “To what can I compare
this generation? They are like children sitting
in the marketplaces and calling out to others:
‘We played the flute for you, and you did
not dance; we sang a dirge and you did not
mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor
drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and
a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and
sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her
actions.” The story tells of petulant, easily
bored children who cannot decide what
game they want to play. Whatever game is
chosen by their playmates, they know it is
not the one they want to play. Jesus meant
that no matter what style of ministry He
or John had, there would be some who
would carp and criticize. A judgmental
spirit is in danger of misperceiving when a
work of God’s Spirit is in progress. Don’t
expect the secular or even the religious
world to applaud you when you do God’s
work. Remember John’s words, “He must
increase but I must decrease.”
Editorial … Pokraèování ze strany 102
kvalitnìjšímu životu i v oblastech ponìkud zaostalých.
Jaká je kvalita vnitøního, tedy soukromého života jedince? Je tato
spoleènost spoleèností šśastných lidí? Skuteènì šśastných lidí? Je
zakrýváno rouškou køesśanství nešśastné nitro èlovìka?
Každý èlovìk prochází rùznými zkouškami, které mají nesmírný
vliv na vnitøní stav èlovìka a formování jeho osobnosti. Nìkteøí lidé
žíjí v poklidném klimatu. Jiní naopak žijí životem dramatickým, aś už
vlastní vinou nebo díky vnìjším vlivùm. V takové situaci se èlovìk stane
nespokojený a nešśastný. Své neštìstí dává pociśovat lidem v okolí.
V jiném pøípadì své neštìstí zakrývá úsmìvem a v neustálé nadìji na
lepší budoucnost doslova zápasí s danou situací den za dnem. Život se
zdá být pøíliš komplikovaným a èlovìk si nepøestává klást otázky.
„Bùh je naše útoèištì, naše síla, pomoc v soužení vždy velmi osvìdèená…“
(Žalm 46, 2) V tomto verši je odpovìï i nadìje do dalšího roku, do
kterého vstupujeme. Aś ten uplynulý rok byl jakýkoliv, s dùvìrou opìt
vykroème s pohledem upøeným na našeho Pána a Spasitele.
Boží vedení a požehnané dny v roce 2005!
Šéfredaktorka Nataša Legierská
       
Check our Convention Web page:
Ján Krstite¾:
Jánovo svedectvo
Ján 1:19–34
Èasś 2
¼uboš Dzuriak
toto je svedectvo Jánovo, keï židia z
Jeruzalema poslali k nemu kòazov a
levítov, aby sa ho spýtali: Kto si ty?
20 Vyznal a nezaprel. Vyznal: Ja nie som
21 I spýtali sa ho: Èo teda? Si Eliáš? Povedal:
Nie som. Èo si prorok? Odpovedal: Nie!
22 Povedali mu teda: Tak kto si? Aby sme
dali odpoveï tým, ktorí nás poslali: Èo hovoríš
sám o sebe?
23 A on povedal: Ja som hlas volajúceho na
púšti: Vyrovnávajte cestu Pánovi, ako povedal
prorok Izaiáš.
24 A poslovia boli z farizejov;
25 opýtali sa ho teda: A tak preèo krstíš, keï
nie si Kristus, ani Eliáš, ani prorok?
26 Ján im povedal: Ja krstím vodou, ale medzi
vami stojí Ten, ktorého vy nepoznáte.
27 Ten, èo prichádza po mne, a ja nie som
hoden rozviazaś Mu remienky na obuvi.
28 Toto sa stalo v Betánii za Jordánom, kde
Ján krstil.
Druhé svedectvo Jána Krstite¾a
29 Keï druhého dòa videl (Ján) Ježiša, ako
prichádza k nemu, povedal: Ajh¾a, Baránok
Boží, ktorý sníma hriech sveta.
30 Toto je ten, o ktorom som povedal:
Prichádza po mne muž, ktorý je predo mnou,
pretože bol skôr ako ja.
31 A ja som Ho nepoznal, ale preto som prišiel,
krstiac vodou, aby bol zjavený Izraelovi.
32 Ïalej svedèil Ján hovoriac: Videl som
Ducha zostupovaś z neba ako holubicu a
spoèinúś na Òom.
33 A ja som Ho nepoznal, ale ten, èo ma
poslal krstiś vodou, mi povedal: Na koho uvidíš
zostúpiś Ducha a spoèinúś na Òom, to je Ten,
ktorý krstí Duchom Svätým.
34 A ja som videl a svedèil, že On je Syn
Ján Krstite¾ sa objavuje ako prvý svedok
Ježiša (verše 6–8; 15) v úvode Jánovho
evanjelia a jeho svedectvo ve¾mi výstižne
zaèína toto evanjelium. V prvý deò (19–28)
Ján Krstite¾ svedèí o tom, že on sám nie je
tým svetlom (8a); na druhý deò (29–34) Ján
svedèí o svetle (1:8b).
Evanjelista Ján uvádza tému veršov 19–
28 vo verši 19: „A toto je svedectvo Jánovo.“
Pojem „svedectvo“ alebo „svedok“ (martyria)
majú náboženský a právny rozmer a obidva
sa znaène vyskytujú v Evanjeliu pod¾a Jána.
Krstite¾ovo svedectvo o Ježišovi privedie
mnohých ku viere, avšak plní aj funkciu
dôkazu pri odsúdení. Jánovi vyšetrovatelia
v tejto pasáží nie sú len obyèajní zvedaví
okoloidúci, ale delegácia vyslaná vysokými
židovskými predstavite¾mi (verše 19 a 22).
Výraz „židia“ (hoi Ioudaioi, verš 19) sa
opakovane vyskytuje vo štvrtom evanjeliu
a má mnoho významov. Jeho najèastejší
význam, tak ako je tomu vo verši 19,
predstavuje židovskú náboženskú vrchnosś,
ktorá je zdrojom najväèšieho odporu voèi
Ježišovej misii v Evanjeliu pod¾a Jána.
Výsluch vo veršoch 19–28 ma formálny
charakter a toèí sa okolo otázky „Kto si
ty?“ (verš 19). Záležitosś Jánovej identity sa
musí vyriešiś skôr ako sa pristúpi k ústrednej
otázke evanjelia—k Ježišovej identite.
Formálny a rázny zaèiatok verša 20
(“Vyznal a nezaprel. Vyznal: Ja nie som
Kristus.”) hovorí o vážnosti Jánovej
odpovede. Ján vyznáva: “ Ja nie som
Kristus,” aj keï sa ho nikto nepýtal, èi je
Mesiáš. Grécke slová Jánovho zapretia
(ego ouk eimi, “Ja nie som”) sú zrete¾ným
opakom toho, èo povedal Ježiš v Evanjeliu
pod¾a Jána, keï hovoril o tom, kým je (ego
eimi, “Ja som”). Rétorika Jánovho zapretia
jasne hovorí, že on nie je Kristus.
Na rozdiel od prvej otázky, druhá
a tretia už obsahuje predikát: „Si Eliáš?“;
„Si prorok?“ (verš 21). Eliáš a prorok boli
ústredné postavy, na ktorých si pomerne
mnohé mesiášske oèakávania v Judaizme
znaène zakladali. Eliáš vystúpil do neba
bez toho, aby zomrel (2 Krá¾ov 2:11)
a mnohí židia oèakávali jeho návrat v roli
zvestovate¾a príchodu mesiášského veku
(Mal 4:5). “Prorok” sa odvodzuje od
„proroka podobného Mojžišovi“ z 5.
Mojžišovej 18:15. V Qumránskej komunite
sa považoval tento prorok za mesiášsku
postavu a podobné oèakávania mala
pravdepodobne aj spomínaná židovská
Jánovo zapieranie je ve¾mi strohé. Ján
odmieta, že je Eliáš a tým sa Evanjelium
pod¾a Jána znaène líši od Synoptikov. V
Matúšovi (11:14; 17:10–13) a Markovi
(9:13) Ježiš hovorí o Jánovi ako o Eliášovi;
v Lukášovi anjel oznamuje Zachariášovi,
že jeho syn bude ako Eliáš (Lukáš 1:17).
Ján je v tomto evanjeliu vykreslený ako
Ježišov svedok a nie ako mesiášska postava.
