7.27.2009

John 6:24-35 (1)

Reading: John 6:24-35
A children sermon:

We are celebrating the Lord’s Supper, today.
I want to show you something.
Do you see this bread?
Do you see this cup?
Why is it here?
Do you know what that is?

Jesus says:
"I am the bread of life.
Anyone who comes to me will never go hungry.
Anyone who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Jesus is our bread from heaven.
Jesus is the bread that gives us life and joy.
Jesus gives this food because Jesus loves you.

Giving these foods, Jesus is saying:
"Eat this bread and drink this cup.
And have a blessed life."

Jesus has been feeding a lot of people.
Jesus loves to feed you and everyone.

So, we eat this bread and drink this cup, thinking that we are going to have Jesus inside us as well.
But then there are many ways that we eat this bread and drink this cup.
How else can we eat these?

When you read or listen to the words of Jesus, you also eat this bread.
When you believe that God sent Jesus to us, you eat this bread.
When you live your life with Jesus, you eat this bread.
You eat this bread, when you love Jesus and remember his life.
Remembering Jesus, if you chose to make people happy, you eat this bread.

When you serve someone or help someone, because you love Jesus, you drink this cup.
So, there are many ways to eat this bread and drink this cup.
So, think about that when you eat this bread and drink this cup.
Ok?

Let’s pray:
Jesus, our bread, thank you for giving us this bread and the cup so that we may remember how much you want to share your life with us.
You are what God provides for us.
May we always welcome your words and remember your life.
In your name, we pray. Amen.

7.26.2009

Luke 10: 25-37 (2)

ppt
Jesus, the reconciler
Reading: Luke 10: 25-37

Two thousand years ago, Jesus wants to reconcile the Jews and the Samaritans.
Their relationship was not so good.
They refused to associate with each other.
But Jesus, a Jew, wants to reconcile them.
So, Jesus frees himself from Jewish custom of avoiding Samaritans.
Jesus is so free.

On this particular day, Jesus wanted to pass through the Samaritan city to go to Jerusalem. (Luke 9: 51-56)
Jesus was not welcomed there yet.
Jesus didn’t fuss about it.
But his students James and John were really mad and asked:
“Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven rebuked them?”
Jesus was scared of their thinking, because Jesus was trying to find a way to reach out to the Samaritans.

So, Jesus strongly corrected their way of thinking.
And then he led them to another village.
But Jesus didn’t give up reaching out to them.
Jesus knew they were not rejecting Jesus per se.
They were reacting out of their past costume.
So, Jesus simply went to Jerusalem by another way.

Jesus thought about what happened for awhile.
Then, Jesus created a story to explain his understanding.
Now see how Jesus does.

So, Jesus came out with a story: the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37).
Jesus made this story to tell his life.
This wonderful story was told when Jesus was asked by a religious scholar.
“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus asked him back:
“What do you think?
What is your interpretation?”
The Jewish teacher got a right answer:
“love God and love people and neighbors.”
He didn’t mention anything about Jewish dietary laws and customs, which the most Jews believed that they should keep them.
So, this man had a pretty good understanding of who God is.
Jesus was like:
“You summed it up nicely.
Go and do that.”
The scholar wanted to talk with him little more.
He asked:
“how can he practice it?
Who is my neighbor?
What is practical application of it?”

Then Jesus told this story.
“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
(2) But the robbers stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
(3) A religious leader happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
And then, a religious scholar came to the place and saw him.
But he passed by on the other side.
(4) But a “Samaritan” business man saw him, he took pity on him.
He bandaged his wounds.
Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to the inn.
Since he has to get going, he asked the innkeeper,
(5) “Can you look after this man?
This is my first payment.
I will reimburse you for any extra expense.”

Then, Jesus asked, “Who is the neighbor of this victim?”
The scholar replied:
“The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus was like:
“Everyone who needs your help is your neighbors.”

This simply story explain about who Jesus is as well.
Jesus becomes a human being to practice this teaching of his.
Jesus came to dwell among us leaving his heavenly glory.
Jesus came to help us to understand who his Father is.
Jesus came to reveal the power of God that can work in the lives of people.
Jesus came to us even when we don’t know we need help.
This divine mercy is shown when no one is asking.
It is just like the Good Samaritan helps out when he is not even asked.
The Good Samaritan is Jesus himself who sees the opportunity to give help.

Jesus becomes a good neighbor to those who needs help.
So, this story tells the life of Jesus.
Jesus sees the situation where he needs to exercise his compassion.
So, here Jesus is simply asking people to live like him.
Then, the eternal life is about living like Jesus, the Good Samaritan.

So, Christianity is to be very simple.
“Follow Jesus!”
What does that mean?
It means:
“Help those who need your help.
They may be rich, poor, Caucasians, Asians, African Americans, Mexicans, immigrants or illegal immigrants."
(Luke 10: 30-37)
It is very simple message.

What happened later to the Jews and the Samaritans?
Jesus eventually preached to the Samaritans.
And many believed in him.
After his resurrection and ascension, his students continually shared the good news with Samaritans. (Acts 8: 25)

So, Jesus works toward the reconciliation between God and human beings.
And Jesus works to reconcile every people, simply because Jesus knew us and love us.

7.25.2009

Gospel of Matthew

The movie is called the Visual Bible – Matthew.
Here is a collection of various parts in this movie:
http://youtu.be/Q1TA91u7QRg

Every word that is used in this film is coming out of the Gospel of Matthew.
But in this film, Jesus is casual, emotional and fun-loving.
Jesus laughs and enjoys with people as he heals people.
Jesus is emotionally alive in this video.
Jesus interacted with people, emotionally.

They try to show the emotion of Jesus, so that people can guess the emotional side of who Jesus is.
So, Jesus uses various tones and emotions in this film.
Through these emotions, this video portrays how Jesus loves us.
Here, Jesus wants to have a relationship with us; and wants our wellbeing.

I hope that this Visual Bible Gospel of Matthew could be also translated into many languages, too.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, we know you can heal us.
You can teach us truly.
Help us live for you.
In Jesus name, amen.

Note:
http://youtu.be/oF4LbSLKNrg

7.21.2009

A prayer for Children

Jesus, we understand that you love children.
You always welcome them saying:
“Let the children come to me. The kingdom of God belongs to those who receive my kingdom like children.”

