Pastoral Reflection

Home/Pastoral Reflection

“Our Little Lives, Our Big Problems”

In his book “Meditations of the Heart" (1953), Howard Thurman prays: “Our little lives, our big problems— these we place upon Thy altar! The quietness in Thy Temple of Silence again and again rebuffs us: For some there is no discipline to hold them steady in the waiting And the minds reject the noiseless invasion [...]

2020-09-25T00:06:21-04:00September 20th, 2020|

Justice of Healing, Not Harm

“Magical Power, Marvelous Action! Chopping Wood, Carrying Water...” thus reflected an early Zen master of China. The ancient wisdom found beauty and profound spirituality at being fully present in the daily grind. So when young men strived to reach the profound heights of the path (tao), the sages advised: “Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. [...]

2020-09-18T00:24:58-04:00September 13th, 2020|

Walking the Tightrope

“How does your church practice social responsibility?” a student from Drew Theological School asked me at an online seminar last Friday. The topic of discussion was the Wesleyan commitment to scriptural holiness, encompassing both inward and outward holiness of heart and life. The student’s question was a response to Wesley’s lines, often quoted among Methodist [...]

2020-09-11T00:32:13-04:00September 6th, 2020|

Try to See the Beauty in Everything

I remember the phone call from my eldest daughter about eleven years ago. At the time, she was working within Obama’s campaign team and I was growing impatient to hear her next plans as the president-elect had taken the oath of office. She reported via a phone call that she will be working at the [...]

2020-09-03T22:53:19-04:00August 30th, 2020|

What You See Isn’t Everything

A recent article in the New York Times showed that 99% of people in Flushing wear masks. It’s the highest rate among 14 different neighborhoods in New York City. Vigilant mask wearing explains how a high-density area like Flushing could maintain one of the lowest coronavirus infection rates in the five boroughs. The collective effort [...]

2020-08-27T22:17:48-04:00August 23rd, 2020|

Happy, No Matter What Happens

I wake up several times throughout the night. Default is to pray when I can’t force myself to sleep, but sometimes that's easier said than done with the prolonged pandemic. What’s funny is that whenever I talk about the challenges, people think I’m joking or exaggerating. They say, “But you’re always happy” or “You can [...]

2020-08-17T22:28:12-04:00August 16th, 2020|

Could Jesus Be More Vividly Present in Our Sufferings?

South Korea is battling floods and landslides right now. It’s the longest monsoon in seven years. My heart goes out to those affected because they will also face a long and difficult recovery, with lots of hazardous cleaning up to do. We would wish to put the past behind and start over, but it’s not [...]

2020-08-11T00:59:33-04:00August 9th, 2020|

God’s Thoughts Are Not Like Ours

A lot of thoughts and opinions were raised about the coronavirus pandemic. On the one hand, our ears were daily tuned to the announcements coming from the government and public health authorities. On the other hand, we heard many Christians say that the pandemic is a wake-up call to repentance from God. I agree that [...]

2020-08-05T02:10:02-04:00August 2nd, 2020|

In Tough Times, Mother was Tougher

Growing up in Korea some years after the Korea War, I was so proud of my father who studied in America. I remember how in grade school teachers customarily asked survey questions like, "Anyone has a family member with a college degree?" In a classroom packed with kids, I was the only one who raised [...]

2020-07-27T18:24:32-04:00July 26th, 2020|

People who make the way

Rep. John Robert Lewis, civil rights legend and longtime Georgia congressman, passed away last Friday at the age of 80. Reading the news, I thought about my visit to Albany in southwest Georgia some twenty years ago. I remember driving by little cabins and cotton fields stretching to the horizon against the Southern blue sky [...]

2020-07-21T22:13:17-04:00July 19th, 2020|
Go to Top