Reflection July 7, 2019 by Rev Sunny Kim
2 Kings 5:1-14/ Galatians 6:7-16 / Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
New Beginning with a Humble Heart
While preparing to move, I realized that my whole life has been a never-ending process of moving. My parents moved a lot when I was a child, and as an adult, I have moved around a lot, from countries to countries, and from towns to towns. I’m sure you would agree with me, but whenever I move, I notice how many things I own! Moving process is a constant reminder of how many things we own, and I feel bad. Do I really need all of these? Probably not. Anybody else feeling guilty about this too? I think it is difficult to live on a minimum if we are used to owning a lot of things. So tired of this lifestyle, a lot of people choose minimalism. I’m not quite there yet.
I started by sharing my reflection on moving and realizing I own too much, because today’s theme is humility and carrying little in life, trusting that God will provide for us. We first read the story of the Syrian army commander named Naaman who suffered leprosy. He was sent to the Prophet Elisha for healing, and Elisha told him what to do through a messenger, which enraged the commander because, one, his instruction seemed ridiculous, and two, Elisha didn’t even have the courtesy to address him in person. “Who does he think he is, sending a messenger? Does he know who I am? How impertinent! And there are better rivers than Jordan, so why would I wash myself there?” If we think in a normal human perspective, his expectations for a more respectful treatment from Elisha and his disappointment are understandable. He was a man in a high social standing, and Elisha was a poor and lowly prophet. But it was only when he humbled himself at the persuasion of his men, that he was healed. Humility is the key here.
Today’s gospel text deals with another aspect of humility. Jesus sent out seventy disciples to preach the message of God’s kingdom and to heal the sick, and instructed them to not bring anything with them. They must rely on the hospitality of the people who are willing to receive the Good News. If you think about it, it is unnerving going somewhere unprepared; but the truth is, our wealth, knowledge, and power prevent us from trusting God. We want to take care of ourselves with what we have. It can be unnerving to go about life empty handed, opening ourselves up to the possibilities. God may prepare surprise gifts for us, but our hearts are too busy worrying about being prepared and equipped. But it is only when we let go of our worries and obsessions in life that we can let God work wonders in our lives. This ability requires humility; acknowledging that, no, we don’t know what’s best for us, and that in front of God’s majesty, our power is nothing. This is humility.
The Good News of Jesus Christ constantly teach us to be spiritually poor. That is why monks and Catholic priests, brothers, and sisters take a vow of poverty. Think of St. Francis of Assisi; he was the son of a rich merchant but he gave up all material possession and became homeless to be closer to God. As Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew, our heart is where our treasure is. We cannot serve two masters; it’s either God or what belongs to the material world. As the Apostle Paul said to the Galatian Christians, “If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow by the spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit.”
As I start my new ministry in Sicamous, as you start having me as your ministry partner and leader, I am filled with great hope as well as worries. Speaking of carrying little and owning little, we are a congregation that doesn’t have a lot. But it is thanks to this fact that I am filled with great hope and expectation because we can trust God’s power and see what God can do through us in our community. Bigger is not better. Just like the three servants in the Parable of the Talent who received different amount of money from their master, we have all received something from God to work with. Some have more than others, but what is important is how we use what we have to the fullest potential. My message to you on my first day as your minister is this; let us see what God will do through us. Let us work together and combine our resources and ideas to the fullest to bring God’s reign in our community. I will be thinking out a lot in front of you, and invite you to do the same, so that together we can come up with ideas on how to be God’s church in this ever-changing world. Let us find new ways to serve God and God’s people in our society and lives. Let us be the reason the residents of Sicamous experience God’s love that knows no partiality and have a taste of God’s kingdom of compassion and justice.