4-2-23 The Lord Needs Them

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The Lord Needs Them

I want to share my story. I lived in my grandparents’ house with two uncles, two aunts, my parents, and my four siblings. I am the middle child of my siblings, so I have an elder sister, an elder brother, a younger sister, and a younger brother. So, I felt alone like nobody cared for me and I was a useless girl. But I had a dream to be a policewoman. That was my first dream. I wanted to be a policewoman because I wanted to voice up, be a strong woman, and be a leader as a woman. However, I had to give it up because my height made me ineligible to be a policewoman. I was less than five feet tall until I graduated from high school.

My second dream was to be a lawyer. That was the first one that my parents supported me in. You may wonder why my parents supported me in becoming a lawyer. When I was twelve, I saw my grandfather get upset with my father and scold him in front of all the family. The scolding was because my father used to drink and didn’t work like he was expected to do. Of course, I was there. Even though I didn’t like my father drinking, I hated hearing and seeing my grandfather rebuking him in front of us. I went against my grandfather, saying, “Don’t rebuke him, grandpa. That’s not his fault. If you wanted him to work in your field, you should teach him how to work in the field instead of supporting him with higher education in Seoul.” My father graduated from a college in Seoul. But my grandfather always wanted more from him and brought him back home to work in his field instead of a getting a job in the city. The work on the farm didn’t make him happy. That’s why my father started drinking. However, my grandfather wanted him to go where he wanted and was never satisfied with him. The first person who went against my grandfather and stood up to him, was me. After that happened, my parents moved out of my grandparent’s house and lived independently. And my parents supported me becoming a lawyer who could advocate for the powerless.

However, it wasn’t for some time and I had another dream. I wanted to be an artist when I was an eighth grader. But, my father didn’t support me at all, and didn’t support me going to high school if I want to be an artist. I went to a private school with a full scholarship and entered an art university without my parent’s support. And then, I moved far away from my home and family and during that time my family became Christians.
I was a painful finger to my mother and was her first concern and prayer, which means I never went where my parents wanted me to go. She prayed for me, “O Lord, she is out of my sights and hands. She is yours. I offer her to you. Please take care of her; use her for your kingdom.” After I returned home with a broken spine, I became a Christian, graduated from a

seminary. And I planted a new church in Korea. It was much later. At the last moment of my mother’s life in the hospital, she told me as her last wish, “I am sorry I offered you to God. I lived with worries, concerns, guilt, and shamefulness about you. I am sorry I couldn’t support you. The only way I could do so was to pray to God. After I offered you to God, God gave me comfort. God said, ‘I will use her. I need her. Don’t worry.’ So, please go to America, and become a pastor. God will use you there.” It was motivating for me to come to the U.S.A. and become a pastor, and I am still here today.

Today, we came into the sanctuary together, waiving palm leaves. How do you feel when you pretend to march with palm leaves? Did you think it was fun, exciting, or just followed waving the palm leaves without thinking about it? More than 2000 years ago, many people crowded the streets of Jerusalem full of excitement and curiosity. They gathered together at one place and shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” They have seen Jesus proceed into Jerusalem in a kingly manner. Jesus has marched into the holy city on a path covered, not by a red carpet, but by the leaves of trees, riding not on a fine horse, but a little colt and sitting not on a golden saddle, but someone’s garments stinking of sweat. This parade, for the disciples, had still been much better than any other king’s procession.

Palm Sunday is when the people use the palm branches to welcome and praise Jesus, who entered Jerusalem. The palm tree symbolizes “righteousness,” “beauty,” and “victory.” Therefore, this entry procession of Jesus paraded and celebrated the commitments of God’s kingdom as the symbols of righteousness and victory. On the other hand, a “Palm tree” is named from the shape of a leaf, likely our palms. Look at your palms, which are the soft centers of our hands. We may use our palms to honor Jesus by waving, clapping, and lifting hands. Using the palms of our hands to worship God might symbolize the commitment to the love of God and the love of neighbors.

We can do many things with our palms. What do you want to do with your palms? In today’s scripture, I invite you to focus on the two disciples, a donkey and her colt. Jesus sent his two disciples to bring a donkey and a colt. It was almost there, nearby Jerusalem. Nobody wondered why Jesus needed the donkey and colt. But they just did it without asking about it. Until they took the donkey and colt to Jesus, the Word of God hadn’t been fulfilled yet. When they followed what Jesus asked, at last, “it took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet.” Even though you get an answer to your prayers from God, it is never fulfilled if you don’t practice it.

The two disciples took the donkey and a colt to Jesus, and Jesus rode on a colt, not a donkey. A colt is still too young to work alone and has to be with his mom. Listen carefully; Jesus used a colt instead of a donkey. Please take your hearts to God, and open your minds. The Lord needs your children and grandchildren beside you. They might still be young or weak and need your help. While God uses them, you may be beside them, walking with them and praying for them. Do you have the most painful finger among your children or family members? God may say, “The Lord needs them.” You may need to bring them to God. You may need to walk with them in prayer. Why don’t you get them to the Lord? The Lord needs them. Thanks be to God! Amen!