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The Life of “Amen” (Matthew 2:1-12) by Pastor Youngjae Jee

posted Jan 9, 2015, 12:12 PM by Bowmansville UMC   [ updated Jan 23, 2015, 10:34 AM ]

There a man who was hesitant in making a decision between being a singer and being a teacher.  His father told him to bring two chairs and asked him to sit on both.  He tried, but almost fell down in between.  There the son got his father’s point and made a decision about the chair he will sit on.  Later he became a world famous Tenor instead of a teacher.  His name is Luciano Pavarotti. (1935-2007).

Some people are two timers.  They are sexually unfaithful or like to sit on the fence.  We consider it evil because such behavior ruins human relationships.  It ruins love and replaces it for sexual desires and other interests.  God does not like the two timers either.  "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24) Jesus taught us not to be worry about worldly things but to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and then all these things will be given to us as well. (Matthew 6:33)

After Christmas we meet the season of Epiphany.  Epiphany means “manifestation of the Lord.”  This is the time to celebrate Jesus’ revealing himself as the Christ since he was born.  When Jesus reveals himself, as Simeon said to Mary at the Jerusalem temple, our thoughts would be revealed too: “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”(Luke 2:34-35)  Now in the beginning of 2015, we may be able to see our thoughts revealed by the word of God given in Epiphany.

From Matthew 12:1-12 we see that Magi confronted Herod who was a formidable power at that time and at the same time the baby Jesus who was born in a manger.  They were told to cooperate with Herod but they made a decision not to follow Herod.  They followed the star, saw the baby Jesus, bowed down and worshiped him, presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh, and then returned to their home not going back to Herod.  Their choice was the baby Jesus, but not Herod, but not both either.

Their decision reminds me of the Psalm 1. “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2)

In a New Year we wish blessings for one another and make New Year’s resolutions too.  However, we need to first know what really true blessings or good resolutions are.  Or otherwise, we may chase both godly life and worldly desires and end up falling down in between.

This is what Jesus says about the blessed; "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it." (Luke 11:28)  In other words it is to resemble God’s holiness.  I wonder if this may be our New Year’s resolution; “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.” (Leviticus 19:2)  How can we be holy?  To read and meditate the Bible, to pray, to become a true worshiper, to be a messenger of the Gospel, to serve the church in whatever way we are able to serve, to observe Sunday worship, to give tithe, and so on.  This would be a life of  a disciple and a way of making disciples to transform the world.  They are the basics of our faith life.  Our delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law we meditate day and night. 

I wish we all say “amen” to this resolution.  Our choice should not be Herod but the baby Jesus.  We don’t worship Jesus and then go back to Herod.  We worship Jesus and stay in him.  We say “yes” in Jesus Christ.  We don’t say “no.”  “But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not "Yes" and "No." For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me… was not "Yes" and "No," but in him it has always been "Yes." For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ.  And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:18-20)

We all say “Amen” at the end of the sermon.   I hope that the New Year’s resolution of yours is the life of Amen in Christ Jesus.  That is, I believe, the blessed life in God.  That is the life like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season.”  May God bless your life in 2015!  Amen.