So, we pray for all the children in our city and in the world.
Wherever they are, may you continually welcome them and bless them, as you always have been.

May they follow their heart.
May they find your joy.
May they follow your dream.
May they embrace your kingdom, knowing that your kingdom belongs to them.

Jesus our hope, with the little that we understand, enable us to guide your children to love everyone.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Luke 23:40–43

2. “You will be with me in paradise!”
Reading: Luke 23:40–43, Matthew 20: 1-16

Jesus ended up on the cross.
Here Jesus met a very important person.
People challenged Jesus and wanted to kill him.
But they couldn’t stop what Jesus was doing.

There was another criminal who was crucified with Jesus Christ.
During his short time with Jesus, something marvelous happened to his heart.
After being in the presence of Jesus, he now desired to go where Jesus is going.

He was sorry for what he did.
He knew that he was punished justly and getting what his deeds deserved.

But it is too difficult to say that Jesus has done something wrong!
Then by the grace of God, he saw the suffering king, the suffering messiah.
He saw Jesus’ authority on the cross.
He saw this.
At the last moment of his life, being crucified, he saw the everlasting salvation.

So, he asked Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus might have thought, “In order to meet you here, I might have come all the way to here.”
Jesus loved him.
So he answered him on his cross, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise!”
This word of Jesus would become part of his future.
These words would touch his inner being.
He would experience the power of these words.
His sincere request to Jesus will bear fruit.

Jesus might have been like:
“Thank you that I am on the cross. My God reveal to you about who I am. Bless God. You will be with me. You are welcomed in paradise. You are welcomed in my kingdom. Wait a moment. You will be with me in paradise, today!”

Jesus loved to see this kind of faith.
Jesus didn’t ask him confess his sin.
Jesus knew this criminal could not do anything on the cross.
Jesus understood.
Jesus loved this man.

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Just remember me.”
Jesus is kind.
Jesus is kind to him.
Even though he failed his life, the forgiveness is available.
God helps him to internalize and personalize his forgiveness.
This may not be easily understood.
But it may stir up his deep emotion as well.

When we are young, we cannot help but to make mistakes.
But we can also come and ask God’s forgiveness.
Then Jesus may guide him and lead you to the kingdom.
Forgiveness is available for you, as well.
Inner joy is available.


Luke 1: 11-20

Zechariah was serving the Lord in the temple.
The angel of the Lord said to Zechariah, “Hi, Zech, You will have a boy. And his name is John. John will be a joy and delight to you. And many will rejoice because of his birth. John will be great in the sight of the Lord.
“There is more. John will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Zechariah is not dancing around for joy.
But he asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years."

The angel answered, “Zech, see who is talking to you! I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.

“So, I have to tell you that you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time."

Zechariah stayed for awhile. Then, when he came out, he could not speak.
But he completed his serve and returned home.

Then, his wife Elizabeth became pregnant.
She didn’t know what to do.
So, she didn’t talk about her pregnancy for five months.
Then she celebrated saying: "The Lord has done this for me. God has shown his favor and give his grace."

After Elizabeth revealed her pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary.
The angel was excited: "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you!"
Mary was like, “What is this?”

The angel obviously doesn’t want to frighten the future mother of God.
The angel starts explaining: "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

But the angel got the same response.
Mary has some questions.
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

The angel proclaimed what he saw and knew: “For nothing is impossible with God."
Mary made a deal: “May it be to me as you have said.”

Mary needs an outer confirmation.
So, Mary hurried to Elizabeth.
There she heard the words: “the mother of my Lord.”

Then Mary cannot help but to sing and praise.
"My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Her perception of what is happening is very universal, spiritual, realistic, and political.
She also thinks that God is lifting up the humble.

This is how Luke the gospel writer remembers the story.
“He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.”
We see this concept in his gospel.

Mary as a good Jewish girl remembers the promise that is given to Israel, through Abraham.
Listening to Mary’s prayer we remember who Jesus is.
Mary may be a passionate nationalist.
But Jesus says absolutely nothing about Romans, and Romans solders.
Jesus doesn’t seek favor from them either.
How does Jesus think about justice?

Jewish people including Mary expected that if Jesus was the Messiah, he was supposed to set them free from the Romans.
But Jesus sets them free from sin, non-belief and false conceptions about God.

Anyway, Mary returns home when Elizabeth was pregnant for about 9 months.
When Elisabeth was about to give a birth, people recognize that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
But when naming the boy, Zechariah followed firmly what he heard from the angel by naming him John.
Zech determined to live a life of faith.
Then his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God.
This make people wondered about the boy, saying "What then is this child going to be?"

John’s father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied.
It sounds also like he was so happy.
Zech praise the Lord, the God of Israel, believing that God has come and has redeemed God’s people. He says, “God has raised up a horn of salvation for them, in the house of his servant David.”

“God shows mercy to our fathers and remembers the holy covenant.
God swore to our father Abraham to rescue us to serve God in holiness and righteousness all our days.

“And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High.
For you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for God.
You will give people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of God’s tender mercy.

“The rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."

And John grew and became strong in spirit.
He lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.
John becomes a man who has a strong opinion against those who religious but didn’t have fruit to show.

What did John prepare for Jesus?
John preached about Jesus.
John prepared two wonderful disciples who became the followers of Jesus.
John initiated two things.
John started preaching, “Repent, the kingdom of God is near.”
Jesus preached this message first.
John started a baptism practice for washing of sins, first.

7.19.2009

Call to Confession 3

Unison Prayer of Confession

Leader: Jesus, our teacher, forgive us when we condemned and judged our neighbors.
All: Christ, our hope, forgive us when we dared to cast a first stone at our neighbors.
Leader: Jesus, our forgiveness, forgive us when we didn’t say to our neighbors, “your sins are forgiven.”
All: Christ, our savior, forgive us when we didn’t welcome your lost son, your lost daughter, and your lost sheep.
Leader: Jesus, our love, forgive as we have stopped loving people around us.
All: Have pity, Christ, we have sinned against you.

Silent Confession

Assurance of Pardon

Leader: Living God, you are pardon and goodness. You bury our past in the heart of Christ and you are going to take care of our future.

All: Jesus, you bring our soul out of prison, and you set faith in the depths of our soul. This faith is like a burst of trusting, repeated countless times, in the course of our life. It can only be a simple act of trust, so simple that all can welcome it.

