As we as a congregation reflect on the current sermon series, Encounters with Jesus, Kyu Hahn (Director of Senior High Ministry) shares a part of what compels him to follow Jesus with his whole life.
When my family first came to America from Korea, my parents sold clothes at an outdoor flea market. Working both the day shift and the night shift, they left home at 5am and came back home at midnight. This meant that for four days out of the week, I didn’t see my parents from the moment I woke up until I went to sleep. I was in junior high.
I remember hating going to school. It was frustrating to face moments of miscommunication and feeling smaller than everyone else because I was from a different country . I remember coming back at the end of each day to an empty home with fear, anger and sadness, resenting that I would still be the “popular kid” if we were back in Korea.
This 14-year-old wounded boy still lives in me. He longs for recognition and connection. These days, he tries to get this validation by achieving and thriving at what he does. Yet, Jesus knows that deep inside this lonely boy is just crying out for intimacy and affection. He directly speaks to the boy with mercy and grace, and says “follow me.” He knows that what I’ve been deeply longing for all along is his love. I had no idea. But he knew.
What compels me about Jesus is that he leads me on this inward journey where I am invited to explore and examine my past wounds under the wing of God’s grace. He longs to heal me so that I will no longer live out of my wounds constantly looking for recognition from others, but instead live fully out of his love recognizing and blessing those around me. What freedom and peace he is offering! What an invitation to the vision of his beautiful community.
You may have an entirely different story from me. However, I imagine we are spiritually similar, if not the same, for you have most likely also been wounded in life. God therefore is asking us today, “Where are you?” He wants to meet us where we are. Upon this question, our ancestors Adam and Eve hid themselves in shame in the Garden of Eden. By hiding from God, they said, “I am not enough.”
But Jesus reminds us over and over again at his death on the cross, “You are enough.”
Friends, let us hide no more. Dive deep into this inward journey for God is already within us, waiting to encounter us where we are.
Our hope is that in these blog posts you would find a way to connect to the beautiful story Jesus Christ invites us into. The questions that follow are a way for you to reflect on the post throughout the week and a way for you to join in conversation with those around you about the ways you are encountering God.
1) What are ways in which the wounds you have experienced shaped your relationship with Jesus?
2) Do you believe God is willing to truly meet us where we are at? Or are you in a place where you feel the divide seems too big for him to cross?
3) How can we encourage each other to stop hiding and open our hearts to God and to one another?