Today is the Chinese Lunar New Year!
Exactly one year ago I was in KL…
To farewell the Year of the Horse and welcome the Year of the Goat/Sheep below is a list of bible verses that a good friend shared as part of their CNY greeting:
- Psalm 37:4 God will grant us the desires of our heart
- Romans 8:28 In all things God works together for the good of those who love Him
- Philippians 4:7 The peace of God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ
- Jeremiah 29:11 God knows the plans for us to prosper us and give us a future and a hope
- Ephesians 2:6 God has raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus
- Proverbs 15:6 The house of the righteous is filled with treasure
- Deuteronomy 28:13 God has made us the head and not the tail (as a result of Jesus’ shed blood)
- Psalm 105:43 God brings His people out with rejoicing, and His chosen ones with shouts of joy.
- Psalm 65:11 You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance
I read in this morning’s New York Times that the Chinese word “Yang” translates into both goat AND sheep which is why the Western translation gets confused. The hybrid offspring are called geep or shoats. Does it really matter that the Chinese do not distinguish? Well in Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus does say that judgement will see the sheep and goats separated so that sheep are the blessed and on His right, whereas goats are cursed, on His left:
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
So, to combine the best of both Chinese and Jewish/biblical cultures – HAPPY NEW YEAR OF THE SHEEP!