Pastor Paul’s monthly article (taken from the September edition of The Chimes):
 
Pastor’s Reflections
 
Rev. Paul H. Lee
       

Freedom, License, Discipline, Old Normal, New Normal, Retro, Newtro

These are the keywords that I’ve been thinking of for months.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to question every day, asking for God’s wisdom. What does God want? What would Jesus do? How can we reveal our love to God and the people around us and the world? Are we keeping “the rules” that have been handed down or “the rule of love,” which God has unfolded in many ways through the rules we have in our community? It is the product of one of the most precious gifts from God, which is called “rationale,” “wisdom,” “consciousness,” and “Freedom of will.” And we find the answers to these questions through our prayers to God, and it helps us walk humbly with God and other fellow children of God.

Let’s think about the Israelites’ journey in the wilderness. God has given the Ten Commandments a couple of months after the Exodus. We can’t imagine how the Israelites society might look like, because none of us has been physically slaves. Now they became free and had no idea how to live as a freed people. So, what God is doing with the Ten Commandments is to teach them not only who they are and whose they are as God’s people, but also how they create and shape their community to live with one another in freedom and responsibility. The Ten Commandments are so rational and logical. Yet, I don’t doubt that it was too much burden to the Israelites who still had the old patterns of life as slaves. What about John Wesley? He was born in a turbulent era of both religion and politics. It was a chaotic era after wars and religious conflicts. What he claimed was basically turning our lives with freedom and responsibility.

He taught the Bible with discipline. It was about humbly and sincerely approaching the questions of who we are and how we live our lives before God. And Wesley’s anchor was Jesus, God’s love, and God’s commissions and plans for our lives. And his ministry and movement led a vital spiritual movement in America and beyond in a new era.

Whether we like it or not, whether we recognize it or not, we have already stepped into a new era in this Pandemic era. While there are so many precious people who humbly use their freedom with responsibility before God and other people, I think we witness so many happenings around us that the Israelites might have done in the wilderness just before God gave them the Ten Commandments: claiming freedom without responsibility, lack of discipline, self-centered behaviors, resistance to new orders, etc.

These are some questions that I have been pondering as preparing the future of our church and Leadership Training next year. Do I know what’s going to happen in our new era after the Pandemic? I have no idea. So, I love to listen to your wisdom and opinions. One thing I know is that God will save humanity. We will see a new era. The answers to the first two questions will be the same: who are we? We are precious children of God. Whose are we? God is the source of life. God breathes life, wisdom, and everything we have into our lives. And We belong to God. Yet, the answers to the rest of the questions would be different. How can we live our precious lives in love and care with other precious people of God? What would our Wesley community of faith look like, and how can we continue God’s ministry? It might be too many questions and thoughts. That’s why we need to ponder and shape it together with our prayers to God. Let’s humbly ask God in our journey.

                              
Peace In Christ,
Rev. Paul H. Lee