Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 21:1-11
When my mother started a new church in Jeju Island in Korea, she started a church in a tent. She put a tent and met there for every service. However, Jeju Island was like Haiti. Seasonal storms attack the island all the time. It is known as an island that has three things: women, wind, and stones. Women? Yes, because many men died in the middle of fishing in storms there were many widows. Wind? Yes, because of the storms you have wind all the time like in Livermore. Stones? Yes, Jeju Island was formed from a volcano and the whole island was made up of stones.
So, imagine a tent church in an island that has perfect storm from time to time! One night, my mother felt strong wind. She opened her eyes. She saw everything flying away! And the tent, too! She had to lie down low and clang to a tree to stay there. She did not want to fly also at stormy night! All night, she had to pray holding a tree!
In the morning, she looked around and everything was gone. She was left alone in a field. She prayed to God and called to her father (my grandfather) who was an elder of a church in Seoul, the capital city of Korea. She asked whether she could go to his church and share her vision for her ministry in Jeju Island. He talked to the pastor and got the permission. Then my mother opened the Bible and saw the passage that we read today: “If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’”
That was her sermon title, “The Lord needs them.” She shared her vision, to make the town a Christian town within a generation. Then she asked the congregation to build a church building, which would stand in any storm! She finished her sermon with the quote from the Bible, “The Lord needs them.” One person donated a thousand dollars to build a building (it was thirty years ago!) and another person donated money to buy a piece of land in Jeju Island. So, she built a church, Zion Methodist Church in Jeju Island!
The scary stormy night was turned into a blessing through God’s grace and through obedient people! Sometimes, we go through stormy nights in our lives and we think we are going to die. However, when we trust God and proclaim that Jesus is our Lord, we can experience the Lordship of Jesus. Jesus Himself rode a donkey that day trusting God even though he knew that he was going to die in Jerusalem. He went into Jerusalem as a Prince of Peace. He knew that all the people who shouted Hosanna would later shout “Crucify him!” However, after three days, God would restore his life and authority! When we know God’s plan in advance, we can face today’s trouble with confidence. We can obey to God’s commandment and give all we have to God when the Lord needs them. I pray that we all should have our personal experience confirming this biblical truth. May God be faithful to His promises when we obey to His words!
- What testimony do you have in terms of your obedience and God’s promises?
- When did you hear the voice, “The Lord needs them,” and what was your response?