Krstite¾ovou odpoveïou na opakovane
kladenú otázku oh¾adom jeho identity
(verš 22) sú slová z Izaiáša 40:3 povedané
ním samotným (verš 23). V synoptických
evanjeliách sú aplikované slová z Izaiáša
40:3 na Jána Krstite¾a, teda naopak ako
v Evanjeliu pod¾a Jána. (Mat. 3:3; Marek
1:2–3; Lukáš 3:4). V tomto evanjeliu sa teda
Ján identifikuje ako hlas, ktorý oznamuje a
Veršom 24 sa zaèína druhé štádium
vypoèúvania. V Ježišovej dobe boli farizeji
len jednou z mnohých vedúcich židovských
náboženských skupín, avšak v dobe
pisate¾a Evanjelia pod¾a Jána sa stali rabíni
(následníci farizejov) už dominantnou
       
skupinou Judaizmu. Evanjelista Ján
poukazuje na prítomnosś farizejov vo
verši 24, aby tak naznaèil spojitosś medzi
autoritami, ktoré kládli odpor Ježišovi poèas
jeho života a komunite Jána Krstite¾a.
Otázka vo verši 25 sa zameriava na Jánovu
autoritu a opodstatnenie vykonávania krstu.
Jánova odpoveï presúva pozornosś od krstu
na Ježiša (verše 26–27). Verš 27 kladie dôraz
na toho, o kom je svedèené a nie na toho,
kto svedèí; dokonca ani sluhovia nemali za
povinnosś rozviazávaś sandále svojho pána.
Betánia spomínaná vo verši 28 je èastokrát
mylne zamieòaná s Betániou pri Jeruzaleme
Vo veršoch 19–28 sa Ján nebojí povedaś
pravdu predstavite¾om náboženskej
vrchnosti o jeho identite a jeho poslaní
zvestovaś. Ján odvážne hovorí pravdu
každému, kto je ochotný poèúvaś. Verše
29-34 sú napísané tak, aby vyzdvihli
Jánove svedectvo. V pasáži dominujú také
slovesá, ktoré poukazujú na jeho aktívnu
úèasś v dianí: „vidieś“ (verše 29, 32–34),
“svedèiś” (verše 32, 34), “povedaś” (verše
29–30, 32, 34). Táto pasáž taktiež obsahuje
ve¾a priamej reèi. Evanjelista Ján nehovorí
o tom, ako Ján Krstite¾ svedèil, ale necháva
èitate¾ov poèuś Jánovo svedectvo na vlastné
uši. Ján vo verši 23 sám o sebe hovorí, že
je hlas svedka a v stati 29–34 èitate¾ má
možnosś poèuś tento hlas. V Evanjeliu
pod¾a Jána sa Ježiš prvýkrát objavuje vo
verši 29, ale v tejto scéne ostáva mlèky v
ústraní. Dôraz je na Jánovom svedectve.
Ján identifikuje Ježiša ako „Božieho
Baránka, ktorý sníma hriech sveta“ (verš
29). Jednotné èíslo slova „hriech“ (hamartia)
poukazuje na kolektívnu zvrátenosś celého
sveta a nie na individuálne ¾udské hriechy.
Termín “Baránok Boží” je zaužívaným
symbolom v Starom Zákone, avšak znalci
Písma sa jednoznaène nezhodujú vo výklade
tohto symbolu. Jánovo oznaèenie „Baránok
Boží“ mohlo byś myslené v spojitosti
s baránkom, ktorý zvíśazí, tak ako sa o òom
píše v post - biblickej židovskej apokalyptickej
literatúre. Tento výraz sa však môže s ve¾kou
pravdepodobnosśou odvolávaś aj na staś
z Izaiáša o trpiacom služobníkovi (Izaiáš
53:7) alebo na ve¾konoèného baránka, ktorý
je oslavný a liturgický symbol vyslobodenia
Izraela (Exod 12:1–13). V Judaizme nebol
ve¾konoèný baránok vnímaný ako obeś za
hriechy, avšak ranná cirkev už interpretovala
tento symbol vo svetle eucharistie (1
Kor. 5:7–8). V Evanjeliu pod¾a Jána sa
Ježišovo ukrižovanie skutoène spája so
zabitím ve¾konoèného baránka. Evanjelista
napríklad spája Ježišove nezlomené nohy pri
ukrižovaní (19:33) so staśou z 2. Mojžišovej
12:46, kde sa vyuèuje o ve¾konoènom
baránkovi (19:36). Mnohí uèitelia Písma si
teda právom myslia, že metafora „Baránok
Boží“ sa nemôže vyložiś len na základe
pasáže trpiaceho služobníka, èi symbolu
ve¾konoèného baránka, ale ich vzájomnou
kombináciou. A tak Krstite¾ovo oslovenie
Ježiša vo verši 29 (prvé z mnohých oslovení
v 1. kap.) pochádza z pestrého dedièstva
symbolov, ktorým chce Ján poukázaś na
to, že Ježiš je vykupite¾ sveta z hriechu.
Ján hovorí o tom, že Ježiš existoval
od poèiatku, avšak jeho slová znejú skôr
záhadne než ako priame tvrdenie. Verš 30 je
ozvenou Jánovho svedectva z úvodu (1:15)
a podobá sa skôr na jedno z christologických
prehlásení rannej cirkvi, než na prehlásenie
židovského proroka z prvého storoèia. Ján je
teda osvedèený ako pravdivý a hodnoverný
svedok, keïže svedèí pod¾a pravdivých
prehlásení cirkvi.
Vo verši 31 sa nachádza odpoveï na
otázku z verša 25: „A tak preèo krstíš, keï
nie si Kristus, ani Eliáš, ani prorok?“ Jánov
krst sa tu nedáva do súvislosti s krstom na
vyznanie hriechov (tak ako je tomu u Matúša
3:1–12); Ján tu krstí výluène iba ako svedok
(na svedectvo). Toto je ešte zjavnejšie pri
Ježišovom krste vo veršoch 32–34. Ján nie je
vykreslený ako vykonávate¾ Ježišovho krstu;
Jánova úloha pozostáva len z poukázania na
krst, keïže nikde v texte sa nespomína, že
Ján nakoniec aj vykonal Ježišovo pokrstenie.
Boh a Duch Svätý sú hlavní úèinkujúci
a vykonávatelia. Vo verši 31a a 33 je zjavné,
že Ján „poznal“ Ježiša len vïaka tomu, že
mu Boh povedal, ako si vysvetliś zostúpenie
holubice (verš 32).
Evanjelista Ján uzatvára túto pasáž
s oficiálnym Krstite¾ovým prehlásením (verš
34). Slovesá vo verši 34, “vidieś” (horao)
a “svedèiś” (martyreo), sú v dokonavom
vide. V gréètine to vyjadruje ukonèený
dej v minulosti, ktorého vplyv pokraèuje
v prítomnosti. Jánove svedectvo má teda
stále dopad na prítomnosś. Ján rozpoznáva
v Ježišovi „Syna Božieho“, uznáva jeho
jedineèný vzśah s Bohom a jeho schopnosś
zjavovaś Boha doteraz nevídaným spôsobom
(verše 14 a 18).
Slová Jána Krstite¾a v prvej kapitole
29–34 bohato svedèia o Ježišovi: On je ten
Baránok Boží, ktorý sníma hriech sveta (verš
29); ten, èo bol od poèiatku (verš 30); nosite¾
Ducha Svätého (verš 33); Syn Boží (verš
34). Evanjelistovo zameranie sa na rolu Jána
Krstite¾a ako svedka, poskytuje jedno ve¾mi
významné teologické prehlásenie, pretože
svedèenie je poèiatoèným bodom viery
v Evanjeliu pod¾a Jána (3:11, 32–36; 4:39).
All donation should be send in enclosed envelope.
The checks will be delivered to right financial secretaries. (Vera Dors, Henry
Pojman, Grace Niswonger or Donna Nesvadba.)
! Gifts for Ladies’ work—make check payable to Czechoslovak Baptist
Women’s Missionary Union.
! Gifts for Convention—make check payable to Czechoslovak Baptist
Convention. On the bottom of the check mark to what account you are
sending your contribution: Convention, Glorious Hope, Trust Fund, or
Scholarship Fund.
 You may send separate check (one for Ladies and one for convention
accounts) in the same envelope.
       
 If you are sending contributions for convention (Convention,
Glorious Hope etc., you may send only one check, and write on
the bottom how you want to divide the amount (for example: Total
$150; $100 Convention, $50 Glorious Hope etc.) You do not
have to send two separate checks.
