'Not So Anymore'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

It used to be that the world seemed so big.  Watching the news on television of places around the globe seemed of little concern because those places seemed in another universe.  Not so anymore.

Our Korean Church, Immanuel UMC, under the leadership of its Pastor, Daniel Shin, meets every night at 8:00 PM for prayer on behalf of their concern for the Korean Peninsula.  They have family and friends of whom they are deeply concerned.  The heated rhetoric between President Trump and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un is frightening and alarming.  The faithful Christians of Immanuel UMC feel caught between the realities of fear and faith.  I join them in praying for their country and for our world.  I invite you to join us as well.

It used to be that the world seemed so big.  Watching the news on television of places not too far from home seemed of little concern because at least those places were far enough away that their concern was not my concern.  Not so anymore.

I’ve never been to Charlottesville, Virginia in person but I now have been there in spirit.  How can anyone be so hateful that they boldly stand to spray the venom of evil with such pride?  It reminds me of how blinding sin and evil can be.  It causes me to ask “Is there some sin or evil in me that I cannot see?”  Surely the voice of God must be suppressed below the decibel of a whisper in a person’s soul for someone to be a member of the KKK, neo-Nazi’s, ‘alt-right’ or any other racist group. 

I remember being surprised to discover that a leader of the KKK was in one of the earlier churches of which I was appointed.  I decided to have conversation with him about his beliefs after he was bothered by a sermon I had preached on ‘Loving One Another’.  It was an interesting conversation, to say the least.  I left his home feeling so sad and discouraged realizing that he had been raised in the womb of hatred and narrowness.  Could God redeem him, I wondered?  My faith said ‘Yes!  With God all things are possible!’  It was a crisis of belief for me…The reality of this man’s soul and the power of God…in tension.

I pray for “Peace on Earth…Good will to all”.  Am I naïve or is it possible?  It is a crisis of belief…I choose to believe it is very possible.  Why?  Because I believe in the prayer I pray every day…Our Father who art in heaven.  Hallowed be thy name.  Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give US this day our daily bread.  Forgive US our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against US.  And lead US not into temptation BUT deliver US from evil.  For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.

It used to be that the world seemed so big.  Not so anymore.

Always Thinking…

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