우리라는 존재는 왜 이리 연약하면서 사악한지요. 하나님께 영광을 돌린다고 하는 그 순간에도 하나님의 영광을 가로채 자신이 누리고 싶은 마음이 한 켠에 있는 것이 바로 우리입니다. 하나님의 말씀을 전한다 하면서 나의 영광을 찾는 저 자신을 발견합니다. 자신의 죄인 됨을 고백하면서 그 고백으로 말미암아 자신의 죄를 정당화하려는 그런 존재가 바로 우리입니다. 우리는 정말 어쩔 수 없는 존재입니다.
그런 우리를 하나님이 죽기까지 사랑하신다 하십니다. 우리가 하나님과 원수되었을 때 그렇게 하셨다 하십니다. 나는 내가 아무리 죄인 됨을 고백하여도 내가 스스로 인식하는 것과는 비교할 수 없이 큰 죄인입니다. 그런데 하나님의 사랑은 훨씬 큽니다.
“보라! 아버지께서 어떠한 사랑을 우리에게 베푸사 하나님의 자녀라 일컬음을 받게 하셨는가, 우리가 그러하도다!”
God’s Amazing Love
Rev. Abel Kang
Passion Week was just a few weeks ago. On the first day of this Passion Week, following my usual tradition, I fasted from food and internet. However, we went to a restaurant for my pregnant wife since fasting wasn’t something she could do. My wife ordered sweet and sour pork and spicy noodle soup, and feeling bad about eating alone, she mentioned that she couldn’t possibly eat all of them and that it would be a good idea to take the left overs to-go for me to eat later at night. Without a doubt she was thinking of me. Although I knew that, still I felt a sudden eruption of sadness and feeling left out. ‘No, I’m only eating one meal a day. Don’t you think that you should give me a proper meal and not cold leftovers (I’m sure it would be heated up)? However, the moment I thought of this, I realized how ridiculous I was being. Oh my! How could I be asking for that one meal of the day to be ‘proper’ while saying that I am fasting to honor Christ’s suffering! How contradictory can I be? I remember something that happened a long time ago. It was in my early twenties while I was serving as a High School Sunday school teacher, God suddenly placed something in my heart. It was to wash the feet of the students I was in charge of. After I told my assistant to bring a large bowl full of water, I told the kids, “Everyone take off your socks. I am going to wash your feet today”, but everyone was reluctant to show their bare feet. It wasn’t because they felt bad, but because they didn’t want to. They were uncomfortable with others seeing their bare feet, touching them, or washing them. So I asked a younger teacher, “Let me wash your feet first”, but he even said that he didn’t want to. Then I said, “Hey, you can’t do that to me. Take off your socks!” He reluctantly took off his socks. Ah… such an embarrassing memory… instead of confessing myself as being less by washing their feet, I was showing off how I was better than them. This ceremony of serving became a ceremony of boasting. In reality, I was being prideful
but “I am humble” only in words.
Our existence is so weak and evil. Even at the moment that we desire to glorify God, there’s a part of us that wants the glory for ourselves. Even in delivering God’s message, I discover how I desire to glorify myself. We confess that we are sinners, yet in the process we try to justify our sin. We live truly an inevitable existence.
However, God says He loves us. He says we are His children. He says He did this while we were enemies with God. No matter how much we confess that we are sinners, our existence is far greater sinner than we can possibly comprehend. But, God’s love is much greater, for He died on the cross for such a person.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”