For your information, financial secretaries’ addresses are as
Henry Pojman
Vera Dors
2393 West Ham Rd.
6621 Elmdale Rd.
Oakville, ON L6M 4P2
Middleburg Hts, OH, 44130
November/December 2004
ave you prayed for the radio ministry? Then God bless you with these
responses to the Czech programs:
Viera from Batizovce writes, “Very
much loved TWR staff. We love to listen to
you in Slovakia, under the Tatra Mountains
every night at 10:30, to the Step by Step
and Thru the Bible (TTB) programs. It builds us spiritually
and encourages us.”
Marie in Horazdovice says, “For me personally, the
moments with TTB cannot be replaced with anything else. I
am praying for you.”
From Prague, Vlastimil praises, “I was very deeply influenced by the TTB programs; they are the best I have ever
heard. The Gospel of John was for me the pivotal teaching
in my relationship to God.”
Jarmila in Liberec writes, “My dear siblings in Christ.
Though I have never written you before, I have sent financial
support from time to time and I pray for you. But when you
moved your air time from evening to night, I felt very cross
Poslucháèska pošta
because I go to bed quite early. Then I realized that I can take
my Bible any time and read. But those who do not believe
in God and live “at night” may catch a seed of God’s Word
in this way and this seed can grow. I wish you a lot of God’s
blessings in your work.
A Listener from Bratislava claims that after listening to the
TTB program, “I feel as if I’m coming out of the “Holy of
Petr honors the radio ministry, “For sure you are one of
the ‘Christian Girders’ in our country. Thank you again very
much for your precious ministry.”
“Thanks to you I grew up and I am still growing in Jesus
Christ and getting closer and closer to Him,” says Jana in
Hana claims that the programs are like a fountain of youth:
“I am an old lady but with your programs I feel younger, as if
I really got younger. I don’t know what I would do without
you. I listen every day.”
Grow young with Hana as you pray!
George Cooper for TWR Czech and TWR Slovakia
November/December 2004
odlil si sa za misijnú prácu cez rádio? Potom nech śa Boh
požehná týmito odpoveïami na Èeské vysielanie:
Viera z Batizoviec píše: „Srdeène zdravím pracovníkov
TWR. Poèúvame vás na Slovensku, pod Tatrami každý veèer
o 22:30—programy Krok za krokom a Svetom Biblie. Duchovne
nás to buduje a povzbudzuje.“
Marie z Horazdovic hovorí: „Pre mòa osobne sa momenty so
„Svìtem Biblie“ nedajú nièím iným nahradiś. Modlím sa za vás.“
Z Prahy, poïakovanie od Vlastimila: „Bol som ve¾mi hlboko
ovplyvnený programom „Svìtem Bible“, je to najlepšie vysielanie
aké som kedy poèul.
Evanjelium Jána bolo pre mòa pilierovým uèením vo vzśahu
k Bohu.
Jarmila z Liberca píše: „Moja drahá rodina v Kristu. Hoci som
vám nikdy predtým nepísala, obèas som vám poslala finanènú
podporu a modlím sa za vás.
Keï ste ale posunuli vysielací èas z veèerných hodín na noèné
ve¾mi ma to nahnevalo, pretože chodím spaś dosś zavèasu.
Potom som si uvedomila, že ja si môžem vziaś Bibliu a èítaś ju
kedyko¾vek, ale v tých, èo neveria v Boha a žijú „v noci“ môže
byś takto zasiate Božie slovo a toto semeno môže rásś. Prajem
vám Božie požehnanie vo vašej práci.
Poslucháè z Bratislavy tvrdí, že po poèúvaní TTB programu:
„Cítim sa, ako keby som prichádzal zo „Svätyne Svätých.“
Peter oceòuje misijnú službu rádiom: „Istotne ste jedným
z Kresśanských pilierov našej krajiny. Ešte raz vám ïakujem za
vašu drahocennú službu.“
„Vïaka vám som rástla a ešte stále rastiem v Ježišovi Kristovi a dostávam sa bližšie a bližšie k nemu.“—povedala Jana z
Hana tvrdí, že programy sú ako fontána mladosti. „Som stará
pani, ale s vašimi programami sa cítim mladšia, ako keby som
naozaj omladla. Neviem, èo by som robila bez vás. Poèúvam vás
každý deò.“
Stávaj sa mladším s Hanou keï sa modlíš!
George Cooper za TWR Èesko a TWR Slovensko
Ladie’s Page … Pokraèování ze strany 123
tak, jako by to bylo poprvé. Otevøete oèi, dívejte se pozornì,
aś vidíte krásu kolem sebe. Pozornì se zaposlouchejte do slov,
s námi Bùh, Emmanuel! Pøipravte své srdce k radosti z Pána,
snažte se vidìt ve všem Boží slávu, a také Boha chvalte.
Toto je období obdarovávání, sdílení, péèe o druhé a pøípravy.
Je to období, kdy si pøipomínáme minulost a zárovìò obnovujeme
nadìji pokoje—opravdového pokoje—na zemi.
Radujme se, pøišel Pán.
Pøeložila Nataša Legierski
September 30, 2004
Dear Sisters in Christ,
It was so good to be able to be
with you and share a few days
of fellowship together. I am so
grateful for your prayers and
financial support through the
years. Thank you for the large
gift which enabled me to replace
my stolen digital camera. I also was able to purchase a printer
with the gift.
It is always a blessing to me to share at your women’s
meeting. May the Lord continue to use you as a group for His
Love in Jesus, Ruby Mikulencak
Dear brothers and sisters.
November 4, 2004
A sincere thank you line “…to them that have obtained like
precision faith with us… II Pet 1:1–8
By God’s grace and brotherly love of dear brother and sister
t is hard to believe that in a few
days the Christmas holidays will be
here. When we think “Christmas,”
we imagine (besides other things) snow
and cold. Yes, in some parts of North
America we have already had some
snow. In some southern parts there has
never been snow. Right now, as I write
this article, we are enjoying Florida’s
75–80oF weather during Thanksgiving
break, while some other places have
much colder weather and snow. But no matter if we have snow
or hot weather during Christmas, one thing is always same: we
are remembering the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. And that
should be the most important event during this holiday season.
Jesus Christ came to this world so He could take our sins on
Himself and later on be crucified. Let’s not forget the real meaning of the Christmas season.
And now here is some important information about our convention:
•The next annual convention, our 96th, will be held July 7–10,
2005, in Philippi, West Virginia. The general theme for the 96th
convention will be What Is Asked of Us? Deuteronomy 10:12:
So now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you?
•We would like to have again the train trip, on July 11, 2005,
if we get enough participants.
•Check the convention web page (www.ab.edu/czslbaptconv)
       
George and Marija Sommer, my brother Lazar, and I both born
in Yugoslavia, permanently living in Sweden now, were able
to finally visit and enjoy warm, heart felt, precious Christian
fellowship during midyear meeting held in Toronto on October
22, 2004 and at Mr. & Mrs Jan Alac’s home.
We are eagerly following up your missionary endeavors via
Glorious Hope for long time.
Many thanks for unforgettable time of fellowship with you
all. May God continue to bless and to be with us all.
Brother Mimir Gruic
Dear George and Marija,
November 18, 2004
Enclosed is our contribution for the Convention. We are
hoping and planning to attend the convention next Summer,
2005. Andy is slowly regaining strength and we both go to
exercise class twice a week.
Our thoughts and prayer are always with the Czechoslovak
Baptist Convention, we really miss the fellowship and meetings.
In His love Andy and Alice Kmetko
and see pictures from the 95th annual convention as well as
other news and announcements.
•We again apologize for the delay in sending CDs (Matuzalem
and DVD 95th Convention). They are being manufactured, and
labels and covers printed. They will be mailed ASAP. (A new
piece of software is needed). It takes a lot of time to design
and print labels and covers for CD and DVD disks. We also
found out that there is not complete compatibility between
DVD disks and DVD players. We have had to order a piece of
equipment, which will solve the problem. Then copies have
to be made, a mailing list prepared, and the disks packed and
mailed. And everything is done by one person—a one-person
factory. Again, we are really sorry.
George Sommer, Executive Secretary
Please write to:
Glorious Hope
Rt.4, Box 58D
Philippi, WV 26416 USA
Include your mailing label from a recent
issue of Glorious Hope for faster service.
