총 게시물 543건, 최근 2 건

'An unexpected gift'

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-03-13 (화) 10:00 조회 : 376
설교일 : 2018.03.11
설교자 : Rev. K.L. Shin
본문말씀 : Exodus 2:1-10

March 11, 2018


‘An unexpected gift’

Exodus 2:1-10


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


In today’s passage of Exodus, this Levite couple must have been extremely distressed to find out that the wife was pregnant. A married couple usually expect to get pregnant and when the pregnancy happens, they are thankful for the gift from God, but in this case, this couple could not be happy, because of a special circumstance. The Israelites had been put into slavery in Egypt, and at that time a strict decree was issued by Pharaoh that every Hebrew baby boy must be thrown into the Nile, but letting girl babies live. In this situation the Israelites were afraid of getting pregnant, and in case of pregnancy, they were hoping not to have a boy who would have to be thrown into the river to be killed. Under this circumstance, a baby boy was born to this couple and even though they were very faithful, we are certain they were not thankful to God for their baby boy. It is very likely that on the day Moses was born, his home was like a house of mourning, as his parents were heartbroken and could have said, “LORD! You should have given us a son in a better circumstance!” God gave them a son, Moses, at the worst possible time for having a son. They couldn’t have known at that time that Moses would grow up to be a great leader, but they responded in a very unusual way to this unexpected gift from God. We see that Moses was able to grow up to become such a great leader, thanks to the people in his life who had reacted very extraordinarily to this unwelcome gift.


First of all, Moses’ parents didn’t give up and decided to save their son after seeing that he was a fine child. All the other baby boys must have looked fine to their parents, but they had to be given up by their parents. But Moses’ parents risked their lives to save him and protect him. As parents, we think we love our children more than our own lives, but in reality not many parents will give up their lives to save their child. In Moses’ case, the extraordinary love and care his parents had bestowed on him helped him grow up to become one of the greatest leaders in the world history. 


Today a lot of people are deploring the lack of good leadership in the church, and I am wondering if we, as parents and church members, have not done a very good job of recognizing what fine children we have and bringing them up in the right way. Perhaps we were too busy in making a living, buying a new house, or running our business, so we may have allowed them to drift away. Or we may have encouraged them to become wealthy and enjoy the good life, rather than to become leaders in church, in society or in the nation. A great leader like Moses does not just happen without the sacrifices and dedication of many people in his life.


When baby Moses could not be hidden any longer, his parents made a papyrus basket and placed him in it and put it in the river, while his sister watched at a distance. Then Pharaoh’s daughter saw the basket and rescued Moses from the Nile where all the other Hebrew baby boys were thrown in. How was Moses saved? He was saved due to his parents’ self-sacrificing love, their special wisdom of coating the basket with tar and pitch, and the sister’s devotion to stay around to watch what would happen to him.


Some people say it is scary to bring up children in today’s world. But, no matter how evil and difficult the situations are, our love and wisdom and devotion can save our children, like in the case of Moses. A river of death can be turned into a river of life by our tireless efforts. God has provided us with the wisdom and capability to overcome any difficult situations, but are we really utilizing them instead of blaming the world, the church or the leaders? Perhaps our lack of efforts has brought on the current shortage of leaders in the society.


Because of my responsibility at the Seminary, I am often contacted by churches or bishops who are searching for evangelists or pastors. I have tried my best to introduce the right person for each position, so I have a little bit of reputation for ‘introducing good pastors’. But, there are times I get really frustrated and complain to God, when I just cannot find the right person to introduce. A good pastor cannot be produced at a moment’s notice, but a good student from a good church can be nurtured by the Seminary to grow into a good pastor who can be returned to churches, but if churches don’t send good students to the Seminary, it will be hard to find good pastors. Therefore, good pastors are brought up when the churches and the Seminary work very closely together.


I believe that churches should be doing the work of coating the basket with tar and pitch, which will prepare the future leaders and train them well, and provide them with good financial support, so that they would not drown, but survive to become great leaders of the church. Some may say that the students have their own families, why should the church members get involved in supporting them? I want to remind you that God not only needed the help of Moses’ family, but also the help of Pharaoh’s daughter in saving the life of Moses. To Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses was not a child of her own, nor a child of friends, not from her church, not from the same racial group, but the Hebrew slaves’ baby son, who had been condemned to die by her father’s decree. Even though she was aware of the risks involved, she made up her mind to save him, as she felt she couldn’t just leave him there to die. So, she took care of him by paying for his nurse with her own money and later brought him to her and provided a good education and a position at the court to Moses, who became her adopted son. How many of us could have done the same thing? This Egyptian princess who didn’t believe in God accomplished more than many of us, the Christians, could do.


We are in dire need of good religious leaders, perhaps more now than at the time of Moses. What we should do now is to recognize the future leaders God has provided us as His gifts and nurture and support them with care, so that they will grow up to be a great leader like Moses. God feeds the birds in the air and clothes the lilies in the fields and He has certainly provided us with future leaders. The reason for the current shortage of true leaders is not because God didn’t provide, but because we are not doing our utmost to bring them up like Moses’ parents did, like his sister did, or like the daughter of Pharaoh did. Behind any great leader, there are many supporters who have helped and prayed for him or her. Leaders like Moses just don’t spring up from earth.


