Three Trees


Three Trees (It is a very well known story)
Reading: Luke 2:1-14

I am going to tell you a story.
It is a children story.
I guess in this Christmas season, I am allowed to tell you this children story, right?
Let’s begin.

(1) Once upon a mountain top, there were three little trees.
These trees had big dreams.

(1) One little tree said:
"I want to be the most beautiful treasure box in the world!
I want to hold lots and lots of treasure, gold and diamond."

(2) The second little tree said:
“I want to be the strongest and most powerful ship in the world!
I want to travel oceans carrying powerful kings and queens.”

(3) The third little tree said:
"I want to be the tallest tree in the world.
So, when people look at me, they may raise their eyes to see heaven and think about God."

Many years went by.
All these trees grew tall.
(2) Then one day three woodcutters climbed this mountain.
The first woodcutter took the first tree and went down.
The second woodcutter took down the second tree and went down.
But the third tree felt terrified when the last woodcutter looked at her.
So, she tried to stand tall pointing to heaven.
But the woodcutter didn’t even look up.
Then he took down the third tree.

(1) The first tree was so excited when she saw a carpenter.
The first tree said:
"Yeehah, now I’ll be a beautiful box that holds wonderful treasures!"

But the carpenter was not making a treasure box.
He was making a feed box for animals.
So, this proud tree was made into a feed box and was filled with hay for hungry animals.

(1) The second tree was happy when she realized that she was going to be a boat.
Her dream was coming true.
The second tree said:
"Finally, I’ll sail oceans!
I’ll be a strong ship for kings and queens!”

But there was no need for a mighty sailing ship that day.
(3) So, she was made into a small fishing boat.
Then she was too small to sail the oceans.
So she was taken into a little lake where she spent her life carrying fish.

(3) The third tree was confused when the woodcutter made her into strong beams and threw her on a pile of lumber in the yard.
Then the once tall tree wondered:
"What happened?
All I wanted was to point all these people to God!"

Many, many days passed.
The three trees almost forgot their dreams.

(1) Then one night, the first tree saw a special star shining over her, as a young woman laid her newborn baby in this feed box.
Her husband said:
"I wish I could provide a better cradle for him."

But the mother said:
"This manger is perfect.
It is beautiful."
Then suddenly the first tree realized that she was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening many years later, the second tree was sailing on the lake.
She was carrying a teacher and his students.
Then she saw the teacher fell asleep as she quietly sailed across the lake.
Then suddenly the weather changed from calm to stormy.

(1) Then the tree was scared, because she knew she was too weak to carry these people through the wind and the rain.

Then the students wake up the sleeping teacher.
(3) Then the teacher stood up and said:
“Peace! Be still!”
Then the storm stopped.
Then, the second tree knew that she was carrying the King of heaven and earth.

One Friday morning, not long after that, the third tree was surprised, when she was yanked out from the forgotten woodpile.

(3) Then her beams were nailed together.
Then a man was carrying her through an angry shouting crowd.
She was so nervous.

(2) Then she cried when soldiers nailed the man to her.
It was just too much.
Then after awhile, she felt the man had died.
Then the man was carried into a tomb.

(2) But on Sunday morning, something great happened.
She saw the man rose back up again and walked.
Then the man disappeared and appeared and disappeared and appeared and so on.
Then she realized that she was with the Son of God.
God came down and was with her.

(1) God included these trees into God’s plan.
God included these threes to be part of the story of Jesus.
So, these trees could help people to understand God much better.

Initially these trees just wanted to be powerful, beautiful, strong and big.
But God chose to be humble and weak to show who God is and to be with them.
So, these trees understood who God is, and how God may appear in their life.
The end.

Let us pray:
Jesus, thank you for all the blessings that we experience.
Thank you for honoring the humble.
Thank you for being born and dying for us.
Thank you for rising back again and live forever.
May we be the people who live with your spirit forever.
In Jesus name, amen.


Matthew 18:21-22


Forgive from your hearts
Reading: Matthew 6: 14 -15; Mark 11: 22-25; Matthew 18:21-22, (23-35)
Additional readings: John 20:23, 2 Corinthians 2: 5-11, Colossians 3:13, James 5:15
Blanks: forgive, he (God), first, will

Do you think Jesus holds grudges?
Do you think Jesus makes people to pay for their sin?
(2) No, Jesus tries to forgive them and understand them.
In fact, Jesus tries to forgive them from the heart.
Jesus wants to give them new chances to live well.
In this way, Jesus helps people experience God.
You see, Jesus is very patient.