Jan Karafiát
Translated by Daniela Bísková
Part 13
hen he got home, it was as if
Lucius had lost his tongue.
He said nothing, but the next
day he did just as he had done before.
He went straight to the garden round
the beautiful house and shone and
shone minding nothing else. But after
a little while he settled down on top of
the pear tree and began to meditate.
“Why should I have to stay and shine
here? What matters is that I shine and
it doesn’t matter where. There are plenty of us here, anyway.” And as he was
thinking about it he took no notice of
anything else, flew down from the pear
tree and away over the vineyards to the
wood, over the hill and along the brook
till he came to the bank where the rose
bush grew. And there he stopped and
hesitated. Once again Veronica came running out from the
“I thought you would come. I like fireflies when they shine
nicely.” “Listen, Veronica, would you like to be a firefly?”
“If I weren’t a ladybug I would…”
At that moment an angry young ladybug flew in from the
brook. He was red as fire and his black eyes were all sparkling
as he took Lucius to task, “You rascal! You good—for—nothing, I’ve seen you hanging around a few times! What do you
want here?” And he started to attack Lucius.
Veronica was frightened and ran off home. Lucius was
frightened too and tried to back away. But the angry ladybug
came after him and when they got as far as the brook another
ladybug appeared.
“Come on, this is the rotter.” They attacked Lucius from
both sides.
“Why don’t you mind your own business! What are you
looking for here?” One pounded him on the right side, the
other on the left. Lucius kept backing away defending himself
as best he could. But it was a case of two against one and they
went at it pretty hard, shouting at him and pounding away.
Finally the first ladybug gave Lucius such a blow that he was
knocked right down to the ground. “That’s that. And don’t
dare to show your face here again.” And off they went.
Lucius jumped up pretending that nothing had happened.
But it wasn’t so. His left hind leg dragged behind him and
was hurting pretty badly. He was ashamed to cry. What should
he do? It was too early to go home and
the garden was so far. He crept into the
grass and kept his leg cool in the dew
till the stars began to grow pale. Then
he limped home. Father and Godfather
caught up with him.
“What’s the matter, Lucius? You’re
“I fell down and hurt myself, Daddy.”
“Fell down? I never heard such a
“I did, I fell on the ground and hurt
my left leg. I can’t move it.”
When father heard this he felt sorry
for Lucius and helped him along a bit.
But Godfather shook his head and said
nothing. Mother saw them coming from
the window and was alarmed. “What
has happened? For goodness sake, what has happened?”
“Well, Lucius says that he fell and hurt himself. Somehow
I don’t think so.” “So you’ve fallen, Lucius. Does it hurt a
“No, not much, Mummy, but quite a lot. My left leg is
very sore.”
So Lucius was helped into the house. He did not want any
supper and went to bed; he’d be all right in the morning. But
he couldn’t sleep and in the morning he wasn’t all right. His
left leg was very sore, inflamed and swollen. Father had to fly
by himself and Lucius stayed in bed.
And now Jeanine came hurrying across, bringing wild
thyme oil. She said nothing and asked no questions; she only
put oil on Lucius’ leg. Only when she and Lucius were alone
did she say, “You haven’t been obedient, have you, Lucius?”
But Lucius did not utter a word.
“Well, if you don’t want to confess, I cannot force you,
I’m sorry. Anyway, you know where to find me.” And off she
Lucius was quiet and grumpy. The next day he was able to
get up and on the third day was ready to fly again with his father. He flew and acted as if nothing had happened. He took
no notice of anything, but he shone and shone in the garden
by the beautiful house. The tall lady was sitting under the ash
tree, knitting a stocking. Ellie and Paul were playing on the
They had a white lamb with them. It had a red ribbon
round its neck and it nibbled at the grass and skipped about.
The two children ran behind it, laughing; they did not notice
at Lucius. But the lady under the ash tree turned round and
saw him. Lucius took no notice; he just shone and shone.
He shone the whole night until morning. He shone the next
night, and he shone all that week and all that month.
Once more the days were growing shorter and the nights
longer. All this time Lucius was in a bad temper. He paid
very little attention to anybody—to Godmother, Lucinda and
Jeanine, as if he was afraid of her as he had been at the very
beginning but he shone and shone.
Till one day, when summer was nearly over and after he
had shone for a little, he sat at the very top of the pear tree
and started to meditate. “Why, it wouldn’t take long and I
would be back again. Winter is nearly here.” He could not
think of anything else. He flew down from the pear tree,
away over the vineyards to the wood, over the hill and along
the brook till he came to the bank where the rose bush grew.
But he stopped right under the bank and listened. “What was
that?” From the house in the rose bush came the sound of
singing and shouting and cheering. What could be happening?
As he looked and listened he saw a tiny little beetle lying
with his legs folded on his tummy in the grass. He, too, was
looking and listening. Lucius crept up to him. “I say, Rose
chafer, what’s going on here?”
“Don’t you know? Veronica from the rose bush is getting
married.” “For goodness sake! Getting married?”
“Sure, she is. She’s marrying the young ladybug who lives
on the other side of the briar.”
“Him? He’s such an angry fellow with fiercely glowing
“When he’s angry. But he’s not angry today. Look, they’re
just coming out.” And there they all were coming out of the
rose bush. The young ladybug was in front, leading Veronica
by the hand.
As soon as Lucius saw this, his heart began aching and he
felt as if his head was on fire. He turned round immediately
and flew and flew until he found himself at the copse. Underneath the high, stiff heather there was soft, velvety moss; in
the moss, close to the rock, a lovely little house. Lucius burst
in without even so much as a word of greeting, sank down on
a low seat and burst into tears. There he sat crying, crying and
crying so much that it would have melted a stone. “Lucius!
Lucius, what has happened to you?” asked Jeanine.
But Lucius could not get a single word out; he just kept
on crying and crying. “What has happened to you?”
But Lucius cried and cried and cried.
Then Jeanine sat down beside him and put her hand on his
“Can you hear me, Lucius? Can you hear? What on earth
has happened to you, what? Can you hear me, my dear Lucius?”
But Lucius still kept on crying. Then gradually he could
       
not cry any more and just sobbed.
“So what has happened to you, Lucius? Tell me.”
“Oh, she’s got married.”
“Which Veronica? The one from the rose bush? Of course,
I thought it was so.” “And she married the ladybug who beat
me up so much at that time.” “So it was him?”
“Yes, I was with Veronica, only for a little while, and I
asked her if she would like to be a firefly—she told me once
she would —and he flew in and started to beat me and then
he called another ladybug and they both kept beating me and
then they threw me down. I didn’t go there since then and
today, when I flew over there to have a look, they were having
a wedding.”
And Lucius started crying again, and cried and cried; of
course, Jeanine felt sorry for him.
“Oh, oh, Lucius, I was always afraid of this, and you were
so sure that you would be obedient. Do you remember? You
see, you have been disobedient again. No good firefly leaves
the place he is supposed to be and flies off somewhere else.
And then Lucius, who has ever heard of a firefly courting a
ladybug? No, this is not obedience. The Lord God doesn’t
want this. And what troubles me most, Lucius, is that you
lied to father and mother. You told them then that you had
fallen. You have a lie on your conscience.”
“But I did not lie. I did fall.”
“Yes, but you lied. They thought that something different
had happened and you wanted them to think so. Don’t make
excuses; that only makes it worse. Now go back and do your
lighting and then tell your parents everything.”
Lucius did as Jeanine told him. He flew and shone obediently until father and Godfather called for him. They flew
along in silence; they did not say a word. When they were
about to part Lucius began his confession.
“I have to say something, please, Daddy and Godfather.
When I had a sprained leg I did not fall. Two ladybugs beat
me up.”
“Ladybugs? Why should they beat you?”
“I, I, I—I had been to the rose bush several times. Please,
will you forgive me? I’m so sorry.”
Father had tears in his eyes. “Of course I forgive you.”
And Lucius kissed his hand.
The same happened with his mother. She cried and forgave him; but only if he was sincerely obedient from then on,
as she wished. And everything went on as usual, only Lucius
was not his old self. He kept shining and shining, he earnestly
shone, but he seemed to be sad and hardly spoke at all.
Then one morning, very late, when they were all in bed,
mother thought that Lucius was asleep and began talking
softly to father.
“Jeanine has been here. She was saying it is about time
Lucius got married.” But Lucius wasn’t asleep and heard her.
