Hannah and Je together

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Interfaith or respect?

The hospital chaplaincy office has a Muslim chaplain and also a African Jewish resident.  And we always emphasise interfaith.  So we do not have a cross in the chapel but a mysterious giant hands.

병원 원목 부서에는 무슬림 원목과 흑인 유대인 레지던트가 있고, 원목 부서에서는 늘 상호신앙 존중을 강조한다.  그렇기 때문에 병원의 예배당에는 십자가도 없고 정체불명의 거대한 손이 둘 있다.

We have Wednesday noon chapel service which mostly chaplaincy office people only come.  During the summer, Interns are going to lead the service in turn.  And today was my turn which is first intern leading service.

수요일 정오에는 예배를 드리는데, 원목 부서에 있는 사람들만 거의 참석한다.  여름 동안에는 인턴들이 돌아가면서 예배를 인도하는데, 오늘은 내 차례였는데, 내가 첫번째 순서였다.

I was very careful to choose songs and message not to offend any other religions.  The first song was “Servant Song.”  The basic idea of the song is:  I will be your servant, and you be my servant.  Let us serve each other as Christ did.  Then suddenly the Jewish resident left the chapel with anger.

다른 종교를 자극하거나 불쾌하게 만들지 않기 위해서 노래 선곡이나 메세지 등에 매우 신경을 썼는데, 첫 노래는 “종의 노래”였다.  이 노래 가사는 내가 너의 종이 되고 너는 나의 종이 되고 우리 서로 그리스도 처럼 섬기자는 거다.  그런데 갑자기 유대인 레지던트가 벌떡 일어나더니 화를 내면서 확 나가는 것이었다.

It was obvious that he left because of the word Christ.  But the song never proclaim that Jesus is Lord or Christ is Saviour.  It simply says let us serve each other as Christ.

그리스도라는 단어 때문에 나가는 게 분명했다.  하지만 노래에서는 그리스도가 주라던가, 예수가 구세주라던가 하는 메세지는 전혀 없고 그냥 그리스도 처럼 서로 섬기자는게 다다.

After the service I had to talk to my supervisor about INTERFAITH.  The hospital claims that it is based on Christian faith, and most of us are Christian chaplains.  But we are not supposed to talk about or even spit out the words such as Jesus or Christ, Holy Spirit, etc.

예배 후에는 인턴 책임자에게 불려가서 상호 신앙 존중에 대해 엄청난 설교를 들어야 했다.  그런데 이 병원이 기독교 신앙에 기반한다고 자청하고, 우리 부서 대부분이 기독교 원목들인데, 그런데 예수 또는 그리스도 혹은 성령에 대해 이야기는 고사하고 입 밖에 꺼내지도 못한다.

In my understanding interfaith is embracing each other even though we are different.  Even though I do not believe in Alah or Mohamed the prophet, I admit the muslim brothers and accept them.  Interfaith does not mean removing what I have which are different from others in order not to offend them.

내 생각에 신앙 상호 존중이란 서로 다르지만 서로 받아주는 것이다.  내가 알라 혹은 예언자 모하메드를 믿지 않지만 무슬림 형제들일 용인하는 것 처럼 말이다.  상호 신앙 존중이란 남을 기분나쁘지 않게 하기 위해서 내가 갖고 있는 남들과 다른 것들을 제거해 버리는 것은 아니다.

That Jewish guy definitely did not respect my faith.  That song was all about serving.  And the word Christ comes only once in the whole song.

그 유대인은 확실히 내 신앙은 존중하지 않는다.  그 노래는 섬김이 전부다.  그리고 그리스도란 단어는 노래 전체에서 딱 한번밖에 안나온다.

And I think the reason that he was able to do such rude thing is that I am an intern (while he is resident).  If I were staff chaplain or even his supervisor, I don’t think he would have done that.  To give an extreme example, if President Obama was leading the service, he would never have left the chapel like that because of the word Christ.

내 생각에 그 유대인이 이런 식으로 무례하게 행동할 수 있었던 이유는 (자기는 레지던트인데) 내가 인턴 뿐이기 때문일 것이다.  막 말로 내가 자기보다 높은 정식 원목이거나 아니면 자기를 평가하는 사수였다면 이러지 못했을 것이다.  좀 극단적인 비유를 들자면 오바마 대통령이 예배를 인도했더라면 그리스도란 단어 때문에 그런 식으로 예배당을 박차고 나오진 못했을 것이다.

There are so many narrow minded people who cannot admit others and their differences.

왜 이리 이 세상엔 자기와 다른 남들을 인정하지 못하는 마음이 좁은 인간들이 그리 많은지 모르겠다.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Experience is dangerous?

Recently I had a chance to talk to a student – having much more theological education than I do.  I have almost two years education but she has eight years.  She is a pastor’s kid, and grew up in Christian family having Christian background.

최근에 나보다 훨씬 신학 교육을 많이 받은 한 학생과 이야기를 할 기회가 있었다.  나는 단지 이제 겨우 2년째 되어 가지만 그 사람은 8년이 넘어가고, 목사님 자녀로 기독교 가정에서 자라고 기독교 교육을 받았다.

During the talk, I told her about my experience, how I became a Christian.  Then suddenly she looked quite offended, and said putting accent on every word (emphasising her statement) that (religious) experience is very dangerous, and most dangerous and is no good at all.

대화중에 내가 어떻게 기독교인이 되었는지, 내 체험에 대한 이야기를 하자 갑자기 불쾌한 표정을 지으면서 매우 강한 어조로 (종교적) 체험은 매우 위험한 것, 가장 위험한 것이고 아무런 가치가 없다고 말을 했다.

I knew that she was emphasising academics very much, but now I realised that she does not have religious experience at all.  She actually never met Jesus in person.

학문을 많이 강조하는 분인 건 알고 있었지만 종교적 체험이 전혀 없는 분인 건 처음 알게 되었다.  확실히 개인적으로 예수님을 만나본 적은 없다.

I think we need both experience and academics.  So was Moses, and so was Paul.  Both Moses and Paul had enormous knowledge, and they both later encountered God at a burning bush and on the road to Damascus.  Without that experience Moses would have been just a failed prince, and Paul would have been nothing but a Christian-killing Pharisee.

내 생각에 학문과 체험이 둘 다 필요한 것 같다.  모세도 그랬고 바울도 그랬다.  모세도 바울도 모두 엄청난 지식을 갖고 있었고, 나중에 하나님을 만났다.  한 명은 불타는 떨기나무에서, 또 한명은 다메섹 도상에서.  체험이 없었다면 모세도 단지 인생 실패한 왕자에 불과하고 바울도 기독교인 처죽이는 바리새인에 불과했을 것이다.

Think about one of the sinners who was crucified next to Jesus.  He was saved because Jesus said that he would be with him in paradise that same day.  Did he have good knowledge?  Did his theological knowledge save him?

예수님 옆에서 처형당한 죄인을 생각해 보라.  예수님이 그날 같이 낙원에 있을 것이라고 하셨기 때문에 그 사람은 확실히 구원을 받았다.  그가 훌륭한 지식이 었었는가?  그의 신학 지식이 그를 구원하였는가?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Israel Trip Fifteenth Day: Megiddo, Anunciation Church, NETS

Today we kind of loose day. We went to Megiddo. Megiddo’s archaeological excavation was done by Oriental Institute of Chicago University, and their job and results are displayed at Oriental Institute Museum in Chicago.

