Parents Sacrifice because of Love
Happy Mother’s Day to everyone. Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you, Edward. I’m going to talk about the love and sacrifice of our parents since today’s Mother’s Day. As some of you may know, Peter Lee, who is KSM praise team leader had a baby boy Eugene recently. Peter attended KSM service today for the first time as a parent, so I congratulated him on the child and so on. And I bet that his world now is totally different than before. I still remember when I held our first son in my arms, for the first time as I looked at him, so many mixed feelings coming off from me and then I realized how big life is. I only knew this much before, but having my own child, it opens up my eyes and see the things I never imagined before and how marvellous and amazing God’s grace is. Conceptually, we used to think, yeah, God’s Love, God’s grace so and so, but when you have your child in your arms, you realize that God’s grace in a different way. Those who are parents will understand what I’m saying here. Only when we become parents ourselves, we will have a deeper understanding of our parents. That’s what kind of life they had to go through and we will have a deeper appreciation of their love and sacrifice.
In this sense. I see one characteristic of love here and it is about the movement. Love flows from above, going downward. This is how love works. Love naturally coming from above and going downward.
God Loves us As Our Parents Loves Us
Today’s text shows that downward movement of love as well. It says God’s Love was revealed among us in this way. God sent his only son into the world so that we might live through him in this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. Through Jesus, God’s love comes to us, and such love makes us alive, abundant and whole. Our parents love has the same downward movement. Their love for us will flow upon us, limitlessly and fill us up. As Jesus emptied himself and lowered himself, our parents too. They emptied themselves and lowered themselves for us.
Love Prevents Feelings of Loss
But because of their love for us the sacrifice they made, is not any more sacrifice, and the hardships they went through is never a hardship for them because of their love for us. They wouldn’t mind being emptied and humbled, pouring out everything for us, just like those who have experienced God’s love, will love others. Those who have experienced and encountered parents love, love their children with the same love. Love is like the rain coming down from heaven touching the ground, and watering the earth. Life will spring up from the earth by this life-giving water; love. Prophet Isaiah also described this downward movement of anything from God. It says, “for as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving sea to the sower, and bread to the eater”. And I witnessed this downward movement of love in this community.
Church is Like Mother’s Heart
God has given us the vision of the church, where our first generation and the second generation co-exist and live in harmony. Last night we just had 19th mission dinner, and that was the vivid evidence of our core existence, and we pray for the young people who will be on the mission work in July. We are raising leaders for this church. As described in Psalm 1:31, I think this church is like the mother’s heart. Psalm 1:31 goes, “but I have calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child with his mother. My soul is like the weaned child that is with me”.
Babies are born here at the heart of God, and they grow and they mature. All we had to do was to plant the seeds of love and water the seeds with care, and we believe that we will bear much fruit, and we will have a wonderful harvest in God’s appointed time. A couple of weeks ago, there was a public forum hosted by the Asian Center at Knox College, and the results from the research were that there was no other church like ours, St.Timothy’s. There was no other church like ours where first-generation and second-generation co-exists and live in harmony. Research finds that our church is the model church for Asian Canadian churches in Canada, and our church will become the subject of further studies. It is because the first generations love and sacrifice flow into the second generation because there has been genuine loving care. The second and third generation were able to grow and mature in a safe and healthy environment.
As you may know, as you already know, when I wrote this, I wrote, as you may know, but already announced last Wednesday, Simon graduated from Knox College. As soon as the Care Simmons a service was over, I went down, went to the complication. By the time when I got there, the ceremony was almost over. I tried to look at where Simon was and now when I opened this gray colour door, I was able to see Steimer with dad and his parents posing for the Foro. So I just handed over this bouquet of flowers to Simon and said congratulations. Suddenly there was a scream or a loud voice coming from my back. So as I turn back and see what’s going on, there were a few ESM members trying to take a photo of Simon with his family. What timing. That picture was taken right after that. My interruption. What a timing, what timing of interruption. I was able to join Simon’s family with others and took a picture with him.
Parent’s Love Allows Us to Know God
Anyways, when I prepared today’s sermon on this Mother’s Day, I think about Simon. He was a member of this church and then, he went to a seminary. He now graduated from Knox College. He was a single guy. Single. He was a single, yeah, he was single and they got married, and now he has two children with Deb, I don’t know whether he will have third or fourth like me, I don’t know about that. But he said this, he wanted to devote himself for ESM to pay back the love and grace he has received from first-generation from this church. That was when we had ESM retreat in 2016 at NBC. Isn’t this the true image of God’s love bearing fruit? Isn’t this the true image of someone growing up well in the church which resembles the heart of mother or regard? Isn’t it true that he will also minister to the second generation and third generation like a parent? Having that heart of parents. The least to the second characters of love, which is that love reveals God, love makes us see God, and experience God. That’s what verse 12 is talking about today, no one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is perfected in us.
There is an expression in Latin ‘will be Kalitas’. It is the beginning part of the Western church. Him, where love is God is. We are able to see God and experience God through our parents’ love. We are able to conjecture who god is through our parents’ sacrifice. I mentioned my mother in my sermon on last year’s Mother’s Day. I mentioned that my mother’s faith got deeper and her love became genuine and so on. I mentioned that last year around this time. But when I read last year’s sermon, I’ve realized how arrogant I was to say that. It was me who did not recognize my mother’s love, nothing else. My mother’s love for us has been there all the time. It wasn’t that she became more loving these days, but her love has been displayed differently at a different circumstance of life. How arrogant I was. She became a widow when she was 34, she raised four of us by herself. I was in grade two when my father passed away. My mother had to take the role of the father at one point and the role of the mother. At the other point, she couldn’t have handled this if she did not have a love for us. When I was attending Knox College, we had our second child, and at the time my mother lived with us and helped to raise our two boys for 10 years. She walked the boys to the school nearby and picked them up from school. She made snacks or sometimes meals for the boys and fed them. At least during the weekdays. I didn’t recognize. I didn’t realize that. How hard that must’ve been.
To take it for granted. I didn’t realize that even though they are in university, my mother would make frozen side dish all the time like this and that, with pork and chicken and bulgogi, bringing them to us, taking the TTC before they go back to school, to make sure that they have enough. We’re still receiving mother’s love and care. Even now, I realize humbly that the width and the depth of a mother’s heart is so vast and so big. In my mother’s heart, I see God’s love, feel God’s love. My friends, we come to know God through our parents’ love. When we know more about God, we will have a clear purpose for life, since we have received parents love, amazing love. Let us love not only our children but also all the children of this church. And there’s one more. Those who are in need of God’s love. If you encounter God’s love through your parents, that love will make it make you do that. You will not stay just inside of you. Close family. No, it will overflow. Such love will overflow from us reaching out to the lower lands, filling up the empty spaces and wetting the dry land, and this is what our parents want us to be and to do.
Let us thank God for our parent’s love and sacrifice for us by God’s grace, we are who we are by parent’s love. We are who we are. Let us thank God and thank our parents who have loved us and made us whole happy Mother’s Day. Everyone, let’s say, happy mothers day to each other.