(2) Then much to our surprise, Jesus asks us to forgive just like him.
Can we forgive like him?
Jesus was like:
“If you want to follow me, you need to forgive.
You need to forgive people from your heart.
Then, God will forgive you, as well.”

Then some of you may say:
“Yeah, I can forgive then.”
Then some of you may say:
It would be very difficult for me.”

But Jesus asks us to forgive because it is good for us.
And we can forgive people in the power of the Holy Spirit.
By God’s help, we can forgive them from our own heart.
So, Jesus asks us to try:
Try to pray for people and try to understand them.
Try to bless them.

Now I would like to show you a video.
It may be difficult for you to understand.
But let’s try.
Let’s watch: http://youtu.be/uGfNM08ef7c

(1) Jesus says something like this:
“Love your enemies.
Bless your enemies.
Forgive your enemies.”

(3) But unfortunately, as for her, her father was like an enemy.
She was mad at him.
But God asked her to forgive him.
So, she tried.
Then, God asked her to ask for forgiveness from her father.

(1) But she had some wounds in her heart because of her father.
But she tried, because God asked her to.
(2) As she tried to obey and forgive her father from her heart, God was able to cure her heart as well.
Then she saw what is possible in God.
She learned that it is possible to forgive in the power of the Holy Spirit.

(3) In this way Jesus was able to love her father through her.
Then, Jesus could build a family of love.
Jesus could start a movement of peace in her family.
Then Jesus could improve her family life.

So, forgiveness is very important to God.
So, even God tries to forgive continually.
And that is why God sent his Son to us.

(3) As for Jesus, there are two things that make him sad.
First is when people don’t love him very much.
Second is when people don’t even try to forgive.
If people don’t do these things, they might not be able to experience God or understand God.
But if they try, they would get to know God.
They would experience God.
They would be able to see what is possible in God.
They would be able to have God’s peace, God’s freedom and God’s health forever.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to forgive people from our hearts so that we may shine your light, your character, and your kindness.
Help us to forgive so that we may share the fullness of your love throughout our days.
May you also forgive our sin and restore our life.
In Jesus name, we pray.


John 1:43-51 (1)


Come and see
Reading: John 1:43-51
Blanks: Come, Nazareth, real, heaven, open,

(1) In the time of Jesus, there were sort of two kinds of Jewish people.
One group was living near Jerusalem.
The other group was living near Galilee.

Those who lived near Jerusalem tended to be religious and very Jewish.
And they thought that the Jewish people in Galilee were not Jewish enough.
Sometimes, they looked down on them.
And they made fun of their pronunciation or their dialect.

But Jesus loved to hang out with the Jewish people in Galilee.
(1) Jesus found many of his disciples in Galilee.
In fact, today, Jesus went to Galilee to find more disciples.
(2) Then, when Jesus found a new disciple, he said to him:
“Follow me.”
Then he said “Ok” and followed Jesus.
His name was Philip.
Philip was from the town where Peter and his brother, Andrew were from.
So, Peter and Andrew welcomed their hometown boy, Philip.

(1) But then Philip remembered his good friend, Nathanael.
So, he went and found him and said:
“Hey, we’ve found the Messiah that the Bible talks about!
He is Jesus from Nazareth!”

Nathanael said:
“Nazareth? (Laughing)
Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Even though he was a Galilean, he didn’t expect very much from his people.

But Philip said:
“Come and see~.”

(1) So, Nathanael came to see Jesus.
Then Jesus said:
Here is a very spiritual man!”

Nathanael said:
“Whoa, how do you know me?”
Jesus said: (pause)
(1) “I saw you, under that fig tree, before Philip called you.”

Nathanael was surprised because he had an experience under that tree.
But Jesus seemed to know what happened there.
Jesus seemed to know his secret life of prayer.
Well, of course, Jesus knew because Nathanael was praying to God who is Jesus under that tree.
So, Nathanael said:
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God.
You are the King of Israel!” (smile)

Then Jesus said:
“Wait a minute.
I just told you that I saw you under that fig tree.
Is that enough for you?
Well, you’ll see much, much more.
You all will see the heaven opened.
You will see the angels coming down, going up, coming down, going up on me!”