Leader: Jesus our joy, you call us to follow you. And your Gospel can change both our heart and our life.

All: Jesus our hope, with the little that we understand, enable us to discover what you want of us.

Leader: Living Christ, when there are frailties in us, we would like to welcome your word that tells us: “My peace I leave you; let not your hearts be troubled or afraid.”

All: Son of God, you have never forsaken the world when it abandoned you; you humble yourself and took the form of a slave, lifting us up to share in your glory. The joy of our hearts is in you!

Mark 6

(If Jesus were telling his own story, it would have been like this?)

I left there and went to my hometown, accompanied by my disciples.
Why did I want to introduce my hometown to my disciples? I wanted to show some aspects that they need to know about their future.

Then, when the Sabbath came, I began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard me were amazed.
"Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles!”
They thought I was supposed to be an unimportant person. But I was obviously not like anybody else.

They said, “Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at me. They felt jealous. It was difficult for them to accept me as a great person.

So, I said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." I could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And I was amazed at their lack of faith. They refuse to accept me in their hearts. They couldn’t enjoy my success. However, I wasn’t discouraged. I just kept going. I went around teaching from village to village.

Calling the Twelve, I sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.
Just like that, I was able to give them authority over evil spirits. It was simple. Since they watched me for awhile, they felt comfortable to use this power now.

These were my instructions: "Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts.”
I said this because when you are given authority, you are called to live by faith. It is because you are going to use your faith to teach faith.

So, I said, “Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them."
They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. It was wonderful. They just obey what I told them. They were able to do what I was doing. Wow!

King Herod heard about this, for my name had become well known. Some were saying, "John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him." Others said, "He is Elijah."
And still others claimed, "He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago." But when Herod heard this, he said, "John, the man I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!" Herod knew nothing. People close to him didn’t know either.

Herod didn’t care what other said. In his fear, he was sure that it was John. Since he was the one who killed John, it must have been little scary to hear about me.

This is what happened. Herod had given orders to have John arrested. And he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, whom he had married. For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him. He was rational enough to know what was right. So he liked to listen to John. But his actions were not aligned with it.

Finally the opportune time came for Herodias. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, "Ask me for anything you want, and I'll give it to you." And he promised her with an oath, "Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom."
She went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?"
"The head of John the Baptist," she answered.
At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: "I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter."
The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John's head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. On hearing of this, John's disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

When my apostles gathered around me again, they reported to me all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, so I said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
So we went away by ourselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw us leaving recognized us and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of us. When I landed and saw a large crowd, I felt compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So I began teaching them many things.
By this time it was late in the day, so my disciples came to me. "This is a remote place," they said, "and it's already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat."
But I answered, "You give them something to eat."
They said, "That would take eight months of a man's wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?"
I asked, "How many loaves do you have? Go and see."
When they found out, they said, "Five—and two fish."
Then I directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, I gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then I gave them to my disciples to set before the people. I also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and my disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

Immediately I made my disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of me to Bethsaida, while I dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, I went up on a mountainside to pray.
When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and I was alone on land. I saw my disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night I went out to them, walking on the lake. I was about to pass by them, but when they saw me walking on the lake, they thought I was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw me and were terrified.
Immediately I spoke to them and said, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." Then I climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized me. They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard I was. And wherever I went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged me to let them touch even the edge of my cloak, and all who touched me were healed.

John 18

Today’s sermon might be very weird to you.
But today I am going to read John chapter 18 as if I were Jesus.
I will read his story, as if Jesus were reading them.
So, you will see.
Of course I am not pretending that I am the Jesus.
No.
Just imagine that Jesus was telling this story, so that we can learn more different today.

Let’s begin:

It was at night.
With my students I went to a place where there was a garden.
Judas knew the place because we went there often.

Judas was leading people to the garden.
When they arrived there, I went out and met them.
I knew by now everything that was coming down on me.
I asked: “Who are you after?”
“Jesus of Nazareth.”
“That's me.”
They recoiled, totally taken aback.
Judas, a betrayer, stood out among them.
I asked again to make sure they would not touch my students.
“Who are you after?”
“Jesus of Nazareth.”
“I told you.
That's me.
I'm the one.
So if it's me you're after, let these others go.”

Just then Simon Rock, who was carrying a sword, pulled it out and struck a young man, hurting him bad.
Now every soldier was ready for Peter and other students.
I jumped in immediately and heal the man.
“Put back your sword. I told you that I'm going to drink this cup the Father gave me.”

Then the soldiers joined by the other people, seized me and tied me up.
They took me first to the religious leaders.
One of them was Caiaphas who had advised everyone that it was to their advantage that one man dies for the people.

Simon Peter and John followed me.
John also went in with me to the secret courtyard.
Peter had to stay outside.
Then John went out, spoke to the doorkeeper, and got Peter in.

The young woman who was the doorkeeper said to Rock:
“Aren't you one of this man's students?”
“No! I'm not!”

The night workers and police had made a fire because of the cold and were huddled there warming themselves.
Peter stood with them, trying to get warm.

In the mean time, the religious leaders interrogated me regarding my students and my teaching.
“I've spoken all in public.
I've taught regularly in meeting places and the synagogues, where everyone was welcomed.
Everything has been out in the open.
I've said nothing in secret.
So why are you treating me like me?
Question those who have been listening to me.
They know tell what I have said.
My teachings have all been out there for awhile.”
One of the guards standing there slapped me across the face.
“How dare you speak to our high priest like that!”
“If I've said something wrong, prove it.
But if I've spoken the truth, why are you slapping me?”

Meanwhile, Simon Rock was back at the fire, trying to get warm.
“Aren't you one of his students?”
“Not me!”
One of the maids, a relative of the man whom Rock swing his arm again said:
“Didn't I see you in the garden with him?”
Again, Rock denied it.
Just then a rooster crowed.

After this, they led me to a court.
It was early morning.
They themselves didn't enter.
Instead, Pilate came out to them and spoke.
“Why are you bringing him to me?”
Caiaphas said, “Sorry to bother you. But he has done something evil.”
Pilate said, “You take him. Judge him by your law.”
Caiaphas said, “We're not allowed to kill anyone.”
It went like this until next morning.
Then, Pilate went back into the palace and called for me.
“So, you are the king of the Jews, right?”
“Are you saying this on your own, or you heard about me?”
“Do I look like a Jew to you?
Your religious people turned you over to me! What did you do?”
“My kingdom doesn't consist of what you see around.
If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn't be handed over to you.
But I'm a different kind of king.”
“So, you are a king.”
“You tell me.
Because I am a king, I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth.
Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice.”
“What is truth?”
Then he went back out to people and told them:
“I find nothing wrong in this man.
I think it is a time when I release some of my prisoners.
Do you want me to pardon the Leader?”
The High Priest, Caiaphas shouted:
“Not this one, but Barabbas!”
Barabbas was a freedom fighter.