Mountain near Nazareth

Mountain near Nazareth

On the way to Megiddo, we went through a tunnel under the mountain which the ancient Nazarenes tried to push Jesus down off the cliff. According to our George, traditional Jewish execution is: to bind the hands in the back, throw him/her from the cliff head down, and pile the stone over the body.

Outer Solomon City Gate

Outer Solomon City Gate

This is the outer gate constructed by Solomon. There is another inner gate by Solomon. Two major builder of this city is Solomon and Ahab.

Canaanite Gate

Canaanite Gate

This is the older gate made by Canaanites.

Sacred Area

Sacred Area

This is the ancient sacred place, and the round platform is at least thousand years older than Solomon.

Grain Storage

Grain Storage

This is the grain storage with two stairs; one for going down, the other for coming up. It used to be covered to protect the grains from rain, dust and so on.

Water System

Water System

Then we went down to the water system tunnel. The city of Megiddo had same problem as Jerusalem – the water source is out of the city wall. So they dug the underground passage to the water source.

Megiddo has been the key point since the human history, because it is the bridge between Egypt and Mesopotamia. Without crossing here, they cannot go to the other side. Megiddo comes out a lot in the Bible, and Armageddon in the Revelation is Greek transliteration of Hebrew word Har-Megiddo which means the mountain of Megiddo.

Basilica Annunciation Upper Level

Basilica Annunciation Upper Level

Our next destination was Basilica of Annunciation. There are so many churches of Annunciation, but this is the biggest one built over the crusader church which was built over the Byzantine church. The church is all about A and M shape which is the initial of “Ave Maria.”

Art from Japan

Art from Japan

The church has two level, and there are lots of arts from all over the world are on display on the upper level. This one is from Japan and the writing at the bottom says Flower / Of / Holy / Mother / Son, and we can say Beautiful Holy Mother and the Son.

Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary

Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary

Then some of the McCormick group went to Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary, and others enjoyed the first and last free time. The president of NETS is Arab Israeli Christian. We heard many things, but I am glad that there is Christian seminary in Nazareth. As Arab/Palestinian Christian seminary, they have so many things to do. I hope we can build good relationship between NETS and McCormick.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Israel Trip Fourteenth Day: Zippori, Mar Elias School, and Nazareth Village

Today, we first went to Zippori or Sepphoris. I have no idea where I can find this in the Bible.

Water Reservoir

Water Reservoir

This is the water reservoir little bit far from the city. It is very deep and big. It can contain more than one million gallons of water.

Roman Paved Road

Roman Paved Road in Zippori

This is Roman paved road, and still well-preserved. According to Roman recording, there was not even enough space to put needle between the stones. And the road is always two wagon width for the marching of the legions and slightly arch shape so that it can drain water to both sides. Roman architect used to say that the stone is their friend and the water is their enemy.

Not only the road, but also there were so beautiful mosaics along the road side.

Nile House Floor Mosaic

Nile House Floor Mosaic

We went into Nile House which is one of the public buildings. It contains so many beautiful floor mosaics.

Zippori Theatre

Zippori Theatre

This is a theatre. I wonder if the show was free and open to public or they charged in some way.

Toilet in private Mansion

Toilet in private Mansion

And we went into an ancient mansion. The picture above is private toilet. And the Greek writing is “to health.” Talmud has a Q&A: “How do you know some is rich?” “If he has a privy near the dining place, he is rich.” So the owner of the mansion must have been so rich having this flushing toilet near his living room where I saw the “Mona Lisa of Galilee.”

Zodiac in the Centre of Zippori Synagogue

Zodiac in the Centre of Zippori Synagogue

Then we went to a synagogue. It was also very beautiful. But the zodiac mosaic in the CENTRE of the synagogue shocked me. All other floor mosaics are related to Torah and/or Judaism, but why the ancient Jewish people put the pagan zodiac in the centre of the synagogue?

The city of Zippori is so well-preserved because it was destructed by earth quake and never rebuilt. And the city of Pompey was also so well-preserved because of the volcano. Same is Qumran. They were threatened, so they put the scriptures into jars and kept them in the caves. The community itself was completely destroyed. It may not proper to say in this way, but their disaster and catastrophe is our blessing. Because of their disaster, many things were able to be preserved, and now we can study them.

Director and Teacher of the Mar Elias School

Director and Teacher of the Mar Elias School

Then we went to Mar Elias school. The Christian school in small town of Ibillin near Nazareth. It provides education to any students including Palestinians, Arabs, and so on. They used to have Jewish students too, but none now. One of the building was funded solely by the ex-president Bill Clinton.

Kids in the class

Kids in the class

After we heard from the director and teacher, we went into a classroom. It was Hebrew class taught by Jewish teacher. And I was told that this school is the only one where Jewish and Arabic (or Palestinian) teachers teach together. The kids are typical kids – laughing a lot and noisy, happy. It was my happiest day just watching the kids being kids.

Girls who love Korea

Girls who love Korea

When we were leaving the classroom, the girls came and asked me if I am from Korea. I said, “I am from Chicago, but I was born and grew up in South Korea.” They were so happy and asked me to take picture together. And then they talked about a few Korean TV shows and signers which I did not recognise because I do not keep track with the Korean culture. I just felt wow!

Church near the school

Church near the school

Then we went to the Church next to school. If you see it from the side, you may recognise it is ark (boat) shape.

Stairway to the church

Stairway to the church

On the stairway, Jesus’ preaching on Matthew chapter 5 beginning “Blessed are…” is written in four languages of English, French, Hebrew, and Arabic.

Church door

Church door

This is the Church door. You may recognise the children around Jesus are actually from all around the world. And the two boys standing a bit farther than other kids are a Jewish boy and a Palestinian boy. The smaller boy is wearing Kipa on his head, so he is Jewish. This scene is that the Palestinian boy is bringing Jewish boy to Jesus.

Inside the church

Inside the church

This is the inside of the Church. The church is so beautiful, made out of donations not only money but also talents. Each piece was all made. The church has partition which blocks people going to the holy place. It is their tradition.

Shepherd and Sheep in Nazareth Village

Shepherd and Sheep in Nazareth Village

Then we went to Nazareth Village, kind of living museum. The sheep were in the cage with the door closed. According to Daniel, the Nazareth Village guide, During the day time, the door is open but the shepherd is standing on it in first century then, no sheep can go out, and no one can get in. This is John 10.7: “Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.”

Tomb Gate

Tomb Gate

This is the replica of a typical first century tomb. They said that they have actors on the Easter morning, playing the resurrection scene from the Bible. If I have another chance to be in the holy land and if it is during the Easter time, I would be good to come and watch the play. And this is small replica, so the actual door stone would be much bigger.

