Monday 19 April 2021

Pain and Suffering - a Park Hyung Sik special

Confession: I fell in love with PHS' acting in Strong Woman DBS, which I wrote about some time ago and have been following his dramas ever since. (If you'd like to see more of his superb acting skills, make sure you catch Juror 8 and Two Lights: Relรบmฤญno too!!)

Anyway, here are a couple of quick thoughts from Suits and Hwarang...

This was one of the most moving scenes from Suits for me (apart from the two farewells to grandma).

It reminded me of Someone I know who also bore our pain (Isaiah 53:4) and is now our Advocate before the Judge (1 John 2:1).

Also when we intercede for others, we need to empathise with their pain and not give up pleading for them.

As for Hwarang, I was reluctant to watch the series as I suspected it was merely a ruse to cash in on the cast of male idols' popularity. And unfortunately, I was right! The plot was predictable and the acting mostly over the top. 

The only saving grace, and the reason why I succumbed to watching it all the way through, was PHS' eyes. They expressed all the different emotions he had so well, from anger at the injustice faced by the poor and weak, to the longing for his love interest, and the self-doubt over his ability to be a good king.

In this particular scene, his teacher assures him that he does indeed have the qualification to reign as his desire has always been to become a suffering king. 

It reminded me of our suffering King who bore our pain, even to death on the Cross, in order for us to be saved. That's why He deserves all our worship and adoration! ๐Ÿ™Œ

And for this, it made the time spent on the drama worthwhile. ๐Ÿ˜†

P.S. Another saeguk about a Christ-like figure monarch is "Love in the Moonlight". It had a much stronger plot, so much so that it got TWO entries in my blog! Read on to find out more...

P.P.S. Just for fun ๐Ÿ˜†

Saturday 17 April 2021

The Lord’s Prayer - "in heaven" (17 Apr 2021)

This evening, we continued our discussion of The Lord's Prayer during our family time with the phrase after 'Our Father'.

One of the kids wondered if heaven were all white, so we read Revelation 21:19-20 which says:
The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.

We searched online for pictures of all the different precious stones mentioned and were amazed at the wide range of vibrant colours, textures and opacities. Then I realised that the batik pieces Aimee and I had painted earlier in the afternoon (beautifully designed diamonds by our friend Farah), may very well look as colourful as the gemstones in heaven!

With such incredible riches and beauty in heaven, what a stark contrast it must have been for Jesus when He entered this world in a dark and dirty manger! I was reminded of Philippians 2:6-8 which tells us about Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross!

God in heaven is also Emmanuel who is with us. So where God's presence is, there heaven must be too! Therefore we as carriers of His presence, help to reveal glimpses of heaven on earth through the Holy Spirit working in and through us. This is not only in terms of signs and wonders or miracle healings, but also in the day to day working out of our faith as we grow in Christ-likeness and display His love for others.

Having a Father in heaven also reminds us of our identity as heavenly people and that our home is in heaven (Ephesians 2:6). Since we are only passing through, we should focus on storing up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).

We tried to imagine what the earth would look like from heaven and figured that everything must be really tiny to God! His power transcends all that we know and are limited by in this world, and nothing is too difficult for Him. What a mighty God we serve! And if God be for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)?

Monday 12 April 2021

The Lord’s Prayer - "Our Father" (11 Apr 2021)

We've decided to discuss the Lord’s Prayer during our weekly family time, phrase by phrase. So I will try to capture here some of the main points and insights received as we go along... ๐Ÿ˜…

1. Our 

This points to community. God is a community in Himself - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are made in His image, so we also need to be in community with one another.

It also implies communal worship and prayer where we are in agreement, and everyone is of equal status before Him. Therefore every person's unique relationship and experience with God is equally valuable.

2. Father

The moment a baby is born into a family, it is to be expected that the parents will care for, feed and protect the baby. So we can also be assured that our Father will care for, feed and protect us. 

There is no need to earn His love by proving ourselves worthy. He already loves us and always will just because we are His children.

As a Father, God not only loves and forgives us, but He also teaches and disciplines us. So He is the God of both the OT and the NT.

God is not distant but is always near to us. Just like how a child can run to an earthly father who lives in the same home whenever there's a need, we can call out to Him anytime.

For many believers, our perception of God the Father have been marred by the imperfect parenting we have received (or possibly also from the influence of imperfect spiritual elders/parents we have encountered). We need to examine ourselves and repent if we have been a stumbling block to anyone. We also need to seek God’s healing and restoration if anyone has caused us to stumble. 

3. Our Father

We are all His children and belong to the same family. He has no grandchildren and every believer has direct access to Him as His child. There's no need to go through one's earthly parents or anyone else.