이제 우리 교회도 리모델링 공사를 마치고 예배당 전면이 새롭게 단장되 었습니다. 이집트의 동굴교회에 있는 벽화가 무대 위에 새겨 있는 것은 아니지만, 하나님의 말씀은 송곳을 들고 있는 벽화처럼 우리의 마음을 뚫고 우리의 삶을 바꿔가야 합니다. 한쪽으로 치우쳐 있던 성가대석이 중앙으로 오면서 균형을 잡았습니다. 계단도 양 옆으로 조금만 남기고 무대를 확장해서 한층 넓어진 느낌이 들 것입니다. 쓰레기 마을의 이집트 성도들과 예배 문화는 달라도 하나님께 집중하는 예배는 동일합니다. 교회학교 어린이들이 순수한 마음으로 말씀을 받아들이듯 날카로운 송곳을 든 벽화처럼 우리 모두에게 적용되어 살아 움직이는 역사가 있기를 기도합니다.
Rev. Bryan Kim
Experiencing different cultures at mission fields may feel alien but it is also refreshing. When you visit churches in Korea, you don’t feel much cultural difference from worship in diaspora church. However, there are unfamiliar topics that are mentioned in prayer during worship. These are prayer topics that we have never heard of. For example, these are prayers for college entrance exam, pastor’s blessings over students taking these exam, and prayers for young people in the army. I even saw announcements for special early morning prayers for college entrance exam. Perhaps, when they visit US from Korea, prayers for undocumented people and for Korea may seem strange to them. In Egyptian Coptic church, you see people kissing bishop’s hand as they enter sanctuary. Unlike us, they go into church anytime during non-worship hours to pray while touching and kissing such things as pictures and altar drapes. Near the capital city, Cairo, there is so called garbage town. Poor people who make living collecting items from garbage formed this town and most of them are Christians. They were persecuted by Islam and made their way into the garbage town and formed a community. On top of this town stands a church with a congregation of over 10,000 people. Due to dry weather condition, it is an open-air church. One building is a church in a cave with seating for 1000 people. Uncharacteristic of garbage town, the church is very clean. Even though Christians are persecuted, they have cross tattooed on their wrist, kept their identity, and persevered for 2000 years. I could imagine what their worship is like. There are paintings on the walls of the church that are reminiscent of pictures for children, but they are pictures of contents of the Bible for those who are illiterate. There was one interesting painting of a shoe repairer who was piercing his eye with an awl in repentance for lusting in his heart after seeing a client’s leg as he fitted her for shoes.
Our sanctuary stage has now been remodeled and opened for use. We do not have wall paintings on the stage like the cave church, but God’s word is like a real awl that pierces through our heart and changes our lives. Our choir stand that was on one side has now moved to the center balancing the stage. Stairs are now at two opposite sides of stage making the stage seem a little bigger. Our worship culture may differ from garbage town of Egypt, but our focus on God is the same. I pray that we will receive the Word purely like church school children, and it will be applied like awl in the wall painting, living and active.