Continues on page 121
Jan Karafiát
13. èást
oma byl Brouèek zaøezaný.
Neøíkal nic, ale druhý den to
bylo zas tak. Nejdøív letìl tam
do té zahrady, drobátko svítil, pak si
sedl na hrušce na samý vrcholek, na nic
nedbal, a nièeho si nevšímal, a poèal
mudrovat: „A proè bych já musel tady
svítit! Jen když svítím. Tady jest nás
beztoho nazbyt, a ona povídala, že by
chtìla být také takovým brouèkem.“
A tak si to povídal, a na nic nedbal, a
nièeho si nevšímal, sletìl však s hrušky,
a marš—vzhùru, okolo lesa, pøes vrch,
podle potoka—tu jest ta mez, tu na
ní ta rùžtka, a tu se Brouèek zastavil.
Nevìdìl, má-li, nemá-li. Ale tu k nìmu
vybìhla Verunka.
„Brouèku, však já jsem si myslila, že pøiletíš. Já mám ráda
brouèky, když pìknì svítí.“
„A poslouchej, Verunko, ty bys také chtìla být takovým
„I kdybych nebyla Verunkou, já bych“
Ale tu najednou pøiletí od potoka takový mladý rozzlobený
Verunek. Celinký èervený jako oheò, a ty èerné oèi se mu jen jen
jiskøily. A už se sypal na milého Brouèka.
„Ty kluku, ty darebo, ty tuláku—ty jsi špatný chlap, víš? Ty kluku!
Však já jsem tì tady už kolikrát vidìl! Ty kluku, co ty tu máš!“ A
pøi tom hned na Brouèka dorážel.
Verunka se lekla, a utekla domù. Brouèek se také lekl, a poèal
coufat. Ale Verunek za ním, a tu se tam u potoka vyskytne ještì jiný
verunek. „Pojï sem, pojï sem, tady jest ten kluk!“ A on pøiletìl,
a pustili se z obou stran do nebohého Brouèka. „Ty kluku, proè
si ty nejdeš po svých! Co ty tu máš, ty kluku!“ A jeden ho mlátil s
pravé strany, a druhý ho mlátil s levé strany.
Brouèek coufal a coufal, a jak tak se bránil, ale za jednu dostával
dvì, a to poøádné. A poøád: „Ty kluku, ty kluku, proè si nejdeš po
svých! Co ty tu máš, ty kluku!“ Až byli dole u potoka. Tu mu ten
první Verunek takovou jednu dal, že se Brouèek horem pádem
pøevalil. „Tu máš, ty kluku, a aś se zde víckrát neokážeš!“
Pak už ho nechali, a Brouèek honem vyskoèil, a jako by nic,
ale ono nebylo, jako by nic. Tu levou zadní nožku za sebou jen jen
vlekl, a moc ho to bolelo, ale stydìl se plakat.
Co si poèít? Ještì bylo brzy, a tam do té zahrady tak daleko.
Zalezl do trávy, a chladil si nožku v rose, až hvìzdièky poèaly
blednout. Pak vrávoral domù. Ještì byl na cestì, když ho tatínek
s kmotøíèkem dohonili.
„Co pak ti jest, Brouèku? Vždyś se motáš.“
„Tatínku, já jsem upadl, a udeøil jsem se.“
„Ty žes upadl? Kdo pak to kdy slyšel!“
„Ano, já jsem padl na zem, a udeøil jsem se tady do levé nožky.
Ani jí nemohu hnout.“
A když to tatínek slyšel a vidìl, jemu bylo Brouèka líto, a šel
a trochu mu pomáhal. Ale kmotøíèek kroutil hlavou, neøíkal však
nic. Maminka je vidìla z okna, a byla
hned celá podìšená.
„Co pak se stalo?“
„I, Brouèek povídá, že upadl, a že se
udeøil. Ale já si to nemohu ani myslit.“
„A tys upadl, Brouèku, a moc ses
„I ne moc, maminko, ale dost, Levá
nožka mne moc bolí.“
A tak s Brouèkem honem domù, a
když nechtìl pranic veèeøet, tak aby si
šel lehnout, že do rána bude dobøe. A
Brouèek si lehl, ale nespal, a ráno nebylo
dobøe. Levá nožka ho moc bolela, a byla
zapálená a oteklá.
A tak musel tatínek letìt sám, a
Brouèek zùstal ležet. Ale Janinka už
spìchala, a nesla s sebou olejíèek z mateøídoušky. Neøíkala nic,
a neptala se nic, ale pìknì Brouèkovi celou nožku namastila.
Teprv, když byla s Brouèkem sama, zaèala: „Vid’, Brouèku, tys byl
neposlušný, vid?“
Ale Brouèek ani necekl. „Inu, když si to chceš nechat na
svìdomí—jest mnì tì líto, ale já tì nutit nemohu. Však víš, kde
zùstávám.“ A s takovou Janinka odešla.
Brouèek mlèel, ale byl mrzutý. Druhý den však byl zas na nohou,
a tøetí den že zas s tatínkem poletí. A letìl, jako by nic. Na nic
nedbal, nièeho si nevšímal, a svítil a svítil a svítil tam v té zahradì
u toho pìkného domu.
Ta velká paní sedìla pod jasanem, a pletla punèochu. Elinka
a Pavlíèek si hráli na trávníku. Mìli tam bìlounkého beránka s
èerveným páskem na krku. On se pásl a skákal, oni skákali s ním a
mìli radost. Po Brouèkovi se ani neohlédli. Ale ta paní pod jasanem
se ohlédla, a vidìla Brouèka, a Brouèek je také všecky vidìl, ale
nic nedbal, nic si jich nevšímal, a svítil, a svítil, a tak celou noc až
do rána, a druhou noc zas tak, a tak celý týden, a tak celý mìsíc.
A dne už hodnì ubývalo, a noci hodnì pøibývalo, a Brouèek býval
hodnì mrzutý. Nikoho si ani nevšiml, ani kmotøièky ani Berušky,
a Janinky jako by se skoro zas bál, jako tenkráte na poèátku, ale
svítil a svítil a svítil.
Až jednou, už zas k podzimku, drobátko z veèera svítil, pak
si sedl na hrušce na samý vrcholek, a zaèal mudrovat. „Vždyś
by to dlouho netrvalo, a já bych tu honem zas byl. Už bude brzy
A tak si to povídal, a na nic nedbal, a nièeho si nevšímal, sletìl
však s hrušky, a marš vzhùru okolo lesa, pøes vrch, vedle potoka,
tu jest ta mez, tu na ní ta rùžtka. Ale Brouèek se už hned dole pod
mezí pozastavil, a poslouchal. „Co pak to?“ Tam z rùžtky se ozývá
tolik zpìvu, a hned zas tolik jásotu a lomozu. „Co pak to?“
A když se Brouèek ohlížel, tu vidìl tam výš na mezi malinkého
brouèka zlatohlávka. Ležel v trávì na bøiše se založenýma rukama,
a díval se a poslouchal. Brouèek se k nìmu pøikradl.
„Zlatohlávku, co pak to tu jest?“
„Ty nevíš? Verunka z rùžtky má svatbu.“
„I, pro pána! Že má svatbu?“
„Arciś že má. Bere si mladého Verunka tamhle na druhé stranì
z šípku.“
„Toho? Viï, jest takový rozzlobený, a oèi se mu jiskøí.“
„Ano, když se zlobí. Ale dnes on se nezlobí. Vidíš, však jdou z
rùžtky ven.“ A oni šli z rùžtky ven, v pøedu Verunek s Verunkou,
vedl si ji za ruku.
Jakmile to Brouèek spatøil, ach, v nìm se všecko obracelo, a jako
by mu hlava hoøela, a hned pryè a pryè. Letìl a letìl, až se octnul
u hájeèku. Pod skalou vysoká vøasa, a v té vøase mech jako samet,
a v tom mechu na samé skále krásná krásná chaloupka. Brouèek
vrazil hned do chaloupky, ani nepozdravil, klesl na stolièku, a dal
se do pláèe, a plakal a plakal, že se kámen mohl ustrnout.
„Brouèku, Brouèku, co pak se ti stalo?“ ptala se Janinka. Ale
Brouèek nemohl ani slovíèka ze sebe vyrazit, a plakal a plakal. „Co
že se ti stalo?“ Ale Brouèek plakal a plakal.