Daniel on Wine Press

Daniel on Wine Press

This is upper part of the wine-press. People tread on the grapes and the juice flows down to the lower part which gathers and contains the juice. In the first century, they must tread on the grapes with barefoot lest they crush the seed which makes very bitter taste. According to Daniel, the wine-press is under the terrace field while the threshing field is above the terrace which is the top of the hill. That is why Gideon was threshing in the wine-press so that he can hide. This is from Judges 6.11: “and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the wine-press, to hide it from the Midianites.”

Watch Tower

Watch Tower

This is typical watch tower in the first century.

Olive Oil Press

Olive Oil Press

This is an olive oil press and there is olive grinder next to it. To grind the olive, they used a huge mill with heavy millstone. Usually donkey moved the millstone, but today I volunteered and moved it as if I am a donkey even wearing the yoke. They crushed all the pits because even pits contains oils. You can see three places to tie stones in the wooden arm of the press. They pressed three times, first with just one stone, then it makes best and purest oil sometimes called as virgin oil. It is cleanest, and they donate them to the temple in Jerusalem. Second time, they use two stones to make not the best but still good oil and used it for human for every possible use. They pressed the olive with all three stones for the last time to make dirty and crude quality oil, not usable for human body but they used it as lamp oil.

Carpenter and Sister

Carpenter and Sister

These people are dressed in first century Galilean. He acts as carpenter and showed us some first century skills. She also showed us how to make thread out of the sheep wool. Her name is Hannah.

First Century Synagogue in Nazareth Village

First Century Synagogue in Nazareth Village

This is first century Jewish synagogue. Unlike the other later synagogue we’ve seen so far, it does not have the seat of Moses or the scroll place. Daniel said that the synagogue literally means gathering, and served like that. People gathers, prayed, studied, talked kind of town centre. It was not religious centre until the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. One think I like in the synagogue is the pillar on the corner. The other side of the pillar is 90 degree which makes the pillar heart shape. Not only here, I’ve found those pillars in many other synagogues on actual archaeological sites. When Jesus or any other disciples including Paul went into a synagogue, they might have seen similar synagogues like this.

Daniel is kind of interesting person to me being a messianic Jew, believing in Jesus as messiah. George said there are many divisions in messianic Jews, and many of them does not think Jesus as God.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Israel Trip Twelfth Day: Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, and Chorazain

Today was certainly New Testament Day, and especially Gospel Day.

Nazareth View from Saint Gabriel Hotel

Nazareth View from Saint Gabriel Hotel

This is the Nazareth view from the hotel. It is quite foggy and could not see far down there.

Cana

Cana

While we were driving down, our local guide identified us Cana where Jesus performed his very first miracle. He said wine is very precious gift because it means one years labour and huge portion of wealth. And if you do not provide enough wine in such events like wedding, it is permanent disgrace to the family. And how much it would be gossiped in that small town. Jesus literally saved the family. And George said that Jesus was not sitting with his mother in the feast because that is the Jewish tradition and culture that time. Even now they are separated in the synagogues.

Church of Beatitudes

Church of Beatitudes

First destination was the Church of Beatitude where Jesus preached the famous sermon on the mountain. On Matthew text, Jesus was on the mountain top, and it begins with Jesus sitting down. In Jewish tradition, rabbi stands normally, but when he sits, that means he is serious about his on-coming speech. So when Jesus sat down, everyone must have been quiet. And a beautiful church was built upon the rock which is believed that Jesus preached on.

Here is Matthew 5.3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Between the two Hieberts

Between the two Hieberts

They are my favourite professors at McCormick and they are husband and wife. Such a beautiful couple.

With George, our local guide

With George, our local guide

Then we went to Galilee and had worship on the “Jesus” boat. The service was good. We read Psalm 150 in different languages of English, Korean, Spanish, Hebrew and Arabic. Arabic was read by our local guide George. He is the best guide I’ve ever met.

2000 Years old boat

2000 Years old boat

This boat was found under the mud in the Sea of Galilee and scientist concluded this boat is about 2,000 years old. At Jesus days, there must have been so many boats on Galilee, and this is one of them. There is also possibility that Jesus was on this boat at least once. And the boat is made out of twelve different trees.

Migdal

Migdal

This is archaeological site of ancient Migdal. And there is huge construction is going on to build a Magdalene Centre and resort. Our famous Mary Magdalene means Mary from the town of Migdal. Galilee area is the core place of Jesus ministry. We had lunch here.

Herod's Massacre

Herod’s Massacre

I forgot the name of this mountain. Our local guide said that there was rebel against Herod among Jewish people around here, and they fled to that mountain. And Herod commanded his solders to push and throw all the rebels off the cliff. And the people in Galilee saw that.

Church of Peter's Primacy

Church of Peter’s Primacy

And we went to Peter’s Primacy Church. Peter and his fellow disciples came here and were fishing after the death of Jesus. And Jesus came here and prepared the fire and meal. Then John found the Lord and told Peter. After that Jesus asked Peter if he loves him three times. This is the Church built to commemorate it.

This is John 21.15: “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.”

One of seven springs

One of seven springs

This area is known as Heptapegon which means seven springs in Greek. We did not have time to go for it, but I ran and found one of the seven springs.

Olive grinder

Olive grinder

Then we went to ancient Chorazin, one of the three towns Jesus cursed. This is small town, and the people here must have been more conservative, and relatively closed-minded stuck in tradition and religion. That is why Jesus came here and worked so hard to change them. This is ancient olive oil press.

Peter or Peter's mother-in-law's house

Peter or Peter’s mother-in-law’s house

This is Peter’s house in the town of Capernaum. Many of the holy places are just to commemorate and/or the actual locations are in dispute. But this one is 100% legitimate, without any dispute. That means Jesus actually ate, slept, rested, preached, healed and talked there. It is most probable that Jesus walked through the whole town. And there is Jewish synagogue during Jesus time. Jesus went, read scripture and taught there.

Stairway to the roof

Stairway to the roof

This is the house next to Peter’s and you can see the stairway to the roof. In Gospel, good friends carried their paralysed friend to the roof and lowered him down. This is how. And the roof is usually covered with just leaves and straws woods. So it is easy to open.

Sunset in Capernaum

Sunset in Capernaum

This is beautiful sunset. And my crude camera cannot contain the beauty of it.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Israel Trip Eleventh Day: Ramallah, Shechem, and Samaria

Today we moved from Bethlehem to Nazareth.

Israel Checkpoint

Israel Checkpoint

We had to go through the checkpoint because we were going out into Palestinian area. These checkpoints are horrible. But the worst is yet to come. We went to Ramallah to meet Mrs. Jean Zaru. Ramallah is founded by Christians, and still Christians are dominant. And it is rule that the mayor must be Christians from the old days. Ramallah also has many industrial and commercial businesses. Ramallah also works as the de facto capital of Palestine. It is not one of the tourist attraction, so people there gave us very curious eyes. Ram means high place and Allah is God. So Ramallah is Divine Heights.

Jean Zaru

Jean Zaru

Mrs. Jean Zaru is a Quaker. She is very active for the human rights of Palestinians, and also for the Palestinian women. In that way, she is kind of unique. People we met so far work for the general Palestinian, none for the specifically women. But as we all know, women tend to be weaker in many ways including physically and sexually. Consequently if women are exposed to same level of violence as men, they are way more vulnerable. And that is way we need to protect and help them more. Some people believe providing numerically same thing is fair, but I do not. Providing different things so that everybody can live equally is fair and that is my social justice. I would like to write about it later.