Note:
Peter was wondering why he could not have courage to say:
“I know Jesus.”
He thought that he was a courageous person.
But this one is very different.
It didn’t ask a spontaneously courageousness.
It requires a thoughtful courageousness.
Now he didn’t have that.
This was something more than he could handle.
But when he received the Holy Spirit, he could live like that.

7.18.2009

Luke 22: 31

Jesus prayed for his disciples.

Jesus said to Peter: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22: 31)

Jesus prayed that his faith may not fail.
Then he prayed visualizing the positive outcome: he may strengthen his brothers in faith.
The prayer of Jesus has a clear purpose and goal.
By saying this to Peter, Jesus shows of his belief that his prayer was already answered.

Luke 8: 15

The disciples are to persist in order to have a harvest.

The word is to be planted. Then, there will be joy because of the harvest.

In order to have a harvest, you need to persevere. You need to continue. You should not give up. There might be some struggles.

You need to be able to hold on to the word.
You need to remember the words of Jesus.

In faith, you can rejoice and give thanks.
In faith, you can celebrate having the word.
In faith, you consider it as your joy.
Then the harvest comes.

7.17.2009

Mark 14:38

Reading: Mark 14:38

Why do you need to pray regularly?

On of the answers that Jesus gave was this:
We pray so that we will not fall into temptation.
It is to prevent falling.
Pray before you fall into it.

Our spirit is willing to learn of God.
Our body may be weak.
So, as we pray, our spirit receives power from the Holy Spirit.

Pray and get in touch with the Holy Spirit who is willing to help.
Then we may live according to the desire of the Holy Spirit through the prayer.

God knows why you are here.
Through your prayer, we live the reason out.
So, pray.
You live out your full potential in God.

So, we need to practice prayer.
We also need to pray for each other.
Sometimes, we need to give our prayer request to each other and pray for each other.

Praying for someone else is also a good for us.
When our prayer is answered, we may know that God is alive and communicating with us.
We will be grateful.

You may also submit your prayer to http://www.taize.fr/en_article86.html
Or, you may submit your prayer at: http://www.ourprayer.org/GeneralMenu/

Sometimes, our prayer list is very private to share.
Think about that before you share.

There are other websites that you may use for your prayer life.
There are many ways you can use to make your life more prayerful.
Or, you may visit some of these websites.
http://sacredspace.ie/
Some people like to walk Labyrinth.
Well, you can walk a labyrinth, praying and walking.
Using Labyrinth may help you pray easily.
You can walk a labyrinth in the internet: http://www.labyrinthsociety.org/virtual-labyrinth-walk/

http://www.pray-as-you-go.org/
http://jesusschoolusa.blogspot.com/2009/12/may-i-pray-for-you.html
http://thestoryofjesus.yolasite.com/joy.php
http://gamc.pcusa.org/ministries/spiritualformation/
http://www.henrinouwen.org/Contact_Us/Subscribe/Subscribe.aspx
http://www.stlukesrec.org/audioprayerbook/Audio_Evening_Prayer_for_Families.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hes6LfwCgr4&feature=share&list=PL3A0DFAA14C2255CE
http://www.youtube.com/denken2007



The story of Jesus in 20 minutes

Jesus is born.
His life was a wonderful gift from God to us.

Some wise men realized that even from far away.
They sensed the great King of the Jews was supposed to be born.
So, they came to worship this Jesus.

Then when Mary and Joseph bring Jesus into the temple, those who live prayerful lives recognized that Jesus was the King, the Christ, and the Messiah.

But there was also the king Herod of Roman government who was not comfortable about the Jewish King being born.
So he tried to get rid of Jesus.

Then Mary and Joseph ran away from Israel to Egypt.
Then when this Herod was dead, this family moved back to Israel.

Then when Jesus was about 30 years old, he decided to start his ministry.
He waited that long, because it was the will of God.

His cousin John the Baptist was about 30 years old himself, has been in ministry for many years.
John was very famous.

Then Jesus started in his ministry by being baptized by John.
Jesus recognized that John was doing God’s ministry.
So, he wanted to be part of it.

Then after his baptism, Jesus went on to the wilderness.
It was because the Holy Spirit was leading him there.

There he spent about 40 days without food.
Here, he was even tempted by Satan.
But there he showed his determination and power:
That is:
He would not use any other methods that are not in tune with God’s plan for him.

After this test, Jesus started his ministry.
He preached in various meeting places.
He healed the sick.
He showed his miraculous power.
Then many people talked about him.

Jesus was also in constant communication with God.
So Jesus knew who needed to be his students.
Then he gathered his disciples.
He prepared them knowing that soon Jesus would be executed.
So, Jesus moved around with them teaching the crowd.
Often he taught his students privately.

Jesus taught:
Love your enemy.
Love God.
Love people no matter who they are.

Also to his own disciples, Jesus mentioned about his death and resurrection.
It was important that they knew before it happened.
Jesus also told them that he would rise again.

His disciples needed to experience it.
Then later, they would remember what he said and teach others after he was gone.

When these students understood enough of his teaching, Jesus asked them to go out and teach others and heal others, just like him.
Then they were able to do it.
Jesus was very happy about their ministry.
So, when they came back, Jesus asked them to rest awhile.
It was important that while their teacher was with them, they needed to be able to do this.
In this way, Jesus was slowly making his movement going.

Jesus associated with various people even though they were known as outcasts and sinners.
It is because believe what he said.
Jesus often said:
“I am a doctor.
The doctor should be hanging out with patients.”

Some people liked him because Jesus healed people and have miraculous power.
But Jesus also claimed that he is God.
But no matter what he said, many people thought that Jesus was a good candidate to become the Jewish King.

Then one day, Jesus really marched to Jerusalem, riding a donkey.
People went crazy.
They thought they had the king.
They thought that Jesus would remove the Roman government.