Tak si Janinka k nìmu sedla, položila mu ruku na rameno:
„Slyšíš, Brouèku, slyšíš! Co že se ti stalo, co? Slyšíš, ty mùj milý
Brouèku, co?“ A Brouèek plakal a plakal, až se vyplakal, a už jen
„Co že se ti stalo, Brouèku, co? Tak mnì povìz!“
„Ach, ona má svatbu.“
„Která Verunka? Ta z rùžtky? Vždyś já jsem si to tak
„Ano, a bere si toho Verunka. To on mne tenkrát tak
„To on?“
„On. Já jsem tam byl u Verunky, ale jen okamžik, a ptal jsem
se jí, jestli by chtìla být také takovým brouèkem—ona mnì jednou
povídala, že by chtìla—a tu on pøiletìl, a zaèal mne tlouci, a zavolal
si ještì jednoho, a poøád mne tloukli, až pak mnou praštili o zem.
Od té doby jsem tam nebyl, a když jsem se tam dnes letìl podívat,
oni mají. svatbu.“
A už Brouèek zas plakal a plakal, a bodejś by bylo bývalo Janince
Brouèka líto.
„Ach, ach, Brouèku, vždyś já jsem se toho poøád bála, a ty
ne, ne—že budeš poslouchat. Pamatuješ se? Vidíš, jaks už zas byl
neposlušný. Který pak poslušný brouèek opustí své místo, a letí,
kam nemá letìt! A pak, Brouèku, Brouèku, kdo pak to jaktìživ
slyšel, aby si brouèek dìlal známost s verunkou, a aby si snad
dokonce na ni myslil.
Ne, to není poslušnost. Tak to Pán Bùh nechce. A co mne nejvíce
na tebe mrzí, to jest, Brouèku, žes ty tatínka a maminku obelhal.
Vždyś tys øekl, žes tenkrát upadl. To máš lež na svìdomí.“
„Ale vždyś já jsem nelhal. Já jsem spadl na zem.“
„Ano, ale lhals. Oni si to jinak myslili, a tys to chtìl. Nic se
nevymlouvej. Tím to dìláš jen horší. Ted’ honem ještì leś, a pìknì
sviś, a pak to všecko vyznej.“
A Brouèek si dal øíci. Letìl a pìknì svítil, až se tatínek s
kmotøíèkem pro nìho stavili. A letìli a nemluvili nic, ani slovíèko.
A když se mìli rozcházet, poèal se Brouèek zpovídat: „Prosím vás,
tatínku a kmotøíèku, když jsem mìl tenkrát tu vymknutou nohu,
já jsem neupadl na zem. Dva verunci se na mne sbìhli a ztloukli
„Verunci? A proè by tì oni tloukli?“
„Já, já—já jsem byl nìkolikrát tam u té rùžtky—prosím vás,
odpusśte mnì to. Mnì jest toho líto.“
Tatínkovi vstoupily slzy do oèí: „Ach, ach—ale, tak já ti to
odpouštím“, a Brouèek mu políbil ruku.
S maminkou to bylo také tak. Dala se do pláèe, ale že mu to
odpouští, jen kdyby už upøímnì poslouchal. A bylo zas jako dobøe,
ale Brouèkovi nebylo ještì dobøe. Svítil, svítil, upøímnì svítil, ale
byl vždy jako opaøený, a skoro ani nepromluvil. Jednou, už hezky
pozdì, když všickni ulehli, myslila maminka, že Brouèek spí, a
zaèala tatínkovi po tichouèku vypravovat: „Tak zde byla Janinka,
a povídala, že už bude èas, abychom Brouèka oženili.“ Brouèek
však nespal a slyšel to.
„Ne, ne, maminko, já se nebudu ženit.“
„I mlè. Proè bys ty se neženil!“
„Ne, já se nebudu ženit.“
„I však ty se budeš ženit.“
„Ach ne, maminko, já se nebudu ženit.“
„Nu, tak nechś. Ale teï jen spi.“
A Brouèek spal. Ale druhý den se stavil u Janinky. „Já se nebudu
„Ty že se nebudeš ženit? A proè bys ty se neženil?“
„Vždyś se každý nemusí ženit.“
„Kdo nemùže, nemusí, ale kdo mùže, musí. Poslušný brouèek
se aspoò každý žení, když mùže. Tak to Pán Bùh chce. A teï si
dej pozor, chceš-li proto poslouchat, že se to tobì anebo nìkomu
jinému líbí, anebo proto a jedinì proto, že to tak Pán Bùh chce.“
„Ale vždyś vy jste se také nevdala.“
„Nevdala —protože jsem nemohla. Beruška nemùže jít, a
nemùže si nìkoho namlouvat. Ona musí èekat, až si nìjaký
poslušný brouèek pro ni pøijde. A když žádný hodný brouèek
nepøijde, tak zùstane do smrti svobodná, a ví, že proto nikdo pro ni
nepøišel, že Pán Bùh nechtìl. Tak to jest, Brouèku, tak. Teï to ještì
nespìchá, ale budeš se ženit, protože to Pán Bùh tak chce. Vždyś
už jest maminka stará, a zaèíná jaksi churavìt. Co pak nechceš,
aby si mohla pøece trochu odpoèinout? Tak už jen leś. Však už to
dlouho nebude trvat.“
A Brouèek neøíkal nic, a letìl a svítil a svítil. Však už to dlouho
netrvalo, a poèínalo být zima. A tak brouèci, že už nikam nepoletí.
Jen že se ještì u Janinky sejdou. A sešli se, kmotøíèek a kmotøièka
a Beruška, a tatínek a maminka a Brouèek, pak ještì ten mladý a
starý brouèek z roždí, a povídali si a mìli se dobøe. Brouèek sedìl
vedle Janinky, byl dobré mysli, ale neøíkal nic.
Maminka mìla ze zimy veliký strach. Døíví že mají dost, ale že
jest taková daremná, že neví, jestli to pøeèká.
Ale ten starý brouèek z roždí prorokoval, že nebude zlá zima,
že to pozoroval na mravencích. A tak si povídali, až zas zapoèalo
louèení, a každý si letìl po svém, Janinka stála pøed chaloupkou v
mechu, a dívala se za nimi. Však už bylo zima. Maminka si hned
lehla, a tatínek s Brouèkem se dali do práce. Všecko snesli do
kuchyòky, zavøeli vnitø dvéøe na petlici, zastrèili špejlek, ucpali
dvéøe i okna mechem, a teï aby si tøeba mrzlo. Ale maminka mìla
pøece jaksi strach.
Ještì se pomodlili:
Pod veèer tvá èeládka, Co k slepící kuøátka,
K ochranì tvé hledíme, Laskavý Hospodine,
pac a pusu, a spali a spali a spali. Dobøe se jim to spalo.
Pøetištìno s povolením
       
The Ultimate Gift
Darko Siracki
Matthew 2: 9–11
he Wise Men went on their way and the star they
had seen in the east went ahead of them until it
stopped over the place where the child was. When
they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the
house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they
bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their
treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of
incense and of myrrh.
Hardly an average gift for a
two-year-old. No, I wasn’t expecting the newest version of the Nintendo Game Cube or X Box, but
I’m sure that a simple ball would
be more exciting for a kid this
However, the Wise Men did
not bring the gifts for a baby Jesus;
these gifts were carefully chosen
and prepared for a King. You see,
the Wise Men knew who it was
that they were looking for (Matthew 2:2). They knew that the star
that appeared to them would lead
them to the king of the Jews, and
Oriental custom required that an
inferior should approach a king
or other great person presenting
a gift. These gifts would mostly
consist of gold and very expensive
“Ok,” you might say, “I’m familiar with gold, but
what about incense and myrrh?”
Well, let’s see:
Incense (frankincense) was a white gum obtained by
slitting the bark of a tree called Arbor Thuris.
It was very fragrant when burned. For this reason it
was often used in sacrificial offerings.
Myrrh was also obtained from a tree in the same
manner as incense; however this spice was used in
embalming dead bodies, as it prevented putrefaction.
The word myrrh means bitterness.
The gold that was presented to the Infant King was a
symbol of His royalty, the incense a symbol of His divinity, and the myrrh of His sufferings and death.
Many believe that the Wise Men started the gift-giving
tradition that we enjoy at this time of the year. This might
be true; however I know that we give because God gave
For God so loved us that he gave His only Son.