Land of Gibeon

Land of Gibeon

When we passed by on the bus, our local guide George identified us many different places. This one is land of Gibeon. It comes in Joshua 9. The people here deceived Joshua as if they were from the land of far far away.

Bethel

Bethel

This is Bethel. Bethel means house of God, and the story comes in Genesis when Jacob fled from his brother, he slept here and saw a ladder or stairway reaching to the heaven and the angels up and down.

Shiloh

Shiloh

This is Shiloh where Samuel stayed and ordained two first kings; Saul and David. And most importantly this is where the ark of covenant stayed. Shiloh means ‘his’ in Hebrew, and was dedicated place to God.

Mount Blessing and Cursing

Mount Blessing and Cursing

This is two mountains of Blessing (on the left) and Cursing (on the right) which Joshua summoned and arrayed people there and asked them to choose which God they would serve. This is in the land of Shechem. Ancient or Biblical Shechem is now called Nablus. Romans built this city at A.D. 70 after they conquered Jerusalem and named it Neopolice, new city. And the name became Nablus.

Jacobs Well Church

Jacobs Well Church

In the place where the Jacob’s well is, there is a Greek Orthodox Church and is so beautiful.

Jacob's Well

Jacob’s Well

Under the Church, we found the Jacob’s well. And just in case you may not know, the photo-shooting is forbidden. And again, our McCormick group got special permit again. I think God is really with us. I drew some water myself and tasted. It was good and I was amazed the well is functioning well even after 4,000 years of time. As you may know this is the well that Jesus met a Samaritan woman and talked.

Joseph's Tomb

Joseph’s Tomb

Then we went to Joseph’s tomb. There is no archaeological evidence on this as usual for holy places. But it is said by tradition. And the tomb itself is covered with nice stone, and nobody knows what is in there. The stone is supposedly built by Muslims because its direction is toward Mecca.

Town Kids

Town Kids in Samaria

Then we drove to Samaria, the capital city of Northern Kingdom of Israel. The original capital was another place, but the famous evil king Omri moved the capital to Samaria, and Ahab also reigned here. Our group had lunch there but I skipped the lunch and walked around the village. And I sat there and thought watching the mountains around: Some place are identified and marked as holy, and some not. Why and what makes the difference? The holy rock does not made up of some holy molecule. I think that is holy because someone did some holy action. We people makes some place holy or evil. Our action and our deed is most important thing.

Roman Basilica

Roman Basilica

Herod the great built a roman city in Samaria and named it sebaste – August in Greek. This is roman style Basilica where people gathers and do some business.

Theatre built by Herod

Theatre built by Herod

This is theatre. And there is ancient horse racing track built again by Herod (not in this photo). The track is now just a flat field.

John the Baptist Church

John the Baptist Church

By tradition, it is believed that John the Baptist’s head is buried here, and crusaders built a Church for him.

Palace of Omri and Ahab

Palace of Omri and Ahab

This is part of the Palace where the evil kings of Omri and Ahab lived.

View from the Samaria Top

View from the Samaria Top

We went to the top of Samaria so that we can have some nice view. According to a boy from the village, we can even see the Mediterranean sea on clear days. In biblical times, all and every important place is always the highest point in the whole area.

August Temple

August Temple

This is the August temple which Herod built to flatter August, the roman emperor. August is a god, and a son of god (which is Caesar).

Where Jesus met ten lepers

Where Jesus met ten lepers

After the Samaria, we moved to Nazareth. And at some point, our local guide said that we are running on the same road where Jesus met ten lepers.

Traffic Jam caused by Israeli checkpoint

Traffic Jam caused by Israeli checkpoint

Until now we were in the West Bank, and Nazareth is in Israeli land. And there is a checkpoint (we may say it border). And it was horrible experience waiting and stuck in the traffic. And when we got there finally, three soldiers with machine guns came up on the bus. They asked our local guide and Ted many questions in separate place. And they also checked everybody’s passport with actual face. They were not that kind, but I believe it was their maximum kindness. They would act way more horribly to Palestinians. I am glad that I experienced this at least once and I cannot imagine the lives of Palestinians who go through this everyday and even twice a day.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Israel Trip Sixth Day: Mount Olive, City of David, Gethsemane, Shepherds Field and Home Demolition

Today we went to Mount Olive first time.

View from Mount Olive

View from Mount Olive

In the picture above, you can recognise the dome, and probably the temple wall. In front of the temple wall, you can see the Kidron Valley, and on the left side, you can see that famous Hinnom Valley.

Another View from Mount Olive

Another View from Mount Olive

This is a nice view with the Golden Dome from the Mount Olive. Jesus probably saw the similar things, except the Golden Dome and the houses in the north and west. He saw and wept. I was awed at this sight. Living in Seoul and Chicago, I am very much accustomed to the skyscrapers and giant buildings, and still awed at this. I cannot imagine how much the ancient people would have been awed at this. It is said that the Herod’s temple is the largest temple in the history (as a single platform temple). This view from Mount Olive is amazing. On the Palm Sunday, Jesus went into the city riding on a donkey. Mount Olive is on the east of Jerusalem. Shouting crowd, Palm branches, East, Sun on the back… everything indicates Messiah.

Gethsemane from Mount Olive

Gethsemane from Mount Olive

This is the Gethsemane from afar. It is very close to the city.

Necropolis, the city of the dead

Necropolis, the city of the dead

This is necropolis. In Israel’s burial custom, they put the dead body in the tomb and wait until it is totally decayed leaving bones only. Then they collect the bones and put them in a stone box with the name. In the necropolis, you can see all the bone boxes. And they put some perfume on the dead body so that it does not smell too much when the family comes to collect the bone. That is why Jesus said the lady was preparing for his funeral when she put the perfume on him.

Solomon's Wall

Solomon’s Wall

Then we went to the south side of the temple wall, just under the Al Aqsa Mosque. And this is the Solomon’s temple wall remains.

City of David

City of David

City of David was our next destination.

Royal Toilet Bowl

Royal Toilet Bowl

This is the toilet bowl from the Palace of David. It must be personal rest room for very important person, probably a king. You cannot say that David did not use it. It also has running water.

City of David, Image

City of David, Image

This is nice picture showing the City of David and the Temple in the OT times. The bottom half is the picture of modern-day at the same place. The white big thing in the middle is David’s Palace, and I can understand how and why David saw the bathing scene.

Water System

Water System

And we went to the water system, kind of secret one. They went to this passage to carry the water.

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Then we saw the Canaanite Wall next to it. David and his commanders saw this wall. And the Canaanites stood a blind man and a lame man to mock David. That means not only ancient Canaanites had crude sense of humour, but also they were so confident about their wall.

Hezekiah Wall Image

Hezekiah Wall Image

At the drawing above, the left side is Canaanite Wall. And the right is Hezekiah’s protection of the spring. And the Hezekiah’s tunnel (for water) is underground from the spring into the city.

Canaanite Tunnel

Canaanite Tunnel

David must went through this tunnel.

