백신이 나왔지만, 여전히 기승을 부리고 있는 바이러스는 아직도 감사를 모르는 그 한 사람을 마지막까지 털고 계시는 하나님의 손길일지 모릅니다. 계속되는 지금의 사태를 통해 잘난 척, 아는 척, 혼자여도 괜찮은 척하는 우리의 교만을 깨닫고 겸손해지기 시작했습니다. 사람들끼리는 거리를 두라 하시고, 하나님 앞으로 바짝 우리를 다가서게 하셨습니다. 예배당은 찾아 나오지 못하지만, 화면으로 우리를 당기셔서 ‘주목!’ 하셨습니다. 더 자세히 보고 말씀을 들으라는 뜻이었습니다. 예수님은 하나님이시면서도 그 영광과 권세를 스스로 취할 것으로 여기지 아니하시고, 종의 형체로 자신을 비워 십자가에 죽기까지 낮아지셨습니다. 2020년 마지막 주일에 서서 주님의 겸손을 배울 수 있는 마지막 기회를 놓치지 마십시다.
Humbleness and Thanksgiving
Rev. Bryan Kim
Two words come to my mind as I stand at the end of the year, looking back on 2020 after Christmas. Those are humbleness and thanksgiving. Coronavirus pandemic situation is not done. It continues to disable us. I think this is God’s work of shaking the remnants of sin from us. It makes us realize that our lives totally depend on God’s grace and that we do not exist on our own. If we were to choose this year’s top 10 news, obviously Coronavirus definitely takes Number 1. Many things that were caused by Coronavirus pass by like images in a kaleidoscope. Those are closing of Bethel’s in- person worship for the first time, not being able to attend our beloved Pastor Sohn’s funeral, parents attending their own daughter’s wedding via Zoom, evacuating to church from wildfire, not being able to travel, and not being able to meet others. Even when we do see others, social distancing has become the norm. Like squeezing out wet clothes, through all these experiences, ‘God’s Grace’ hidden deep inside of us is expressed on the surface. We can no longer pretend to outsmart God. We expected to open our church doors for full in-person worship, which has been limited again, around Thanksgiving time. Church school was fully prepared in anticipation of opening. When Coronavirus worsened, we had to close down even the limited in-person worship. We had nothing to say but to look to sky and ask why. What came to my mind at that moment was the image of God squeezing and shaking us from sinful pit. That was grace and thankfulness. God was the source that lifted and guided us. He made us realize that we cannot live without God, not even for a moment.
Although we have vaccines now, this virus is stubborn. Perhaps, God’s hand is still shaking those that are ungrateful. This continuing situation causes us to realize our pridefulness of pretending we are better than others, knowing all, and invincible. We begin to humble. We keep social distance with people, but we must stand close to God. We may not be able to come to church, but He brought us to ‘attention!’ through online screen. This means we ought to look carefully and listen to the Word. Jesus is God, yet He does not take glory and power for himself but lowered himself to the point of dying on the cross. Let’s not miss this last opportunity to learn Jesus’ humbleness on this last Lord’s day of 2020.