He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
I believed that what we need in this world at this moment in peace. That is what we need the most more than anything else. We need peace. When we look around, we see so many conflicts, violence, and a lot of hurt and pain. What we need is peace in this world. The world that Isaiah dreamt about is the world that I also dream about. This is what Isaiah said. “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with a kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together and the little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp and the weaned child shall put his hands on the adder’s den. Then they will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
How beautiful. That was, the world that Isaiah dreamt about, and that is the world that I also dream about. Some of you may think that. Oh, that’s unrealistic. That’s impossible. But I still believe that that kind of world is possible. If it is not possible out there in the world, maybe at least in this congregation or in this community. I like to see that kind of world where people live together in peace and harmony. When you look at the scripture very carefully, it is the image of the powerful letting go of their power like lions and wolf and all of these they let go of the power to be in a relationship with the other, with the others. The powerful did do not use their power to control others, dictate others or conquer others, but the let go of their power to be one with others.
Pain and Suffering
The world we live in is very different from this image. We are hurt, in much pain and have much sorrow. Many relationships are broken and people are in deep pain. You know, human beings are very smart. Sometimes I’m totally amazed how smart we human beings are, not me but human beings. They are so smart. I mean, how could they think of going to the Moon? Moon? You look at it, he enjoys the beauty of it. You write poems maybe and you write songs about it, but think about going there and actually, they went there. How smart, how smart can you get? And they built invented this airplane. Whenever I look at the airplane, it’s a miracle to me. How did they invent that? And so they go from one country to another country before we just walked around and did the build this gigantic machine to carry so many people. Now he’s almost done that. They’ll be cars driving around without drivers. Can you imagine the car driving without drivers? I think we human beings are really, really smart, but these smart human beings don’t seem to be wise enough to live in peace. That’s why I wonder why these smart human beings don’t know the basic of ABC, of how to live together in peace and harmony. And I realized that being smart and being wise are two different things and being smart doesn’t bring about peace. Being smart is connected with the power. Being wise is connected with love. It’s almost like a magnet when there is smartness, intelligence, always connect, it gets attached to the power and wisdom is attached to love.
Two totally different things. Being smart and being wise are two totally different things. To live in peace. What we need is not being smart, but being wise. To be smart, either you’re born with it or you acquire that from the world. But I believe that the wisdom comes from God. The source is different. When you have a heart of love, only then you’ll have wisdom. Doesn’t matter how smart you are. If you don’t have a heart of love, then there is no wisdom possible. To those who have a heart of love. God pours that wisdom. But for those who don’t have a heart of love, God cannot give that wisdom.
We have a family with twins. Just born. She has a little girl and now three children. She’s having such a hard time, you know, a postpartum and all this stuff. She’s going through so much and our women, they take turns and they spend a few hours, several hours there, a, sometimes 10 to six, sometimes three hours, four hours. They just go there and talk to her. And then a son sometimes help her out. And where did that get was wisdom? I call that wisdom, that comes from the heart of love. I share that with my Bible Study Group on Friday, a Friday morning, I have a Bible study, mostly women. And then they come from different churches, not necessarily all from our church, but that they come from different churches and they all say, “that is an ideal church.”
It was then, right there when the thought hit me. I call that wisdom. Wisdom comes from love. When you’re considerate of others, you become wise. Jesus’ cross was the wisdom. If Jesus were just smart, I think he was the smartest man in the world, by the way, because of all the things that he said, I think that he’s the smartest man in the world, but if he were only smart, he would have never taken up the cross. No. If you’re just smart, he would have never taken up the cross. The sins Jesus had the wisdom. He took up the cross for us and, and that is the wisdom. The smartest man in the world took up the cross. That is the wisdom. That’s why St Paul said this, for the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. I think to those who are smart, you can even replace that because he just talked about another wisdom and that foolishness. In that same chapter, the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God to smart people. The cross is foolishness, but to the wise people to cross is God’s power and that is a power that brings peace and reconciliation.
That was all that Paul said in today’s scripture passage and through him, God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. I struggled all day with this passage through the blood of his cross peace through the blood of his cross. What does that mean? And I realized that that cross was the wisdom and through that wisdom, peace is possible. There are a lot of smart people in the world, but I see very few wise people. No wonder it is so hard to see true peace in this world. This world is getting smarter and smarter. As the years go by. We have so much information compared to 20 years ago, 30 years ago, we know so much. We have so much. We’re so much more educated than ever before. We are smart. Within 10 years, I don’t know what this technology will surprise us. We don’t even know within 10 years maybe something you cannot even imagine they will come up with, but at the same time you can become more foolish and we may not know what they will do to the world they live.
