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Give Heart

By The Revd Lau Wing-kai
        Organ transplantation is a brand new medical technology. Promotion of organ donation makes more and more people know and take part in it, giving hundreds of patients appropriate treatment and hope to survive. Since organ transplantation is a technology that has developed only in the past few decades, the Holy Bible written more than a thousand years ago certainly does not contain not even a word related to this topic. Yet, the Holy Bible did indeed record the first heart transplantation in history. And, the doctor carrying out this operation was no celebrity, but God our Lord. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26) This “heart transplantation” was operated to replace human’s hardened heart with a soft one which allows human to listen to God’s words. Of course, this religious metaphorical operation and the actual medical heart transplantation cannot be mentioned in the same breath.
        When we are striving to understand the meaning of organ donation through Bible teaching, we can easily discover that this act is an act for love. Through organ donation, we can live out Jesus Christ’s teaching, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” In Luke 10: 27-37, the parable of the Good Samaritan explains the meaning of this seemingly easy teaching. Loving your neighbour as yourself is not only a moral obligation, but an act that naturally comes out from the compassion at the bottom of our heart. What’s more, the Good Samaritan saves the man totally out of mercy, regardless of any reward. The half-dead man even has no idea of who has saved his life. In this way, we should follow the example of the Good Samaritan through organ donation only out of mercy, not out of sympathy. In compassion and mercy, our act of kindness urges us to share the feeling together with the patient, and even face the death together with the patient. Through this, we come to acknowledge God’s total sovereignty and may live a fruitful life.
        Organ donation is a commitment that we make when we are still alive. It is normally realised only after our death. Therefore, at the moment we make the promise, we are probably thinking our own death and in the same time try to share some of our bodily parts with someone we do not know. Making this decision allows us to touch and realise the meaning of death and thus understand more about life. As for organ donation of the living, the questions involved would be much more complicated because it may bring a permanent harm to the donor’s health. Sacrificing one’s life to save another’s is really a complex issue that we have to wrestle with.
        Granted, organ donation may bring about religious challenging ethical issues. However, when we see that desperate patients recover after organ transplantation, when we see that hopeless families rebuild after their sick members restore health, we would acknowledge organ donation as a behaviour of “loving our neighbours”. As what St Paul has said in Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship,”, due to love, we all encourage each other to make the promise of organ donation.
        Brothers and sisters, may we encourage each other and live a life that pleases God.
2011-04-06   更新
上則: Why Not Save a Life
下則: Utilise Our Body as a Blessing for the Others and Ourselves

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