총 게시물 511건, 최근 2 건

'After reaching the mature age of 40'

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-11-07 (수) 10:43 조회 : 36
설교일 : 2018.11.04
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
본문말씀 : 2 Kings 2:1-14

November 4, 2018

 

‘After reaching the mature age of 40’

2 Kings 2:1-14

 

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

 

 

Today is the 46th anniversary of our church!! We want to celebrate this day, but the first thing we should do is to thank God for founding this church in 1972 and then, leading, protecting, forgiving, enduring, nurturing, watching, and blessing this church, ever since. Without the help of God, and if God didn’t forgive us, didn’t put up with us, or didn’t watch out for us, we wouldn’t be here to worship. Let us express our thanks to Him today in any way possible, as well as giving praises to Him.

 

We are thankful to those members who have been with this church from the beginning and those who have been here for more than 40 years, 30 years, 20 years, 10 years, and for less than 1 year, for serving this church faithfully. And we are thankful to our three past Senior Pastors, Rev. Young Bong Yoon, Rev. Hoon Kyoung Lee, Rev. Chan Young Jang and to the pastors serving this church at present, namely Rev. Se Jin Bae, Rev. Taegyu Shin, Rev. Tae Hong Kwon, Rev. Anna Moon, Rev. Jinny song, Rev. David Kang, and Pastor Jane Kim. Please say this greeting of thanks to the person sitting next to you; “Thank you for your devoted service!” Today our church has become 46 years old, and at this age, our church has responsibilities for the future and has to get ready for them. Fortunately for us, after such a long due process, the decision for our new Senior Pastor has been reached. It has been a long time, and we are thankful that our members have been really patient during the long and arduous search for the new Senior Pastor for our church. Now, we can dream and make plans for the future.

 

A few months ago, I requested our past Senior Pastor, Rev. Hoon Kyoung Lee, to deliver today’s sermon, but two weeks ago he called me and asked to be excused because of his commitment to another church. I agreed reluctantly, but I called him again last week to make sure. He was very apologetic about missing this anniversary of our church and hoping our members will accept his apologies, but he is scheduled to speak at the 40th anniversary of Chicago KUMC today. Also, I asked the other past Senior Pastor, Rev. Chan Young Jang, to write the Pastor’s Column for today, and I hope you will read his column in our church bulletin. 

 

I agonized over today’s sermon and asked for God’s help by praying to Him intensively, and I was provided with the story of two prophets, Elijah and his successor Elisha. After meditating over them, I have come to realize that with the story of these two prophets, God wants me to honor the older members who have led this church for so long and to encourage the next generation to lead this church from now on.

 

Elijah is one of the most well-known prophets in the Bible. His important ministry was during the reign of King Ahab of Israel and he won dramatically at a prayer contest on Mt. Carmel against 450 Baal prophets to manifest the power of the Almighty God to the world.

 

Elisha is his successor and had a long ministry during the reigns of several kings of Israel.

 

Their first meeting was arranged by God. The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.” (1 Kings 19:15-16)

 

After having risked his life in his fight against the Baal prophets, Elijah heard the words of God asking him to anoint the kings for Aram and Israel and to prepare Elisha to succeed him as prophet. How did Elijah feel about God’s plan for anointing his successor? Did he feel “I am thankful that God knows I am too exhausted to continue” or “Thank God for realizing I am exhausted and trying to replace me”? Or did he feel “How could God do this to me, after all the hardships I have gone through? How could He ask me to quit and prepare someone to succeed me now”? He could have felt both ways. Let us go back to the Scripture.

 

So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother good-by,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied, “What have I done to you?” (1 Kings 19:19-20)

 

When Elijah saw Elisha, he threw his cloak around Elisha. When Elisha said he would follow him, Elijah said, “Go back, what have I done to you?” This is not an encouragement. It looks like Elijah was not ready to give up or transfer his ministry and perhaps he never thought of his successor. But God ordered Elijah to raise up Elisha to succeed him as God’s prophet.

 

Elijah may have thought Elisha was not ready for the ministry, as he was plowing with oxen and he didn’t look like he had been trained to be a prophet, and he didn’t show any passion or vision for the ministry, and he probably looked quite young. Perhaps Elijah wanted to choose his successor himself, but now he found out that God had chosen his successor without consulting him at all. We understand his hurt and disappointment.

 

But, how did Elisha react to this situation? He was just plowing his field when this happened, and he could have been very surprised.

 

So Elisha left him (Elijah) and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant. (1 Kings 19:21)

 

Even though he was surprised at the calling and disappointed a little by Elijah’s reluctant invitation, Elisha responded to the calling for the ministry immediately. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the slaughtered oxen, which meant he had given up farming and changed his direction. By feeding the people, he showed his concern and leadership for his community. Afterwards, he set out to follow Elijah who did not like him and was not very accommodating, and he served Elijah well as his loyal attendant. Their encounter was entirely planned by God without any consultation with their feelings, and by God, they were destined to have their relationship as the old and the new generation.