I will not be able to come here next weekend, as I have to be at Wesley Seminary for the festival of scholarship distribution to Korean students. 27 years ago when I just started working at the Seminary as a Dean, I began a permanent Endowment Scholarship at the advice of Rev. Dae-Hee Park, an alumnus of Wesley Seminary. $15,000.00 donation will establish a ‘named scholarship’, and only the interest of $1,000 a year is given out to a Korean student, while the principal is preserved. Next week will the 25th annual distribution of scholarship, and more than 460 recipients of this scholarship are now proudly serving as professors, pastors and missionaries all over the world.


Among the donors of this Endowment Scholarship, one exhorter of Washington KUMC, Jong-Nam Kim, was scheduled to have an eye surgery due to her diabetes. But she said, “Pastor, I decided to donate the money my children gave for surgery to the scholarship fund for the future pastors. I think that is more worthwhile than my having this surgery at 60 years old.” She didn’t lose her eyesight and after a long time passed away due to a cancer. Some of the ‘named scholarships’ were donated in the name of churches, women’s mission groups, silver mission groups, and even in the name of the donor’s children.


I remember one particular case of a mother donating in the name of her two sons, who were troublemakers and not attending church regularly. What she hoped was that when her sons receive the annual ‘thank-you’ letters from the Seminary students, they would repent their ways and come back to God, even after her death. She passed away a few years ago, and her sons continue to receive the annual ‘thank-you’ letters, just as she had hoped. All the scholarship money will be distributed to the students next week at the event, along with the featured stories of three former recipients and their current activities. There will be touching moments at the distribution of scholarship.


I believe that the Seminary students who receive this scholarship will become excellent pastors because of the love, faithfulness and dedication contained in the scholarship fund. Rev. Chan Young Jang and Evangelist Jane Kim of our Junior High ministry received this scholarship while studying at Wesley Seminary.


I want to urge you to pay attention to those around you to see if they are good candidates and then support them to become future leaders. A few years ago at a meeting for Korean Women Pastors, the newly appointed superintendent of northern Illinois Conference shared her life story. She had accompanied her husband who was studying at a Chicago Seminary and didn’t know what to do for herself, then she ran into a couple who were both pastors. They gave her a sack of rice as a Christmas gift and then bought her a hamburger at Burger King. Then the wife pastor asked her what she was doing in U.S., and after hearing that she hadn’t given much thought about it, the wife pastor suggested to her that she should pursue further education for herself while in U.S. After hearing that advice, she began to think seriously about her own future and then enrolled at a Seminary, and after her graduation, she was ordained by the UMC, and in due course, she became a superintendent. Then, she shocked me by saying that the wife pastor who had influenced her so much was me. I had forgotten about her completely, but because of our chance meeting and discussion, she came to be a superintendent of the UMC.


Many scholars say that 10% of a leader comes from nature and 90% from nurture, so we have to nurture the future leaders we need. A nation’s leaders should be nurtured by the people of the nation and a church’s leaders should be nurtured by the church members.


Long time ago I heard a story about a well-known pastor who was famous for his inspiring sermons. At first he had struggled so much with his sermons that his congregation was as frustrated as he was. Then, one Sunday afternoon, he had a visitor to his parsonage. He had been in a bad mood because of his bad sermon that morning, but when he opened the door reluctantly, he was greeted by a small boy from the Sunday school. He offered a boiled egg in his hand and said, “Pastor, please cheer up! Get stronger after eating this, then you can give great sermons.” After realizing that the child must have heard enough from his parents about the pastor’s inept sermons, he felt extremely embarrassed, but touched by the boy’s action to help his pastor. He was so overcome with emotion at this unexpected love from this boy that he kneeled and cried right there. Afterwards, he prepared his sermon with his utmost care and efforts and delivered the sermon as if his life depended on it. Soon his sermons were received better by his congregation and he became known for his wonderful sermons.


I hope and pray that the church will be changed by our love and care, and our occasional gift of boiled eggs, which will strengthen, encourage, and bring passions and hopes into the church, and consequently the society will be changed, and finally, the whole world will be changed.


총 게시물 543건, 최근 2 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
543 2019.03.17  The exodus of a papyrus basket Exodus 5:22-6:9 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
542 2019.03.17  갈대 상자의 출애굽 출애굽기 5:22-6:9 김응용 목사
541 2019.03.10  The secret of a papyrus basket Exodus 4:10-17 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
540 2019.03.10  갈대 상자의 비밀 출애굽기 4:10-17 김응용 목사
539 2019.03.03  The Papyrus Basket Exodus 2:1-10 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
538 2019.03.03  갈대 상자 출애굽기 2:1-10 김응용 목사
537 2019.02.24  The church where healers are hard at work 1 Samuel 20:12-16 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
536 2019.02.24  치료자들이 일하는 교회 사무엘상 20:12-16 김응용 목사
535 2019.02.17  The church where the voice of God can be heard 2 Kings 5:1-7 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
534 2019.02.17  하나님의 음성이 들리는 교회 열왕기하 5:1-7 김응용 목사
533 2019.02.10  A church where the spiritual growth is taking place Luke 6:37-45 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
532 2019.02.10  영적 성장이 일어나는 교회 누가 복음 6:37-45 김응용 목사
531 2019.02.03  A church that is like the city of refuge Joshua 20:1-6 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
530 2019.02.03  도피성과 같은 교회 여호수아 20:1-6 김응용 목사
529 2019.01.27  Forgiveness, a relationship in which God is intimately involved Philemon 1:8-14 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : The exodus of a papyrus basket
설교일 : 2019.03.17
본문말씀 : Exodus 5:22-6:9
설교자 : Rev. Eung Yong Kim



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