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Pastor Youngju Steven Kim
Rev. Steven Kim

 

God of Sparrows

I didn’t have to even get my snowblower out of the storage hut in the back yard this winter. All I have done was shovel the not-so heavy snow on the walkway at the parsonage three times or so. I am a happy man about this winter. I guess you can say the same. Still, winter is a tough season for many people to live through. Some of us fell and broke their wrists or ankles this winter. May God help them recover from their injuries promptly!

Entering March, winter still whims with her final charge. Yet, spring is around the corner in its midst. On the last Sunday in February, two worshippers shared their joy to have spotted the harbinger of spring, robins, in their yards. It is our joy to see the robins back to us in spring. They are elegant and charming creatures. We also look forward to seeing cardinals soon.

But robins and cardinals are not the only birds that we can see in spring. We also can see lots of sparrows. In fact, they have been around us through the winter. But we normally don’t look forward to seeing them because I think there is nothing special in them.

To my knowledge, however, a sparrow is one of the few birds that Jesus mentioned in the Gospel books by their name. For instance, he talks about sparrows in Matthew 10: 29, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care.” Sparrows are like nobody among all the birds. They look neither as magnificent as the golden eagles nor as charming as the robins or cardinals. Yet, Jesus says God cares for them in His love. Likewise, our God always pays extraordinary attention to the little ordinary ones in our society such as the marginalized, the oppressed, the forgotten, and so on.

Recently, the Methodist Church made a big decision on human sexuality in the Special General Conference in St. Louis. With a lot of prayers and discussions, the delegates voted for holding onto the traditional plan on this volatile issue. Some must be cheerful for it while others become heart-broken. They knew the outcome cannot satisfy both sides and yet meant to remain the One-body as the United Methodist Church. Let us pray for healing and unity in the wake of the General Conference. Most of all, may God lead the Methodist Church in the coming days, comfort the broken-hearted and help us to embrace them in His love who deeply cares for the sparrows.

    

In Peace