Hezekiah's Tunnel

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Not all, but some of McCormick group went through the Hezekiah’s tunnel. It is actually water way. Hezekiah knew that the Assyrians coming, and the people inside the wall needed water, so he dug the water way so that they can get fresh water without going out of the city.

Water in the Tunnel

Water in the Tunnel

You can see the water is still flowing, and I actually tasted – surprisingly it was good.

Siloam

Siloam

At the end of the tunnel, we met the Siloam where Jesus healed the blind man.

Gethsemane Basilica

Gethsemane Basilica

Then we went to Gethsemane. It is the Basilica (or Church) of Agony.

Olive Trees

Olive Trees

Next to the Basilica, there is still a garden, and the biologists say those olive trees are more than 2,000 years old which means, Jesus must have seen them.

Jesus was arrested while he was praying here. Standing here, I realised that this Gethsemane is the middle point between the city and Judean wilderness. If he wanted, it is 100% possible for him to flee to where David fled. But he did NOT which means he meant his death and sacrifice.

Inside the Basilica

Inside the Basilica

Inside the Church is so beautiful. The ceilings, windows, front patterns, drawings… and everything.

View from Gethsemane

View from Gethsemane

This is the view of the temple mount and the golden dome from the Gethsemane. It was not zoomed. It just shows how close it is to the temple. Until now, I had no idea when I was reading the Bible without any knowledge of geography even though I read the maps. When Jesus was taken from the Gethsemane to the temple, and to the Pontius Pilate, and to Herod, it sounded to me like from Kansas city, to Chicago, and to Washington D.C. How can they travel in ONE day? But now I experienced and knew the distance and everything, it makes sense.

Mango Juice

Mango Juice

We went to Bethlehem and had lunch at Palestinian restaurant. See the bottle that it is filled up to the top. In America, the bottles always has some room in case of freezing. And here, this means that there is no chance to freeze.

Chicken Pita

Chicken Pita

This is chicken pita, and it was super delicious but pricier than that I expected – 40 NIS. I may skip the lunch tomorrow.

Shepherds' Field

Shepherds’ Field

Then we went to Shepherds’ Field where the angels came and told the shepherds about the birth of the Saviour. There are three places recognised as shepherds’ field, but this is Catholic one. This is the rock where the shepherds rested and probably saw the angels.

Shepherds Field Church Inside

Shepherds Field Church Inside

Inside the Church is quite beautiful and small. The acoustic is very good, but I think it was better at the St. Anne’s Church.

Shepherds Field Church Outside

Shepherds Field Church Outside

In the shepherds’ Field Church, anything down is shepherd and anything up is angel.

Terrace Agriculture

Terrace Agriculture

While we were moving on the bus, our local guide George explained us about the oldest way of agriculture. It was making a terrace as seen on the picture above. Here, the land is chalk. They dig the chalk in a row shape, and put good soil on it, and plant. And the chalk does not absorb the water, so the water flows down to the next terrace. Then you can just water only the top row. On the sites like this, it is easy to find some good soil, some chalk and bad soil, the rocks, some thorns. And this is perfectly fit with the parable of Jesus.

Palestinian Area

Palestinian Area

Then we met Chaska(?) from the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions. She is very passionate and energetic Jewish woman who works and fights for the human rights of Palestinians. The photo above shows the ghetto Palestinian area without any trees. I actually drove through there, and it was so crappy, dirty, and all infrastructure was so bad, and not maintained by the government at all.

Jewish Area

Jewish Area

This is Jewish area. There are lots of trees, and high buildings. And above all, she said, Jewish area anywhere is identified by the landmark of cranes which means continuous development.

Jewish and Palestinian Resident

Jewish and Palestinian Resident

Israel government builds Jewish settlement in the heart of the Palestinian area. Here the front row is Jewish apartment which is nice and does not have any black water tank. They get enough water. Far back of the photo, you can see  the small black dots which are the water tanks. Because the government does not work on the infrastructure, they have to connect the water by themselves while they pay the same amount of water bills. And mostly they connect too many on one pipe and the water pressure drops down. That is why they must install water tanks.

Separation Wall

Separation Wall

Many, actually most of the Palestine communities are separated by the giant walls and disconnected from the neighbouring community. And they don’t have the freedom to move. This is the separation wall in Jerusalem.

House Demolition Site

House Demolition Site

This is the scene of home demolition. Israel government does not allow the Palestinians new house building permit. But they have to build. And later Israeli government give them warning of demolition. And then later suddenly they come around 1-3am and destroy the house. It is total operation with the demolition team, military, and police.

In my opinion, Israel government simply want them just disappear.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Israel Trip Fourth Day: Ein Gedi, Qumran, Dead Sea, and Jericho

Today was the very first day that we went to the east side of the hill country, and we saw the wilderness.

Wilderness of Judah

Wilderness of Judah

East of the hill country is dry with just 4 inches of rain whole year. It is because of Foehn wind. When we came close to the dead sea, the wilderness ended and flatbed was spread out in front of us.

Flatbed near the Dead Sea

Flatbed near the Dead Sea

Finally we met the famous dead sea.

Dead Sea

Dead Sea

We ran along the Dead Sea shore, and there are so many dates plantations.

Dates Plantation along the Dead Sea

Dates Plantation along the Dead Sea

The Bible says about the honey a lot, and the thing is there are no bees and consequently there are no honey. And the guide said Bible mentioned possibly about the dates honey. In this area, people make honey out of fruits, and among them, dates honey is the most common thing.

Date Tree

Date Tree

I thought it is palm tree such as Coconut, but the local guide said it is date tree. And when I went to Jericho today, I tasted a date, and it was so sweet. I think that was the sweetest date I’ve ever eaten. I have no idea why, but all the fruits here in Israel has far much better taste.

Thorn Tree

Thorn Tree

We arrived at Ein Gedi, and the very first thing welcomed us was this tree. It is Jujube tree, kind of thorn tree. Many people believe the thorn crown of Jesus was made out of this species of tree (not this tree). The t horns are not only sharp but also very long.

Lower Fall

Lower Fall

On the Ein Gedi hiking route, I saw three falls, and this is the first one just after the entrance, named lower fall. See how the Ein Gedi is dried and deserted.

Dead Tree next to the fall

Dead Tree next to the fall

The tree is just next to the fall and is dead. When King Saul pursued after David to kill, David fled and hid himself in this Ein Gedi and most probably he saw the same or similar thing that I saw today. He probably projected himself to those trees. His psalm sings, “like a tree planted by the water.” I now think it is not just beautiful poetic expression, but the reality and to him it was the matter of life and death. He had to choose to be one of the two trees, and the situation was hopeless. He must have thought that the only chance to be the green tree is to stick to God.

Watching the Dead Sea from Ein Gedi

Watching the Dead Sea from Ein Gedi

If you see the picture above, it is green only along the water. Everywhere else is dry and dead.

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Fall of David

This was our destination – the Fall of David. After here, we headed back.

With Paula Hiebert

With Paula Hiebert

Paula is my Biblical Hebrew professor at McCormick Theological Seminary and wife of Ted Hiebert. She also is a wonderful OT scholar, studied at Harvard University for her doctoral degree.

