총 게시물 439건, 최근 0 건

'Plan B?'

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-02-14 (수) 02:02 조회 : 40
설교일 : 2018.02.11
설교자 : Rev. K.L. Shin
본문말씀 : Mark 14:3-9

February 11, 2018

 

‘Plan B?’

Mark 14:3-9

 

Rev. Kyung Lim Shin’s Sermon at the KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

 

When I came here a few weeks ago in December, I never imagined I would be standing before you as the Interim Senior Pastor of this church today. To make things more difficult, this ministry is being added to my other current commitments, so you can understand my initial reluctance to accept this assignment. Also some of those dearest to me were trying to persuade me not to take this assignment, as they were worried that I might overwork myself to early death. Even though I was fully aware of the difficulties, I accepted this appointment in my desire to help out Rev. Jang who had been suffering for such a long time and to be with all of you in this congregation who had suffered the hardships of past 10 months and supported Rev. Jang throughout his long medical leave.

 

About 30 years ago in 1988, I was ordained by the Wisconsin Annual Conference of United Methodist Church and began my ministry at an American UMC, while my husband was serving a Korean immigrants’ church in the same city. I had been in U.S. only for three and a half years at that time, but by the abundant grace of God, I was able to serve the congregation adequately. Sometime later, we heard that a Korean church in Washington, D.C. was looking for their new Senior Pastor, because their old pastor wanted to retire. The Bishop of Wisconsin Annual Conference introduced my husband, Rev. Seung Woo Lee, to that church and soon we arrived in Washington, D.C. for an introductory meeting. When we got there, the retiring pastor gave us a very discouraging report that the congregation was not happy to have a pastor whose wife was also a pastor. I felt so bad for my husband’s sake. After the initial introduction of my husband at the meeting, the local superintendent asked if there were any questions. One elder stood up immediately and asked me if I was going to stay and help my husband or planning to find another church to minister. It was so obvious to me that he wanted to hear the assurance that I would not look for another church for myself. I was not expecting the first question to be directed to me and I didn’t know what to say. I knew my husband’s future ministry was dependent on my answer, so I said I needed to take some moments for my rather lengthy answer.

 

Then, I answered the question as follows: “When I was small, whenever the adults in my life asked me what I would like to become, my answer was that there were three things I didn’t want to do and they were; becoming a teacher, marrying a pastor, or becoming a pastor myself. But now, after having done all of these three things which I had not wanted to do, I realize that I can make plans, but what prevails is the will of God.Also, when I was ordained as a pastor, I promised to go anywhere the United Methodist Church would send me, so I cannot promise if I will or will not go to another church to minister. The only thing I can promise you is that I will respect and support the ministry here in this church of God!” Afterwards, my husband was approved unanimously and he has been serving that church for almost 30 years.

 

When Rev. Boayue, the superintendent for Detroit Renaissance District, called me and offered this interim post as the Senior Pastor of this church, I was reminded of my previous answer to the Washington, D.C. church, so I accepted this appointment. It was not something I would have planned, but I decided to obey, believing that it was a plan of God.

 

People have advised me just to be a good substitute for the time being until the new Senior Pastor gets here, but that is not my intention. I know that there is no shortcut to a pastor’s ministry under any circumstances. What I have learned from growing up in Korean churches and what I am now advocating at the Seminary is that the ministry is not a job, but a lifetime calling. Rev. Chan Young Jang has been a good example. I feel uncomfortable standing here in this church which Rev. Jang had served with all his strength and for which I have prayed for the last 10 months. I am continuing to serve Wesley Theological Seminary also and my work there cannot be neglected, even with my unexpected appointment here. So, I am torn between these two ministries, but I will do my utmost for you with as much the passion and love as I had felt in my first ministry.

 

Today’s sermon is based on the first sermon I delivered after I was first ordained.

 

This is about a woman in an extraordinary situation. She came in with a jar of very expensive perfume and broke the jar and poured the perfume on Lord Jesus’ head. The perfume was worth about 300 denarius, equivalent to a man’s wage for a year, and some of those present thought it was a waste of money. But, having loved Jesus with all her heart, she obviously didn’t think it was a waste. Her heart was breaking after hearing that He was going to die soon. A young man in his prime at 33 years old was going to be persecuted and put to death, and she was suffering so much that she couldn’t handle it. But, in today’s passage, Lord Jesus praised her action and gave her His blessings. “Wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (Mark 14:9b). In the whole Bible, there is hardly anyone who was praised as much as she was.

 

What happened? Why was her action so precious? Here is Lord Jesus’ answer. “She has done what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial” (Mark 14:8). It turns out that the secret to receiving abundant blessings from God is doing what we can. Then, what can we do? We can do what is possible and what we are capable of. Even if the situation seems to be utterly hopeless, we cannot just give up and do nothing. To please Lord Jesus, we should look for what we can do instead of complaining, and we should find some other ways of doing it, if it seems impossible to accomplish. We have to admit that we are not doing all we can in our lives, and when there are obstacles or disappointments, we tend to give up easily. When it looks like our prayers are not answered, instead of wasting our time to complain about it or to remain in deep despair, we should find some things we can do. Then, Lord Jesus will be pleased about our efforts and bestow His amazing blessings upon us.

 

But, can you do whatever you are capable of?The word ‘can’ means the mental or physical ability to do something, but it also means ‘may’ to express the permission, as in “Can I call you?” In this world, there are things that we are allowed to do and also things that we should not do. Just because you can does not mean you are allowed to do.

