What I’m going to share is the essence of Christian belief and a core of what we have on the foundation of Christian belief, and you will realize that that is quite different from the teachings of the world if you’re not careful, we just bring the teachings of the world into the church and just change the labels and start thinking that that is a message, Christian message. But that is not Christian message. So I like to share with you so it can be counter cultural message for you. In Hosea and other prophetic books, we see a very angry guy. It is a kind of scary to think of the all mighty, all powerful God being angry because you will know what this powerful all powerful almighty God may do to you. So a lot of people live with the scary image of God. Whenever people think about God, they think of the scary image. But this time when I read Hosea, I saw another aspect of God. I saw God who was emotionally very vulnerable. Yes. Every one of let us hear the word. Hosea one to two “When Israel was a child, I loved him and out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the more they went from me. They kept sacrificing to the gods and offering incense to idols” but it has nothing to do with age. I was like that when I was 20. I forgot. Anyway, let’s go back. So this time, this time when I read Hosea, yes, I saw very angry
God is Vulnerable for his Children
God, but I saw another aspect and that aspect is I saw God was emotionally vulnerable. That was quite the revelation to me. I never thought of God that way. I never thought of God being vulnerable emotionally. I never thought of God who, cannot control himself. I always thought that God is always in good control, never gets affected by human beings, never gets angry. He’s kind of aloof, distant. He’s not affected by human beings, but I realized that God was affected so much by human beings that he got angry with them. I mean who are we to make God that affected? And I saw that image of God this time. He wasn’t like parents who say anything if they’re getting angry with their children in a lot of times they don’t mean what they say, but we say things anyway, I’ll kick you out. I will never feed you. I know all kinds of things that we say to our kids, but we will never kick them out. We’ll never not feed them, you know, so like almost like I saw God’s tension in that passage. That was really refreshing the other day Kee shared with us, you know, whenever she goes into the van and the kids already have earphones and don’t listen when she talks. “So how are you?” They pretend that they’re not listening. So kee this time when she entered the van, she put earphone first and then show us. The kids are very confused. “Well, what is going on here?” And then “mom, I had a math test today.”
A Helpless Saviour
Oh, what is he saying? You know, parents are like that. We threatened them, you know, we shout at them and then. But will never not love them, right? Love our children that is helpless image of God, and I saw a helpless God rather than the Almighty God in the books of prophets. God saw Israel running away from him, and yet God cannot do anything to stop them.Listen to what God said in verse two, the more I called them, the more they went from me. They were running away from God, the almighty God who could just destroy them, right? Right there, but he couldn’t do anything. Helpless God I saw, and I realized that that image of God is very different from the image of God in the world. When we create idles. When we create images, when we create God, we always create a powerful God. God who can do anything, we will never create a helpless God, but book of Prophets, they present the helpless God. Many times the God we’ve created is a personification of the desire, our desire to be powerful. And we translate that into God who has absolute power? And we call that God, but the God that is shown in the book of profits is very helpless God. You know, when it comes to New Testament, Jesus captured that helpless God image very clearly in the story of the prodigal son, in the story of a prodigal son, it is not about the prodigal son. That story is about God. This prodigal son, his son give me my inheritance. Father did not die yet, and this rude, arrogant son comes to him, give me my critic tense and the father gifts that inheritance and his son runs away. It goes away from home and the father cannot stop it. He helpless. Wait and wait and wait until he comes back.