Caves of Ein Gedi

Caves of Ein Gedi

There are many caves in Ein Gedi, and maybe David hid himself in one of those caves. After Ein Gedi, we headed to Qumran where the famous Dead Sea Scroll was found.

Replica Jars of Qumran

Replica Jars of Qumran

These are the replica of the jars which contained the scrolls about two thousand years.

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Community Rule Scroll

Qumran was actually a community of even 1,000 religious men. Whoever can join but there was three years probation. The life there was very strict, and the scroll above was the Community Rule scroll.

Scriber's Desk

Scriber’s Desk

The member’s daily life is full of religious works, including copying the scripture. This is the scriber’s desk.

Ritual Bath Site

Ritual Bath Site

One of the religious thing was ritual bath. Ritual bath itself was not unique to this community but Essenes emphasised very much, and they had several ritual bath sites when they didn’t have enough water even to drink. Above photo is the actual archaeological site of their ritual bath.

Qumran Cave No. 4

Qumran Cave No. 4

This is Qumran cave No. 4 and is most important cave. It may not be impossible, but highly unlikely that there would be another scrolls to be found, because they searched the entire vicinity thoroughly. At Qumran site, there was a huge group of Korean tourists, and I heard the leader said, “I said SIT DOWN.” Some local people said that they see more Koreans than Jews in Israel, and I also saw a Korean signs in Jericho. We had lunch at Qumran.

Dead Sea Kalia Beach

Dead Sea Kalia Beach

After lunch, we went to Kalia Beach of the Dead Sea. Paula and Ted used to live in Israel for a year and she today told me that she can easily recognise that the water level of the dead sea lowered a lot. Our guide said that the dead sea is dying. It is so sad that everywhere I go, they say the nature is dying. When I went to see the glacier on Rocky Mountains in Canada, the guide said that the glacier is dying. I am afraid in one or two generation, if the guide would just say to the people that ‘it used to be dead sea,’ or ‘it used to be glacier here.’

Sticky Mud!

Sticky Mud!

The mud was so sticky and it tried to take my shoes off all the time. I tasted the water expecting the saltness but I tasted extremely bitterness. And several seconds after, I began to taste the saltness. And I thought about the Elisha’s miracle in Jericho. People appealed to him that the spring water was too bitter. I guess that was because the spring was connected to the dead sea. And Elisha put salt into it. The water is bitter because of too much salt, and he added even more salt. It is crazy and non-sense. His treatment doesn’t really make any sense. But it worked. Likewise, I think, God’s way and Christian’s way is crazy and non-sense to other people’s eyes. But if God helps us, we can do miracles.

Floating!

Floating!

I actually wanted to take a photo holding a news paper or something, but I could not find any. There was a lady who refused to go in because she cannot swim. So I told her the body floats automatically. It feels like someone pushed me up from inside the water.

Dead sea is about 430 metres below sea level, and it is very warm. So we enjoyed semi-summer weather today. The Dead Sea contains high percentage of salt and diverse minerals, they sell the mud for lady’s skin. And I feel my skin got softer and better after the bathing.

Zacchaeus climbed this tree

Zacchaeus climbed this tree

We went to Jericho, our final destination for today. It is believed that Jesus called Zacchaeus down from this tree. I hope everyone can meet Jesus and be called by Him.

Peacock in Jericho

Peacock in Jericho

We went to a very important archaeological site, and there were so many peacocks. They reminded me my honeymoon at Hawaii.

Camel in Jericho

Camel in Jericho

And I saw a camel. Unlike the public image of Israel, I haven’t seen any camel until today. I don’t think even that camel is not for transportation but for fun ride.

Mount Quarantania

Mount Quarantania

The mountain on the back is the Mount Quarantania which means forty, and is also called Temptation Mountain. It is believed that Jesus fasted for forty days and nights and tempted at this mountain.

5000 BC

5000 BC

This is 5,000 BC, so it is about 7,000 years old.

Layers of time

Layers of time

This is the layers of time. Black layers mean the fire destruction.

10,000 BC Tower

10,000 BC Tower

This is the tower built around 10,000 BC and consequently it is 12,000 years old. And this is one of the earliest building of the human history. Actually Jericho is THE OLDEST CITY in the world.

Fortress of 1,900 BC

Fortress of 1,900 BC

This is the fortress and walls behind for fortification built around 1,900 BC. The buildings in ancient Jericho was built with mud bricks and you can see them in the photo. So far the archaeologists failed to find the Jericho wall that Joshua destroyed. Some scholars say that Israel did not really come and destroyed, but the city automatically emptied by themselves even before Israelites came. Some scholars believe that we just did not find the right one yet.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Israel Trip Third Day: Jerusalem Old City

The guesthouse is in Palestinian neighbourhood where Arabic is commonly spoken. And it is obviously noticeable for the signs too.

Signs in Arabic

Signs in Arabic

From the guest house, we walked to the Jerusalem Old City through Damascus Gate.

Damascus Gate - one of the major access to Old City Jerusalem

Damascus Gate – one of the major access to Old City Jerusalem

This gate is called in Arabic as Bab Al-Amud which means Pillar Gate. There used to be two pillars by Hadrian and people still used that name even though the pillar is not there for more than thousand years. But you can see the mark where the pillars were in the Old City right after the gate.

Pillar Mark

Pillar Mark

We walked straight to the Western Wall, namely Wailing Wall. It shows a few different era’s construction with the Herodian wall at the bottom. And we went to Western Wall Heritage Centre where we saw some of the historical and architectural information in visual way.

Temple Mount and Temple model

Temple Mount and Temple model

Herod’s temple is much more bigger than the previous ones even way bigger than that of Solomon. Because the land was not level, Herod made the south side much higher to make the temple mount level, and both corner on the south side is called Pinnacle and the horn was blown for many reasons. At the north end, Herod used the natural bed rock as part of the temple mount.

Herod's Frame

Herod’s Frame

This pattern is Herod’s distinctive frame pattern. If you see the picture below, that is just little part of the one rock. They are all huge and giant. The average weight of those stones is 5 ton.

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Huge Stone

As we all know, this glorious Herod’s temple was destroyed by Romans A.D. 70, and some of the destroyed parts are still preserved:

Destruction of the Temple by Romans

Destruction of the Temple by Romans

We were walking under the centre ramp (see the temple model above), and we came out to the open field at Herod’s time but it is still covered because the houses were built after that over those areas. And we met two pillars by Herod.

Herodian Pillar

Herodian Pillar

And on the floor of the same level with the pillar, there are stone-pavement from the same time. In other words, Jesus may walked on those stones.

Pavement from the Jesus' contemporary.

Pavement from the Jesus’ contemporary

And then we kept walking through the water channel/tunnel and to a water basin.

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This was built at Hasmonian Dynasty which means it is even before Romans came to Israel. This water tank was used for more than thousands of years. One thing is that nobody knows where the water comes from and how it collects waters.

St. Anne's Chapel

St. Anne’s Chapel

We went to St. Anne’s Chapel by the White Fathers. White fathers is the missionary group and the father in charge of this site is from Canada. More than 80% of the members are from Africa, so the white is colour of the robe not the skin. Once they tried to rename, but almost all the black members voted against it.