But instead, Jesus went on to the temple, and cleaned out all the moneychangers and their business.
That was surprising.
Jesus wanted to change their religious practices. They thought that Jesus might charge into the government building next.
But it has never happened.

Then soon after that, Jesus was captured by the Religious authority.
Then they condemned Jesus to death.
Then since they couldn’t kill him, they asked Pontius Pilate, the Roman procurator of Judea who managed finance and taxes to executed Jesus.

They succeeded, especially because it was Passover.
During the Passover session, many Jews were gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast.
So, Pilate gave in.
So, Jesus was executed.

But it turned about this was the new beginning of his ministry.
After three days of his death, his students saw Jesus being alive again.
Jesus appeared to his students over and over.

Then before his ascension, he asked his students to wait until they receive the Holy Spirit.
Then when they received the Holy Spirit, they were able to continue the ministry that Jesus started.

That is why we don’t have Jesus’ tomb.
So, we remember him, as the one who died and rose again.
We also wait for him because he will come again.

Jesus also said that he was going away to prepare a place for us.
He is preparing for our new life in heaven.
So, he asks us to go out to all the nations and preach the story of Jesus to all creation.
Because he wanted to prepare a huge place for all of them.


Luke 23:40–43 (2)

2. “You will be with me in paradise!”
Reading: Luke 23:40–43 (2)

Jesus ended up on the cross.
Here Jesus met a very important person.
There was another criminal who was crucified with Jesus Christ.

During his short time with Jesus, his heart was melted.
After being with Jesus, he felt that after this death, he and Jesus might be going to differnt direction.
But he desired to go where Jesus is going.

He was sorry for what he did.
He was punished for it.

But Jesus didn't seem to cheat anyone to live a little bit longer and easier.
Could it be that Jesus was the suffering king, the suffering messiah?
Can this death be an authoritive death on the cross?
At the last moment of his life, being crucified, he saw this possibility.

So, he asked Jesus: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus loved him.
So he answered him on his cross: “Good words. Today you will be with me in paradise!”
Jesus is saying: "I hear you. You are now part of my future. Your words touch my inner being.
Wait. You will experience the power of my promise. It is almost over. You will be with me. Wait awhile. You will be with me in paradise, today! May God strengthen you until the end."

We all know that we will die one day.
One day, we will close one chapter of our life and enter into another chapter.

In a sense, our retirement plan is to ultimately help us not to hinder us preparing our life in heaven.
Sometimes, we need to think about our own funeral service.
As we make one for ourselves, we have time to think about our lives.

What bible verse should be there?
What would be the theme?
It the theme align with my life?
What hymn should be there?
Does this song speak about my life?

Jesus prepare a memorial service for him.
We call it communion or the Lord’s Supper.
It explains his life.
It simply explain his his paradim of life.
He kept things very simple.

Jesus said that he would die, while he was still alive.
Like this, before his death, he wanted to comfort his disciples who would mourn.
He wanted them to digest what would happen to them.
Jesus' way of comforting those who mourn is to tell them beforehand.
Sometimes it helps digesting what would happen.

As we eagerly wait for our Jesus coming, we may pray that Christ may continue to give you strength to the very end. Then maybe it is our time to dare think about our memorial service.

It is ok to talk about a memorial service of your love ones.
It is ok to choose hymns that are suited in your situation.
Then we may know how to celebrate the life that we have with him or her.
If we know that we will die in Jesus, we will live forever, because we are his friend.

We may think about our plan without him or her.
We may do thing alone.
You may need to make your own decision.
Then we may learn to enjoy while people are with us.

At this time, I like us to just think about that in silence.
In silence, we may grieve with God.

When we comfort one another, we can silently pray one another.
When we comfort each other, we may listen to each other.
When we comfort each other, we can sit in silence.


7.16.2009

Titus 3: 3 - 8

Reading: 1 Corinthians 2: 7-9, Titus 3: 3 - 8

How do we worship?
We worship based on our own personal experience.
Based on our experiences, we encourage others to worship.

The bible says:

“Jesus is God’s secret wisdom.
This wisdom has been hidden.
But God destined for our glory before time began.
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived.
But God has prepared Jesus for those who love God.”
(1 Corinthians 2: 7-9)

The Bible preaches Jesus and his crucifixion.
The Bible says that God did everything to prepare the story of Jesus for those who love God.
This shows God’s usage of power.

We believe that God’s loving power manifests in the story.
We are called to see God in Jesus.

Human history is part of the story of Jesus Christ.
Because of human nature, God decide to explain this secret wisdom of God in the person of Jesus.

We are called to remind people that Jesus is the manifestation of God’s wisdom and power.

The bible interprets everything backward and forward based on the story of Jesus.
God also tries to understand your life according the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
As for God, this makes perfect sense.

Based on that, God predicts your future.
When you make decisions, you reveal and make yourself clear before God.

The bible preaches the gospel like this.
“We were disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of wrong thinking.
We lived in envy, being hated and hating one another.
But kindness and love appeared through Christ Jesus.
Jesus saved us, because of his mercy.
Jesus saved us by washing us to have a new birth and renew us by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus poured out the Spirit of Jesus on us generously.
So, being justified by his grace, we become heirs and have the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3: 3-8)

God is trying to help us understand and realize something through the story of Jesus.
Jesus saved us by washing us to start living again and renew us by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus cleanses us and says we are free.

From that moment, the love and forgiveness of God manifest in your life.
It means that the Holy Spirit will manifest in your life.
You will experience the power of the Holy Spirit.

It means that when you worship God, you will experience spiritual gifts manifest.
You may be able to prophesize.
You may be able to discern things.
You may be able to give guidance to people.
You may feel that the Holy Spirit is speaking through you.

The more people pray the more people will be given a chance to hear and discern the true words of God.
When you share with people, you will feel that God’s gifts are manifesting in your midst.

Then new comers will wonder saying “what is going on here?”
The words that we are speaking will be as if the voices of God to them.

The more we dedicate ourselves to God, the more we will have spiritual experiences.
The more we experience, the more we will know how to use and discerns the gifts that God gave us.

The story of Jesus is in the center of everything.
Jesus’ ministry is distinctively clear.
It is the message for all of us.

7.14.2009

John 20 : 11 - 18

Reading: John 20 : 11 - 18


It is at the first Easter Sunday, when Jesus is raised from the death.
He has not yet appeared to any of his students.
Jesus only knows that he is resurrected.