Yes, a Child was born, but a Son was given. Behold
what manner of love the Father has given to us, that
we should be called children of God (John 3:16, Isaiah
9:6 and 1 John 3:1).
The love of the Father is
clearly shown in the gift of His
Son. Jesus was a perfect gift,
wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Jesus is the gift that continues to
give. He gave His life that you
can live. He gave His precious
blood that your sins might be
washed away. And just before He
left to prepare a place for you, He
promised you one more gift: the
Comforter—the Holy Spirit that
now dwells in you (if you have
accepted His perfect gift).
Christmas is the season of giving because God gave first. He
gave us that ultimate gift of Jesus
This Christmas let’s give, to
poor, needy or less fortunate, as
our Father gives: generously and
with a cheerful heart.
Let us not forget that Jesus is
the real reason that we celebrate this season and that
He must be first on our gift list.
Luckily, “shopping” for Him is easy. Don’t try
tapping into the trees for expensive spices…other have
tried, and all they got is maple syrup. Gold is still valuable, but to our Lord it’s only pavement for the roads
(Revelation 21:21).
The only thing the Lord wants and the only thing
that we can give is our hearts and our time.
Just as the magi brought to Jesus the best from their
lands, we must bring our best. What God blessed us
with, we must honor Him with.
Now hurry up! You must prepare and “wrap” the
gift for your Savior.
Fireflies … Continues from page 117
Ladie’s Page … Continues from page 123
“No, no, Mummy, I won’t get married.” “Nonsense, why
shouldn’t you marry?”
“No, I won’t get married.”
“Oh, of course you’ll get married.”
“Oh, Mummy, I won’t.”
“Very well then. Go to sleep now.”
And Lucius slept. But the next day he dropped in on
“I’m not going to marry.”
“You’re not going to marry? And why not?”
“After all, everybody doesn’t have to marry.”
“He who cannot marry, doesn’t. But he who can has
to, for the Lord God wants it so. And now listen carefully:
whether you want to be obedient because you or someone
else likes it or because and only because the Lord God wants
it.” “But you didn’t get married.”
“I didn’t because I couldn’t. A Miss Firefly can’t go and
ask someone to marry her. She has to wait until an obedient
Mr. Firefly comes to ask her. And if no obedient firefly comes,
she stays alone until her death and she knows that the Lord
God cares for her. That’s how it is, Lucius. You needn’t be in
a hurry just now, but you know your mother is getting older
and weak. Don’t you want her to be able to take things easy?
Now be off. You’ll see, things will come right before long.”
Lucius flew off. He did not say anything and shone and
shone. Again the cold season was drawing on when the fireflies
would no longer be able to fly out. They had one last meeting
at Jeanine’s. Everyone came: Godfather, Godmother, Lucinda,
father, mother, Lucius and, the young and old fireflies from
the twigs. They talked and had a good time. Lucius sat beside
Jeanine; he was in a good mood but spoke little.
Mother was very anxious about the winter. She knew they
had plenty of wood but she did not feel very well and wasn’t
sure whether she would survive the time of cold. The old firefly
from the twigs prophesied that the winter would not be a severe
one. He had learned this from the way the ants behaved.
They talked for some time. Then they began to say goodbye and everybody flew home. Jeanine went out to see them
off. It was getting cold.
Mother went to bed right away but father and Lucius set
to work. They brought all the provisions to the kitchen, bolted the door and covered it and the windows with moss. Now
it could freeze as much as it liked. But mother was still worried. Before they went to bed they said a prayer:
Underneath your sheltering wings,
Take, we pray, all living things.
Watch us all from heaven above
God of mercy and of love.
They kissed one another and slept and slept and slept. Oh,
how they slept!
Reprinted with permission
(King) “Mark my footsteps, my good page. Tread thou in them boldly.
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage freeze thy blood less coldly.”
       
In his master’s steps he trod, where the snow lay dented.
Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure—wealth or rank possessing—
Ye, who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing.
What else does this carol declare but that God, who so loved
the world and gave his only begotten Son in generous giving
to us, expects that we will follow with the same demonstrable
love, reaching out to a world broken and failing. Following after
him, we falter in exhaustion and woundedness. But just take the
footprints that Christ has left from his own travels through the
world, he would seem to say, and your inner being will be rejuvenated and warmed. Remember, “…he restoreth my soul.”
There are other, grander things to sing at Christmas, I know,
deeper with message and biblical precision. “Come, thou long
expected Jesus, born to set thy people free. From our fears and
sins release us; let us find our rest in thee.” Or, “Joy to the world
the Lord has come, let earth receive her king.” And, “Yea, Lord,
we greet thee, born this happy morning, word of the Father now
in flesh appearing: O come let us adore him, Christ the king.”
This year, listen to the words you sing. Don’t let familiarity with
their phrases and refrains rob you of the profound message.
Be blessed by listening to the songs and stories that you love
best, hearing them as if for the first time. Open your eyes and
see fresh, beautiful things of heaven and earth. Listen carefully
with your ears to the words of God-with-us, Emmanuel! Have
a ready heart to experience the joy of the Lord, and be prepared
to see the glory of God all around and to glorify God in all your
This is a season for giving, caring, sharing, and preparing.
It is a time for remembering the past and for renewing hope
for peace—real peace—on the earth. The day is come again to
rejoice, for the Lord has come. 
From the President … Continues from page 122
we are together and all that we hope to accomplish, a vital
ministry may grow up among us like we could hardly believe.
To see such vigor happen on our watch, while still we have
the time to work for him—would it not be great!
End-of-December notions: Christmas and the New Year are
partially intended for entertaining big dreams—what might have
been, what still might come to pass. Bless you, one and all.
Let dreams turn into vision. The notions will go well beyond
December’s experience.
Robert Dvorak
andom notions of December:
1. Here we go again, running out of time.
I have sometimes thought how great it
would be to get three or six months of back
time free. That is, reverse the clock and use
the re-allotment to fix up everything that went
haywire, or more importantly, everything that
did not get done within accepted time limits. I
could catch up, couldn’t I? (Of course I know
the answer, and it is not an encouraging one,
since I know me.)
Especially this time of year, imagine getting
really up to speed with all that needs taking
care of. The pressure is on, and I’m, well, running out of
time—again. I hate it. (Do you know a bit whereof I speak?)
Well, beloved friends of this Czechoslovak Baptist Convention,
for a change I’m thinking, Let the season come to me this time,
instead of dashing madly to catch up with it. Jesus came toward
us and the world when were not expecting it. He picked the
time and place. His schedule! He still does that same thing by
his Holy Spirit, I do believe. Our best thing is not to rush out
in front of ourselves or of Christ, but to let his coming approach
us—where we are, whatever state of togetherness or of disrepair
we may be in. Christ will find us. He has been doing so since
his first arrival.
2. Whatever else, it is important for me to carve out time to reflect
back on the series of months we’ve now about passed through.
This task is an annual phase of my year. Most such revisiting
of where I have been—and once again this one—I find much
about which to be troubled, regretful, and dismayed in the way
that I interplayed with the time given. But I also know that the
grace of a loving and forgiving God (Thank God!) has been
everywhere and constantly present. I recognize it over and
over again in the incidents and occurrences contained within
the flashback period. Of the two opposite poles, I’ll take the
latter. And we’re always encouraged to do just exactly that—to
rest our lives in the goodness and healing of the Lord. If he has
forgotten some of the disturbances I’ve created, what possible
usefulness is there in letting them feed on me longer?
3. With the arrival of this Christmas season, and with some
substantial accumulation of these annual reruns now, I desire
more than anything else peace. That one good gift! Which is
exactly what Jesus brought with him as prime bestowal on the
earth. So surely there is a shot at connecting with it. Depends
somewhat on my practice of a faith that means something, in
my searching and desiring for best things that God offers us. I
want “peace and good will” not only for myself, but also for a
world terribly fractured in these concluding weeks of 2004.
4. At the last, I wish you and yours—all our convention community—fresh delight in the Lord. I ask for prosperity in your
spirit, health of body, and a lively mission to drive your days
regardless how few or many they may be. For the convention as
a whole, I pray for a new depth of life in service to the gospel
and for a growing affection and esteem among us constituting
us truly a “family” in Christ. With God at the heart of who
Continues on page 121
rosincové pozastavení se.