 

This woman did what she was allowed to do, and on the other hand, there was someone who did what he was not allowed to do, and that person was Peter. When he heard that his master Jesus was going to suffer and be killed, Peter began to rebuke Him. “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!” he said. If I were there, I would have said the same thing. But Jesus turned and reprimanded Peter very severely, “Get behind me, Satan!” Not long before this incident, Peter had confessed to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”, and Jesus had praised him and blessed him at that time. Why was Lord Jesus reacting to Peter so harshly this time? And what was the difference between what Peter said what this woman did?

 

She did what she was allowed to do, while Peter did what he was not allowed to do. Peter did what he wanted to do, while she did what God wanted her to do. We don’t think she loved Jesus less than Peter did and we know that it was not easy for her to prepare for Jesus’ burial. The fact that she had spent such a huge amount of money for Jesus tells us that she loved Jesus with all her heart and never less than Peter did. She could have spent the money for preventing Jesus from persecution and death, instead of preparing for his burial. With such a large sum of money, she could have tried to bribe those witnesses against Jesus or the judge, or to help Jesus flee to save His life. But, instead of trying to do any of these, she just accepted and prepared for the burial of Jesus, even though her heart was being torn apart.

 

Peter was trying to avoid the pain, while this woman accepted the pain. Jesus clearly saw the difference and scolded Peter, “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men” (Matthew 16:23b). How about us? Do we have in mind the things of God first, or the things of men first? Even though we know that we should be thinking about the things of God first, we tend to forget the things of God momentarily or try to ignore them because of being too difficult, too damaging, too painful or too much of criticism from others. This woman was rebuked harshly by those present for wasting such a large sum of money on perfume instead of giving the money to the poor. Let us reflect upon ourselves. What would we have done? Wouldn’t we have joined those who were rebuking her on the ground of rational, logical or practical thinking or judgment? The first thing we have to consider in any situation is the will of God. Therefore, before we make any plans, we have to ask ourselves, “Will these serve the purpose of God?” Instead of worrying about other people’s opinions, fearing the shunning from others, calculating how much benefits to us, paying attention to our own will and hopes, or trying to fit it into our logical and rational standards, we should only consider if this plan would suit the will of God.

 

For a long time, all of you and I have hoped and prayed for the recovery of Rev. Jang, but our prayers did not bring on our hoped for result. Now, what shall we do? Shall we go to the Plan B? Usually people think of Plan B, an alternative plan, when their hopes or wishes don’t come true. Some people are really quick to act on their alternative plan. Perhaps, you are wondering what my plan B is, but I don’t have any plan B and I haven’t thought about any plan B for our situation. This is quite unlike me, who usually likes to plan and organize everything. But I believe that now is the time for our plan G, God’s plan. If we decide to go for our plan B, there will be at least 10 alternative plans among us, and then, which way should we choose to go? Whichever plan B we would choose will leave some of us unhappy and hurt. Therefore, what we should go for is the plan G, God’s plan, not for our plan B.

 

During the Civil War, President Lincoln called for a strategy meeting with his staff officers. After an exhaustive brainstorming session, an officer said, “We have done all we could. The only thing left is to pray for God to be on our side.” His remarks sounded deeply pious, but President Lincoln replied, “My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”United States of America has been founded by such devout leaders and on their unshakable faith that it is still standing quite firmly. We should refrain from asking God to be on our side, but we should do our best to be on God’s side. Then, our church will be united and grow to become more mature, and the praise and blessings of God will be bestowed upon all of us.

 

Right now, many pastors and lay leaders in the whole U.S. are paying a lot of attention to our church and wondering what will happen to us. What shall we be? Like Peter, we could be scolded by Lord Jesus, or like the woman with a jar of perfume to anoint Jesus, we could be praised for what we have done, wherever the gospel is preached. Let us become an exemplary church and live an exemplary life!

 

Let the Korean United Methodist Church of Detroit be a good example of thinking the things of God first in any situations, doing our best to be on God’s side, and accomplishing the will of God. Plan B? No. Plan G only!

 

 

 


   

총 게시물 439건, 최근 0 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
439 2018.02.18  Let us suffer the losses gladly! Luke 10:1-20 Rev. K.L. Shin
438 2018.02.18  손해봅시다! 눅 10:1~20 신경림목사
437 2018.02.11  'Plan B?' Mark 14:3-9 Rev. K.L. Shin
436 2018.02.11  Plan B? 마가복음 14:3-9 신경림 목사
435 2018.02.04  'Those who leave their marks on history' Ezra 3:8-13 Rev. Kwon
434 2018.02.04  역사에 한 획을 긋는 사람 에스라 3:8 -13 권태홍 목사
433 2018.01.28  'My Joy, My Crown' Philippians 4:1-5 Rev. Jang
432 2018.01.21  'Beautiful life in its time' Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 Rev. Shin
431 2018.01.21  때를 따라 아름다운 삶 전도서 3:1-11 신태규 목사
430 2018.01.07  A New Voyage Exodus 14:10-14 Rev. Bae
429 2018.01.07  새로운 항해 출 14:10~14절 배세진 목사
428 2017.12.31  "Serving others with humility" John 13:1-17 Rev. Kwon
427 2017.12.31  낮은 곳을 향하여 요한복음 13장 12~17절 권태홍 목사
426 2017.12.24  GRACE HAS COME! John 1:1-18 Dr. Charles S. G. Boayue
425 2017.12.17  주님이 이땅에 오심은 사실입니다 누가복음 2:1~14 배세진 목사
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : Let us suffer the losses gladly!
설교일 : 2018.02.18
본문말씀 : Luke 10:1-20
설교자 : Rev. K.L. Shin

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