I don’t know what kind of violence and domination this new technology may bring about including AI and all this stuff. To coexist in peace. What we need is wisdom, not intelligence. We have a lot of intelligent people. We have a lot of smart people. They don’t inspire me anymore. We need wise people. This world needs wise people. If we doubt each other, put up a guard against each other and try to control each other all the time, we’ll all be destroyed.
With power, no peace is possible. Peace is possible only through love. What binds us together is the wisdom that comes from love. Today’s Earth Day, Miyang shared very eloquently about the situation, the current situation. We human beings with a power, we often, we exploit the nature. Nature is a most beautiful gift God has ever given us. He created this earth and the trees and birds and he painted it with the beautiful colours and green and the red and all this stuff. We enjoy life. If we destroy because of our greed, then, how can we enjoy our life? We need to be just conscious of what we’re doing. We need peace with nature. Nature is not there for you to exploit and conquer. Nature is there for you to take care of, to enjoy, but also take care of and protect.
Human intelligence will turn into power. Look around you. All the smart people have all the power, but that power turns into a desire to conquer. Don’t take that route. Don’t take that route. The end is a disaster. From that desire. We see domination and violence. Last 100 years. The Aboriginal children were taken away from their parents when they’re really little. They didn’t know anything about the world. They just took them away from their parents miles and miles away, and they had to live in a foreign place called residential school and there many children, powerless children were abused sexually, physically, emotionally by the powerful people. People of the power, oppress them in the name of inculturation, of the uncivilized, in the process, they destroy the soul and the spirit of these innocent children. Since the wisdom comes from love, it always seeks justice. It always stands on the side of the weak and vulnerable, not with the strong. Wisdom always takes take sides on the weak and vulnerable. True reconciliation is possible when there is justice when there is true reconciliation, true peace is possible. Human intelligence is often used for the personal benefit, but the wisdom has the cross built within it and that always seeks the benefit of others. That’s what wisdom is. Intelligence always, you seek for your own good, but wisdom always seeks the benefit of other people.
That’s what wisdom is. The wisdom not only comes from love but also comes from the fullness. When you’re with the spirit, then wisdom comes, but when you’re filled with greed, what you get is an emptiness within you. When you have emptiness, you want to fill yourself with self-needs. That’s why needy people always have to do something to fill or fulfill them, but people who are filled with the fullness of God, they don’t need to be obsessed with their personal needs anymore so they can look around and they can see other people’s needs rather than their own needs, so wisdom comes from that fullness of God. Our human civilization should be built on the wisdom. Then that civilization can be a great civilization. A civilization where people can thrive and live in peaceful harmony. Yesterday I had an interview with a Taiwanese second generation as if we were talking well, this and that. In the end, both of us talked about peace and harmony in this world about ethnic ecosystems and all of that, and we had a great time together. That’s what we need, to be connected with each other.
Our community should be built on the wisdom. That’s why St Paul kept emphasizing on the wisdom and insight to bring about reconciliation, peace, and harmony. This is what he said, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of His grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time together of all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” He understood that from the true wisdom of all things heaven and on earth will be gathered up in harmony and fullness. Just a few months ago, not even a few months ago, I was really worried about the Korean Peninsula when Kim Jung Un and Trump were back and forth with this nasty words and all that. I mean, they have nuclear weapons and they’re threatening with each other in the midst of it. How about the people? Innocent powerless people. Now finally they are talking about talking about having a conversation together. The community that is built on wisdom is viable. A family that is built on the wisdom is viable. The country that is built on wisdom is viable.
In that community, there will be true joy and a deep sense of respect and warm love. Let us build this community with wisdom that comes from God. Be filled with the spirit. When you’re filled with the spirit, you’ll become a bigger person. When you’re a bigger person than you can embrace other people’s differences and weaknesses. You can let go of your power and then embrace and welcome another person. In that fullness, all our differences will be, will not be the reason to fight, but the reason to celebrate. The wisdom that brings about peace and peace, that is what we need in this world.