A Word from Pastor Sun Hee
Wow! I can’t believe that it’s already June! I know that I seem to say this every year, but the fact that half a year has already passed has caught me a bit off guard. Of course, June is that month where there are so many different things going on. Students are moving into a time of summer break, graduations are taking place, there’s Father’s Day, and of course, we cannot forget about Pentecost Sunday! And for us United Methodists, June is that month of preparing for some significant transitions. Although, thankfully, this is not the case with SAINT PAUL, many other United Methodist Churches will be experiencing pastoral changes at the beginning of July, and it is in June where many are sadly exchanging their goodbyes.
I cannot help but think about that Ascension scene in Scripture where Jesus ascends into heaven for the final time. After all the emotional roller coaster experiences of the crucifixion, resurrection and reunion, the disciples are faced with a time of transition. In Acts 1:1-14, we see the depiction of this scene. Jesus offers his final words, ascends into heaven, and the disciples are left behind as they just stare off into heaven… in the direction that Jesus left their presence. I can imagine the disciples eventually turning to one another and asking each other, “What now?” This is the question that we often ask ourselves in times of transition, whether it be a positive or negative change. Think of any big day, such as graduation or wedding day. We tend to live for and work hard for these moments of glory and grandeur – and when they arrive, we are focused on the celebration. But then, after the high of these amazing events have passed, we realize we need to figure out how we are going to live from that point on. The journey continues. For good or for bad, we human beings struggle with the unknown. No one has a manual or clear map on how to effectively navigate transitions, but we’ve got to live it out and continue on. This is also the case in our spiritual journeys. Once in a while, we will have a mountain top experience at a retreat, be inspired through confirmation, or receive an epiphany in study or in prayer. But soon afterwards, we will find ourselves challenged by daily living. And we will find ourselves asking, “What now?”
In many ways, I feel that SAINT PAUL is also going through a transitional time. We just recently shared in the long-awaited celebration of Ground Blessing Sunday and our 50 Year Celebration will be coming soon on September 14th(it’s also the 20th year of our life in the current building!). As our District Superintendent said, “We are called to be mindful of what God is leading us to, not just celebrating this big moment.” As much as all these things may be positive changes, it can certainly cause some anxiety around the unknown future and the questions of “What now?” It is our human tendency to be anxious and be impatient to get to the next big moment.
For me the only thing that helps me to get through these transitions of life and in the spiritual journey is to hold on to the promise of the presence and the guiding of the Holy Spirit, which, by the way, is what Jesus promised to the disciples before he ascended to heaven. The passage in Acts reminds us of that promise and calls us to move forward as disciples of Christ and be faithful and be mindful of that promise in our walk. In some ways, our life as a Christian is living in that huge transition between Ascension and the Second Coming of Jesus. Truth is that our Lord didn’t just want us to get through the transition nor ride out whatever wave just to get to the next big moment. Jesus came to us so that we would have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). One faithful moment on top of another faithful moment is what will lead us to live the life that God had in mind for us. Not just the big moments, but more so the faithful ones.
So, here is my hope and prayer for you this June. I pray that God kindly give you the wonderful mountain top moments that you can take notice of and cherish. I pray that God will get you through those mundane moments with faithfulness and grant you peace. I pray that God will be with you and give you comfort if you’re struggling with low moments in your life. I pray that in all these moments, you notice God’s working and blessings in your life and give thanks to your God, your Creator and Lord of your life.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Sun Hee