조지아에 계시는 김현수 선교사님께 ‘로나’ 때문에 안부를 여쭈었습니다. 조지아라는 나라 중앙에는 국토를 가로지르는 코카서스(Caucasus) 산맥이 있습니다. ‘백인’을 지칭하는 코케지언(Caucasian)이라는 단어가 나온 이곳에서, 선교사님이 아시아 사람 그것도 한국사람이라고 주민들로부터 따돌림을 받고 있다는 소식을 전해왔습니다. 택시 운전사가 선교사님의 얼굴을 보고는 차를 태워주지 않고, 엘리베이터에 함께 있던 사람들이 한국사람이 탔다며 뛰쳐나가는 당황스러운 일도 직접 겪으면서, 아무리 ‘나는 미국에서 온 한국사람이다’고 변명을 해도 통하지 않는다고 합니다. 어쩌면 ‘로나’는 우리가 한국 사람으로 바로 살지 못했던 것도 회개케 하는 하나님의 방법이라는 생각을 해 보았습니다. 얼마 전까지만 해도 세계에서 가장 많은 나라를 여행할 수 있는 여권이 대한민국 여권이라고 우리는 자랑했습니다. 그러나, 정작 대한민국에 와서 살고 있는 외국인 근로자들에 대해서 또한 탈북자들에 대해서 얼마나 많은 무시를 했는지 모릅니다. 결국, 우리가 무시하던 그 나라들이 한국사람의 입국을 거부하는 사태가 벌어지고 있습니다. 선교사 파송 세계 제2위를 자랑하던 우리의 교만을 꺾으시는 하나님의 섭리 같습니다. 우리가 다시 얼굴과 얼굴을 맞대고 예배드릴 때까지, 하나님이 꺼내드신 로나 방망이 앞에 겸손하게 회개하는 마음으로 골방의 기도가 회복되고, 가정의 예배가 수축되는 기회로 삼아야 할 것입니다.
Rona Scolding Bat
Rev. Bryan Kim
Last week I received notification from my youngest daughter’s school that she was sick and was being sent home early. When my oldest son heard this he said “Rona?” I guess they are calling coronavirus ‘Rona’. My daughter did not have coronavirus. I suddenly remembered last Wednesday during our evening service that I thought ‘Today could be the last day we worship together’. Because of Rona, we are reminded that we can’t take for granted the things we enjoy today. We are mistaken if we thought we could worship and fellowship together anytime we want. Last week California Governor Newsom announced that all gatherings of 250 or more people should be canceled or postponed. With desire to prevent the fast spread like Europe, we are moving faster than other states. Not only as a spiritual leader but a church with social responsibility for safety of our local citizens, we have decided to move all our worship to online for the first time in Bethel Church history. In making this decision, as a lead pastor of Bethel Church, my heart aches and feels empty not being able to worship together. I am already missing the place of worship where spiritual energy is filled, a place where our love is professed to God, a place where God’s will for today and grace of His love for us are proclaimed. At the same time, I repent as I am reminded how I was more concerned on Sundays about lack of parking rather than getting excited and thrilled over worship. Perhaps Rona is God’s scolding bat to help remind us that we have forgotten to be thankful for God’s amazing grace.
Missionary Hyunsoo Kim in Georgia asked about our wellbeing because of ‘Rona’. Georgia is centrally located in Caucasus Mountains. This is where the word Caucasian comes from. The missionary gave us news that, as an Asian, moreover as a Korean, local people are ostracizing them. They experienced things like taxi drivers wouldn’t stop for them and people would run out of elevator when they enter. It makes no difference how much they try to explain that they are ‘Korean from US’. I even think maybe ‘Rona’ is God’s way of bringing Koreans to repentance for their unrighteous living. Not too long ago we boasted about how Korean Passport can get you into more countries than any other. We have discriminated against foreign workers living in Korea and refugees from North Korea. Ultimately, those countries we discriminated have now denied entry to Koreans. Perhaps this is God’s work of breaking our pride as the country that sends 2nd most number of missionaries. Until we can worship together face to face, as we stand before God’s Rona scolding bat, we must repent in humbleness, restore prayers in your room behind closed doors, and create opportunity for family worship.