Some people thought about what really happened to Nathanael.
Then they made a video out of it.
So, let’s watch: http://youtu.be/k7ZZfSDWR44

(1) Because Nathanael was a spiritual man, Jesus came to him like this.
Jesus showed he is the Messiah like this.
But remember?
Initially, Nathanael thought not much of the people of Nazareth or Galilee. He thought that they were not Jewish enough or religious enough.

But Jesus chose these people as his disciples.
Then Jesus taught them, trained them and empowered them.
Then, Jesus sent these Galileans to make disciples in all nations.
They were sent out to teach others.
So, other people needed to be humble and listen to what God was saying through them.

Today, Jesus may still come to us like this.
He would train the humble and send them to teach others.
So, if we look down on them just because they are different, or because they don’t speak English or Korean, or because their language sounds weird, we are making a mistake.
God can use anybody.
So, we need to be humble and be ready to hear what God is saying.
Then we may receive God’s blessings that are coming to us.

(1) So, the bible says: (let’s read together)
“In humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

This is our homework today.
We are called to respect others as if they are better than us.
We need to think other people well and treat them well.
We need to humbly serve other people.
Then we will be able to live the life that Jesus wants us to live.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for coming to us from Nazareth and Galilee.
You have lived the holy life there.
The power of God was even working through your disciples.
Help us to be humble and patient so that we may also be able to live your life wherever we are.
In your name, we pray.


Luke 11:1-13 (3)

Praying for nations
Reading: Luke 11:1-13
K-hymns: 489

Jesus again teaches people through a story.
He told a story like this:
“Let’s say you have a best friend who was traveling a lot.
He is extremely busy.
Then one night, he came to your house unannounced.
You were so happy to see him.
So, you invited him in but realized that you have no food to offer.
You went to all the stores which were all closed.
So, you ran to another friend’s house and waked his friends saying:
“Do you have some food that I can borrow?”
Then you explained your situation.

But your friend was like:
“Don’t you think it is late?
I got to get up early tomorrow.
So, don’t bother me. Go away.”

But he could not give up, because he had someone at home.
Even though he knew that he was bothering his friends, he asked again and again and again.
So, his friend got up and started to prepare something.
He realized that in this way, he would get more sleep.

(1) Why would Jesus tell this story?
Jesus wanted to explain about praying.
At this story, Jesus may be talking about intercessory prayer.
It is to pray for someone else.
It is to pray for our friends so that God may help them.
We pray that God may give strength to our friends.
We pray that God would give spiritual power to our friends.
Then God’s power is available for our friends.

Telling this story, Jesus is saying:
“Don’t give up after praying once or twice.
Even if you don’t have enough faith to ask God, ask God again and again.
Then God will help your friends.
Pray again and again, until you receive what you pray for.
Then God will work through you.”

But some people may say:
God knows everything.
Why should we pray again and again?

For some prayer, you don’t have to pray twice.
Then you see God answers your prayer.
But for other occasions, you need to pray again and again.
Then, God’s thoughts will flow through you.
Then God’s power will flow through you.
Then, God will make something happen.
(2) As you pray again and again, you give yourself permission to experience God who gently works through you.
The power of Gospel happens as you pray for others.
In this way, you love them.
In this way, you become part of God’s team.
Then God will inspire you to pray for various persons.
Then God will work and make it happen.
God will work miracles for those people.
In this way as God change the world.
It is wonderful to recognize that God answers your prayer and moves along with your prayer.

So, I think everyone should have a prayer list written out.
Then it is easier to pray again and again for our friends.
Then we will experience God making something happen.

God desires to help.
But one condition is that we pray again and again.
Then we sense God’s good plan for our lives.
Then we can even pray according to the will of God.
It is a great service to God.

Talking about prayer, we can also pray for churches and nations.
That is, you can help a church or a nation to experience God.
You may pray for missionaries, ministers, spiritual leaders, deacons and elders of a particular country.
You may pray that they may live holy and pure life.
Then, you may even change that nation with God.

For this kind of prayer, you may need to pray over and over.
For example, many people have been praying for North Korea.
Sometimes, it is discouraging.
But at the same time, we have seen God is working for that nation.
So, we pray continually, knowing again everything is possible in God.

If you like news, you have a lot of information to pray for the world.
You can pray to make our world peaceful and safer and prosperous.
Then God may make the world peaceful and a better place.

As we pray, we celebrate the fact that God is good.
So, we praise and give thanks to God.
We express our love to God in your prayer.

