The Reign of Christ & Thanksgiving Sunday / Nov 16, 2020

       Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Thanksgiving holiday is just around the corner. Many of us may struggle with the fact that all the public health experts in media strongly recommends people to consider canceling their family gathering or doing it in different ways like wearing masks with social distancing among friends and family members during the holidays. It feels like the impact of Covid-19 affects every single part of our routine and the seasons that we would have enjoyed otherwise.


       As we are under this pandemic prolonged for nine months and it looks like we have to wait more months until the vaccine is fully approved for its safety and well-prepared before everyone, some people created a new term about the depressive and frustrated feeling from the pandemic. That is “Corona Blue.” (Depressive and lethargy due to self-isolation and social distancing) Professor Jung from South Korea describes Corona Blue as “a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.”


       In response to Corona Blue, I would like to bring our attention to what is coming to our church calendar. What is happened on our church calendar is not a chronological time. But it is most likely to what people of faith will celebrate in the world to come in eternity. This coming Sunday is both the Reign of Christ Sunday and Thanksgiving Sunday. Ephesians 1:20-23 tells us about the crucial fact about the church.


“1:20 God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 1:21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 1:22 And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 1:23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:20-23)


       Church is where Christ Jesus reigns in power that is above all rule and authority and power and dominion! God has put all things under Jesus’ feet and has made Jesus the head over all things for the church and church is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Wow! It’s almost hard to get it all at once about the tremendous spiritual depth and width. But in a simple way, we can understand that Jesus is in control of everything. He fills us with his church, the fullness of him! What a joy that we are in his body and even becoming a part of his body and a fruit of the tree in John’s vine analogy. He reigns the earth!


       Did you know that there was another type of pandemic in Jesus’ time? Well, I would say that pandemic had been throughout the human history? It was the pandemic of power, violence, greed, and most importantly what sums all up as SIN! “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned—” (Rom5:12) Then, Jesus came to us and healed us and gave us new life! Jesus eradicated this power of sin and gave us eternal life. He is the King of kings, Lord of all!


       After this coming Sunday, we enter into a season called, “Advent” celebrating our Lord Jesus who came on earth according to the promise of God and who will come again to reign us forever. Thus, on this church calendar, we can find peace and joy because we are in this God’s timeline even though we are going through this difficult time of pandemic this year. This coming season can be an opportunity to give thanks for the author of salvation and the one who has given us the gift of church, the fellowship of the body that we celebrate each time we gather in person or online. This is what we need to disinfect not only the doors or surfaces of our space when people come and go, but also in our hearts and minds that need to be refreshed and renewed by the abundance of God.  

       With that, we can give thanks to God and for one another whether or not we gather in person during this coming holiday season! God is with us, sisters and brothers! Let us not be disappointed or let any depressive feeling abide in our hearts! Jesus reigns all on the earth and everything! We are in his reign and his timeline!

Peace,

Pastor Heewon

One at a time...

(7-29-2020)

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ!

 

A few days ago, I noticed that there was a lamp outside in the front yard in the parsonage I live. It has not been worked since I moved into the parsonage. Maybe for a long time. I thought to myself, “I can give it a try to fix it.” With my small tool box, I went out to the yard and tried to repair it. I looked inside the old lamp and there was spider web covered all around in it. I got rid of the webs and pulled the old bulb out and put a new one. And it did work! A new light shined beautifully in the front yard in the evening. And then I heard a whisper deep inside of me, “That is what you are supposed to do, Heewon. Do one at a time. Start with something small you can do for this church” Then, I felt a deep peace in my heart. I was thankful for the church I serve and the people who are serving with me. It was like God-moment to me. 


In the Bible, we can see that God provides and prepares God’s servants for God’s kingdom. When Moses finished his service, God prepared Joshua. When Ezra initiated the work of rebuilding the broken wall of Jerusalem and its temple, God prepared Nehemiah to continue the ongoing work.

As a new pastor at New Life, at first I was almost overwhelmed by many thoughts for the new ministry I began. But that night, I realized that God is with me and God wants me to do from small things that I can joyfully be committed to and of course it is not me of us to make things happen or change. God does, not us. 


Dear sisters and brothers, your being in this church is important. My time of being as a pastor is important. Because it is our God who brought us together for the work and mission that God assigned us to do at this time, even the time would more likely be trials and tribulations. What we should learn and remember is that God has different ideas and perspectives than ours that are for our ultimate good, salvation and for the love that God has for us no matter what the circumstances are. So, instead of holding the attitude of passively waiting for the day on which this pandemic is over with the vaccine to cope with the virus, we have to learn how to live into it. So that our walk with God would continue to bring us joy and purpose in our lives. The first chapter of 1 Peter concludes by reaffirming our new identity,

“You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. For

“All flesh is like grass and

all its glory like the flower of grass.    

The grass withers, and the flower falls,           

but the word of the Lord endures forever."” (1 Peter 1:23-24)


By the power of the resurrected Jesus our Lord, we are the people of being born anew! I am happy to be in this walk with you that God has called us together at New Life United Methodist Church. Things have been changed differently and even forcing us to be changed. But our genuine being as who we are and whose we are is not changed. They are eternal through the living and enduring word of God. So, let us be the church and do what Jesus commanded us to do! Take care of yourself and take care of others. May God bless you.


Pastor Heewon Kim