성탄절 메시지

"A Dangerous Life"

"위험한 인생"

(마태복음 Matthew 2:1-15)



I would like to address the adults of our church. 

 

Who are we raising our kids to be?  I know most of us in here claim to be Christian and many of us here in this room came to worship the birth of Jesus this morning, but who are we raising our kids to be?


If an alien came down to earth and observed the things we do with our youth, what would they find to be true about how we are raising our kids?

 

After their scientific study, would these aliens conclude that the primary focus of the parents of KPCC is for our kids to grow up to be like Jesus or something else? 

 

Would these aliens objectively find that the people of KPCC raise their kids to one day sacrifice their bodies, minds, and souls to alleviate the suffering of another person, even if it means a great personal loss?

 

Would these alien researchers find that our primary focus is for our young ones to chase after God’s dream for them?  Or is it to relieve our earthly fear for our kid’s future (will they be able to eat, drink, survive without me)? 

 

Or do we raise our kids in a way that stems from more prideful, self-centered reasons? Or for any other reason besides helping our kids find out what kinds of visions and dreams God has for them? 

 

In college back in Irvine, for my major research paper to graduate, I studied the motivations of Asian-American parents for pushing their children towards the sciences.  Why did these Asian-American parents push their kids towards science or medical based careers? 

 

Was it because these parents had altruistic hopes?  Did they dream of their kids blessing the world through their work? 

 

No.  Much of it was based on a fear of racism.  Immigrant Asian parents knew that in the US their Asian kids had a disadvantage in this society, and so they pushed them toward engineering and the sciences, because they knew their race would be less of a factor in those fields. 

 

If this is you, is fear the best motivation in how you parent your kids? 

 

Rather, I want to give us a different take on what we should hope for.  This is what I hope for, for your youth and, actually, for myself too. 

 

Just hear me out. 

 

We should raise our youth to be hated by the right people and the right powers or forces of this world.  If the right governments or people in power hate my kid, I would know I did a great job raising him or her. 

 

If we are living like Jesus together rightly, the right people, organizations, and governments should be really annoyed with us.  They might even want to physically hurt us.   

 

The government, whether it’s led by democrats, republicans, or any other party should really hate our kids one day, because they are constantly calling them, writing to them, emailing them, and protesting outside their offices with signs with things like…

 

Isaiah 1:17 – 

“Learn to do right; seek justice.  Defend the oppressed. 

Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”


옳은 일을 하는 것을 배워라. 정의를 찾아라. 억압받는 사람을 도와주어라.

고아의 송사를 변호하여 주고, 과부의 송사를 변론하여 주어라.”

 

Who was annoyed with the baby Jesus?  King Herod.  A violent king who killed, bribed, and flattered all the way to the top and held on for dear life.  He was a man even willing to kill his own son to keep power, and to kill baby Jesus, because his power was threatened. 

 

Who else eventually became annoyed with Jesus later in his life?  Pontius Pilate killed him because the tension Jesus caused in Jerusalem was a problem for him.


The powerful political leaders and religious leaders in Jerusalem saw their power and influence start to slip through their fingers.  And they killed him by politically manipulating the people to turn on Jesus, who was gaining in influence with his proclamation of kingship!


Who didn’t hate Jesus?  The widow.  The persecuted prostitute.  Those considered unclean by society.  Those who needed a bite to eat.  Those who were marginalized.  The homeless. 


They loved him because he looked them in the eyes, called out to them by name, and even invited himself over to their homes for dinner so that he could tell them how beloved they are even if society thinks and treats them otherwise…

 

The right people and systems saw Jesus as a threat because of his love and mercy.  And his life was all about everyone being taken care of.    

 

Maybe the question for us as we help guide and support our youth is not “will they be able to get high paying jobs” or “get into Harvard?”.  Maybe the question should be “will the right people or governments hate my kid?”

 

This is a question that I think we should ask ourselves as a church too and our life together. 

 

Who hates us?  Who despises us?  Who is really annoyed with us?

 

2017 is almost over.  2018 is right around the corner.  Let’s make 2018 a year in which the right people, like King Herod, Pontius Pilate, and the Pharisees, despise us and call us every day to complain about the Christ-like love we are giving to those God sends us. 

 

Are we satisfied with where we are as a church?  Do we chase after comfort?  Or are we a church that loves holy tension, because, when we worship, it’s not a weekly routine, but a weekly march against injustice and death? 

 

Or are we striving to become a church that is attractive to the lost and hurting?  Those that feel marginalized by our society or those that are lonely because our world doesn’t care about hearing from them? 

 

Are we attractive to people who need a place to come and hear about the eternal and endless hope of the Gospel?  Are we attractive to people who need to share their shame and need hands to pray for them and remind them that they are forgiven?

 

Do the marginalized people feel safe with us & do the correct group of people hate us?  Who despises us?  Who is really annoyed with us?

 

This might sound confusing.  Here’s what I mean by attracting the right type of hate. 

 

I have a personal example from my previous church. 

 

As some of you may know, the church I used to serve was situated in a very poor area of San Diego.  We had daily contact with the neediest of families and people.  Three times a week, plus Sunday, we fed people and allowed them to shower, if they needed it.  We were a very attractive church for the homeless. 

 

We even had homeless members who would join us for worship on Sundays and join us for church meetings because they had the right to vote and speak as members. 

 

However, because of our services, we sometimes attracted people with drug problems who would leave needles on church property.  Actually, the leaders of the church would often have to walk around church on Sunday morning just in case there was anything dangerous for the kids to find.  This one time, we found a whole bag of used needles next to the children’s ministry classroom door Sunday morning.  It was definitely concerning. 

 

We would often discuss security.  We even talked to the police about our church.  And, during a meeting, the police officer who was advising us to intensify our security told us that our neighbors didn’t like us. 


At first, I was shocked.  I mean we were only trying to help people.  Why would they be angry at us for feeding the homeless and offering them a place to shower?  Then I figured it out…

 

Our neighbors don’t like us because the people that we attract might devalue their homes.  They want to either increase or maintain the worth of their property.  And nobody wants dirty-looking people hanging around their homes.


That church was hated, despised for the right reasons.  Their food and shower ministries are still going on strong.  And, I’m sure their neighbors still hate them too.


Who hates us?  Who is annoyed?  Who is threatened by our presence?  

 

We should make the King Herod’s of the world be scared of us like the baby Jesus scared him.