Mary stands outside the tomb crying.
As she weeps, she notices someone’s presence at the tomb.

She looks into the tomb and sees two angels in white.
They seated where the body of Jesus had been.
These “angles” ask her, "Woman, why are you crying?"
Because her mind is so occupied with Jesus, she is not even frightened by their presence.
They are not what Mary is looking for.
The mind of Mary is totally occupied with Jesus and his whereabouts.
But she says at least, “They took my Lord away, and I don't know where they put him."

Then, Jesus realizes that he has to come to her.
Then she realizes another presence immediately.
So, she turns around and sees Jesus standing there.
But she does not realize that it is the resurrected Jesus.
So, Jesus speaks to her, "Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?"
She thinks that it must be the gardener.
So, she says, "Mister, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."

As far as she is concerned, only Jesus can fill her empty heart.
She has to see and know where Jesus is.
Her love for her savior is something.
Love is her way of communicating with Jesus.

Then Jesus says finally, "Mary."
She then recognizes who is calling her.
She runs toward Jesus and cries out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means my Teacher).

Here comes the most interesting part, Jesus says to her, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "

It sounds like Jesus is on his way to his Father.
Since Mary is crying so hard, Jesus turns around and comes back to Mary.
It is not the original plan of Jesus to see Mary first.
His plan is to see his Father.
But in the middle of his trip, knowing fully well what is like to love someone and to agonize because of it, Jesus returns.

Now Mary knows Jesus is safe and resurrected.
Mary Magdalene is lost in her joy.
She runs to the disciples and shouts: "I saw the Lord!"
And she told them everything.

This appearance of Jesus is perfectly makes sense, when you understand that the main massage of Jesus is compassion.
This story explains this compassion.
Jesus is compassion.
Compassion tells and explains who Jesus is.
Jesus is compassion.
So, when Jesus is understood, mysteriously new life is formed within us.

In this story, Jesus is very touchy and comforting.
Jesus is the very Word that is spoken gently.
The Savior, who goes through the crucifixion, is very gentle, like a lamb.
When you are able to imagine that you understand Christ.

Jesus carries the presence of peace, love and harmony.
They are always with him.
They are one in him.
Then Jesus introduces his compassionate Father whom Jesus represents.

Mark 2: 1-12 (3)

A children sermon
Reading: Mark 2: 1-12
Props: http://youtu.be/DX5xUpXHUNE

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, people heard that he was back.
So, many people gathered at this house.
The entrance was jammed.
No one could get in or out.
He was teaching the Word.

Then, there was a man who had a problem.
His leg didn’t work.
He couldn’t walk.
He couldn’t run.
He couldn’t ride a bicycle.
So, he had to lay down all the time, because his leg didn’t work.
But he had very good things.
Actually he had four of them.
He had four of good friends.
These friends had heard that Jesus was coming to their town.

They heard that Jesus made blind people see.
Jesus made deaf people hear.
Jesus even raised the dead people from the dead.

When they heard that, they thought, “If Jesus can do those things, I bet he can heal our friend and make him walk again.”
They thought it was good idea.

So, they made a big mat to carry his friend. (change)
Then they took their friend to where Jesus was going to be.
But when they got there, they were shock.
They couldn’t get in because of the crowd.
They had to go up to the window and looked inside of the house.
When they did, it was standing room only.
No place for them to put their friend down.
But they saw Jesus in the middle of the room.
So they were like:
“We are not giving up. We are going to get him to Jesus.”

When they look around the back of the house, they found some stairs to the roof of the house.
They took their friend up to the roof.
Then they did something that you won’t believe it.
They start to put a hole in the roof.
Then they made a giant hole in there.
Then they lowered their friend right through the roof.
They tied up their friend mat and dropped him down right in front of Jesus.

Well, Jesus wasn’t surprised by this.
Jesus liked their bold belief.
Then Jesus said to the man:
"Son, your sins are forgiven."
"Son, I forgive all your sins."

But some religion leaders sitting there started whispering among themselves saying:
"He can't talk that way! How can he forgive sins? God and only God can forgive sins."

Jesus knew what they were thinking.
So he said:
I know what you are thinking.
Then just to prove that I can forgive sins, I will do this.
Then Jesus says to the man:
“Get up. Pick up your mat and go home.”

What do you think it happened?
That is right.
The man got up, grabbed his mat, and walked out while everyone was watching him.
And people were like:
“Praise God! We have never seen anything like this!”

What do you think that Jesus wants to prove here?
Does Jesus want to prove that he can heal people?
Many people already know this.

What is the most important thing that Jesus wants to prove here?
He wants people to know that Jesus can forgive our sins.
Why?
Because he is God.
Because he is God who takes away the sin of the world.
Jesus wants you to know that he had authority on earth to forgive sins.
This is the most important words that Jesus wants to say.



7.13.2009

Mark 4:39-40

Jesus Calms (Offering Silent Prayer to Christ in faith)
Reading: Mark 4:39-40
Psalm 107: 28-32

Jesus has been teaching people for awhile.
Then an evening came.
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Let’s go over to the other side."
Then leaving the crowd behind, they took Jesus in the boat.
Then they sailed on.

Then a huge storm came up.
Water poured into the boat.
It nearly sinks the ship.

But at this time, Jesus was in a sound sleep.
Jesus was tired of teaching.
Probably because of that, he was in a sound sleep!
The disciples tried to wake him.
Then they said to him:
"Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

He then got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves:
"Quiet! Be still!"
Then the wind died down.
Then it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples:
"Why are you so afraid?
Do you still have no faith?"
They were terrified and asked each other:
"Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

Jesus seems to say:
“In whatever situation, do not fear. Have faith.”
Jesus seems to say:
“I am doing the will of God.
I am not afraid.”

The faith of Jesus makes a storm calm.
Jesus is using his faith to calm the waves.
He likes to live with faith.
This is something very strange concept to them.

Jesus thought that if they have faith, they wouldn’t wake him up.
If they have faith, they would say to the wave, "Quiet! Settle down!"

If we have this faith, what would happen in our life?
When you enter a room, you would bring calmness into that room.
When you have faith, you would bring calmness and peace into any situation.
You may make things smooth.
If you have faith, you would become bold.
You would make things and solve things.
If we seek and pray, we can allow Jesus to quiet our minds.
We can pray that Jesus could give us peace.
In order to have this, you need a humble faith.
This humble and obedient faith can calm anybody.

