지난주 2월 13일 나온 뉴스에 의하면 우즈베키스탄이 대한민국에 사전 비자 없이 자국 입국을 허락함으로써 독일과 대한민국 여권이 싱가포르와 함께 총 161개 국가를 갈 수 있는 세계에서 가장 막강한 여권이 되었다고 합니다(labsseoul.com). 2등에 일본, 덴마크가 있고, 3등에는 영국과 캐나다 그리고 강한 이민정책으로 4등으로 등수가 밀린 미국 ‘독수리’ 여권을 생각하면 지금 평창동계올림픽이 열리는 대한민국의 지명도가 인정된 듯합니다. 세계는 지구촌화되어가고, 옆집 가듯 세계를 돌아다니게 되고, 올림픽을 하면서 “나라가 없다고 상상해 보라” 노래하며 국경의 턱을 없애고, 나라마다 단일민족이 아니라, 여러 민족이 함께 사는 다문화권으로 변화하는 이유가 무엇일까요? 철의 장막처럼 넘을 수 없었던 높은 이슬람의 벽도 난민으로 그 벽을 허물고, 강제적으로 문화가 공유되고, 언어가 소통하게 되게 하는 세계적 변화는 무엇 때문일까요? 뭔가 큰 힘이 뒤에서 작용하고 있다는 생각이 드는 것은 이제 복음을 전한 모든 조건들을 갖추고 흩으셨던 민족들을 한 깃발 아래 모이게 하시는 하나님의 손길이라 느껴집니다. 어떤 특정 나라, 민족이 아니라, 모든 족속으로 주님 앞에 나아오게 하시는 모든 여건들이 이제 완성된 느낌이 저의 맘을 긴장되게 합니다. “너희는 가서 모든 족속으로 제자를 삼아… 내가 너희에게 분부한 모든 것을 가르쳐 지키게 하라…”(마 28:19-20).
World without Borders
Rev. Bryan Kim
The 23rd Olympics opened in Pyeong Chang and, excitedly, the games are underway. I recall, as I mentioned briefly during my sermon last Sunday, singers performing John Lennon’s song “Imagine” as a message for human rights during the opening ceremony. With the greatest number of participants in history, 2,925 athletes from 92 countries in the world, each celebrating and participating in aiming for medals, but they were singing the late John Lennon’s Imagine; ‘imagine there’s no countries’, then there is no war, ‘nothing to kill or die for’. As I was watching short segments of Olympic Games in the evening news, I was surprised to hear that Korea is expected to win a gold medal in the Skeleton, first time I have ever heard, and then in the game of Curling, which I didn’t even know we had competed before, we have defeated Canadians and are expected to win a medal. Since the retirement of Yuna Kim, who won a gold medal for Ladies Figure Skating (an event called as the flower of Winter Olympics Games) in the last Olympic Games, I thought our hope was only in the Short Track Speed Skating, but I was proud to discover that we had many prospects in diverse events. A unified women’s hockey team from South and North Koreas, along with South and North Koreas marching in together under a unified flag became a huge news, and it is even said that it exemplified the ideology of Olympics which is peace. But, what’s even more surprising is that there are athletes from other countries who became naturalized to join the Korean National team. It was an image that was far different from the old prideful nation of single race. Korea has become culturally diverse with Chinese Koreans living in Korea as the largest group and then at least 200,000 Vietnamese, followed by Philippinos.
According to a news on February 13th, with Uzbekistan allowing Koreans to enter their country without a Visa and addition of Germany and Singapore, Koreans now hold the most powerful Passport in the world with access to 161 countries (labsseoul.com). Second group is Japan and Denmark; 3rd Britain and Canada, and then, due to tough immigration laws, US ‘Eagle Passport’ has been pushed back to 4th. It appears Republic of Korea, where Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics is currently underway, has earned its reputation. What would be the reason that the world is changing to become more globalized, traveling the world like its your neighborhood, singing “Imagine if there’s no country” at Olympics and trying to remove the threshold of borders, and each country is no longer one kind of nationality but multi-national and multi-cultural? What is causing the world to change where the impossible iron curtain of Islam is coming down through refugees, where different cultures are forcibly shared, and where communication is possible with different languages? I think there is greater force at work because I feel it is the hand of God that is bringing His people, who were scattered for the purpose of the Gospel, under one flag. It isn’t any particular nation or people but all condition is perfect for bringing all people to Him makes my heart excitedly nervous. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19-20)