1. A je to tu, nestíháme. Nìkdy mne
napadlo, co by se stalo, kdybychom mìli
tøi nebo šest mìsícù volného èasu navíc. Museli
bychom vrátit hodinky zpìt a využít získaný èas
na napravení všeho, co se nepodaøilo, zvlástì
to, co nebylo zvládnuto v urèeném èasovém
limitu. Napravil bych všechno, není-liž pravda?
(Pochopitelnì mi je jasná odpovìï, a není
nejuspokojivìjší, jak se znám.)
Milí pøátelé Èeskoslovenské baptistické
konvence, pro zmìnu pøemýšlím. Nechś pøijdou
tentokrát svátky za mnou, na rozdíl od šíleného
honìní se za nimi. Pán Ježíš k nám pøišel na
svìt v dobì, kdy nebyl oèekáván. Byla to Jeho volba, èas
i místo. Vìøím, že prostøednictvím Ducha Svatého, jedná
stále stejným zpùsobem. Nemá smysl se vzájemnì pøedbíhat
nebo se dokonce snažit pøedbìhnout Krista. Nechme Ho
pøijít k nám. Nezáleží na tom, v jakém rozpoložení právì
jsme, jsme-li celkovì vyrovnaní nebo rozháraní. Kristus si
nás najde. To je Jeho zpùsob od prvopoèátku.
2. Dále pokládám za dùležité, uplynulé mìsíce zkoumat.
Pravidelnì, každý rok. Vìtšinou se vracím tam, kde jsem
byl—a opìt —mnohé mne zneklidòuje, mnohého lituji a mám
obavy, že jsem promarnil èas. Jsem si však vìdom milosti
našeho láskyplného a odpouštìjícího Otce (díky Bohu!)
zùstávající se mnou. Pøi pohledu zpìt si to znovu a znovu
uvìdomuji. Máme pøebývat v Pánovì laskavé a uklidòující
pøítomnosti. Jestliže On nevzpomíná na má pøestoupení,
nemá smysl se nimi neustále zabývat.
3. S pøíchodem vánoc (a po pohledech zpìt) toužím ještì
více po pokoji. Není nad tento dar! To je pøesnì to, co
Ježíš pøinesl s sebou na zem. V každém pøípadì to stojí
za to ten dar pøijmout. Záleží však také na mém pøístupu
k víøe, která nìco znamená. Záleží také na mém hledání a
touze po tom nejlepším, co je Bohem nabízené. Toužím po
„pokoji a dobré vùli“. Nejen pro sebe, ale také po pokoji ve
svìtì, který je v tìchto posledních dnech roku 2004 vážnì
4. Závìrem vám všem pøeji—celé konvenèní komunitì—nové
potìšení v Pánu. Prosím za to, aby se vám daøilo po
duchovní i tìlesné stránce; aby vaše dny plnilo misijní
poslání, bez ohledu na to, kolik dní máme ještì pøed sebou.
Ohlednì konvence jako celku, prosím za nové rozmìry
ve službì evangelia a za rostoucí vzájemnou úctu; tvoøící z
nás skuteènou „rodinou“ v Kristu. S Bohem na zøeteli, se
spoleènou touhou, mùžeme zažít neuvìøitelné obživení.
Být svìdky takového úkazu na hodinkách, a stále ještì mít èas
pracovat na Jeho díle—to by bylo nìco!
Prosincové pozastavení konèí. Bìhem vánoc a Nového roku
jsou èásteènì realizovány velké sny—co nebylo, mùže být. Všem
vám pøeji požehnání. Nechś se sen promìní ve vizi. Takové
pozastavení je dùležitìjší, než prosincové zážitky.
Robert Dvoøák
Will You Be Ready
When Christmas Comes?
Budete pøipraveni
na pøíchod vánoc?
Dottie Dvorak
Dottie Dvoøáková
eady for Christmas? What does that mean? How do
you get ready? What I do not mean is, Will the work
get done, the cards sent, the shopping, cooking, and
cleaning finished. Instead my meaning is, Will we have prepared
ourselves to celebrate the miracle of Christ’s coming ever so long
ago, and still?
For me the best preparation comes through many songs and
stories of the season. I have a collection of Christmas books that I pull
out every year. Reading from them is
a part of Christmas for me. Every one
of us probably has something to tell of
our accumulation of experiences over
the years, seeing Christmas come and
go, and living through a wealth of rich
moments that are part of this special
time of year.
One of my favorite books is a small
volume telling the story of Wenceslas
the First, who ruled in Bohemia from
921 to 929 AD. Most of us probably
know his story best from the Christmas
carol that bears his name, “Good King
Wenceslas.” He spread his faith and
good will with zeal. He worked tirelessly
to provide for the poor. Remember his
page, who walked in his footprints and
was physically warmed and refreshed,
as the legend goes, even through a terribly cold night. Every Christmas in our family, we remember
Wenceslas and sing his story in words blessed to us:
Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen
when the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night (though the frost was cruel)
when a poor man came in sight gathering winter fuel.
sme pøipraveni na vánoce? Jak je to vlastnì myšleno? Lze
se pøipravit? Nemyslím tím, že všechno bude hotovo, pøání
odeslaná, nákupy, vaøení i uklid hotový. Mám na mysli
osobní pøipravenost k oslavení zázraku Kristova tak dávného
pøíchodu, a pøesto souèasného.
Osobnì mne nejlépe pøípraví vánoèní pøíbìhy a písnì.
Mám sbírku knížek s vánoèními tématy, které každým rokem
vyndám z knihovny. Ètení tìchto pøíbìhù
je souèástí mé pøípravy na vánoce.
Pravdìpodobnì každý z nás má nìjaké
zážitky. Èasem se jich jistì nahromadilo
mnoho. Toto vzácné roèní období, které
prožíváme každý rok s jeho pøíchodem i
odchodem, nimi nešetøí.
Mou oblíbenou knihou je malá
knížka, pøíbìh o králi Václavovi. Byl to
první èeský král, který vládl v Èechách
od r. 921–929 po Kristu. Vìtšina z nás
pravdìpodobnì tento pøíbìh zná lépe
z vánoèní koledy, která se nese jeho
jméno Dobrý král Václav. Se zaujetím
šíøil víru a dobro. Neúnavnì pomáhal
chudým. Vzpomìòme na jeho páže,
které se zahøálo a pookøálo jenom
tím, že kráèelo pøesnì v jeho šlépìjích,
pøestože byla nepøíjemnì studená noc,
jak vypráví legenda. Každé vánoce jsme
vzpomínali na krále Václava a zpívali si
o nìm píseò, jejíž slova nás tak obohacovala.
Koleda také hovoøí o Bohu, který miloval svìt tak, že dal
svého jednorozeného Syna. Daroval štìdøe a oèekává, že ho
budeme následovat v pøíkladné lásce, jdoucí vstøíct porušenému
a upadajícímu svìtu. Pøi následování èasto klopýtáme únavou.
Kráèejme však ve šlépìjích Krista, které tu na zemi zanechal,
naše nitro se pookøeje. Pøipomìòme si slova: „…duši mou
O vánocích mùžeme zpívat ještì o dalších vzácných
událostech, s hlubokým poselstvím, podložené Biblí. „Pøijï,
Ježíši, dlouho oèekávaný, narozený k osvobození lidí. Zbav
nás od høíchu a strachu; dej nám odpoèinutí.“ Nebo: „Plesej
svìte, pøišel Pán, pøivítejte krále.“ A také: „Vítáme tì, Pane,v
toto krásné ráno narozený, Otcovo slovo v tìle zjeveno: Pojïme,
klanìjme se Jemu, Kristu králi.“
Zaposlouchejte se letos do slov zpívaných písní. Nedovolte,
aby nám zevšednìly, vnímejte hloubku slov. Pøijímejte požehnání
z poslechu písní a pøíbìhù, které máte nejradìji. Poslouchejte
(King)“Hither, page, and stand by me. If thou knowest its telling:
Yonder peasant, who is he, where and what his dwelling?”
(Page)“Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain,
right against the forest fence by Saint Agnes’ fountain.”
(King) “Bring me flesh, and bring me wine. Bring me pine logs hither.
Thou and I will see him dine when we bear them thither.”
Page and monarch, forth the went, forth they went together
through the rude wind’s wild lament and the bitter weather.
(Page) “Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger.
Fails my heart! I know not how I can go on longer.”
Continues on page 121
       
Pokraèovaní na stranì 114

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