Whether we like it or not, we may face many storms, sometimes.
We may be scared.
Then we may pray and wake Jesus up, so that he could say the waves:
“Quiet! Be still!”

Jesus uses his own faith.
This faith is something very gentle.
The faith of Jesus speaks to the wind:
“Be quiet.”
Then the wind died down.
It would be completely calm.
We would like to learn to have the faith of Jesus.

What is like to have faith?
How can you have faith?
It is difficult to bring a good hope that is not going to disappoint anybody.

Then we may hear Jesus saying to us:
“Why are you so afraid?
Don’t you have any faith?” (Mark 4: 39-40)

Since Jesus loves you, he would be patient with you.
Jesus likes to help.
But at the same time, he likes us to have faith and say to the wind to be calm.
Then we can pray and learn the calming presence and power of Jesus.

In Psalm 62: 1, we read that “To God be the Silence and silent offering!”
“Silence (דֻמִיָּה) is praise to you, O God.”
The Hebrew word, דֻמִיָּה (silence) is used here.
In Psalm 62: 5 it also says:
“To God alone be my silent offering!”

We can offer silence to God.
This is another type of praising.
You can offer “silence” to God.

There you can say that prayer is listening.
We can silently wait on God knowing that God is our salvation and hope.
In Psalm 62: 1 and 5 it again says:
“My soul is silent towards God.”

It is an intimate call to be silent before God.
We can praise Christ in silent wonder and admiration.

Silence is God’s first language.
We can come to God in silence.
That is also praise and prayer.
There we learn to meditate, imagine and contemplate.
In Psalm 37:7, Jesus encourages us to be silent (דּוֹם) before the Lord and wait patiently for Christ.

Jesus and cultures

Yes, I believe that Jesus changes cultures.
Here I use the word, culture, in general sense.
Jesus changes our lifestyle.
Jesus changes our daily life.
Jesus makes us develop.
Jesus wants us to live in a culture of love and compassion.

Matt 6: 9-13

Lord’s Prayer
Reading: Matthew 6: 9-13 (Luke 11)

Jesus prays day in, day out.
Then, Jesus taught this prayer:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
May your kingdom come.
May your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

The life of Jesus is in this prayer.
The mission of Jesus is in this prayer.
Jesus explains his mission statement.
His students should focus on this.
They can follow this statement with God’s help.

As they pray this prayer, they may follow Jesus.
As they pray, they may be prepared to have a mind set that is ready to live out the life of Jesus.

This prayer may be said in solitude.


7.12.2009

Jesus and family

Jesus left his family to start his ministry.
Starting his ministry is like starting a marriage relationship.
He has to leave his parents.
He has to join his new wife: the people who belong to the kingdom of God.

Jesus must have a strong emotional bond with his family.
I don't think Jesus really left his family.
I am sure he prays for his family.
His mother was also right there when he was on the cross.


After he rose from his death Jesus reached out to his earthly brothers.
These brothers join his spiritual brothers.
So, James one of his brother becomes a leader of the church.

When we leave our family to serve the kingdom of God, we gain more families.

7.09.2009

Maps and Children sermon

A children sermon:

(Showing a map of the world)
What is this? Where do you live in this map?
(Point out for them where they live.)
Do you know where Jesus lived?
(Point out where Jesus lived.)
Recently one of our pastors has visited here, Israel.
(Showing a map of Israel)
Israel is right here.

This is a Hebrew word.
This is how Jesus would have written his name, in Hebrew: ישוע.
It reads Yeshua.
Unlike English, Hebrew goes from right to left.
The meaning of this word is God saves. What a perfect name!

Last Thursday B, B and A went to Holland or Netherlands.
It is right here.
Here is the name of Jesus in Dutch.
Dutch is a language of Holland: Jezus.

I am from right here.
They write Jesus like this: 예수님.

R is from here.
They write Jesus like this: 耶稣.

(If you know how to pronounce each word, you may ask children to say after you.)

Now back to Israel or Palestine.

This is where Jesus is born: Bethlehem.
Bethlehem means the house of bread.
Jesus grows up here: Nazareth.
(Point out in the map).
This is where he is baptized: Jordan River.
This is where Peter, a disciple of Jesus was fishing.
This is where Jesus is crucified.
After that, the good news spreads all over Europe and reaches to this country.
So, this is the world that Jesus loves so much.
Let’s pray for this world.
Ok?

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for your coming, two thousand years ago.
And thank you for your resurrection.
Thank you for remembering our friends (you may name them here) who are traveling.
Thank you also for guiding our way.
Jesus, we pray for all the people on this earth.
May they know that you love them!
In the name of Jesus, Amen.

John 14: 5-14


Jesus: the wisdom of God
Reading: John 14: 5-14

When Jesus comes along, he waits on before starting his new ministry.
He waits while possibly working as a carpenter.
Doing so, Jesus is getting ready to live the life that matters.

At the age 30, Jesus decides to preach.
Once he is ready to teach and preach, Jesus never looks back.
It is because Jesus knows what God desires.
God desires people to live for a holy purpose: the purpose of love, care, forgiveness, faith.

This was his deep faith within him.
This was his desire that placed inside of us.

So, Jesus loves to talk about faith.
Faith makes people to move forward toward a meaningful future.
Talking about faith, Jesus is saying:
“You have a meaningful potential.
Live up to it.
Use what you have.
Discover yourself.
A truly meaningful life is waiting for you and for God.”

The mind of Jesus is so much advanced than his contemporaries.
So, he was able to show the way to God.

For this reason, Jesus can say:
“I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one explains God like me.
In fact, my knowing is real that if you know me, you know God.
So, my students, from now on you know God and have seen God.”

Jesus creatively shows us the mind of God like this.
But suddenly Philip said:
“Jesus, show us God and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered:
“Philip, don’t you know me even after I have been among you such a long time?
Anyone who has seen me has seen God.
I am in God, and that God is in me.
I am speaking these words because God lives in me and does all these works.
That is what it means when I say that I am in God and God is in me.

“Think about what I have done.
Then because what I have done, you may be able to believe in me and do the works I have been doing.
In fact, those who believe will do even greater things than these, because I am going to God the Father, because I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

With this faith, Jesus gives enough power to humans so that we can be creators.
Jesus still creates everything through his Word and faith.
Jesus desires to create through us from now on.
We need to allow Jesus Christ to create something through us.
This must have been what is on Jesus' mind.
Following this Jesus, we discover that we can hope in.
Then we may also feel peace and joy.

