Sermon in a nutshell: “Use your status in the community if necessary” (Acts 22:22-30)
Somebody talked to me in a gym. “You are a pastor, right?” “Yeah.” I was intimidated because I could not guess what the person wanted. Then she said bluntly, “God is not fair! What do you think?” I needed time to think. “What do you mean?” I asked back. “You know, there is a boy, a 6 year old, carrying bricks to make money in India and there is Paris Hilton, who spends lots of money every day for her parties!” “Oh! You mean, ‘Life is not fair!’” I said. “That is the same thing! God allowed all those miseries and God is not fair when life is not fair!”
Yes, life is not fair. However, God has never allowed such unfairness. Actually God wants us to correct the unfairness but we do not listen to God! Don’t you think that God commanded Paris Hilton to share her money with those boys and girls in India? She simply did not listen to God. However, many others, for example our church members, listen to God and help people in many places! You can say that life is not fair but you cannot say that God is not fair! God is fair. God wants fairness. God gave diverse talents and gifts to us. We should share it. That is what God wants us to do. So, if you think that the boy’s life is miserable, help him as much as you can! If you cannot do it alone, come to our church and let us do it together! Do not blame God!
“Oh, I have to think about it!” Then the seeker left! “There is nothing to think about!” I murmured. If we have money, talent, or time, we can simply share. If we do not have anything, others will share what they have with us! That is God’s community that God wants to have here on earth and we are all called to build that community. However, we do not want to have a communist country. We do not want uniformity. We want to encourage diversity and creativity. We will have rich people and poor people because people are different in terms of their skills, education, and abilities. What God wants us to do, however, is to live together, caring for each other. And the best thing that we can share among all is the Good News/eternal life.
Jesus showed us the great example by sharing his life on the Cross. Jesus emptied his heavenly position to give us eternal life. The Holy Communion is the reminder of the ultimate sharing of God’s love!
If we have anything, we need to use it to save lives. In today’s Bible passage, Paul used his Roman citizenship and the legal system to share the Good News. He did not have money. People did not want to have a reasonable conversation with him anymore. They just wanted to flat out kill him. He wanted to share the greatest story of God’s love through the legal procedures of the Roman Empire. Paul knew that he was going to be sentenced to death in Jerusalem. However, if he pleaded to the emperor, he would not be executed in Jerusalem. Paul had an opportunity to share the Good News in Rome. That was his sole purpose in life, his remaining life.
Brothers and sisters! Today we remember all the saints who passed away this year. We remember their legacies. They have all performed wonderful services for the family, for the church, and for the community. When I think about them I realize they are truly our role models. Now, it is our turn to continue that legacy. It is our call now to make a new history. Because of their sacrifices and commitment we are here now worshipping God. Can our descendants say the same thing about us? Let us use all we have to share the Good News! If necessary, use your status in our community! Use your possessions! Use your unique talents! Use your gym time! May God bless all of us when we try to share God’s love story with others!
- What can you use to share God’s love with others?
- With whom would you like to share the Good News?