Lastly, I heard about someone who didn’t really believe in God.
But he decided to have a test by praying for awhile.
Then as he prayed, he sensed or realized that God really listened to him.
God was working through his prayer.
He experienced the power of God.
Then he ended up knowing more of God.
Then this person even find God’s will and plan for his life in Jesus Christ.
So, help us pray according to the will of Jesus, so that we may become like him.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to pray so that we may truly help those who are around us.
Encourage us to pray so that many nations may find peace in you.
In Jesus name we pray.


Matthew 11:28-30 (1)


There is a true work that if you do, you will find rest
Reading: Matthew 11:28-30
Additional reading: Psalm 131: 1, 2
Props: bag, basketball,
Blanks: rest, yoke, easy, light

What is this?
Right, it is a bag.
What’s inside?
What is this?
It is a basketball.
What about this?
Who put this in the bag anyway?
Well, there was one person who carries this kind of bags all day long.
I don’t know why she does that.
So, let’s find out.
We are going to watch this video to find out:

(2) Can you understand this video?
Ok, then why did she carry all those bags?

She carried those bags because she was anxious.
She worried about things.
So, she carried each bags.
Then when she worried about her future, she added more bags.
When she worried about meeting people’s expectation, she added more bags.
Then it became too many.
So, she could not live a normal life.

So, she tried to share her bags with her friends.
But most of her friends could not understand why she carried all those bags.
So they didn’t want to carry her bags.

(1) She also wanted to be free from her bags.
But she didn’t know how.
So, she added more bags.
Then she struggled to carry all those bags, without knowing how to get rid of them.
That is, she didn’t know how to stop worrying.

(2) Then some people asked her invite Jesus into her life.
They said instead of just carrying the bible, she could give her life to Jesus and be free.
Because Jesus has the power to create heaven and earth, Jesus can take all her bags.
So, she started to give each bags to Jesus. (put the bag)
She started to give her worries to Jesus.

This is a mystery.
Then she took the bag of Jesus.
Then she was free.
When she carried Jesus' bag, she was free in Jesus.
She was free to do what she truly loves to do.
She was free to help her friends to do what they truly love to do.
She can help people because she was free to live in God’s power.
She was free to live a new life with Jesus.

(3) Then the more she got to know Jesus, the more she could give her every worry to Jesus.
The more she knows Jesus, the more she can give her bags to Jesus.
The more she understands Jesus, the more she can give her worries to Jesus.
Then the more she gives, the more she was free.
Then, she stops worrying about things.
She stops worrying about her reputation.
She stops worrying about her family’s expectations.
Then she just lives her life with Jesus.

(1) To every people, Jesus said something like this:
“Don’t carry al those bags, burdens and worries.
Come to me. I will give you rest.
I will give you freedom to do what you truly love to do.
Continually learn from me.
I am gentle and humble.
So, live my life.
Then you will truly find peace and rest.”

Jesus wants to show you how to live an easier life.
If we understand Jesus, we can live that easy life with Jesus.

So, let’s carry his bag.
Meaning, let’s live his life:
We can live his life in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We will be able to do what Jesus wants us to do.
Then we will find joy.
Then we will find rest and have peace in our heart.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, you always wait for us.
So, we will give all our worries to you.
Then help us to listen to you.
Help us to live your life.
Because then, we will be just fine, because of you.
May we find peace and rest in you.
May all people find peace and rest in you. .
In Jesus name, amen.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.


Pastoral Prayer 6

Jesus, you want us to move into new future, New Year with you.
So, we pray that you may free us from our past wounds and humiliations.
Free us from our past hurtful memories which may keep us apart.

If we have ignored someone, because they have reminded us of our wounds, forgive us.
Help us to forgive.
Help us to bless them.
Help us to be reconciled.
Help us to live like you, opening us up to the Holy Spirit.

Jesus, now we pray for this world.
We pray for all those who wish for peace and freedom.
We pray with those who pray for their safety and prosperous in this world.
We pray for those who seek to find Jesus in their own mind and heart and life.
May they find you and know you.

We pray for this country and this city.
We pray for those who serve your good will in governments.
We pray for this city.
We pray for all those who work for this city.
We pray for our neighbors.
We pray for the kids in this neighborhood.
May they know that you love them and you have wonderful plans for them.

