July 31, 2022

The Transformational Works for the World

Pastor KJ Kim

Deuteronomy 5: 1-6; Mark 10: 17-31

In today’s gospel reading, Jesus knew all about the book of Deuteronomy, as he quoted it often. Jesus said to the man, “Follow me, looking at him, and loving him, saying ‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

The transformational work always comes with a resistance. The man in the passage resisted Jesus’s calling, “follow me,” because what Jesus asked him to do was way too hard and challenging for him. Obviously, what Jesus said, follow me, meant more than keeping some laws or rules; more than becoming churchgoers; and more than being nice Christians.

Now we might think that today’s gospel-story is about this guy who was “shocked and went away grieving.” But it is not. The point I’d like to draw our attention to in the passage is that it is not our business to judge who are the rich or the poor. It is not our business to know about whether some people like the man in the passage are qualified to follow Jesus or not.

Rather it is our business to work on the transformation of the church, those who already follow Jesus and those closest to Jesus. And Jesus knew and saw how hesitant the disciples were—in verse 27, “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.’”

This is the good news that we have to visit over and over again. It was impossible, so long ago, for the Lord and Savior to be born in a manger and to be born to a single mom. It was impossible that Jews had a table fellowship with Gentiles. It was really impossible that a human who died on the cross resurrected from the death. However, for God all things were possible.

Look at me. It was impossible, seven years ago, for me to come to the US. It was impossible for me, as a husband, a householder, and dad of the two at that time, finishing my degree in the US without a full-time job and without a financial support from Korea. It was impossible for me to prepare and preach a weekly sermon in English which is not my first language. However, for God all things were and are possible.

And look at us. It was impossible, three years ago, having Children’s Sunday School. It was impossible making plans for the youth, the young adults, and the young families. It was impossible reading the scripture with five different languages. It was impossible to host some cultural events—making rolls and dumplings--for this community. However, for God all things were possible and still are possible.

This is why we still come here to praise, pray, and worship God who makes the impossible possible and to join the transformational works led by God for the world. We trust that God is still doing the impossible work of transformation, so all things are new, and all things are possible.

Thanks be to God.