This chapel has amazing acoustic design.  A few of the McCormick group sang ‘Amazing Grace,’ and it echoed like a band of angels was singing together.

Birthplace of Mary

Birthplace of Mary

St. Anne’s Chapel is dedicated to St. Anne, the mother of Mary. So she is grandmother of Jesus. Catholics believe that mother Mary was born here while Anne was living.

Crusader's Chapel

Crusader’s Chapel

Next to the St. Anne’s chapel, there is huge ruin. It is the ruin of many different things – Hadrian’s pagan temple, Byzantine, Crusaders … You can see the crusader’s cross on the bottom of the pillar.

Pool of Bethesda

Pool of Bethesda

And the ruin also has a pool named Bethesda, where Jesus is believed that he healed the sick on Sabbath day.

Via Dolorosa

Via Dolorosa

Now, it is time to talk about the Via Dolorosa, the most famous Christian pilgrimage.

Church of Condemnation

Church of Condemnation

The Church of Condemnation is at the original place (as believed) where Pontius Pilate and his army stayed, namely Antonia Fortress.

Game board

Game board

On the floor, there is a mark – the play of the soldiers. According to the guide, the mark was drawn around Jesus’ contemporary.

Church of Flagellation

Church of Flagellation

It is believed that Jesus was whipped at the Church of Flagellation. And you can see the patterns of nails, whips. Above the gate, you may identify the thorns.

Ecce Homo Church

Ecce Homo Church

Ecce Homo means “Behold this man,” which Pontius Pilate said to the people. There is huge arch in and out side of the church. But the scholars believe now that the arch was built at Hadrian after Jesus.

Jesus fell first time

Jesus fell first time

Via Dolorosa identifies three locations that Jesus fell, and this is the first one.

Jesus met mother

Jesus met mother

Right next to the first falling location, this point is believed that Jesus met His mother Mary.

Simon of Cyrene

Simon of Cyrene

This place is believed that Simon of Cyrene was forced by the Roman soldiers to carry the cross of Jesus. There are a few more scenes in the Via Dolorosa such as Jesus meeting pious women. Via Dolorosa may correct but may not correct since different churches claim different spots, and different scholars says different things. We do not know any thing for sure. But what is important is not to identify historical accurate locations but to feel it and add it to our faith.

Holy Sepulchre

Holy Sepulchre

After that, we went to the Holy Sepulchre though the Coptic Church. In  the Holy Sepulchre, there was no line and our guide said it was miracle. Only two or three can fit in, and I went in with another lady, and she cried a lot over the casket. I just wonder if I had to tell her that the casket is empty and Jesus is alive.

The Holy Sepulchre is so-called the holiest place for Christians. And several different churches owns different parts of it. There are serious dispute between them, so two Muslim families open it in the morning and close it in the evening. What a shame.

Adam's Tomb

Adam’s Tomb

Some Church says that Adam is buried here. It is very important to their theology. The rock over the glasses is the rock of Calvary.

Broken Stone

Broken Stone

The rock seen over the window is Rock of Calvary. It is broken into two. Because when Jesus died, there was earthquake, and the rock was broken into two.

Calvary Rock

Calvary Rock

This is actually on the Calvary. Still you can see the huge crack. There are a few more things to see including Anointing Rock. We went out to the Jewish neighbourhood.

Manora

Manora

This giant manora is not the only one telling you that you are in Jewish quarter. So many males are wearing black hats and dressed like Jewish.

Golden Dome

Golden Dome

That golden dome, so called Dome of Rock, is the most famous thing in Jerusalem. And you can see the western wall under it. Tonight is the beginning of Sabbath, and many Jewish people came to pray here.

Western Wall

Western Wall

This is very sentimental place for all Jewish. The women are not allowed to pray with men. They have their own section. And all men must cover their head. The wall is continued inside to the left side when you face it. And there is a library with all Hebrew pray books.

Skull rock

Skull rock

Then we went to Garden Tomb. It is based on the bible (of course) with the name of Golgotha whose meaning is skull. And the rock is very similar to the skull shape (the mouth piece is hidden by the reconstruction).

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The first and third picture is the entrance of the tomb and the middle one is inside of it. For the last picture, you can see the rail for the rock to roll which covers the tomb. Some scholars think the Holy Sepulchre is where Jesus was crucified, others think Garden tomb is the place. Again, we do not know for sure. But I do know that the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive.

Segregation

Segregation

This is the separation of Jerusalem. One city, one Jerusalem but one side is Jewish part, the other is West Bank, the occupied land. Jerusalem means peace. When can we really have true peace in Jerusalem?

We went to Sabeel, and listened to Cedar, one of the founding member of Sabeel. It was eye opening. I want to write about it later in more detail. If I do not go to bed right now, I may die.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

On Bullhorn

I watched a Nooma Video by Rob Bell – Bullhorn.

He was talking about Bullhorn guy – who shouts out on the streets to repent. I know many people are really annoyed by bullhorn guys. Rob says that too, it’s not working and annoying, so put down the bullhorn and stop it.

I was very surprised and perplexed with this video.

Jesus and John the Baptist were shouting to the people on the streets beginning with “Brood of Vipers.” They spat out the words of condemning and judging.

All of the prophets in OT also shouted and proclaimed the words of judgement. At 1 Kings 22, we can see that false prophets says only good words while the true prophet spat out almost curse like words. The true prophets didn’t say kind words but harsh words of judgement. Think about Isaiah, Jeremiah, Malachi and all other prophets were persecuted because they spoke harsh words.

In the NT too. Stephen and all the apostles spoke pricking words by which they were eventually killed and martyred.

From the old prophets through Jesus and unto the apostles, they all shouted extremely annoying words on the streets, they just didn’t have electrical bullhorn. By requesting “Put it down and stop,” Rob Bell is actually saying Shut up to all of them including Jesus Christ.

He also said that Jesus didn’t condemn the adulterous woman, and told the bullhorn guy not to condemn. But he actually condemned by saying no condemn.

Rob Bell said that God loves us just as we are. He loves even serial killer. But we should not be confused by this. God surely loves (the soul of) serial killer, but that does NOT mean He loves serial killing. God’s love is towards our soul, not our sins and stains. We cannot go to heaven unless we repent and be washed away.

That is why we must proclaim the annoying words to them. God loves the serial killer. But without repent, he cannot be with God in heaven. And without the annoying words, how can he repent?

Please read Ezekiel 3:17-21(New International Version):

‘Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.When I say to a wicked person, “You will surely die,” and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.

‘Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling-block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.’

Again, Jesus was annoying. John the Baptist was annoying. All the prophets were annoying. All the apostles were annoying.

You don’t have to go to the streets with bullhorn, but at least you shouldn’t say stop to them.

얼마전에 Rob Bell의 누마 비디오 중에 확성기(Bullhorn)이라는 걸 봤다.

길거리에서 확성기를 들고 회개하라고 외치는 사람들에 대해서 이야기를 한 것인데, 이런 사람들이 종종 짜증난다는 것은 나도 안다. Rob Bell도 그런 얘기를 했고, 효과도 없고 사람들 짜증만 나게 하니 확성기 내려놓고 멈추라는 게 요지였다.

나는 이 비디오가 꽤 불쾌하기도 하고 놀랐다.

