A Stewardship for Peace

성경 본문: 고린도후서 5:17-21l
설교자: 허현 목사

The Menonites are known for considering peace to be important. In Korea, many refuse to join the army to hold their beliefs. Some confuse them with Jehova’s Witnesses because tehey are more famously refusing to serve in the military.

People wonder what the identity of Menonites are. The spirit of the bible is “shalom”, wishing peace. So is in the old testament, and in the new testament, “Amen”, is a new concept that goes beyond the jewish community.

So the concept of “peace” is often misunderstood, and in the Korean community

Paul must have had a simplistic notion of humankind. If you look at the book of Phillips,
IN today’s scripture, it reads: “now that Christ has come, everything is anew”.

Paul separates everything in history as “past”
I look back at my own life, and my 20’s was a hard time for me. I was having a hard time with my family, with myself, with my life.

After I accepted Jesus, my experiences of the past was no longer a painful experience.. I was able to think anew about that part of my life. For Paul, the past before Christ is all one big bundle odf time

Everything becomes “past”. Ater meeting Christ, everything is “new”. Everything past has passed, and we are renewed.
The May 18th People’s uprising.. There’s a lot of chattering about it. I think there isn’t a clear understanding about the past.

Everything becomes “past”. Ater meeting Christ, everything is “new”. Everything past has passed, and we are renewed.
The May 18th People’s uprising.. There’s a lot of chattering about it. I think there isn’t a clear understanding about the past.

We are not disconnected from the past. We are part of it. There’s those who are interfering with that work.
Paul is declaring here that the past is no longer influencing the present.

We need to understand – are we free “from” the past, or at the next step, free
As new creatures, if we are free from the past, from all cursings in the past, what are we free for? That’s implicit in this quesiton

Out freedom shjould be freedom towards something. With Christ, our old was destroyed, and everything was reinterpreted. Our freedom is not simply the freedom “from” the past, but towards some point in the future.

For example, I used to hate someone. Now, I no longer hate the peson. But with Christ’s freedom, I not only have freedom from the hate, but the freedom to love the person.

What point are we going towards? Why are we living in this world? What is our mission in theowlrd? That is in the nxt

The reaosn we are free as new creatures.. The reason we are in this world is to be in peace with God. Christ has linked us to God. This is not a cheap relationship. It’s not like saying

“May 18th, it’s over, let’s forget about it”. There is a clear disconnect from the past, a confession that there was wrongdoing. God then orgives.. When the truth is revealed.

It’s not possible to blindly forgive. We need to know what was the truth, first. Forgiveeness happens when there’s people who know what the truth is and want to forgive. God has said, “Just like I forgave you and others,

You are also tasked with this. What is this task? It’s to forgive and being in peace with each other. That is our mission in the world. Many churches in Korea today, keep saying “let’s forget it all, and forgive”

I do not have personnal connections with Gwangju. I just am from Korea. Howecer, we cannot ignore the suffering of the innocent people who were killed in Gwangju. There are many truths that are veiled in the world.

Our task is to reveal the truth, to bring justice, and to seek forgiveness. That is the forgiveness, the peace that God has entrusted toi us.

In the beginning, God created the world. He created human in His image. According to God’s image, human being has a freedom to be a respondent of God, and has responsibility to care for God’s creatures.

Every human being has a purpose to live. God gave us the purpose of why we live here and now: It is to love God and to love our neighbors. In other words, when we say God’s image, the image includes the reason or mission of our lives.

Tragically, when human beings disobeyed God and left from Him, the image of God was also broken. We lost the purpose and directions of our lives, and our mission from God.

However, in today’s Scripture, Apostle Paul says, “if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see everything has become new!” What does it mean by that?

Yes. God is creating us anew in Christ. As he created first human being in His image, now he is shaping us in His image again through His Son’s ministry.

Then, what is God’s Son, Jesus’ ministry. Yes. “Reconciliation”. God reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ. Only through him, his life, ministry, the crucifixion, and the resurrection, we can reconcile to God.

My wife and I have three kids: Our oldest son is 12, our daughter is 10, and our youngest son is only 2 years old. Like most parents, Sue and I faced many unexpected situations as parents and many life lessons.

One day in September, 2010, my younger son, Yul, was just 10 months old. The whole family was at home, and while my wife was feeding him small pieces of peach, he choked.

At the beginning we were calm since we faced a similar experience with our first son ten years ago. It was alarming, but I knew what to do. So, I held my younger son upside-down and tapped his back.

But, he was still choking. So, I used other ways that I knew to take out the piece of the peach from his throat. Nothing worked. Sue and I were getting nervous. I was holding him and saw his face was turning blueish.

I felt his arms stiffened. It happened in an instant. I called out Sue to call 911, but she couldn’t because she was in panic. Anyway she finally called 911. I rushed out from my house to get closer to the street

so that Yul can be closer to the paramedics when they got here. I put him down on the street and held his neck. I felt my baby losing strength to cry. I cried out to God, “please take my life instead of his.” That was the only thing I could do that time. I felt powerless.

Suddenly, I saw a flash of an image that I saw on the internet about a month before this incident. I saw a photo image of an African mother holding her dying baby in her arms. The mother’s face had no expression expect a tear coming down in one of her eyes.

She was malnourished so she didn’t have any strength to mourn. Her starving child was dying but she did not have enough power to cry out. This scene struck me and left a big hole in their heart.

At that moment, I heard a voice saying “Hyun, wake up!” I knew that it was the voice of God. I had seen countless pictures of children dying around the world because of famine and war, but I had put a distance between them and me.

But now, I was in a situation similar to them. There is an idiom in Korea that when a child dies before his or her parents, we say “we buried him or her in our heart.”

Right now, there are countless parents who are burying their children in their hearts. They are going through the most painful time of their lives.

Then I realized that God has also buried his son in his heart to reconcile us. He knows all the deepest pain of parents who lost their children. So he comes to us to comfort us. He understands our struggle with our powerlessness.

So he comes to us be the power for us. He understands our situation where we feel that we can’t get out of. Still, he comes to us and delivers us.

God came to me at that moment when I felt most powerless. My son who was laying limp in my arms suddenly cried loudly. We hugged him and wanted to make sure he was okay, and within a minute, he was back to himself and was smiling.

Before the paramedics got to our house, everything was fine. They checked his vitals and he was fine. We took him to the ER and they didn’t find any problems. The piece of peach that we thought he had choked from was never found.

That is the reason that my wife and I started ReconciliAsian, a peace center in LA for Korean Immigrants and beyond. Our vision is to equip Korean-American young church leaders in Los Angeles to live out their call to be peacemakers through teaching peace and justice related issues including restorative justice,

conflict transformation skills, and environment-friend life style. All of them are strongly founded on gospel of peace that Jesus taught in his life and teaching.

I wanted to get across three messages:
God wants us to reconciliate based on truth and justice. This should happen in the whole world, U.S., Korea, the whole world.

Let us bring back those who are faltering, and reconciliate. Thank you.

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