 

We don’t learn much about the progress of their relationship until Elijah’s last stage of his ministry on earth. The two of them were at the Jordan where Elisha first had met Elijah. Moses died there after transferring all the authority to Joshua and the Israelites crossed the Jordan to enter the Promised Land of Canaan. The Jordan river had been the starting point for the next stage for many, and after crossing the Jordan, Elijah asked Elisha, “What can I do for you before I am taken from you?” Elisha replied, “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit.” Elisha wants to inherit the double portion of Elijah’s spirit who fought off 450 Baal prophets on Mt. Carmel alone. Now, Elijah says, “You have asked a difficult thing.” We don’t know exactly why Elijah was not more eager to help Elisha after asking the question to him, but perhaps Elijah was not ready for the transfer of authority yet and was experiencing a conflict. Even the committed people of God experience conflicts in their ministries, as each of them was created with unique perspective for different purposes.

 

Then, Elijah suggests a solution; “If you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours.” Now, the conflict has been worked out and the hopeful solution is offered. Elisha accomplished his task well by staying with Elijah until the end and witnessed him being taken up to heaven in a whirlwind. For the two prophets, that was the time for separation.

 

Then, Elisha saw the cloak that had fallen from Elijah, which had connected the two of them at the beginning of their relationship, when Elijah had thrown it around Elisha. The difference is that Elisha picked up the cloak now to continue the calling and ministry.

 

How would Elijah have felt in heaven, if he saw Elisha picking up his cloak? Could he have felt very confident of Elisha’s ability to continue the ministry? Would he have felt that he should have trained Elisha more and prepared him better, while he was on earth?

 

How would Elisha have felt when he was picking up Elijah’s cloak? Wasn’t he afraid? Wasn’t he worried about his ability to carry on the ministry?

 

What is the message that God wants to deliver to us through this story of Elijah and Elisha? The message for us is that the cloak, or the calling for the ministry, is not ours to give or to withdraw, and it will be given to the intended no matter how prepared or unprepared the person is. We have the first-generation and second-generation Korean-Americans among our congregation, and those young people at the founding of this church have become the most senior members of this church and the babies of this church at that time are now reaching their 50s. There are many in their 60s, 70s as well as those in their 30s and 40s in this church who worship together and live their life of faith together and face the future together. What does God want from each of us? What does God want from the first generation? God granted that Elijah be taken up to heaven without experiencing death after serving as the loyal servant of God throughout his life. God acknowledges, blesses and lifts those who have served Him well. May all the senior members of this church be bestowed with this blessing from God!

 

What is the message for our second generation? Some people are given the calling suddenly like when Elijah’s cloak was thrown to Elisha. Some realize the calling themselves and respond to the call. I hope that our second generation responds to the calling voluntarily when it comes either suddenly or gradually and even if they don’t feel they are prepared enough or ready. I hope they will honor the faithful lives of the previous generation and respect them and become the answers to the prayers of the older generation by responding to them. I hope and pray that the young people will help our church become better than the day before and raise up our church so that the previous generation will be pleased and proud of our church always.

 

My final request to our church is that our church at 46 years old will continue to take care of our responsibilities outside of the church and that our church will spend more money for the others than for ourselves. I hope our church buildings will be used more by those outside of our church and that we will offer more prayers for the benefit of the community, the nation and the mission fields than for the benefit of us, our children and our church. I hope our church will go out to comfort and embrace those who are fearful of the future, who are sinners without being aware of their sins, and who are perishing because they don’t know any other way, and then, we will be able to lead them to God eventually. After reaching the mature age of forty, I hope and pray that befitting our age, our church will accomplish more from this day on and be always worthy of our long existence in the eyes of God.


   

총 게시물 511건, 최근 2 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
511 2018.11.18  Where do you find your happiness? Matthew 13:44 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
510 2018.11.18  행복은 어디에 마태 복음 13:44 신경림 목사
509 2018.11.11  The Forgotten Identity John 1:14 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
508 2018.11.11  잊혀진 정체성 요한 복음 1:14 신경림 목사
507 2018.11.04  'After reaching the mature age of 40' 2 Kings 2:1-14 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
506 2018.11.04  마흔 즈음에 왕하 2:1-14 신경림 목사
505 2018.10.28  Reformation Sunday Matthew 11:29-30, Ephesians 2:8 Rev. Dr. McAllister-Wilson
504 10.21.2018  The testimonies of our lay people James 1:12 3 Lay people
503 10.21.2018  평신도주일 간증 야고보서 1:12 평신도 3인
502 2018.10.14  Plan G!! Matthew 16:21-27 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
501 2018.10.14  Plan G!! 마태복음 16:21-27 신경림 목사
500 2018.10.07  'Must be born again to enter the kingdom of God' John 3:1-8 Rev. Se Jin Bae
499 2018.10.07  거듭남과 하나님 나라 요한 복음 3:1-8 배세진 목사
498 2018.09.30  'The Actively Working Faith' Luke 24:13-27 Rev. Sun Hyung Jo
497 2018.09.30  '작동하는 믿음' 누가 복음 24:13-27 조선형 목사
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : Where do you find your happiness?
설교일 : 2018.11.18
본문말씀 : Matthew 13:44
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
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