예수님과 세례 요한도 사람들이 많은 거리에서 “독사의 자식들아”로 시작하며 외치셨고 비난과 심판의 말씀을 내뱉으셨다.

구약의 모든 선지자들도 심판의 말을 외치고 선포했다. 열왕기상 22장에 보면, 거짓 선지자들은 듣기 좋은 말만 해대고 참된 선지자는 거의 저주에 가까운 말을 한다. 참된 선지자는 좋은 말을 하기보다는 듣기 싫은 심판의 말을 한다. 이사야, 에레미야, 말라기를 비롯한 다른 선지자들을 생각해 보면 듣기 싫은 소리를 했기 때문에 박해를 받았다.

신약도 마찬가지다. 스데반 집사와 모든 사도들도 찌르는 말을 했기 때문에 결국 죽고 순교하게 된 것이다.

구약의 선지자로부터 예수님을 거쳐 신약의 모든 사도들은 거리에서 극단적으로 짜증을 유발하는 말을 외쳐댔다. 단지 전기  확성기가 없었을 뿐이다. 결국 내려놓고 멈추라는 말은 Rob Bell이 예수님을 포함하는 성경의 모든 이들에게 닥치라고 말하는 것이다.

예수님도 창녀에게 정죄하지 않으신다고 말을 했으니 확성기 든 사람들에게도 거리의 사람들에게 정죄하는 말을 하지 말라고 한다. 하지만 정죄하지 말라는 말로서 자신이 (확성기든 사람을) 정죄를 하고 있다.

Rob Bell은 하나님이 우리를 있는 그대로 사랑하신다고 말한다. 하나님이 연쇄 살인범도 사랑하신다고 말한다. 하지만 이런 말에 혼동되면 안된다. 분명 하나님은 연쇄 살인범(의 영혼)을 사랑하신다. 하지만 그렇다고 하나님께서 연쇄 살인을 좋아하고 사랑하신다는 것은 아니다. 하나님의 사랑은 우리의 영혼을 향한 것이지 우리의 죄와 잘못에 대한 것은 아니다. 회개하고 죄를 씼기 전에는 우리는 천국에 갈 수가 없다.

바로 그렇기 때문에 우리는 그들에게 짜증나는 말씀을 선포해야 한다. 하나님은 연쇄 살인범을 사랑하신다. 하지만 회개하지 않고는 천국에 갈 수가 없다. 그리고 우리가 짜증나는 말씀을 전하지 않으면 그가 어떻게 회개하겠는가?

에스겔 3:17-21을 읽어보기 바란다(개역개정)

인자야 내가 너를 이스라엘 족속의 파수꾼으로 세웠으니 너는 내 입의 말을 듣고 나를 대신하여 그들을 깨우치라 가령 내가 악인에게 말하기를 너는 꼭 죽으리라 할 때에 네가 깨우치지 아니하거나 말로 악인에게 일러서 그의 악한 길을 떠나 생명을 구원하게 하지 아니하면 그 악인은 그의 죄악 중에서 죽으려니와 내가 그의 피 값을 네 손에서 찾을 것이고 네가 악인을 깨우치되 그가 그의 악한 마음과 악한 행위에서 돌이키지 아니하면 그는 그의 죄악 중에서 죽으려니와 너는 네 생명을 보존하리라 또 의인이 그의 공의에서 돌이켜 악을 행할 때에는 이미 행한 그의 공의는 기억할 바 아니라 내가 그 앞에 거치는 것을 두면 그가 죽을지니 이는 네가 그를 깨우치지 않음이니라 그는 그의 죄 중에서 죽으려니와 그의 피 값은 내가 네 손에서 찾으리라 그러나 네가 그 의인을 깨우쳐 범죄하지 아니하게 함으로 그가 범죄하지 아니하면 정녕 살리니 이는 깨우침을 받음이며 너도 네 영혼을 보존하리라

다시말하지만, 예수님도 짜증나는 말씀을 하셨다. 세례 요한도 짜증나는 말씀을 전했다. 구약의 모든 선지자들도 짜증나는 말씀을 전했다. 신약의 모든 사도들도 짜증나는 말씀을 전했다.

여러분들 보고 직접 확성기 들고 뛰쳐나가라고는 강권하지는 않지만, 적어도 그런 사람들에게 멈추고 그만하라는 말을 하지 말아야 한다.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday when Jesus crucified and died. For Christians, this weekend is not just another weekend. We must meditate and thank the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.

But not like in Canada, I found many Americans (exactly American Christians) look like just do not have the sense of Good Friday. Even so-called (or self-called) faithful Christians have party today. I found several of them, not one. I feel like the whole country lost the common sense of being Christian.

This is the day that our Lord was killed. How can they have party this day? They have another 51 Fridays every year. Do they really have to party this day when they call themselves as (faithful) Christian?

I don’t care for non-Christians or not-that-faithful Christians. Be a serious Christian or don’t call yourself a good Christian.

오늘은 예수님이 돌아가신 성 금요일이다. 기독교인에게 이번 주말은 그냥  여타의 주말이 아니다. 기독교인은 예수 그리스도 우리의 구세주의 희생적인 죽음을 묵상하고 감사해야 한다.

캐나다와는 달리 미국인들은 (정확히 말하면 미국의 기독교인들) 성 금요일에 대한 감각이 없는 듯 보인다. 소위 (또는 자칭) 신실한 기독교인들  조차 오늘 파티를 한다. 한 사람만 본 게 아니라 여럿 봤다. 나라 전체가 기독교인이 된다는 것에 대한 상식을 상실해 버린 것 같다.

오늘은 주님이 살해된 날이다. 어떻게 오늘 파티를 할 수가 있나? 해마다 파티를 할 수 있는 금요일이 51개가 있잖아. 스스로 신실한 기독교인이라고 부르면서 꼭 이 날 파티를 해야만 하나?

기독교인이 아닌 사람이나 신실하지 않은 사람은 괜찮다. 제대로 기독교인이 되거나 아니면 성실한 기독교인이라고 자칭하지 말아라.

 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Must be Jesus

In a northern town of Manitoba, Canada, there is only one Presbyterian Church.

Once a pastor was asking a question to the children in the Children’s time. The answer was squirrel, and he was describing it, size is similar or bigger than the fist, climbs trees very well, eats nuts, stores foods for winter…. and the likes.

So, the pastor asked the kids, “So, what do you guess?”

And a kid raised his hand and said.

“That really sounds like a squirrel, but this is Church, so the answer must be Jesus.”

(This is true story)

캐나다 마니토바의 한 북부에 장로교회가 딱 하나 있는 마을이 있다.

한번은 목사님이 아이들 시간에 질문을 하나 했다. 정답은 다람쥐였고 목사님이 묘사를 해 나갔다. 주먹크기 또는 조금 더 크고, 나무 잘 타고, 너트 종류를 먹고, 겨울을 위해 음식을 저장하고 등등….

그리고 목사님이 물었다. “그래, 답이 뭐 같아?”

한 아이가 손을 들고 말했다.

“그게 정말 다람쥐 같긴 한데요, 여긴 교회니까 정답은 예수님이 틀림 없어요.”

(실화임)

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