Love is forgiveness
You don’t see all mighty God who controls his children. We see a helpless God who is waiting for the son to return. I think Jesus captured that image very well. I experienced that in my own life. What transformed me more was my mother rather than my father. My father was a strong man. He was going very well, but my mother was never an aggressive woman. She was always soft, gentle, soft spoken. She never told me what to do. She was simply there and when I was hurt, she was just there because she didn’t know what to do. I could see her helplessness. She wanted to do something for me, but she could not do anything. What could she do? I was hurting I was going through pain, but she was just there hurting with me. That helplessness, but behind that helplessness I found tremendous power of love working and that power transforming me, that power changed me. I thought in that helplessness there’s no power, period, but in that helplessness there was tremendous power of God’s grace working. Isn’t that what the cross is all about? Isn’t that what we believe about the cross? Jesus died on the cross. Helplessly, People were yelling at him. If you were a truly the son of God and has that much power to save us, save yourself! Do something about it. Show your power, then we will believe you as a savior, as Messiah. Jesus didn’t do anything. He just as helplessly slowly died on the cross. He was just hung there helplessly. Behind the helplessness, there was a power of God’s grace flowing out of him, and he moved us, and transformed us even on the cross, the only thing that was in Jesus consciousness or mind was, forgive them. How could he do that? And the last moment of his death, all he could think about was people. Forgiveness of people. In that helplessness there is powerful love. The power of love working. I mean that’s why St Paul said this message for the message about the cross is foolishness because he already helped this. Just there. It is foolishness to those who are perishing to those who don’t understand, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. He dares boldly proclaims the cross is the power. Think about that. Whether that is the message that you learn or you get from the world, we’d never want to be helpless. You want to be powerful even in serving God. We want to be powerful with that power. We serve other people. Being in the position of helping others is good, but he sees you and it can be tempting while helping others. You feel powerful. You have all the money and help other people and you feel powerful sometimes having lost some money and help the poor and the need is good and I do believe there is good and noble.
Using Power for the Powerless
Having power and using the power and help the powerless is admirable. Having the power and using the power and help the powerless, it’s admirable, but my friends, the power Jesus showed us is different. It is the power of the cross. It is a power of helpless love, and then I realized this wisdom, this truth. I realized that scary God will never change people. Only love of God change people. In front of scary God you pretend that you changed. You want to think. You want to believe that you want to change, you change before the scary God, but only the love of God can truly change us and transform us. As parents, what I learned was helplessness, and babies cry all night just helplessly. “Wait, please baby, why do you cry so much? What’s wrong?” Well, you cannot do anything about it. When they become teenagers and go through their own rebellious time in a difficult time we just sit there. My goodness- Why don’t you think? Don’t you have a brain to think? I mean, well, my kids were good about that. I spoke a message all other people, but I cannot speak a message to my own kids! Then I feel so helpless and powerless, and well, that’s what you’re gonna learn powerlessness and helplessness. No, but behind that helplessness and powerlessness, there is true power of your love. As minister. I’ve done ministry for 20, 30 years and what I learned is helplessness. Even today, even today, but day by day, I feel helplessness. No, I try to give the best messages as I can. I try to help out people as much as I can. I want people to really enjoy the community. As you know, I try my best, but one day people just leave and have no reason to leave. You know, that hurts as a minister. Whereas if there’s a good reason, yeah, but for them, maybe it’s a casual decision. “Oh, I decided to go to another church, whatever”, or “I decided not to not go to church at all”, but that careless decision for the casual decision for me, I stay up all night hearing that. All I learned was helplessness, but behind that helplessness, I do believe that God’s grace is working. This is what St Paul says, “my grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness, so our boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities for the sake of Christ, for whenever I’m weak, then I am sure.” What a powerful truth. Whenever I’m weak, I am sure.
I want this church to reflect on this power, a helpless love more deeply, and through your helplessly love, many people will be transformed. They will experience God’s grace. Christian ministry is not about path. People you change. That’s not Christian ministry. Christian ministries simply loving them, serving that sometimes powerlessly and helplessly, but God’s grace will work within it. Very different message from the world. I do believe this world says, be powerful, be strong, have influence, and with that change people, I think Christianity started getting corrupted from the moment it was adopted as Roman religion, when Christianity is connected with a power that is the way to be corrupted, I hope that we, this church, turns around that message and then be the counter, proclaim the counter message counterculture message be different, right?