This is what Jesus agrees to do with God, even before the time begins.
For this purpose, Jesus needs to experience the goodness of his Father in his human body. With his own body, he needs to understand the compassionate God. Then he can say, “Follow me. I am the Way.”

God places something within us that we don’t see.
God places something within us that God values so much.
That is, we have God’s likeness in us.
So there is a possibility that we may think like God and live like God.

Because of it, God thinks we are lovable enough to die for.
God remembers our values, even when we are lost and don’t know what we are made for.

Then how amazing it will be when we understand the innocent mind of Jesus!
How amazing it will be when we make decisions like Christ makes decisions!
How amazing it will be when we truly understand the wisdom of Jesus!
I think then we will worship Jesus, in a pure amazement.

In this hope, Christ is taking care of us.
Christ ordains his people to hear his small voice.
Then Jesus works within our life so that we may be a pastor, shepherd, worker who delivers his thoughts and messages.


7.08.2009

Matthew 6: 6

Reading: Matthew 6: 6

Let’s see what is in Matthew 6: 6.
Jesus says:
“When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Jesus taught to pray in solitary place.
When you pray in solitude, you realize a true reward from God.
God is alive there.
God is listening and speaking.
Praying is an intimate act.
There you can find a place where you can truly focus on only Christ.

Can you practice being alone, being still, being quiet?
Blaise Pascal says: “All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.”

Learning to pray in a quiet empty room, we may be able to solve problems of our daily lives, or to ease them.

If you pray and sit alone quietly, you may learn not to act on wrong impulse.
You don’t worry about what everyone else is talking about or doing.
You don’t compare yourself to others.
You don’t search for vain glory.

If people learn this, they may be less violent.
They may be more kind.
They may live freely.
They may be more productive in God.
In this way, they may solve a lot of problems.

Can you pray in an empty room?
With intentional discipline, we have trouble sitting alone, quietly.
Sitting still and praying is something you need to practice.

I’ve been practicing this right before sleep.
I sit and pray.
At first, it was a few minutes but it is good.
I learn to organize my thoughts.
I learn to be aware of your inner hope.
I learn to plan and have goals.
I learn to pray once believing that God has heard me.
I learn to watch how God may lead my thoughts.
You will learn to think of various things in the power of Holy Spirit.

You learn to taste God in quietness.
If you haven’t practiced this, try to regularly pray in quietness.
Meeting God in quietness can be amazing.
It may help us calm down; contemplate, slow down to taste God anew.
An empty room can be your teacher.
There God may fill us with creative ideas and good thoughts.
Later, being alone can be your pleasure.
Set aside a time when we will be alone.
If you need to make some decisions with God, put an empty paper before you and turn off the light.
Then turn on the light if you are getting something from God or if you are getting some inspired thoughts.

If you have time for the Internet drama and TV, you have time for this.
Use your isolation to learn of God and from God.
Use this solitude to allow yourself to find yourself in God.

Just a little at first, then perhaps a bit more.
Listen, watch, and learn about yourself.
Find out how God may work in your life.
Sometimes, try to sit still and pray, stead of acting out your urges.
You may be more productive.

7.04.2009

Mark 6:1-13 (1)

Jesus the Teacher
Reading: Mark 6:1-13

Jesus was a good teacher!
Jesus taught his students very well.
Then, Jesus didn't want to do something that his student can do.
So, Jesus didn't baptize people because his students can baptize people.

When Jesus is doing something new, Jesus let his students observe him.
When they watch what Jesus is doing, his students build their faith.
As for them, to see is to believe.
Then when Jesus gave them power, they can live like Jesus.

Jesus teaches them how to love and forgive.
Then his students learn to do as Jesus teaches.
Jesus even says:
“When you love someone, you love me.
It is that simple.”

They also saw Jesus healing people in faith.
Then, Jesus says to his students:
“Now you go out and say to people, ‘the kingdom of God is near.’
Then you heal people.”

In this way, Jesus has a group of believers who can do what Jesus is doing.
Jesus helps them to believe and teach what Jesus teaches.

Anyway, Jesus let his students observe him.
There is a power in observing.
That is why we read the Gospel.
Read the Gospel out loud at home.
Proclaim Jesus to the air.
While reading the Gospel, observe how Jesus was doing things.
Then you will be able to have faith to follow Jesus.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, you place the faith within us.
In this faith we walk and have our beings.
Thank you for the way you taught.
May we look at your life and learn to live a wonderful life of faith with you.
Thank you.
In your name, Amen.

7.03.2009

Mark 6:1-13 (6)

Reading: Mark 6:1-13

It was a time when Jesus returns to his hometown with his students.
Jesus gives a wonderful lecture.
Everyone is impressed.

But after that, his hometown folks wanted to belittle him:
"He is a carpenter.
We have known him since he was a kid.
We know his family."
They must have known Jesus as someone quiet and unpretending.
Now they have seen totally different Jesus.
Jesus was speaking his mind amazingly!

When they heard about his ministry and power, they wanted to hear him as well.
But now they don’t want to accept his authority since they knew him when he was just a kid.

Then, Jesus wasn't able to do much.
His hometown people were not ready to welcome the authority of Jesus.
So, Jesus laid hands on and healed a few people.
Then, Jesus left to another village.

After this incident, Jesus decides to send his students out two by two.
He gives them authority and power.
They preach, anoint and heal many people.
They bring peaceful order to each family they visit.

Why did Jesus make this decision to send his students, right after Jesus visiting his hometown? He might hope that his students would eventually bring the gospel to them.

So, Jesus goes around teaching.
In this way, he has taught his students enough.
Then, Jesus sent his students out two by two giving them authority to heal.

Jesus says to them:
"Keep things very simple.
Travel lightly.
When people invite you to stay, stay there until you leave that town.
Some may be not ready to welcome you or listen to you.
Then, shake the dust off your feet and leave that town.
Don’t look back but keep moving forward."

In this way, the students of Jesus go out and preach the story of Jesus in faith.
They solve spiritual problems.
They bring wellness to the family.
They drive out many demons and anoint many sick people with oil and heal them.
They preach knowing that their life has radically changed.