7.31.2012

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

In God, everything can turn out to be blessings.
Maybe that is why Paul says:
“Give thanks in all circumstances, because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Give thanks in all circumstances.
Can you do that?

Then what about God?
Can God do that?
Can God give thanks in all situations?
Can God give thanks when Jesus is born?
Can God give thanks when Jesus runs away to Egypt?
Can God give thanks when Jesus is growing up in Nazareth?
Can God give thanks when Jesus is baptized?
Can God give thanks when Jesus starts preaching?
Can God give thanks when Jesus prays overnight?
Can God give thanks when Jesus is able to have his followers?
Can God give thanks when Jesus welcomes children?
Can God give thanks when Jesus is obedient to God?
Can God give thanks when Jesus was rejected by people?
Can God give thanks when Jesus was crucified?
Can God give thanks when Jesus was resurrected?
Can God give thanks when God sees his disciples live like Christ Jesus?

We know that when Paul faces difficulty in life, he didn’t forget to give thanks to God.
But we are not Paul.
Sometimes, we face some situation where we cannot give thanks.
We cannot embrace.
We have this anger spring up.
What can we do?
It is like a psychological problem.

What about Jesus?
Can Jesus give thanks in all situations?
But can Jesus give thanks for Pharisees and Sadducees?
Can Jesus give thanks for Judah Iscariot?
Can Jesus give thanks for those who reject him?
Jesus wept over Jerusalem.
Can he give thank for the people of Jerusalem?

Sometimes, we feel sad or feel disappointed.
I think it is normal.
We don’t always be upbeat and rejoice.
Sometimes we can express these feeling in God.

At the same time, sometimes, we need to force ourselves to give thanks and praise God in these situations.
Because it is our proclamation of our faith: God is still alive.
It is not because we are hopeful.
It is not because we feel new possibility.
We give thank because Christ Jesus is with us.
We give thanks because we know of God.
We give thanks because we met Jesus.
We give thanks because we know God, in Jesus.
Even though we may not give thanks in all the circumstances, we always have some situation that we can give thanks.
You still have those who love you.
We still have those who pray for us.

We may not rejoice always in God.
We may sometimes, feel:
“Why am I coming to the church? Shall I leave this church?”
We all have those moments.
It is ok.
After that, we can give thanks in God.
We can give thanks, praying to Jesus all about it.
We may give thanks believing again that we don’t need to worry about anything in Jesus.

7.30.2012

John 9: 1-7

ppt

Jesus heals!
Reading: John 9: 1-7

Today, the disciples of Jesus saw a man who was born blind.
Then they started talking about whose sin is it?
Why was he born blind?
They wanted to know who have done something against God.
So, they asked Jesus: (John 9: 2)
“Rabbi, because of whose sin, he was born blind?”

Jesus knew people in those days thought like this.
But he thought that his students should not think like this.
Their teacher was Jesus who could enlighten them.
Jesus was there to help them understand.
Jesus wanted them to know that Jesus was the solution.
Jesus could solve any problem.
Jesus is the resurrection and life.
He is the living water.

So, Jesus heals this blind man.
Now this man can see for the first time.
It was so wonderful to see this beautiful world.
Through Jesus Christ, he experienced God.

So, his disciples also learned about the power of God.
They learned that Jesus could heal this man.
They learned that Jesus could even do this.
As Jesus healed people like this, they became hopeful.
When Jesus worked like this, they became humble and were ready to listen to Jesus.

Because Jesus can do this, they didn’t need to judge any more blind men.
They also knew that Jesus didn’t judge the blind man or his parent.
They learned that they could invite God to work for them.

(3) Jesus said this: Luke 6:37
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged.
Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

Instead, they can pray for them.
They can expect that God can do something for them.

Jesus wanted to teach how God could work in their life.
So Jesus may be saying “Look for what God can do here.
God is about to do something.”

Believing that God can do something, Jesus talks about God’s forgiveness.
So, Jesus is forgiving.
He talks about God’s love.
So, Jesus heals.
People can become new persons.
He talks about God’s grace.
So, there was a lot of possibility.
People can experience God’s grace.

When people experience the love of God like this, they come to God.
They come to believe in God.
They come to believe in Jesus.

God is doing something new.
God is creating something new.
As they realize that, people come to believe in Jesus.
Then they find a right direction to God.

Introducing God’s freedom like this, Jesus took all their judgments upon himself.
Jesus took our judgments on himself.
Then he died.

Then after his resurrection, he wants to continually proclaim the freedom of God, and the healing power of God.
He proclaims that God heals people.
He proclaims that God drives out evil spirits.
He proclaims that God is still working.
God is still doing something.

In order to heal our sufferings, Jesus suffered for us.
In order to help us overcome our suffering, Jesus suffered for us.
Then God helps us to experience Jesus who is the Resurrection.

God can heal all the parts of our live.
God can heal our mind.
God can change our habit.
God can help us to meet those who can help us.

When some unfortunate incident happened to someone, it does not mean that God has judged them.
Instead God wants people to pray so that God can produce something beautiful and meaningful.
God can help them overcome all kind of stuff.
Jesus is asking us to believe.
Then we may discover God there.
So, as we go through them all, we become the disciples of Jesus, who can call God to help other people.
We may expect that the Holy Spirit may heal people in various ways.
When we experience God like this, we may become more loving and gentle.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to listen to you.
Help us to work like you.
May you work among us more then you worked two thousands years ago.
May you show yourself to us so that we may have your character and love and live accordingly.
In Jesus name.
Amen.


7.24.2012

Luke 7:11-17 (1)

ppt

Reading: Luke 7:11-17
Prop: a toy or a book

Do you have many toys?
Do you have something like this?
What is this?
Right.

(1) Now, I have a question.
Do you know what “only” means?
Sometimes people say, "I only have this or I only have that."
What does it mean?
Right, if I say this is my only toy, it means that I have no other toy.

So, let's say this is your only toy.
Let’s pretend. Right?
Then one day, you lost it.
How would you feel?
You would be very sad, right?
Do you think you will cry?

But how would you feel when you found your toy back?
Maybe it was under your bed.
How do you think you would feel?
You will feel so good, right?
Yeeha.

(1) Well, I want to tell you about someone who lost what is so dear to her.
It was many, many years ago, when Jesus was alive on earth.
He traveled a lot, you see.

Today, he arrived at a town.
He was like, “what is going on?” because he saw a dead person being carried out.
People said to them, "Oh, he was the only son of this lady, whose husband also died a long while ago."
Jesus was like, “She lost the only son she had? Oh my.”
Jesus felt really sorry for her.
Then Jesus decided to do something for her.
So, he said, "Don't cry."

(2) He went up and touched the dead man.
He said: "Young man, I say to you, get up!"
The dead man got up and began to talk.
Then Jesus gave the only son back to his mother.

And she was so happy.
She was rejoicing and praising God.
People were saying, "God has come to help us. A great spiritual man has come."

Well, I am sure that Jesus felt so good being able to help.
And I hope you would remember this story, when you feel like you have lost something.
Well, remember Jesus.
I hope that you would also say to:
“Don’t worry. I am here. I would like to help.”
Right?

Let’s pray:
Christ, thank you for coming into our life.
You are our joy.
May we always rejoice and praise you because you are with us always.
In your name we pray. Amen.