Jesus, we pray for our family and friends.
We pray for those who are always remained in our heart.
We pray for all those who ask for our prayers.
Manifest yourself to them even now.
Give them your peace, guidance, and healings.
Fill them with your joy, love and spirit so that they may move with you forever.

Thank you for this year.
Though many things have changed, you have made all go smoothly.
Continually remind us of our callings so that we may move with you here.

Thank you for all the youths and children in this church.
Thank you for teaching these children.
Even when they are young, like Jesus, may they hear and follow God
May our children know you, and be faithful to you for all their life.
May they live like you, think like you and be like you wherever they are.

May you also bless our teachers, small group leaders and all those who share the story of Jesus.
May you inspire them and fill them with the Holy Spirit so that they may share your knowledge and wisdom faithfully.
Thank you for all your works in this church.
We pray this in your name, Jesus. Amen.


Matt 1:18-25 (2)


Mary, did you know?
Reading: Matt 1:18-25
Additional reading: Galatians 4:4-5, Isaiah 7:14
Blanks: Holy Spirit, Immanuel,

(1) Merry Christmas!
Since this is the week when Christmas comes, I am just going to tell you the old Christmas story that you all know.

Many, many years ago, God told Jewish people:
(2) “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son.
And they will call him Immanuel.”
What is Immanuel?
Immanuel means “God is with us.”

When God said this, Jesus, the Son of God, was living among the angels.
But Jesus wanted to be with people.
So, Jesus decided to become a man.
Then, Jesus was wondering who could be his mother.
Who could give him a chance to be born?
Then, Jesus thought Mary could be his mother.
So, Jesus sent her an angel to get her permission.
Luckily, Mary said yes.

(1) Then, Mary let this news known to her fiancé, Joseph.
But Joseph was confused, because Mary was so serious about this.
But Joseph was like:
“What is this?
Is she trying to break up with me?
Then what does it mean that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit?
Is she saying that she was unfaithful to me?”

Aaa. It was too much.
So, he went home and went to bed.
Then he relaxed enough to receive God’s thoughts.
(2) Then, in his dream an angel appeared and said:
“Joseph, do not worry about marrying Mary.
She is really pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
So, get married.
Then when she gives birth to a son, call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their errors.”

Joseph might have wondered:
“Is it really from God?
Is God really speaking through dreams?”
Then he remembered that in the bible that God often used dreams to make the plan known.
In the bible some people interpreted the dreams to know the plan of God.
So, Joseph also decided to have a go
(3) Joseph accepted that God had a bigger plan.
So he took Mary home as his wife.

You know, sometimes, God can speak to you through your dreams.
Sometimes, your dream may be speaking you about something.
Of course, sometimes, your dream doesn’t make sense at all.
But God seems to understand it.
God seems to understand what your dream is all about.
So, if you can understand it, you may know about yourself or about God’s plan.

(1) Anyway Mary gave birth.
Joseph called him Jesus.
The name Jesus means “God saves.”
This name simply explains what Jesus would do.
Jesus saves his people from their sin.
Then Jesus helps them to become the children of God.

Now let’s watch a video: http://youtu.be/A1oHJR2g7Tw

(1) Mary, the mother of Jesus, didn’t really know who Jesus really was.
Even when Jesus started his ministry, Mary didn’t understand.
But she heard every day that:
Jesus was healing the leper.
Jesus walked on water.
Jesus gave sight to the blind.
Jesus healed people on the Sabbath.
Jesus calmed the storm.
Jesus served the poor.
Then Jesus died and rose back again to show who he is.

Then, Mary understood who Jesus was.
Mary understood that Jesus was God who created her.
Jesus was God who will one day rule the nations.
So, Mary believed her son.
Then because of her son, her sin was taken away.
Because of her son, she became a new person.
Because of her son, she understood God.
Because of her son, she was saved.
Then she followed Jesus and lived like him.

In a sense, our calling is very similar with that of Mary.
We also need to have Jesus in us.
We need to welcome Jesus into our hearts.
We need to allow Jesus to grow in us.
Then Jesus will live his life through us.
Then Jesus will guide us, save us and free us from our sins.
Then Jesus will make us a new person in God.
So, let’s have Jesus in us and let him to grow and grow and grow so that he can live through us.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to listen and obey.
Sometimes, you speak to us through our dreams or through our circumstances.
May we listen to you and obey, so that we may serve you forever.
We pray in Jesus name, amen.