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What Is Your Story of “before and after”?

We have listened and sung today’s story over and over again---'Amazing grace’—“how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me; I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see.” Well, we know today’s story is not explanatory talk. Rather, this story is about time—before and after, then now who we were for years and years and who we are today—inviting everyone to rethink of this Lenten season, before and after, then, now who we become through this season.


March 19, 2023

Willing Departure vs Stubborn Refusal

Today is the third Sunday of Lent, in the middle of our Lenten journey, we come and stand in front of the story of Nicodemus, who can be regarded as representative of twenty-first-century believers. He is spiritually open and curious, yet also rational. He is committed and brave enough that he makes an appointment to talk with Jesus, face to face. However, Nicodemus is not ready to go public with his interest in Jesus, so he makes the appointment in the middle of the night.


March 12, 2023

Refusing the Voices of Temptation with Many Faces

In today’s passage, the voices of seduction and temptation and invitation that want us to cheat on our God-given identity are not new at all. What interests us is the capacity of Jesus—perhaps the capacity of the church and our capacity—to resist such voices.


February 26, 2023

Beyond Morality and Ethics

In one of today’s passages, the gospel of Matthew, chapter 5, Jesus begins his sermon by making the analogy that his followers are to be like salt and light, that is, to “be righteous.” In addition, today’s other passage, Psalm 112, also sketches out “righteous persons” as those who have power and influence to make a positive difference in the life of the community.


February 5, 2023

God-given Identity vs Alternative Identity

In ancient days, the Israelites recited and reenacted this drama in Deuteronomy 26—remembering the life of an immigrant in a foreign land; the God who brought them out of Egypt; the God who led them into the promised land; and responding to God by offering their best produce and pledging to live their life with and for that God—over and over again, in each new generation, and in each new circumstance.


January 22, 2023

Remembered Miracles vs Anticipated Miracles

As the Psalmist remembers the precious memories of God’s wondrous deeds, the passage still does not know—the next time—if God will perform the same wondrous deeds or not.


January 15, 2023

God Shows No Partiality

In today’s passage, chapter 10 of Acts, is a sermon preached by Peter after his plunge into gospel newness. Perhaps, we still cannot imagine how radical Peter’s message was, in verse 34, “I truly understand that God shows no partiality.”


January 8, 2023

A Peculiar Identity

In today’s passage, we see Joseph’s three dreams (v. 13; 19; 22). Are the three dreams that Joseph has after the magi depart good or bad?


January 1, 2023

How We Live Makes An Advent Story True

Like Joseph in the passage, how many times do we face inner dilemmas and conflict? In times of conflict, challenge, or dilemma, we experience many emotions, including fear, confusion, anxiety, doubt, anger, disappointment, helplessness, frustration, sadness, despair, being overwhelmed, lonely, or impatient. And I guess Joseph wrestled with those emotions as well. Maybe, we often neglect Joseph’s struggle and his process between letting go of those emotions and entering the celebration for the birth of a new baby.


December 18, 2022

Be Awake to Prepare for the Birth of Hope

In today’s passage, we just read is a catalogue of newness, of miracles, of wonders, of transformation that will turn people in their fear, failure, and disability into newness beyond themselves. That is what Jesus did, does, and will do over and over again. That is what we wait for; and what we are called to prepare and expect God’s transformational newness where the new world will be birthed at Christmas.


December 11, 2022

Thinking About the Demands of This Season

For this season of Advent, we all live in this tension between imitating and differentiating. I would say that it is a matter for all of us, as believers, of being influenced by the world or to be influencer to the world.


December 4, 2022

Thinking About the Demands of This Season


December 4, 2022

Who Really Owns This Season?

I want us to shake our fantasy of Christmas by checking ourselves about who really owns this season? We believers and followers are called to live differently—striving not to conform to what a consumerism world has been, but to keep awake and to shape our lives to reflect the hope of things to come.


November 27, 2022

What the Rich Man Should Have Done

In today’s passage, the rich man and the poor man were very different in life, but very alike in death. Who would have thought that this social loser, the poor man, would be welcomed and embraced by Father Abraham? Another point I draw to our attention is that the poor man only had a name, Lazarus. While the poor man was a nameless and homeless person on earth, he had a name and home in the next age.


November 20, 2022

When Divestment Becomes an Investment

In today’s passage, as God spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, Moses declared a Jubilee as God’s will—every fifty years a person must give back to the people. Jubilee was a concrete, material, and economic act that was undertaken with discipline and intentionality. It was neither just a kind giving nor a good charity nor a religious action. It was about ethical and faithful action, proclaiming that God is an ultimate owner and master of money and property.


November 13, 2022

A New Math and a New Calculation

In today’s passage, the Sadducees were trying to catch Jesus as they tried to trick him, to expose him as a dangerous fraud. Their reasoning was simple, to extend their mathematic practices—one plus one is two—into future possibilities, assuming that it would all be the same.


November 6, 2022

May God Bless Our Journey

In today’s passage, the book of Numbers, chapter 6, is the one that many preachers use for the benediction, the last act of worship that is followed by the final music. Just as we are morphed when we enter to be one body of Christ, we are morphed when we leave this space to be one community of faith in the world, outside of the church building. The question for us today is how well we move back from worship to our daily life—from morphed or separated or sacred back to real or complicated or secularized life.


October 30, 2022

Seeking the Way Through and Beyond Nightmares

Nighttime is an odd time in human life, indicating that is why most children never want to go to bed. It is that time which we cannot manage, but people of faith are drawn to God as a source of safety when there is no other source of safety, and as a source of presence when the world feels absent.


October 23, 2022

The Stories of “yes” from “no”

In today’s passage, God hears the cries of Israel, and sees the needs of Israel. Then, God answers decisively. God gives water. God gives the water of life. Yes even in the wilderness; yes even from Rock, yes even from scarcity, yes to thirst, yes even from suffering.


October 16, 2022

Keep Shaping Our Peculiar Identity

Today’s passage tells us about how the Israelites were so worried about their peculiar identity which was under assault by coercive pressure during the 70 years of Babylonian exile. And the passage also questions us whether we have peculiar identity as believers and Christians. In the race to be faithful, I want to share three things we need to remember to shape our peculiar identity.


October 2, 2022

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